Obituary of Marilyn Macfarlane Feininger
"Aren't we lucky!" Marilyn Macfarlane Feininger met life with a smile, and her energy and optimism were contagious. Born on August 19, 1931, in White Plains, NY, Marilyn was surrounded by her children when she peacefully passed away at age 79 on June 12, 2011, in Bethesda, MD.
Marilyn lived in over a dozen communities throughout her life. She graduated from high school in Schenectady, NY, and received a BA from Stanford University in 1953. In 1954, she married John Loudon Feininger and together they raised three children - Anne, Barbara and John - while continuing to move across the country. Marilyn and Jack left their adopted hometown of Holland, MI, to retire in Lake Wylie, SC, in 1993.
Wherever she lived, Marilyn cultivated rich friendships and dedicated herself to community service. She was never afraid to take a stand. Her civic contributions are too many to note, but include her longtime affiliation with the League of Women Voters. Marilyn helped revitalize a two-party system in Richland County, SC; was an elected member of the Holland, MI, Board of Education; served on the Holland Community Hospital Board of Directors; and created the hospital's successful "Lights of Love" fundraising campaign for affordable medical care. Marilyn was recognized by the Michigan Association of School Boards for her contributions to public education; she also received a Stanford Associates Award for her service to the university.
Marilyn participated in Susan B. Komen fundraisers long before her own diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001. She launched a local Rally for the Cure golf tournament in 1996 and was overseeing an expanded rally when her cancer returned in 2008. Undaunted, she helped guide the rally to a successful conclusion and was honored for her contributions by the Charlotte, NC, Komen affiliate. Strengthened by years of participation in Al Anon, Marilyn faced challenges with compassion and humor. Both friends and staff at Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda, where Marilyn lived the last year of her life, commented on Marilyn's powerful presence, community contributions, and grace.
Marilyn is survived by her children Anne Mulherkar (Shirish Mulherkar), Barbara Feininger (Lee Newman) and John Feininger (Elleanore Feininger); grandchildren Andrew and Riley Mulherkar, Travis and Lindsey Johnson, Sterling, Harrison and Ansley Feininger; sisters Elizabeth Martin, Alisone Clarke, and their families. She was predeceased by her husband, Jack, in 2007, and by grandson Augustus Lawwill Feininger in 1997.
Marilyn's children thank the friends and caregivers who supported their mother through her final illness. A celebration of Marilyn's life will be held on Friday, June 24, at 3 p.m. at Maplewood Park Place in Bethesda, MD. Memorial contributions may be made in Marilyn's name to JSSA Hospice (200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville, Maryland 20850), to a hospice provider of your choice, to The Wellness Community – Greater Washington, DC (www.wellnesscommunitydc.org), or to a charity of your choice.
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