Marilyn Sanders Gilchrist, 73, of Colville, passed away in her home on Dec. 29, 2013, surrounded by her husband, David Gilchrist, and their six children.
Marilyn was born in Queens, New York. Marilyn grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she and David met soon after she earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Utah. Married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, Marilyn taught school while David finished college.
The couple then moved to Quincy and later to Waterville as their young family began to take shape. The Gilchrest’s finally found their home in Colville, where they raised all of their children and found the loving community that would extend the privilege of membership to them.
As each child's ties to the community grew, Marilyn sought to ground them all firmly in Colville, sharing with them her love of arts and of books, and of learning. She joined the Title I reading program at Aster and Hofstetter schools, giving personal attention to many great kids who would go on to share her love of learning. An avid reader, Marilyn loved volunteering at the public library.
All who knew Marilyn could see her plain devotion to her family and to her savior, Jesus Christ. She had other loves as well. Marilyn loved music, a passion she passed on as a heritage to her children. Christmas was her favorite time of year because it brought these three loves of hers together as her family gathered to sing carols celebrating Jesus’ birth. For years, her favorite Christmas Eve tradition was bundling up with David and the kids and heading to a few special friends' homes to sing carols in four part harmony, spreading Christmas cheer by giving freely of that most loving part of herself and creating treasured memories for all who were there.
Marilyn taught many Colville youngsters how to play the piano, and also shared her musical gift by playing the organ in church on Sundays. She spent years serving not just as an organist, but as a volunteer for church organizations for children, youth and women as well.
Marilyn was captivated by the beauty around her and could often be found with a book at one local pond or another, alternately reading and watching the birds. She loved long drives around the region with David to take in the beauty of Northeastern Washington together.
In August 2013, Marilyn and David celebrated 50 years of marriage with a reception and talent show from their children and grandchildren. She viewed that occasion as the pinnacle, the cherry on top of a lifetime of loving sacrifice and charitable example.
Marilyn's refusal to complain or be a downer was brought into bright focus as her health declined. Ever concerned about those around her, she remained a ray of sunshine to care providers, pharmacists, and those she met along the way. Her daily laps around Wal-Mart prolonged her life as she made friends of staff all over the store. To walk her mile, she made sure to get to every department so she could greet those who had gotten so accustomed to seeing her there every day. When she could no longer go on those walks, Marilyn made it known that she loved and missed the special friends she had made there.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, O. Leroy and Ermon Ross Sanders, and by her brothers, Jack and Fred Sanders.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, David Gilchrist and her six children: Kelly Gilchrist, Steve Gilchrist (Christy), Stacy Gilchrist McCarrey (Scott), Jon Gilchrist (Jennifer), Liz Gilchrist Jensen (Shane), Mike Gilchrist (Barb), and 13 grandchildren.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 260 E. Juniper in Colville. Viewing beforehand.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the cancer research organization of your choice. Suggested organizations include the American Cancer Association, the Susan G Komen Foundation, or the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Please visit the online memorial and sign the guest book at HYPERLINK "http://www.danekasfuneralchapel.com" www.danekasfuneralchapel.com .
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.
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