Marilyn Elizabeth Burnes
Feb. 2, 1922-April 25, 2012
Palo Alto, California
Marilyn Burnes died suddenly on Wednesday, April 25th, from complications of pneumonia.
Marilyn was born on Feb. 2, 1922, to Otis H. and Alice J. (Flinn) Godfrey of St. Paul, Minn. A graduate of Central High School in St. Paul, she attended Macalester College and graduated in 1943 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Art.
She met Robert C. Burnes (Bob) in 1940 at a mixer at Macalester. They dated a few times and then drifted apart. After college, she worked for a year at Northwest Airlines as a draftsman and then continued her education in Occupational Therapy at Columbia University in New York.
While she was in New York, she rekindled her relationship with Bob and they corresponded regularly while he was stationed at an Air Force base on the island of Tinian during World War II. After the war, Marilyn and Bob both found themselves back in the Twin Cities and their relationship blossomed. They were married in the House of Hope Church in St. Paul on March 23, 1946.
Bob and Marilyn moved to Palo Alto shortly after their marriage and raised three daughters, Elisabeth (Betsy), Susan and Barbara. Marilyn spent 20 years working for the Stanford Graduate Foreign Student Admissions Office and was a devoted mother and volunteer.
She received her greatest joy from helping her community. She gave hundreds of hours to Friends Outside, a group dedicated to helping families of individuals who were incarcerated. She was an Adult Literacy Tutor, a Girl Scout leader, and built homes with Habitat for Humanity. A dedicated church member, Marilyn was very active in Women's Fellowship, the Peace and Justice Committee, the church newsletter, and taught Sunday school. She was a longtime supporter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an organization working for peace, justice and non-violence.
She was an avid reader, diligent exerciser and an excellent cook. She sang songs to her nearby grandchildren and made tapes for those far away. She loved the beach, the Giants, the 49ers, and Stanford sports, and politics. Her sense of adventure took her from Europe to China. She was an environmentalist long before it was trendy. She was always open to new ideas and continued each day to learn.
Marilyn is survived by her husband of 66 years Robert; her sister, Alice (William) Wimer; her children, Betsy (Marc) Knoche, Susan (Jeff) Krow and Barbara Burnes; her granddaughters, Alison Knoche (Nathan) Prosser and Lauren Knoche; her grandsons, Daniel Krow, Ethan Krow, Ojay Eribo and Owen Eribo; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and her bothers Otis, Jr. and Allan.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead