Marilyn was born in her family home in Holt, Michigan, October 17, 1934 (and given her first teaspoon of water by her father shortly after delivery). She grew up in the post-depression era leading a simple life in that same home, which did not receive indoor plumbing until she was 16. She stayed at home until she married her husband, Russell, in 1955 and built a brand new, state of the art home that she was so grateful for and proud of in a nearby subdivision in Holt. She raised her family and played “social butterfly” until 1984 when she and her second husband, Charlie, moved into a very comfortable home in Charlotte.
Marilyn attended the Holt Public Schools K-12, graduated with the class of 1952, worked as a Medical Assistant for Dr. Franklin Troost from 1952 to 1958, was a stay at home mom 1958 to 1972, then returned to work as a Dental Assistant for Dr. Edward Jennings from 1972 to 1984. Upon retirement she and Charlie spent 26 years wintering in Estero, Florida (Fort Myers) and enjoyed spending as much time as she could with her grandkids while still finding time to travel to all 50 states.
Later in life Marilyn’s needs became simple: the four “C’s”: clothes, coffee, chocolate and conversation. She loved to shop for clothes. She carried on an Edema family tradition of drinking black coffee regularly. She loved anything chocolate, especially dark chocolate or a Heath Bar. As for conversation the phone was always her go to for family and close friends but the daily trip to McDonald’s or the 3 p.m. trips to Meijer or the Great Lakes Christian Home lobby became the norm for socializing.
Words used to describe Marilyn are classy, kind, generous, caring, willing, fun, and loving. Although she appreciated the finer things in life, family was her priority and friends/relationships were important but God was always first.
Marilyn was raised in the Baptist Church and attended “Bible Believing” churches (Lansing South Baptist, Holt Baptist, Miller Road Bible Church, and most recently Charlotte First Baptist). She partook in Communion, prayed before meals, participated in Bible studies, was a regular attendee and Sunday school teacher, but when Alzheimer’s progressed she preferred to stay in her room and watch Dr. Stanley on TV on Sunday mornings.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 26 years, Russell Harper (1981); husband of 28 years, Charles “Charlie” Rudd (2011); father and mother, Herbert Emil and Berendena (Edema) Williams; sister, Betty (Roloff) Stimers; and brothers, Richard “Dick” and Charles “Chuck” Williams.
Marilyn is survived by her children, Nancy (Al) Johnson of Grand Ledge, David (Michelle) of Holt, and Janelle (David) Choma of Haslett; step-children, Terry (Vi) Rudd of Venice, FL, Garry (Sandy) Rudd of East Leroy, MI and David (Esther) Rudd of Battle Creek, MI; 17 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and a brother-in-law, Stan Harper.
There are too many friends to acknowledge but thank you to all who have been part of Marilyn’s life, especially those who were such a comfort to her in her final years (the GLCH friends and staff, Garth, Robinwood Landing staff, John, Hospice of Lansing, and MJ).
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at New Hope Church, 2170 E. Saginaw Hwy., East Lansing, MI. Interment will be in Maple Ridge Cemetery, Holt. Her family will receive relatives and friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Christian Homes, Holt, Hospice of Lansing, or to New Hope Church. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Holt/Delhi Chapel.
Pallbearers are her grandchildren, Aaron Johnson, Blake Johnson, Dominic Choma, Drew Choma, Derek Choma and Meredith (Harper) Pavlov.