Marilyn was born in Chicago, IL on November 23, 1945. She was the third child born to Eleanor and Ken Mobeck. She had two older siblings, Ken and Kathy. Her first home was a one bedroom apartment, which is where her family lived until she was 4 years old. It was then that they moved to their first house in a suburb of Chicago. They lived there for only a year before General Electric transferred her dad to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They purchased a house in Wauwatosa, an area just outside of Milwaukee. This is where she started school and spent the next 10 years.
Marilyn was a happy, outgoing child. Everyone she came in contact with loved her. In fact, because of her fun-loving, mischievous personality, Grandma Linkowski referred to her with a smile on her face as “a card”. One of the things grandma enjoyed doing with Marilyn was playing the card game War with her. Marilyn was always fooling around, but who could get mad at such an adorable girl. Grandma couldn’t.
Her summers growing up in the Midwest included vacations on Whitefish Lake, Minnesota, each year. Her family always went to the same place, Boyd Lodge. It was like a second home as the same group of families came up at the same time each year. No TV’s, and inside plumbing was nonexistent, when they first started going there. Marilyn always talked about the fun family times playing cards and board games to pass the time at night. She remembered her dad’s loud voice trying to get everyone up in the morning so they didn’t sleep their vacation away. He always had his famous Paul Bunyan pancakes ready for everyone. These were very happy times.
In 1960, GE again transferred her dad to San Francisco. Her family bought a home in Saratoga. It was hard on the whole family moving so far away from relatives and friends, but Marilyn quickly made new friends both in junior high school, and then later at Blackford High School, where she graduated. She attended West Valley College and then went on to get a job at GE in San Jose. Kathy was already working there so it was fun being able to see each other at work.
Marilyn met Tom at GE in the summer of 1966. After Tom returned to college in the fall, they casually kept in contact. They did not start dating until the summer of 1967. Tom doesn’t know wat she saw in him other than she liked driving in his yellow 1965 Pontiac GTO. In August 1967, Tom enlisted in the Marine Corps. While on leave in January 1968, he flew home on a Friday night to marry Marilyn. It was then that their adventure as a couple began. Tom picked Marilyn up, and they headed out to Reno that night to be married. They encountered heavy snow on the way and learned Interstate 80 was closed at Nyack, but the young couple was intent on reaching their destination. They turned their car around and headed west, back to Highway 50. Finally ending up in Carson City, NV, the young couple were married early in the morning on January 6, 1968 at the Wildwood Wedding Chapel. Sadly, their honeymoon only lasted a day since Tom was expected back at Camp Pendleton Sunday night.
Michelle was born in August, 1968, and Marilyn became a full-time mom and homemaker. Marilyn and Tom bought their first home in 1970. This home became Marilyn’s castle. The rules were simple: “Take your shoes off; hang your jackets in the closet; clean your dishes; and, make your beds.” Her instructions to Tom were simple: “You take care of the yard. Dead head the flowers weekly, and trim everything else as needed.” Then along came Michael in May, 1975, and their family was complete.
Family fun when Michelle and Mike were young consisted of summers at Meeks Bay at Lake Tahoe where Tom’s old boss at GE owned a house. It was always available to the Ryan family as long as Marilyn did her magic cleaning the windows with vinegar and water, and Tom cut firewood for the winter.
Marilyn’s first job, after staying home while Michelle and Mike were growing up, was working at Dr. Hedman’s dental office. Michelle was already working there and suggested Marilyn become the receptionist. From there Marilyn went to Leadman Electronics in Sunnyvale. Marilyn remained at Leadman, working her way up to Human Resources Manager, until she retired.
Marilyn and Tom took on one other challenge after Mike and Michelle had left to start their own families. They purchased a pug and named him Harley. Everything was going fine until Marilyn came home one evening and found Harley sleeping on the living room couch. “Oh my gosh, Harley, what are you doing in the living room. No one is allowed in here. This is the queen’s room, and you entered without permission.” Harley was Tom’s dog, and he was going to catch “heck” too. A soft spot was uncovered in Marilyn when Harley’s breeder called and said a new litter was on the way. I don’t know what came over that fussy lady, but not long after Marilyn and Tom had another pug they named Capone. Capone definitely became Mare’s pet. He could do no wrong.
Marilyn relished her role as Nana to Zachary, Andrew, and Joseph. She truly loved them and was so proud of them. She was disappointed, though, that in the last 4 years while she was in failing health, she was unable to physically spend time with and go and watch the three boys play baseball. All three boys were loved unconditionally and were truly a highlight of her life.
Her presence will be dearly missed by Tom, Michelle, Michael, Christy, and her three grandsons.