Marilyn E. Kirchner, 85

Marilyn Elaine Kirchner, a resident of Dunedin, Florida, passed away peacefully on March 7 at the end of her journey with cancer. Marilyn is predeceased by her husband, Jack Kirchner, and is survived by her children and their spouses: Jennifer and Scott, Jacqueline and Chuck, Jessica and Rich, John and Kristin, Janet and Gabriel, and Jeanne and Matt, and her grandchildren: Alex and Grayson; Kiernan and Emily; Julia, Stephanie and Kyle; David; Jason, Kevin, Kayla and Jaxon; and Grace, Amelia and Emmeline. She is also survived by her siblings: Barbara, MaryAnn and Bill.

Marilyn lived her life to the fullest with her family and friends taking center stage. While working as a Registered IV Nurse at Mass General she met her husband Jack. They married in 1963 and started a family soon after. She had six children who became the joy of her life — and she raised them to be strong, independent and kind.

Her smile and gregarious nature were infectious, and her sense of humor and talent for calm during chaos was put to good use during these busy years. Marilyn had a special bond with each of her fifteen grandchildren and they all loved spending time with her. She enjoyed reading and singing to them, playing with them, celebrating their birthdays, and attending their many sporting events, plays, concerts, and graduation ceremonies.

She was happiest when surrounded by all of her family. She began the tradition of having a seaside vacation every summer with her children and their families, and especially loved the ‘art colony’ painting session with her grandchildren!

Even while raising her six children, Marilyn stayed active in volunteer work throughout her life. She was a troop leader for both girl scouts and boy scouts, served on the Weston EMS as a volunteer EMT and Crew Chief, served as a hospice nurse, volunteered with Bread and Roses for AIDS patients, and taught CPR.

She was active in her parish and a member of Voices of the Faithful. Well into her 80s, Marilyn volunteered by bringing supplies to the Senior Center and helped with patient intake at a clinic in Florida. She mentored and financially supported high school students at Kolbe Cathedral through the Shepherds program, and started the Jack Kirchner Scholarship after the passing of her husband in 2012.

Marilyn was honored in 2007 with the Carol B. Bauer Community Spirit Award for outstanding service as a hospice patient volunteer, and her “call number” was retired in a moving ceremony upon her retirement from the Weston EMS in honor of her 34 years of service.

Marilyn was a very talented artist. As a lifelong seamstress, she sewed clothes for her young children, prom dresses and wedding party outfits as they got older, and then beautiful quilts for her husband, her six adult children, and each of her 15 grandchildren when they were born.

She was a member of the Garden Club in Ohio, winning many ribbons for her beautiful arrangements. And relatively late in life, she discovered she had yet another amazing talent in painting, especially watercolors and pastels of beach landscapes. Everyone who visited her home marveled at her walls adorned with many of her favorite paintings.

Her quilts and paintings reflected not only her creative talents, but also her love of learning and diving into new things. Marilyn was also an excellent cook and baker — her family enjoyed her many homemade meals, especially pizza night, “green” homemade bread for St. Patrick’s Day and Italian Christmas cookies for the holidays.

Marilyn was very outgoing — she loved entertaining and being with her friends. She made friends everywhere she went! She loved engaging in all kinds of social activities including dinner parties, playing cards or just chatting on her porch, as well as bowling, tennis, golf and walks on the beach — no sea glass was safe from her diligent searching! She also enjoyed gardening and had an incredible green thumb — her home was always full of plants and flowers.

Marilyn began most mornings (her favorite time of day!) with a strong cup of coffee, watching for the first rays of glowing amber as the morning sun began to warm the small stretch of sand in front of her home. This was almost always followed by sending the best pictures of the sunrise to her family. A fresh start full of promise, these moments mirrored her strengths and the gifts she shared with so many during her 85 years. Marilyn spread her light in this world through her service, faith, positive energy and love for family and friends.

We will all miss you dearly.

If you would like to honor Marilyn and her generous giving spirit, please make a donation in her name to the charity of your choice.

Visiting hours will be from 9:00 am to 11:00 am with a Service to follow at 11:30 am on April 6th, 2024 at the First United Church of Christ, 34 W Main Street, Milford, CT.

Flowers can be sent to the family or a tree can be planted in memory of Marilyn E. Kirchner.

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