Marilyn N. Conner
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August 9, 1939 - February 4, 2014
Marilyn Neagoy Conner passed away at her residence in Grand Junction on February 4th, 2014.
Marilyn was the beloved mother of Kirk Nicholas Wilson, Wendy Wilson Beard, Matthew Robert Wilson, and Hunter Marion Wilson (deceased). Cherished Bunika of Conner and Zander Beard. She was the amazing sister of Nicholas Neagoy (deceased), Alexander Neagoy, and Phyllis Neagoy. Beloved daughter of Dr. Nicholas Neagoy and Mary (Serbu) Neagoy, both deceased. She was true and genuine to all who called her friend.
Marilyn began her life in Lakewood, Ohio, a small bedroom community nestled against the south shore of Lake Erie. She graduated from Ohio State University in 1962. While she was still engaged in her undergraduate studies, Marilyn discovered an advertisement on a dormitory bulletin board soliciting for summer employment at Grand Lake Lodge in Grand Lake, Colorado, located adjacent to the West Entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, and thus began a lifetime love affair with Colorado. Marilyn never looked back. She married Robert Walter Wilson in 1963, moved to Grand Junction and began her teaching career with Mesa County School District 51. She took a break from teaching to raise her four children. Her favorite family memories revolved around summer vacations spent in Ouray, Colorado. The family enjoyed hiking and jeeping all over the San Juan Mountains especially one harrowing trip down Black Bear Road into Telluride and visits to ghost towns in Yankee Boy Basin.
Marilyn returned to teaching in 1975, and taught sixth grade at Tope Elementary. One of her most memorable endeavors as a teacher was taking a class of 34 sixth graders on an eight-day tour of Washington, DC in the summer of 1980. She completed her Masters degree at the University of Northern Colorado in Gifted and Talented Education and received her Administrators Certification 1984. She continued her lifelong dedication to education with the role of Middle School Principal at Mt. Garfield. She married Russell Dwane Conner, a fellow educator and administrator for District 51 in November of 1988. From 1996 to 2000, Marilyn served as the Director of Middle School Education and as the Assistant Superintendent in 2001. Marilyn's last position in the school district was as the first principal of the Dual Immersion Academy from 2004-2006 a role that she enjoyed immensely. She concluded her career supervising student teachers at Colorado Christian University until 2010.
Music was a life long passion for Marilyn. She played the violin in the Grand Junction Symphony from 1963 to 1982, and served as General Chairman for Community Concerts from 1969-1976. Her children remember her hosting cast parties for performers such as Itzhak Perlman (who mistakenly thought she said she was General Sherman rather than General Chairman) and an African dance troop who put out cigarettes with their bare feet. Marilyn continued her musical passion by resuming both piano and violin lessons at age 65. She performed a memorable recital on her 70th birthday for her family and friends.
Marilyn's family will host an open house on Friday, March 7th from 3 - 7:00 p.m. Marilyn's friends, colleagues, students and community members are invited to celebrate her life by sharing memories, food, and music at Two Rivers Winery, 2087 Broadway, Grand Junction, Colorado.
Memorial contributions to the Marilyn N. Conner District 51 Foundation Music Memorial Fund, 2115 Grand Ave., Grand Junction, CO 81501.
Published in The Daily Sentinel on Feb. 23, 2014