Resident of Pinole, CA. Born in Detroit, Marilyn spent her early years in Michigan with her mother, father and two older sisters. Eventually, the family moved to California where she lived for the rest of her life. Being exceptionally smart and motivated, Marilyn graduated from high school at 14 and college at 18. She began her career in education as a high school teacher. After 10+ years she became a school counselor, her true vocation. Marilyn helped thousands of students, primarily at Laney and Diablo Valley colleges, achieve their academic goals. She also served on and/or chaired numerous committees. As an Articulation Officer, she negotiated agreements regarding class equivalencies with many four-year colleges.
Marilyn’s dedication to helping others extended beyond her professional life. For over sixty years she was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pinole. At different times she served as a choir director, lector, coordinator of collection counting, assistant finance manager for the Parish’s annual Oktoberfest and served as a member of the Finance Council.
Marilyn also helped those in the larger community. She worked as a volunteer in soup kitchens, collected baby items for the Birthright organization, and was a volunteer and great supporter of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties, for 30 years.
In her personal life, Marilyn loved traveling with her family to many countries in Europe and South America. She also enjoyed sewing, knitting, reading, swimming and the theatre. In the late sixties she even performed in a few local musical productions.
Marilyn passed away unexpectedly but peacefully with her daughter by her side. She is survived by her daughter Karen Christenson and her niece Susie Leonard Weller. She was predeceased by John, her husband of 54 years, her son David, her sisters, Virginia and Rose Marie, and her parents. Sweet, cheerful, strong and with a good sense of humor, Marilyn was a very caring person as well as a loving wife and mother. Generous in all ways, she shared her time, talents and treasure with many. She will be greatly missed.
There will be a Rosary for Marilyn on Thursday May 19th at 4:00 pm and a funeral Mass on Friday May 20th at 2:00 pm with a reception to follow. Both will be held at St. Joseph Church in Pinole. Masks are requested. In lieu of flowers, please donate to: FoodBankCCS.org and specify that it is in memory of Marilyn Christenson.