BARRE - Marilyn May Johnson was born at Heaton Hospital in Montpelier, on the Fourth of July in 1926, the only daughter of E. Herbert and Winona (Griffith) Johnson. She passed away at Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center July 7, 2012, with her brothers and family at her side.
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Marilyn attended Barre City schools and graduated from Spaulding High School with the class of 1944. Following graduation, she worked at Calder and Richardson as a secretary and then for her paternal uncle Horace Teachout at E.W. Bailey in Montpelier. Her paternal uncle E. Reynold Johnson was impressed with the results of her civil service exam and obtained a job for her with the General Electric Co. in Burlington.
She met Julian Adelard Matte through a mutual friend and after both becoming members of the Civil Air Patrol, would later fly together. Marilyn obtained her pilot license before her driving license, and a most memorable flight was an unexpected emergency landing in a cornfield. They were married at St. Monica Church in Barre Aug. 30, 1948. The couple resided in Burlington and following Julian's graduation from UVM, he started working for the Cunard steamship line out of their New York City office. In 1957, Marilyn was able to transfer from the General Electric Burlington office to the GE headquarters in New York City and joined her husband on Staten Island where they lived for 14 years. She continued her work for GE at their headquarters at 570 Lexington Ave. in New York City for 36 years, retiring in 1993, as an executive secretary. After Julian's death June 1, 1999, in Derby, Conn., Marilyn moved full time to Hernando, Fla. She moved back to Barre in June 2007 due to failing health and lived with her niece and husband, Archie and Jan Johnson Pecor, for three years before becoming a resident of the Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Marilyn had a sharp mind and enjoyed discussing politics, keeping up with the stock market and watching over her and others' investment portfolios. She also enjoyed bike riding, horseback riding, exercising, yoga, music, reading, walking, swimming, and keeping track of her large extended family. During their time in New York, she was the first mate on Julian's sailboat when they sailed from The Shoals on Staten Island to Mallets Bay in Vermont with good friends John and Margo Schedel. Special lifelong friends included Carmen, Clair, Grace, John, Shirley and Sis, all who continued to keep her in their thoughts and prayers with cards, letters, flowers, phone calls and visits which meant the world to her and her family.
Survivors include her brothers Herbert H. Johnson and his wife, Bertha, of Waltham, Mass., and Woodbury, Richard K. Johnson and his wife, Judith, of Barre Town; sisters-in-law Constance Johnson and Carmen Johnson; five godchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Marilyn was predeceased by her parents; her brothers Reynold Otto Johnson and Larry West Johnson; and sister-in-law Mildred Lamburn Johnson.
Her life will be remembered and celebrated Saturday July 14, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Barre Congregational Church. Later interment will be made in the Hope Cemetery. There are no calling hours.
Memorial contributions may be made to Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641 or to the Patient Activity Fund, Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center, 98 Hospitality Drive, Barre, VT 05641.
The Hooker and Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., Barre, is in charge of the arrangements.
Published in Times Argus on July 10, 2012