Marilyn Jean Smith, 83, Marion, a long-time resident of Marion, Indiana, died on Monday, July 26, 2021, in Waco, Texas, due to complications from ongoing health problems. Marilyn was preceded in death in 2016 by her husband of 59 years, Dr. Evrett Smith, whom she took care of for nearly a decade as he went through cancer treatments.
A "city girl", Marilyn was born in Cincinnati, the daughter of Evelyn and Wilburn Tyson. She grew up in the nearby Pentecostal church that her grandfather served as the founding pastor and, after graduating from Woodward High School, took business courses and served as a telephone operator. Soon after turning 20, she married Evrett, the love of her life, on August 31, 1957, and joined him at Indiana University, where she worked on campus as he attended medical school and they started a family.
While Evrett's medical career initially took them to Ohio, Virginia, and Connecticut, they returned to Indiana, with Evrett serving 25 years as a radiologist at Marion General Hospital, as well as chief of radiology and hospital chief of staff.
Marilyn stayed busy supporting her husband and their three children. She discovered a passion for photography, winning local recognition for her work. She actively served in the hospital women's auxiliary and as a school volunteer helping children learn to read.
In retirement, the couple traveled and lived part-time in Tellico Village, Tennessee, as well as Sanibel, Florida, where they attended Sanibel Community Church. It was also here where Marilyn served as a leader of the area's International Christian Women's Club, drawing on a strong Christian spirituality and faith in God rooted in her earliest days. "You have to lean on Him," she said. "You have to believe in Him. You have to stay in touch with Him. You have to pray every day. That all helps, but nobody's going to tell you it's easy."
In recent decades, Marilyn and her husband attended College Wesleyan Church. They supported Indiana Wesleyan University's School of Life Calling and Integrative Curriculum to help each student find a guiding purpose.
Marilyn will be remembered for her devotion to her friends and for pouring love into her family in many ways, including with desserts. Her legendary lemon bars and ice cream brownie sandwiches will not be forgotten--nor her easy smile and laughter.
She is survived by her brother, Jim (Carol) Tyson of Boulder City, NV; children: Michael F. (Debbie) Smith of Gainesville, GA; Michelle J. (John) Maurer of Waco, TX; and Mitchell E. (Susan) Smith of Isle of Palms, SC; and eight grandchildren: Ryan Smith of Houston, TX; Jackson (Alex) Maurer of Villach, Austria; Rachel Smith of Denver, CO; Derek (Samantha) Maurer of Chicago, IL; Jenna Maurer of Highland Park, NJ; Jacquelyn Smith of Ellicott City, MD; and Samantha Smith and Tyson Smith, both of Isle of Palms, SC.
The family will receive visitors from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Needham-Storey-Wampner Funeral Service, North Chapel, 1341 N. Baldwin Ave., Marion, IN.
Immediately following the time of visitation, a service to celebrate Marilyn's life will begin at 1:00 pm with her son-in-law, Pastor John C. Maurer, officiating. Burial will take place at Grant Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the following organizations: Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, 6621 N. Old St. Rd. 3, Muncie, IN 47303; Washington Township Volunteer Fire Department, 1513 N. Bethlehem Rd., Marion, IN 46952; or Indiana Wesleyan University Marching Band, 4201 S. Washington St., Marion, IN 46953.
Memories may be shared online at www.nswcares.com.