Marilyn M Marquis

  • Born: June 10, 1947
  • Died: October 4, 2021
  • Location: Yardley, Pennsylvania

Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940

Tel. (215) 968-3891

Tribute & Message From The Family

Marilyn Marquis, 74, passed away October 4, 2021, at her home in Yardley, PA. with her daughter, sister, and childhood friend at her side, after recently being diagnosed with a rare, aggressive autoimmune disease.

Marilyn was born to the late Don and Olga Marquis. Marilyn was the third of four children and lived in California, which she called home for more than 65 years. Marilyn graduated from Reseda High School and went on to earn a BA in English from California State University, Northridge, and complete her Master's from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Applied Linguistics & Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL).

She dedicated her career to teaching ESL, first at Long Beach Community College and then at Las Positas College in Livermore, California where she created a robust ESL program and taught for more than 25 years. Marilyn also wrote a book series, created a tutoring business, and created an early music concert series at Las Positas College. After retiring, she moved to Pennsylvania to live close to her family. She was learning Italian and was a frequent solo traveler to Italy.

Marilyn never met a stranger and was known for her detailed storytelling, puns, and love of all things Italy. She lived life fully and wholeheartedly and because of that, she had many interests. Besides her love of teaching and language, she was a life-long learner who didn't watch television or track pop culture, but dove deep into things like gardening (native plants), reading (especially reading everything on a particular topic such as Lewis & Clark or Italy), and early music (playing harpsichord, piano, and recorder, among other instruments and was a long-standing Board member of the San Francisco Early Music Society). She was passionate about equality, justice, and human rights. A lover of the arts (and museum gift stores), Marilyn was a member of nearly every museum she visited across the country. A self-professed "process lover," Marilyn did everything slowly and deliberately. In her 60's, she added running to her list of passions and ran numerous half marathons and even the New York Marathon (at age 70) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training. Marilyn was deeply proud of the funds she helped raise for blood cancer research, in memory of her late daughter Michelle who died in 1999 from a rare blood cancer.

Marilyn is preceded in death by her daughter, Michelle Monique Crosby (Joe), parents, and brother Don Marquis III (Tina). She is survived by daughter, Madeline (Michael) Malia, son-in-law Joe (Jennifer) Crosby; older sister Pam (Steve) Baber, younger brother Greg (Tracy) Marquis, and her beloved grandchildren: Harry Crosby, Anna Murphy, Margaret Crosby, William Murphy, Helen Crosby, Lilly Malia, and James Malia.

Marilyn's Life Celebration will be held at Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, 323 E. Washington Avenue, Newtown, PA 18940, on Monday, October 11, 2021, beginning at 5:30 pm followed by a memorial service at 6:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution in Marilyn's honor to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders, or the American Civil Liberties Union.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Marilyn was lovely, smart, fun, a great and well-respected colleague at Long Beach City College. We will honor her with a memorial donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Philadelphia. Bill and Fran Cahill

Posted by Frances Cahill - Long Beach, CA - coworker   February 03, 2022

For all too brief a time, I had the great honor and privilege of working with Marilyn at the Academic Success Center at Bucks County Community College. In her friendly interactions with me and all the staff,her generous mentoring to new tutors, and her kindness and dedication to the students she tutored, Marilyn spread a blanket of warmth and generosity of spirit over all of us. I am a better person for having known her. She will be missed.

Posted by Mary McComsey - Warminster, PA - Coworker   October 19, 2021

They say that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime!
That was Marilyn-a kind, generous, intelligent, compassionate, funny and wise woman. She came into my life 4 years ago, when I needed help with my Italian pronunciation. What I did not know at that time, was that she would add so much more to my life, than Italian.
Our professor suggested that I go to the tutoring center to work on my pronunciation. I was assigned to Marilyn. We met for an hour twice a week for that first year. Towards the end of that term, she told me that she had cancer and would be gone for several months receiving treatment. She returned the following spring and we would meet at Starbucks in Yardley, on their rear patio, As the weather grew colder, we began to meet inside the store. But it was too noisy. So, we decided to meet on alternating weeks at our homes. We did that for 2 years and she met my wife and we all enjoyed each other's company. In March, 2020, Covid hit, so we met each week via Facetime. And we did so, until early August of this year, when she began to have issues with her hands and breathing and studying Italian became too much for her.
Marilyn was a wonderful teacher. She made things so easy for me to understand. She would always get a big smile on her face when I had one of my A- ha moments, when her explanation crystallized for me.
Our friendship grew beyond our mutual love of the Italian language. We came to understand each other and her insight on life helped me when I needed it the most. Marilyn was knowledgeable about so many subjects and she could talk at length on any one of them. She just amazed me! I will miss her terribly- Marty Cohen October 11, 2021

Posted by Martin Cohen - Holland, PA - Friend   October 12, 2021

Marilyn and l were friends since the 10th grade at Reseda High School. Never has a sweeter heart or more beautiful person existed. A true and honest friend and an example of humanity that was worth emulating. I will miss her and be forever grateful for the influence she had in my life. A beautiful smile and a musical laugh. What a wonderful woman!

Posted by Karen Marjoribanks - Friend   October 09, 2021

Marilyn was without dispute my most influential friend. We met when our daughters were 2 1/2 and attending French classes together. As the years passed Marilyn had the great books groups and her special talent for people followed her where ever she moved to. We both reentered college after divorces and made what we felt was a better life for all concerned. I will miss this friend...why things like this happen to good people I will never know. Madeline, my love and condolences to you.

Posted by susan vanhorn - Tacoma, WA - Friend   October 08, 2021

I am so sorry to learn of Marilyn's passing. She was a magnificent force in the Bay Area; we miss her creativity, generosity, energy and dedication to so many causes. (And, for those of us fortunate to be her friend, her delicious Italian cooking.) She was a lovely, kind and musical soul. I shall miss her.

Posted by Peter Maund - Walnut Creek, CA - Friend   October 08, 2021

Family Album