Marilyn Ilene Levisohn Getchell
1944 - 2020
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passed peacefully on April 16. She was born on January 11, 1944 in Denver, CO to the late Anne Barder and Morey Judd. After completing her bachelor’s degree at the University of Denver, she attended graduate school at Northwestern University where she earned her PhD in neuroscience. It was also there that she met the love of her life and husband of 45 years, Thomas V. Getchell. They were married on June 11, 1968 in Erie, PA. After completing their graduate work, the two went on to hold positions at several universities, ultimately ending up at the University of Kentucky. Marilyn retired from UK in August 2009 after 20 successful years running a research lab at the Sanders Brown Center for Aging and Alzheimer’s Research. Her work was transformative to her field and left an impact on the study of Alzheimer’s disease that cannot be understated. She was a brilliant scholar and a wise mentor to the countless students that came through her lab. Marilyn held the honor of the commission of a Kentucky Colonel, being recognized for outstanding service in her community. Marilyn believed in and contributed to causes that helped educate children, provided books for children, and stocked food pantries in her community. Marilyn also served as a volunteer to interact with Alzheimer’s patients. Marilyn ended her volunteerism as an instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kentucky where she contributed to a class on advances in Alzheimer’s research and treatment. In her free time, she enjoyed cooking delicious meals to share with family and friends, traveling, antiquing, and playing countless games of Mahjong and 500. She and Tom split their time between their homes in Lexington and Longboat Key, Florida. Marilyn is survived by her two sons Aaron (Shelley) Getchell of Tampa, Fl., and Abraham (Morgan) Getchell of Lexington, Ky. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Madelyn, Charlotte, and Connor Getchell, who were the light of her life and her true pride and joy. Additional survivors include her sisters Dianne (Todd) Garvin of Seattle, WA., and Suzie (Daniel) Kamlet, of Denver, CO., and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and a host of beloved friends. A private burial was held at Lexington Cemetery on April 18. A public memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Tom Getchell Memorial Scholarship with Opera Lex, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Apr. 22, 2020.
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