Obituaries » Marilyn Lorraine Schmidt


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Marilyn Lorraine Schmidt
1929 - 2017

Marilyn Lorraine Schmidt (Dahlke) died peacefully in her sleep on April 10, 2017 in Bakersfield, Calif. at the age of 87.

Marilyn is survived by her son Robert (Rob) of Wofford Heights; grandson, William (Wills) and Ashley; great grandchildren, Khloe and Ryder of Gig Harbor, Wash.; nieces, Ferne Kuipers and husband Ron, Pam Wiersema, Lorraine Walton and husband Jack, Linda Christensen and husband Jay, all of Chicago, Ill., and her dear friend of 64 years, JoAnn McElfresh. She is preceded in death by her husband William (Bill) Schmidt.

Marilyn was born on November 4, 1929, in Chicago, Ill., to Frederick and Clara Dahlke. The youngest of four siblings, she grew up in a two-flat apartment building on Kerfoot Avenue in Chicago. Music was an important part of Marilyn's youth. She played the piano and took voice lessons through her high school years.

During her senior year of high school she met William (Bill) Schmidt and they were married a year and half later. In 1950, both Marilyn and Bill enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and were stationed at Glenview Naval Air Station in Illinois for weekend duty. As a WAVE, Marilyn did clerical work for a fighter squadron. While serving in the Naval Reserve, Marilyn also worked at General Electric-Lamp Division (light bulbs) and she and Bill also started the ABC driving school in Chicago. Marilyn would look back on those times as a fantastic learning experience, especially trying to teaching people to drive during the severe Chicago winters, what a challenge! In 1954, when their enlistments ended they sold their business and moved to sunny Southern California where Bill had family in the San Gabriel Valley. They had enough of the cold winters in Chicago!
After arriving in California, Marilyn went to work for Firestone Tire and Rubber in Lynwood, Calif., and lived in Compton. Later, they would buy a home in Anaheim where she went to work for Beckman Instruments in the Human Resources Department.

In August of 1959, Marilyn and Bill welcomed their first and only child, Robert. Marilyn took time off from work to raise her son. She was a devoted and loving mother who also found time to be involved in the Delta Theta Tau Sorority, volunteer at the Anaheim Memorial Hospital, be a blood donor recruiter for the American Red Cross, a Cub Scout Den Mother, member of a Gourmet Dinner Club and an active member in the Garden Grove Community Church (later known as the Crystal Cathedral). She also loved the theater and was a season ticket holder to the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and South Coast Repertory Theater.

In 1971, Bill and Marilyn purchased property in Wofford Heights and established a home that they would visit every other weekend for 14 years. In 1977, Marilyn returned to the workforce and worked for the City of Anaheim until she retired in 1989.

In 1990, Marilyn and Bill moved to Wofford Heights and made it their permanent residence. Their son, Rob, and grandson would join them, and Marilyn happily took up the role of doting grandmother, helping to raise her grandson, Wills. Marilyn also joined the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and enjoyed many years of community service, social activities and the affection of her sorority sisters. She also attended the Mountain View Southern Baptist Church in Lake Isabella and was involved with Women on Mission, Saints Alive and Silver Foxes.

A graveside service and celebration of her life were held at the Kern River Valley Cemetery and Ewing's on April 17 with family and friends present. Officiating the service was Dr. Larry Dotson, Pastor at Mountain View Southern Baptist Church. Donations in the memory of Marilyn can be made to the American Cancer Society.