With profound sadness we announce the passing of our beloved and devoted mother Marilyn Louise (“Bailes”) Wittenbach, of Greenville. Marilyn was welcomed into Heaven while sleeping peacefully on April 18. She had just celebrated her 88th birthday in March. Marilyn was preceded in death 9 short months ago by her loving husband Calvin.
On September 23, 1950 Marilyn married Calvin Wittenbach, her husband of 69 years. Marilyn met Calvin when she was 17 years old. Early in their marriage, Calvin & Marilyn moved into the farmhouse where they raised three children and spent their entire married life. During farming time, the backyard was filled with apple trees and just down the road was the family dairy farm.
For many years Marilyn and Calvin co-owned and ran Wittenbach Resort & Boat Rental – a 30 site seasonal trailer park, boat rental, and store on Wabasis Lake in Greenville. Summers would find Marilyn & the kids bailing boats, running the store, and kicking cow piles to hunt for worms & grubs.
Marilyn was a graduate of Greenville High School and in earlier years was employed in the office of Gibson Refrigerator Company. For many years she also worked at Almas Ready-To-Wear in Greenville and later retired from DLP in Grand Rapid.
Marilyn and Calvin spent many years camping and in later years wintering with friends at Maranatha Village in Sebring, Florida.
Early in their marriage Marilyn and Calvin attended Ashley Baptist Church. Marilyn has been a member of Oakfield Baptist Church since 1981.
Marilyn was a dedicated wife and mother. She treasured her 3 children and embraced every moment with her family. She especially loved her role as “Grandma Marsh Mellow” to 8 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Marilyn had a vivacious personality, engaging smile, and always made friends everywhere she went. Marilyn loved to cook & bake, kept an immaculate house & yard, and was highly skilled with knitting needles. In her early years you could find her every Thursday afternoon mowing her yard and on Fridays she drove into Greenville to run errands.
Marilyn is the loving and devoted mother of:
Stephen (Kristi) Wittenbach,
Jennifer (Bryan) Lemson
Juleen (Ryan) Haartman
Bruce (Pam) Wittenbach
Shelby (Jeff) McGeorge
Linda Wittenbach Donovan
Marilyn is also survived by her sister in law Sue Croskery of Houston, Texas along with several nieces and nephews.
Marilyn was also preceded in death by her parents, Charles & Florence Bailes, sister Charlene & brother in law Lee Petersen; brother & sister in law Kenneth & Doris Wittenbach; brother in law Mike Croskery; and nephew Larry Petersen.
The family wishes to give special thanks to Marilyn’s caregiver Tanya Bowser, the staff at Bishop Hills Elder Care Community in Rockford and Hospice of Michigan.
Funeral services will be 11:00 am Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at Oakfield Baptist Church with Pastor Chris Minor officiating. Committal prayers will follow at Ashley Cemetery, Belding. Visitation will be 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM Monday at Johnson Feuerstein Funeral Home, Belding. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be given to Oakfield Baptist Church or the B Foundation.
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