We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Conneely Family Cremation & Funeral Services
Marilyn Hilen, a long-time resident of Santa Rosa, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, sister and friend died peacefully on August 12, 2021. She was 88 years old.
Marilyn is survived by her children Karen Hilen Teague, Keith Hilen, Chris Hilen, Kent Hilen and Kim Hilen Baldovino; daughters-in law Valerie Hilen and Sarah Hilen; sons-in law John Teague and Rommel Baldovino; sister-in law Ann Wright; 11 grandchildren, Elisa and Aaron Edgington, Nicholas and Lindsey Tayler, Erik and Tori Teague, Natalie, Sophie and Philip Hilen and Melina and Olivia Baldovino; eight great grandchildren, Diana, Zoe and Macy Edgington, Morgan and Grace Tayler, and Emery, Mattis and Arley Teague, nephews and nieces Creigh and Rick Agnew, Jeff and Becky Hilen, Maree and Roger Haug, Cass Wright, Nina and Frank Phelan, Doug and Melissa Wright, Lynn Klueg and Gary Quackenbush, and numerous cousins in Germany.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her parents, Karl and Helen Saur, her husband Sterling, her sister Karla Quackenbush, brothers-in-law Robert Quackenbush, Chuck Hilen, and Don Wright, sister-in-law Barbara Hilen and nephew Bobby Quackenbush.
Marilyn was born September 23, 1932 and raised in St. Albans in the borough of Queens, New York. Marilyn was an accomplished student at Andrew Jackson High School, editor of the school newspaper, and secretary of the Arista Honor Society. At age 16, she had what she described as a life-changing experience. She won an extemporaneous speaking contest sponsored by the London Daily Mail newspaper under the auspices of the United Nations. The prize was a transatlantic airline flight and all-expenses paid two months in England touring and attending conferences. The trip exposed her to a world of different experiences and started her life-long love of travel.
Marilyn graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in January 1950, and then from the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in October 1950. She went to work for a large travel agency on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. In 1952, Marilyn moved to Los Angeles to assist in opening a new office for the agency.
Marilyn and Sterling met in Los Angeles in 1953. They married on August 7, 1954 in Santa Barbara. They honeymooned in San Francisco, where they fell in love with the City and moved to the Bay Area shortly thereafter. Daughter Karen arrived in 1957, then sons Keith, Chris and Kent in rapid order, leaving Marilyn with 4 young children in five and a half years. Daughter Kim was born in 1970. In addition to traveling extensively, for both work and pleasure, Marilyn and Sterling lived in a variety of places, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Bruno, Sacramento, Novato, Greenbrae, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Santa Rosa.
Throughout her life, in addition to raising five children and working long hours in their schools and as a PTA and girl scout leader, Marilyn volunteered extensively with community organizations, including the Lawyers Wives of Marin, the Luther Burbank Center and Gardens of Santa Rosa, the Bird Rescue Center of Santa Rosa and the Church of the Roses. Marilyn also helped manage the horses and stables when they lived at their home in Novato, grew vegetables prodigiously, sewed, needlepointed and read voraciously. And, she threw wonderful parties, through which she brought family and friends together for fun, wonderful food and,
occasionally being thrown into the pool as part of the fun.
On behalf of our family, we want to thank the staff at Marian House, where Mom lived the last two years of her life, for the extraordinary loving care they gave Mom, the caring team at Sutter Hospice of Santa Rosa, and Dr. John Fries and the entire Kaiser Santa Rosa team who gave Mom quality medical care for 25 years. We would also like to thank Mom’s lifelong friends who provided so much comfort, friendship, love and support to her throughout her life, including in her final months.
A celebration of Marilyn’s life will be scheduled in the future. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Sutter Hospice in Santa Rosa, https://sutterhealth.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.event&eventID=529, or to a charity of your choice.