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Marilyn Deckert Chabbott

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Marilyn Deckert Chabbott Obituary
Marilyn Deckert Chabbott grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, the daughter of Zilpha (Hoadley) and Garrett Deckert, the second of five sisters and one brother. She had many pets, but her favorite was a fox, which she never succeeded in taming. At 19, she went with a friend by train to Sacramento, California, determined to leave cold weather behind her. There she found a job as an executive secretary at the Bank of America and became an active member of the young singles group of St. John's Lutheran Church, making trips to San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In 1952 she chose from among her many suitors a dashing young 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force, George H. Chabbott, of Lake Placid, NY. They married in 1953 and over the next 20 years the Air Force moved them, two daughters and, at long last, one son from Sacramento to England to Texas to California again and, finally, in 1971, to Dover, DE.

Since George moved from the Air Force into commercial finance and real estate in 1973, Marilyn and George have generously supported the Dover USO and have been major donors to the Dover YMCA and St. Andrews Lutheran Church. As a Legacy Donor to the Delaware Technical College-Terry Campus, Marilyn's donations helped 37 Kent County students pursue their dreams and supported the creation of the George and Marilyn Chabbott Center for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Innovation and Advancement. She also was a major contributor to Wesley College and also funded junior ROTC scholarships in Kent County. In recognition of her contributions to Rotary, including hosting dozens of international Rotary Fellows, in 1998 Rotary International appointed Marilyn a Paul Harris Fellow.

Over the last 40 years, Marilyn was a regular member of many Dover social, including the Retired Officer's Wives Club, the Sprig and Twig Garden Club, and the "Out to Lunch Bunch". For last 20 years Marilyn was a perennial in the YMCA's water aerobics class, taking breaks to recuperate from various age-related ailments, but always returning to the class, as much for the friends as for the exercise.

Into her 80s Marilyn delighted in traveling, from Alaska to Argentina, from Italy to Finland, and from California to Maine. At home in Dover she enjoyed visiting the sick and shut-ins and welcoming newcomers into any group. To the last she enjoyed spotting bald eagles, otters, dozens of different types of birds-particularly hummingbirds-and, of course, foxes, from her sun porch overlooking the marshes of the St. Jones River.

She was beloved of many and is survived by: Husband Col. (Retired) George H. Chabbott; Daughter Michelle and grandchildren Kate Horowitz and Abby Horowitz; Daughter Colette (Ted Thomas) of Washington DC; and Son John (Holly) of Timonium, MD and grandchildren Tom Walker Chabbott of New York, NY and Amanda Chabbott of Timonium MD; Sisters Phyllis Bennett and Mauretta Mattison (Bill) of Madison, WI and brother Garrett (Carol) of Fort Dodge, IA.

Memorials may be made to the USO-Delaware, c/o Joan Cotes, 1161 River Road, Newcastle DE 19720 or another .

Marilyn's ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 425 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE on Saturday, June 13, at 10:30a, followed by a celebration of Marilyn's life in St. Andrew's Great Hall.

Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.
Published in Dover Post from June 10 to June 19, 2015
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