Marilyn Louise Emma Wood, age 86 of Niles, Michigan, passed away at Riveridge Nursing Home on Sunday, August 28, 2022. Marilyn was born November 11, 1935, in St. Louis, Missouri to the late Louis Eugene Sr. and Clara Dena Irene (Lerch) Merkel. On July 23, 1954, she married Fred John Wood in Cassopolis, Michigan. Fred preceded her in death in 2006.
Surviving are her children Peggy Sue (Gil) Woodruff, Lynn Renee’ (Kirk) Bradford, Kim Lorraine Wood, David John Wood and Michelle Lee (Travis) Vogel. Surviving as well are 15 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and her siblings Louis Eugene Merkel, Jr, Norman Merkel, and Phillip (Jeannie) Merkel. Also surviving is her brother-in-law Ken Leak, and sisters in law, Sue Merkel and Mary Merkel. Marilyn was preceded in death by her son Michael Raymond Wood in 1994, grandsons, Ryan Wetzel and Jason Bumstead, her siblings Debbie Leak, David Merkel and Fred Merkel, and her sister-in-law Ruth Merkel.
A celebration of Marilyn’s life will be held from 2-4 pm Sunday, September 11, 2022, with a service of remembrance to follow immediately after at the Niles Westside Seventh Day Adventist Church where Marilyn was a member for over 50 years. Cruz Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Osceola, Indiana has been entrusted with her care.
Marilyn worked as a self-employed housekeeper, caring for numerous homes in the greater Niles area until her retirement in 2009. In her spare time, she enjoyed watching hummingbirds gather at her feeders and taking long walks in nature on the Sabbath. She also enjoyed picking fruits and vegetables throughout the summer with her children, and then canning and freezing with her mother and sister.
Marilyn was a devoted member of the Niles Westside Seventh Day Adventist Church over 50 years. Her servant’s heart led her to teach Sabbath School and work with the youth of the church in the Pathfinders Program.
Most of all, Marilyn loved being a mom and grandma. She always enjoyed having all of her grandchildren over for sleepovers and craft nights. The times were few when she could be found out and about without one of her grandkids.
In her memory, donations may be made to the Niles Westside Seventh Day Adventist Church. To light a virtual candle, share a story of her life, or leave a message of comfort for her family, please follow the links on the tribute wall above.
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