Marilyn ‘Maren’ Williams Linley
Oct. 26, 1922 – Nov. 11, 2011
Marilyn “Maren” Williams Linley died Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, at home in Houston at age 89. Marilyn, more commonly known by family and friends as Maren, was born at home in Waukesha on Oct. 26, 1922, delivered by her own doctor father.
She was a lifelong educator who graduated from Waukesha High School in 1940 and received her Bachelor of Arts from Carroll College in 1944. She taught high school English at Fort Atkinson for a year before marrying and moving to New Jersey. While raising three daughters during the 1950s, she continued to substitute teach in the Long Branch, N.J., and surrounding area schools, and wrote a weekly society column, “Marilyn’s Meanderings,” for the Long Branch Daily Record. She was active in and served on the boards of directors for the Episcopal Churchwomen, Public Health Nursing Association and Junior Service League, and was named Woman of the Year by the Service League in 1959.
In 1962, Maren returned to her roots in Waukesha and began her full-time teaching career at Mukwonago High School. Meanwhile, she continued her own education and obtained a Master of Arts in Communications from Marquette University in 1969. She served on the boards of the Friends of UW-Waukesha and the Waukesha Symphony Auxiliary, serving as president in 1970.
Marilyn’s meanderings soon led her to Houston in 1971, where she taught English at the (then) brand new Houston High School for the Performing & Visual Arts. Having the only FCC license in the entire Houston school system, she was asked to be their representative for educational TV programming on the city’s Cable TV Task Force, which was working to bring cable TV to Houston. This launched a new career for her at age 52 as educational TV producer for the Houston Independent School District’s Instructional Media Services, a career which she enjoyed immensely and continued to expand until retiring in 2003 at the age of 80.
During her years in Texas, she was active in the Gulf Region Educational TV Affiliates, receiving their Achievement Award in 1980; Women in Communications, who presented her with their Headliner Award in 1980; the International TV Association; American Women in Radio and TV; the Texas Association of Educational Technologists; Houston Educational Cable Authority; the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the Women Marines Association; and, of course, the NEA, Texas State Teachers Association; and Houston Teachers Association. She was in Who’s Who of America in 1983; was named a member of Pioneers in Broadcasting for her work in radio since 1953; and in 1991 was an “Honoree of Excellence” of the Federation of Houston Professional Women.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Arthur J. and Vivian L. Williams, and brothers Dean J. and Arthur J. Williams. She is survived by her sister Juanita W. (the late Henry A.) Youmans; her sister-in-law Elizabeth E. Williams; daughters Marilyn Workman, Elizabeth Linley and Jane Felder; 5 grandchildren Elizabeth (Wes) Cline, Gary Jarvis, Michael (Brenda) Clayton, Alisa Felder and Jonathan Felder; and great grand-children Jared and Marissa Clayton.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with 2 p.m. prayer service, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. A private burial will be held at Prairie Home Cemetery.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 2242 W. Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030; or the Houston High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, 4001 Stanford St., Houston, TX 77006.
For further information, please call Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services at 547-4035 or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.