Maybe it had something to do with the fact the first time Marilyn was pregnant, it ended in the full-term death of her baby. Or maybe it was part of another plan, she didn’t know for sure.

Over the span of 20 years, Marilyn and her husband Carl served as foster parents for 11 newborn children.

“I think a lot of it had to do with the loss of the first baby, but I really couldn’t tell you for sure,” she said. “But doing that, it was a wonderful thing. When they left, it was sad and we cried, but we knew we would be getting another one soon. It was a blessing just knowing they were going into good, Christian homes.”

Indeed, faith has always been important to Marilyn. She’s currently active at Ward Church in Northville. Previously, when they were living Up North, Marilyn and her husband (with the help of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Brighton) helped plant a new church in Greenbush, not far from their Oscoda-area home.

Many moves along the way

For 10 years, Marilyn and Carl (who originally met while working for General Motors) had a lovely, Up North lakefront home. It was perhaps their first retirement home.

“We were very happy there, but the snow got to be a little much for me,” she said. So they moved to North Carolina. It was while they were in the Tar Heel state they moved a few more times. In all, they moved seven times before Carl needed more acute care at a facility in South Carolina before his death. That’s when she moved back to the Detroit area, where she found her way to Oakmont Northville.

If you’re getting the impression Marilyn learned to be pretty adept at moving, you are correct. After their marriage in Detroit, the couple lived in Farmington Hills (“it was just a house trailer, 8 feet wide and 28 feet long,” she said), then Inkster and then (after Chevrolet transferred Carl to a new job) Utah for a little over three years. After that, Detroit, Novi (twice) and Farmington served as homes for them before they retired to the Oscoda area.

“Yes, we moved a lot,” Marilyn joked. “But we’ve traveled quite a bit, too.” Her and Carl took several trips and cruises, mostly Caribbean cruises and one great Alaska cruise.

So many kids and grandchildren, too

Marilyn has three married children, eight grandchildren and (soon) 12 great grandchildren. She also lives with her faithful pooch, Charlie. “He’s quiet and doesn’t bark, he’s a real sweetheart,” she said.

And of course, the foster babies they took in are still part of her life, too.

“I was just putting pictures on Facebook of some of our memories,” she said, explaining how the second foster baby invited her and Carl to come down to attend her high school graduation. “That was so nice. (Was when they were living in Greenbush up north). We came down for that and I was just posting pictures of that on Facebook today. Memory pictures, if you will.

“I love life, God has been so good to me. I’m really blessed, and I’m blessed with many friends here, too.”