Marilyn A. Walker
1932 - 2021
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Marilyn A. Walker

LANCASTER - If we would have known the future and had the chance to ask Marilyn what she wanted the notice about her death to say; we think she would have said 'I've had a wonderful life'. Marilyn Ann Diedrich Walker was born on September 12, 1932 to the late Catherine Lucille "Sue" Duck Diedrich and Arthur Joseph "AJ" Diedrich in South Bend, Indiana.

Marilyn went to heaven on March 25,2021 while living in the incredible nurturing community of Scott's Place. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude and most sincere thanks for the love and care that Marilyn received from Kim Sparrow of Scott's Place and all of the staff that worked during the years Marilyn was a resident there. At Scott's Marilyn was always treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

She graduated from John Adams High School in 1949. That same year Marilyn went to the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio where four years later she graduated with a Degree in Fine Arts. There in Cincinnati she met the love of her life and her future husband, Robert Philip "Phil" Walker who was studying at Xavier University. Marilyn describes this time with Phil in Cincinnati as a "joyous time in her life." They married on June 27, 1953 the year they both graduated. Their life together has been a 67 year love affair.

Marilyn was many things among them was a mother, wife/partner, artist, master gardener, activist, bicyclist and friend. Marilyn was a master gardener. She loved flowers, plants and growing her own food for the family. After Marilyn and Phil built their dream house and named their farm Creeksong Farm on acreage in Pleasant Township. We as a family watched with awe of what mom could do with things that grew in the earth. Marilyn studied French Intensive Organic Gardening at the Farallones Institute in Occidental, California in 1976. She returned to Lancaster and created an organic gardening program that she implemented into the curriculum of the Lancaster City School system and was eventually part of the Lancaster Parks curriculum that was loved by all the students who were fortunate to participate. Mom was incredibly proud of these programs.

Marilyn was a warrior on her bike. She went on a number of bike trips with friends and bike groups. She and Phil enjoyed many incredible bike trips. They especially loved riding in the Great Ohio Bike Adventure-GOBA- and rode the entire adventure for 25+ years. They were excited to start GOBA each year as they had made many good friends that they spent the week riding with. Marilyn had a "trail a bike" added to her bike so that she could ride with her grandchildren and took them with her on GOBA. Marilyn and Phil were instrumental in the development of the Lancaster Bike Path; used today by thousands of bikers. Marilyn also played tennis and loved water aerobics.

As the daughters left home, Marilyn and Phil got very involved in their art. Marilyn in her painting and Phil in his clay sculpting. They took many trips to attend art classes. They joined Monarch Gallery . They participated in many art shows with the art community in Central Ohio and regularly had their art displayed in the Lancaster Library and local businesses. In addition, Marilyn was active and involved in her communities. She was a Girl Scout Leader, a member of the Lancaster Herb Society, taught as a tutor at South Elementary, volunteered with Parent/Teacher organizations while her daughters were in school. She was a member of Olivedale Senior Center and the Ohio Democratic Party.

Marilyn is survived by her husband Phil of 67 years. She was loved by her five daughters and their spouses: Mary Catherine "Katie" Rose Walker (Phil Rose); Rita Elizabeth "Beth" Walker Bryant (Michael Bryant); Marilyn Ann "Lyn" Walker (Steven Whittaker); Clare Colette Walker Ebert; Melissa Grace Walker (Cortland Schmelzer).

Marilyn cherished her ten grandchildren: Meredith Shrider (Mikael) Schilb, Philip "Phil" (Jennifer) Shrider, Daniel (Andria) Ebert, Rachel Ebert (Drew) Puttick, Nathan (Katie) Ebert, Audrey Schmelzer, Hugh Schmelzer, Isabel Whittaker Walker, Ewan Whittaker Walker and granddog Cap. Marilyn greatly enjoyed her seven great grandchildren Damon, Lilly, Brooke, Camille, Judah, Vivian and Coral.

Marilyn's brothers are Richard (Shirl Pessl) Diedrich; Bernard (Patti) Diedrich; brother-in law Martin Walker and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family both Diedrich and Walker.

She was preceded in death by her parents, grandson Lewis Schmelzer, brother Don Diedrich and son in law Mark Ebert.

A memorial celebration party of Marilyn's life will be held in the future. Caring Cremation® has taken place by the FRANK E. SMITH FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, LANCASTER, OHIO.

In lieu of flowers please donate to FairHoPe Hospice, 282 Sells Rd., Lancaster, Ohio 43130 or the Fairfield Heritage Trail Fund, c/o The Fairfield County Foundation, 162 East Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130 in memory of Marilyn Walker.

To send an online condolence, and sign the guest book, please visit

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Published in Lancaster Eagle-Gazette on Mar. 30, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
April 7, 2021
Marilyn was a strong, creative, and inspiring force of nature. I was blessed to spend 1-1/2 years helping her and Phil at their farm several years ago. She inspired me in so many ways, from her love of and immense knowledge of the natural world, to her artwork and the encouragement she gave me to explore my own art. She had so many stories--stories of the family she adored, her grandchildren, recipes she made, her world travels, and people in the Lancaster community where she spent most of her life. She taught me so much about gardening and was quick to share plants and advice. When she heard I was working with women in recovery from addiction, she allowed us to start a garden plot on her farm and showed the ladies how to garden. Her love of teaching and guiding others never ceased. Right now, some of the plants she shared with me are just starting to show their spring growth. So in a way, her spirit is living on.

My condolences to her family. Please take comfort in the fact that her life and influence will continue on in the lives of those who knew and loved her.

Jen Voight
April 2, 2021
Our deepest sympathy to the family.
Olivedale Senior Center
March 31, 2021
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always. You were a great mom wife and neighbor. To all the family my love. RIP Marilyn. I remember riding bikes with their family. Great times.
Patty Ballinger
March 31, 2021
What a joyous life and such a loving obituary!
Thank you Marilyn Walker for bringing the joys of nature and gardening to so many.
You are a shining inspiration of what a good citizen can be in our community.
Deepest sympathy to her family.
Kathy A.
March 30, 2021
Hello Mr. Walker and family. I will always have fond memories of Marilyn in the children's garden at Olivedale where my son Nicholas and I learned so much about gardening and it never felt like work! And a special treat was meeting at your home where the children and others learned so much more about food and the outdoors. Peach and Love. Donna and Nick Azbell
Donna Azbell
March 29, 2021
Those we love don't go away.
You'll walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed, and very dear.

Forever grateful for your influence on my Life.
Our thoughts and prayers for your new adventure.

Tim and Mara Smith, Oakland
Tim y Mara Smith
March 29, 2021
Katie Rose-Walker
March 28, 2021
Melissa and Family... my thoughts and prayers are with you all... So very sorry for you loss...
Steve Poling
March 28, 2021
She was one of my heroes! RIP dear soul.
Carol Daubenmire
March 28, 2021
I still have my first cookbook Marilyn gave me many years ago, She was always willing to teach or offer advice. My condolences and prayers to the family.
Lynda Campbell
March 28, 2021
Thinking of Marilyn's family and friends and all who knew how special she was and how special it was to have known her.
Jeremy VanMeter
March 28, 2021
To the Walker family & friends: So sorry for your loss..Sending Love & Hugs...Keep the memories going...She was a Sweetheart!
Nanette Derflinger
March 28, 2021
A lovely tribute. My thoughts and prayers for all of you
Rita Hiles
March 28, 2021
Katie and family - what loving memories of a life well lived. Peace and comfort.
Karen Tiller
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