Marilyn Lovell Obituary, Death – On August 27, 2023, in Lake Forest, Illinois, Marilyn Lillie Lovell passed away in a calm manner. She was surrounded by her beloved husband of 71 years and her loving family at the time of her passing. Marilyn’s birthday is July 11th, and she was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1930. She was the fifth and final kid in the family. Marilyn could frequently be observed as a young child sitting in the window of her father’s candy store nibbling the chocolate bunny decorations. She was quite the precocious child! She earned her diploma from Juneau High School in Milwaukee, which is where she first became acquainted with James A. Lovell Jr. (Jim), who would later become her husband and life partner.
In order for Marilyn to be nearer to Jim while he was attending the United States Naval Academy while she was in college, she moved from Wisconsin State Teachers College to George Washington University in Washington, District of Columbia. Following Jim’s commencement ceremony at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 6, 1952, Marilyn and Jim exchanged vows and became husband and wife. Jim was always bragging to his friends and family that he “married the prettiest girl from Wisconsin!”
The life that Marilyn lived was quite remarkable. She had a warm and welcoming demeanor, one that was accompanied by a genuine grin and interesting discussion when you first met her. Marilyn served as the perfect example of a Naval Officer’s wife, and she later became an active member of the first Astronaut’s spouses Club, where she was responsible for promoting her husband’s career at NASA and offering support to other astronaut spouses.
Her family brought her the utmost happiness. In the ever-growing Lovell family, Marilyn served as the family patriarch for many years. She was a grandmother to eleven grandkids and seven great grandchildren in addition to her four children. Grammie was a loving nickname for her, and she had a tight relationship with her grandchildren, whom she spoiled and visited frequently. She spoiled them rotten.
Marilyn, who was married to a serviceman and moved about a lot, felt most at home in Houston, Texas, where she had resided for twenty years, and Lake Forest, Illinois, where she had lived for forty years. Additionally, she and Jim owned a lake property in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, which served as a gathering place for extended family and friends for almost three decades.
Mount Marilyn, a mountain with a triangle shape that may be found on the moon, is one of the legacies that Marilyn has left behind. Jim gave the peak its name while he was on the historic Apollo 8 mission, when he was mapping potential landing sites. This mountain, which serves as a signpost and is prominently located along the border of the Sea of Tranquility on the moon, is a representation of Marilyn’s unwavering fortitude throughout her life. On July 26, 2017, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) granted official recognition to the name Mount Marilyn for the mountain.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, Captain James A. Lovell Jr.; her children Barbara Harrison (Ken), James Lovell III (Darice), Susan Lovell, and Jeffrey Lovell (Annie); her grandchildren Lauren Harrison (Matt Pataky), Scott Harrison (Katie), Caroline Harrison (Nick D’Addario); Emily Lovell, Katie Lovell, Thomas Lovell Williams, Jim Williams, John Williams (Mara), Allie Swanson (Brian), Marilyn Lovell, and James Love
Marilyn’s parents, Lillie and Carl Gerlach, as well as her siblings, Milton Gerlach, Irene McCann, Ralph Gerlach, and Grace Redmond, had already passed on to the next life. They will be waiting for her there. The Lovell family would like to express their appreciation to Marilyn’s caregivers Rosy Rea, Maria Rogers, and Valerie Rus for their outstanding care and support throughout the past year.
On Friday, September 8th, at 11am, there will be a Memorial Service held at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest in honor of the deceased. Following the funeral, Marilyn will be laid to rest in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in a ceremony that is strictly private.