Marilyn Emily King, born April 19, 1931, in Cleveland, Ohio, died August 22, 2023, in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the age of 92.
She was the daughter of Elmer Miller King and Emily King (Emilie Cecilia Pekar) of Cleveland, sister of Elmer Miller King and Donald John King, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her sisters-in-law Jeanne and Marlene.
Her father died when she was a child and her mother when she was a young adult, yet Marilyn became a strong professional woman who forged a career in an era when it wasn’t common for women to work outside the home. Known to numerous coworkers, friends, and acquaintances as Miss King, she worked her whole career in high-end women’s apparel, starting at Peck & Peck in Cleveland and later at Raleigh Haberdasher in Virginia.
Miss King and her beloved aunt and dearest friend, Dorothy Gertrude King (1897-1984) aka A.D., shared a home together for many years in North Springfield, Virginia, where they kept the local squirrels (who knocked on the patio door at mealtimes) fed with peanut butter sandwiches.
The two Miss Kings were intrepid travelers and voyaged all over the world. They shared a fondness for family history, heirlooms and giggled over dozens of stories and jokes, many of which went on to become legend among their extended family.
After retirement Miss King moved to Crozet, Virginia, where she tended her beautiful yard and vacillated between affection and wonder for the graceful deer and other woodland creatures drawn to her trees and flowers − and exasperation at their determined consumption of the backyard buffet.
In retirement, Miss King did volunteer work in a medical office and at a local school, where she spoke affectionately of the young students she tutored in reading.
Fiercely dedicated to her family, Miss King cherished her brothers Don and Elmer and their families. She was the favorite, cool aunt to her nieces, nephews, their children and grandchildren. Aunt Marilyn treasured the time she spent with them, most notably at a joyous family reunion in 2014, fondly dubbed Kingapalooza.
This weeklong gathering was more than just a reunion. It was a heartfelt celebration of their Aunt Marilyn and the loving bonds she had nurtured within the family. Set against the backdrop of the family farm, Quiet Acres in Grottoes, Virginia, which was established by her late nephew Dan (1964-2012) and his wife Sylvia, family members came together to share stories, laugh until tears, and rekindle the deep sense of family togetherness that Aunt Marilyn had always promoted. The farm hummed all day with love, respect, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for Aunt Marilyn who had given so much to so many. Whether she was retelling cherished family stories or listening intently to the latest updates from her relatives and friends, Aunt Marilyn was the heart and soul of the Kingapalooza.
She will be dearly missed by her nieces Mary Beth (who, as a toddler, couldn’t pronounce Marilyn and so dubbed her ‘Mone’ and she was called that by Elmer’s children for the rest of her life), Debra, twins Laura and Linda (who lovingly visited her for many years and cared for her in her last years), Martha, Suzanne, and Sylvia, and nephews Chris, Dan and Don and their families. She leaves a loving legacy of countless happy memories of the times they spent together.
A visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, August 29, 2023, followed at 11 a.m. by a Mass at St. Thomas of Aquinas Church, 401 Alderman Road, Charlottesville, and then private interment at St. Vincent Ferrer Columbarium in Charlottesville.
If you pIan to send flowers, please have them sent to the church. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Crozet Library or the Nature Conservancy of Virginia.