If we would have known the future and had the chance to ask Marilyn what she wanted the notice about her death to say; we think she would have said ‘I’ve had a wonderful life’. Marilyn Ann Diedrich Walker was born on September 12, 1932 to the late Catherine Lucille “Sue” Duck Diedrich and Arthur Joseph “AJ” Diedrich in South Bend, Indiana.
Marilyn went to heaven on March 25,2021 while living in the incredible nurturing community of Scott’s Place. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude and most sincere thanks for the love and care that Marilyn received from Kim Sparrow of Scott’s Place and all of the staff that worked during the years Marilyn was a resident there. At Scott’s Marilyn was always treated with the utmost respect and dignity.
She graduated from John Adams High School in 1949. That same year Marilyn went to the College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio where four years later she graduated with a Degree in Fine Arts. There in Cincinnati she met the love of her life and her future husband, Robert Philip “Phil” Walker who was studying at Xavier University. Marilyn describes this time with Phil in Cincinnati as a “joyous time in her life.” They married on June 27, 1953 the year they both graduated. Their life together has been a 67 year love affair.
Marilyn was many things among them was a mother, wife/partner, artist, master gardener, activist, bicyclist and friend. Marilyn was a master gardener. She loved flowers, plants and growing her own food for the family. After Marilyn and Phil built their dream house and named their farm Creeksong Farm on acreage in Pleasant Township. We as a family watched with awe of what mom could do with things that grew in the earth. Marilyn studied French Intensive Organic Gardening at the Farallones Institute in Occidental, California in 1976. She returned to Lancaster and created an organic gardening program that she implemented into the curriculum of the Lancaster City School system and was eventually part of the Lancaster Parks curriculum that was loved by all the students who were fortunate to participate. Mom was incredibly proud of these programs.
Marilyn was a warrior on her bike. She went on a number of bike trips with friends and bike groups. She and Phil enjoyed many incredible bike trips. They especially loved riding in the Great Ohio Bike Adventure-GOBA- and rode the entire adventure for 25+ years. They were excited to start GOBA each year as they had made many good friends that they spent the week riding with. Marilyn had a “trail a bike” added to her bike so that she could ride with her grandchildren and took them with her on GOBA. Marilyn and Phil were instrumental in the development of the Lancaster Bike Path; used today by thousands of bikers. Marilyn also played tennis and loved water aerobics.
As the daughters left home, Marilyn and Phil got very involved in their art. Marilyn in her painting and Phil in his clay sculpting. They took many trips to attend art classes. They joined Monarch Gallery . They participated in many art shows with the art community in Central Ohio and regularly had their art displayed in the Lancaster Library and local businesses. In addition, Marilyn was active and involved in her communities. She was a Girl Scout Leader, a member of the Lancaster Herb Society, taught as a tutor at South Elementary, volunteered with Parent/Teacher organizations while her daughters were in school. She was a member of Olivedale Senior Center and the Ohio Democratic Party.
Marilyn is survived by her husband Phil of 67 years. She was loved by her five daughters and their spouses: Mary Catherine “Katie” Rose Walker (Phil Rose); Rita Elizabeth “Beth” Walker Bryant (Michael Bryant); Marilyn Ann “Lyn” Walker (Steven Whittaker); Clare Colette Walker Ebert; Melissa Grace Walker (Cortland Schmelzer).
Marilyn cherished her ten grandchildren: Meredith Shrider (Mikael) Schilb, Philip “Phil” (Jennifer) Shrider, Daniel (Andria) Ebert, Rachel Ebert (Drew) Puttick, Nathan (Katie) Ebert, Audrey Schmelzer, Hugh Schmelzer, Isabel Whittaker Walker, Ewan Whittaker Walker and granddog Cap. Marilyn greatly enjoyed her seven great grandchildren Damon, Lilly, Brooke, Camille, Judah, Vivian and Coral.
Marilyn’s brothers are Richard (Shirl Pessl) Diedrich; Bernard (Patti) Diedrich; brother-in law Martin Walker and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family both Diedrich and Walker.
She was preceded in death by her parents, grandson Lewis Schmelzer, brother Don Diedrich and son in law Mark Ebert.
A memorial celebration party of Marilyn’s life will be held in the future. Caring Cremation® has taken place by the FRANK E. SMITH FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORY, LANCASTER, OHIO.
In lieu of flowers please donate to FairHoPe Hospice, 282 Sells Rd., Lancaster, Ohio 43130 or the Fairfield Heritage Trail Fund, c/o The Fairfield County Foundation, 162 East Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130 in memory of Marilyn Walker.
To send an online condolence, and sign the guest book, please visit www.funeralhome.com.