Marilyn Jean Cook Partin, 95, died peacefully at her home at Croasdaile Village, Durham. Born in Davenport, Iowa on May 25, 1924, she graduated from The Baptist Missionary Training School in Chicago, Illinois, now part of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York, in 1948.
Marilyn married Harry B. Partin, a student at the University of Chicago, in 1949. Through the course of his work, they lived in Chicago, California, England, and Switzerland, making lifelong friends, before moving to Durham in the early 1960s.
Marilyn earned a Masters Degree in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973. She served as the Director of Volunteers and Resources for the Durham County Department of Social Services for 20 years, retiring in 1995.
A tireless advocate for families in crisis, the elderly, the homeless, the mentally ill, and countless others in distress, Marilyn helped to improve lives and strengthen human relationships through service with organizations such as Genesis Home, Durham Advocates for the Mentally Ill (Threshold), Operation Breakthrough, and Women in Action, as well as through projects that bear her stamp, including the Emergency Energy Fund, Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP), the Elder Neighbor/Elder Advocacy Program, and Share Your Christmas.
Marilyn, known affectionately as "Cookie" to many, was devoted to family. Family was always at the center of her life, and was her greatest joy. A gifted writer, she authored a book of stories about her life, sparked by a memoir writing class, for her family and dear friends. Throughout her life, she approached every situation with love, faith, courage and strength, knowing there is always grace to be found and shared. Her spirit shines bright.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her beloved husband Harry and a dear sister, Donna McGrath. She is survived by daughter Dr. Ruth Partin Clemens and husband David Weston Hunt of Alpharetta, GA; daughter Emily Allison Partin of Asheville, NC; son William Jefferson Partin and wife Kathleen Long Partin of Washougal, WA; granddaughter Catherine Lea Partin; granddaughter Erin Allison Partin; brother Jack Raymond Ide and wife Beverly Ide; sister Kathleen Joanne Stenger and husband William Stenger; brother-in-law Charles Phillips Partin and his wife Marjorie Reynolds Partin; and many loving cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, March 7 at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham, where Marilyn and Harry became members over 50 years ago. Memorials may be made to Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 320 North Goodman St., Suite 207, Rochester, NY 14607, or to Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 3011 Academy Road, Durham, NC 27707.