In Memory

Marilyn Grimes VIEW PROFILE

The following information was furnished by our classmate, Pat (Richey) Wanzenberg.

I learned yesterday that Marylin Grimes passed away January18th after a long battle with breast cancer.

Marylin left ETHS after her sophomore year and attended Ferry Hall in Lake Forest. She has lived in Taos New Mexico for over 40 years.

She was a dear friend and my maid of honor at my wedding. She will be missed.


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01/21/23 02:24 PM #1    

Ruth Gross

Marilyn was one of my best friends in elementary school.  She began at Lincoln and then moved to the Miller district, but we remained close until Jr. High School. When I visit Evanston, I often go by the house in which she lived on Hinman, right near the Congregationalist Church. My regret is that I wasn't in contact with her in adult years. Missed opportunities don't return, especially not at this point in our lives.

01/21/23 03:49 PM #2    

Jacqueline Clare (Louis)

 This post saddens me greatly  Marilyn and I were close friends in high school but lost contact after our coming out summer  I tried to reconnect around the 50!year reunion but never got out to Arizona  I'm glad you two stayed in contact, Pat and are able to share this sad news.  blessing and rest in peace, Marilyn  



01/21/23 03:53 PM #3    

Jacqueline Clare (Louis)

Oops I should have said never got out to New Mexico 

01/22/23 02:46 PM #4    

Nancy Schroeder

I am so sorry to hear of Marilyn's passing. I knew her at Lincoln,ETHS and saw her up at Taos and Santa Fe. I moved to Florida 13 years ago and didn't make it back to New Mexico. It's sad losing some of our old friends. Thanks for the info Pat.

01/22/23 09:29 PM #5    

Bruce Boyer

How far back did Marilyn and I go? Well, her father and my mother went to high school together in Des Moines, Iowa a century ago!

We shared so many things in common. She came from a family of all girls, and I from one of all boys, and we used to joke that she was the sister I never had and I the brother she never had. And her birthday was one day after mine -- I used to joke that she should stop hanging around with older men.

I knew her from even before we started school, as Howard (her Dad) and my mother had stayed in touch. As Riuth pointed out, she started at Lincoln School and then moved to Miller.In later years, we stayed in touch through our parents' church. In the summer 0f 1965, I was one of her escorts when she was a debutante.

Marilyn had always struggled in school and it wasn't until years later that she discovered that she was severel;y dyslexic. How bad? Well, I can remember driving with her when I used to visit her in Taos and she would say to turn left when she meant to go right, and vice versa. The upshot was that school was always a struggle for her, and she never went much past high school.

 For a number of years in the late '90's and early 00's, we became much closer and I would go to Taos every year for a week in the spring. Taos was the right place for her -- talk about alternative life styles! Having spent summers working in the high desert of southern Utah, I felt at home in Taos the moment I first went there. She lived in a traditional mud house that was completely elegant in a Western way, with kiva fireplaces and Native American rugs. We would go up into the mountains and sometimes journey down to Santa Fe. We went to the pueblos often and I especially fell in love with all the craft shops. Indeed, Taos was where I started my collection of Native American and Mexican pottery. Mostly we would hang out and talk. I did a lot of the cooking when we weren't going to lovely restaurants out in the middle of nowhere. It is a imeless, dreamy place which suited her to a T.

After I got remarried, we sadly felt out of touch but I shall always tresures the hours Marilyn and I spent together in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.




01/22/23 11:21 PM #6    

Sherrie Igoe (Dembrowski)

What a lovely tribute Bruce, I can feel your pain....I was very sorry to hear of Marilyn's passing, I enjoyed immensely being her friend for the short time she was at ETHS, but lost track after that. May that beautiful girl rest in peace!

10/09/23 06:01 PM #7    

Judith Sheahan (Lindgren)

Memories of Marilyn

Marilyn and I were friends during our freshman and sophomore years. My family moved to Evanston from Chicago shortly before I enrolled at ETHS and since I didn't know many kids in our class those first months of high school, I have no memory of who may have introduced me to Marilyn or how we came to be friends. But, no matter, we did have fun--maybe a little too much fun from my old lady perspective at age 77.

I remember walking home from ETHS with Marilyn one day as we both lived on Hinman. Why I remember bits and pieces of that day is a puzzle, and it must have been shortly after Kennedy was inaugurated because we talked a bit about Jaqueline Kennedy--her look, her voice, her sophisticated style. We talked about growing up and how we wished we were older. While I had never thought about the thrill of getting a driver's license until that day when Marilyn brought it up, suddenly she got me thinking about the anticipated freedoms that would bring. Marilyn introduced a bit of spice to my 14 year old mind.

During those days when we were so young, Marilyn seemed to me a bit of a rebel, a free-spirit, a little wild, yet with ideas I was happy to emulate. One day when visiting her home, I remember Marilyn's mother, soft spoken, even sounding a bit intimidated, asked Marilyn to clean her room. Marilyn boldly ignored her mom--she just turned her back and walked away from this chore! It shocked me and I wondered how Marilyn got away with it. Her family had a live-in housekeeper and as soon as Marilyn's mom left the house for an appointment, the nanny raised her voice directly at Marilyn when she told her to get in her room now and clean it up like her mother requested. This time, Marilyn did as she was told. While I never would have tried reacting to my mother as Marilyn had, it got me wondering why that relationship was the way it appeared and what was it about the nanny that brought about such instant compliance.

After Marilyn moved to north Evanston on Lincoln, we remained friends. Another flash of memory was sitting in her bedroom listening to the Kingston Trio sing, "Scotch and Soda."  It was one of our favorites as it must have seemed so grown up and sophisticated. I think that was also the day that Marilyn suggested we put sun streaks in our hair, and thinking that was a great idea, I was very agreeable. She kindly supplied the hydrogen peroxide. You can imagine the look we achieved. I went home absent glamorous streaks, but instead with a large neon-orange patch of damaged straw-like hair atop my head. I have no memory how Marilyn's beauty treatment worked for her, but I do remember the look on my mother's face when she saw me. Having recently learned that I was also sneaking cigarettes, the way my mom reacted suggested she thought I was on a very bad path. I may or may not have been grounded, but I was sent to some salon to have my hair dyed back to a more natural color because I don't remember going to school or anywhere else looking like I did.

As it happens with many friendships during the growing up years, Marilyn and I drifted apart as new friends were made and life grew busier. I don’t recall any falling out, we just didn’t hang out in the same way. When Marilyn was absent from school for a long time, perhaps later in sophomore year, I was told that she had contracted mono. We were told that since she missed a lot of school, she was transferred to Ferry Hall so she could catch up. At the time, I wondered if that had been the true reason.

I missed her and one Saturday afternoon in junior year, a few of us drove to visit Marilyn at her boarding school. At the time, it seemed to be quite a distance from Evanston. After she showed us around Ferry Hall, Marilyn took us to downtown Lake Forest where we wandered a bit as teenage girls do, visiting the local drugstore to look at cosmetics. After that one visit, I don't recall staying in touch. (Little did I know then that after retiring in 2010, I would be living with my husband in Lake Forest not far from what was once known as Ferry Hall. (It was not a “full circle” moment, but after fifty years, the distance from Evanston no longer seemed vast—just a stark reminder that those fifty years passed quickly.)

After college, getting married and beginning our careers, in 1972 my husband and I participated in Evanston’s first “World's Largest Garage Sale," held in the new multi-story garage downtown. Mrs. Grimes happened by our assigned stall and she stopped to say hello, still very polite, quiet, and genteel. At the same time, she struck me as sad and wistful after I asked her how Marilyn was doing. She told me that Marilyn moved west and joined a commune. Whether that was true or only how her mom perceived the situation, I will never know, but since then I've wondered about Marilyn--what became of her, what her life was like, whether she was happy, and whether she had a loving relationship with her mom. I wondered if Marilyn was the same happy free-spirited girl, eager to be grown up, that I knew at 14 or 15.

We've all been on different paths, some chosen and some serendipitous, since our very young years when our lives seemed to stretch on forever. I'm really glad to learn from Bruce that Marilyn followed a path that took her to Taos, living the life she wanted with the freedoms we both had dreamed about many years before when we wondered about getting a driver’s license--that teenage ticket to freedom.

10/10/23 09:34 PM #8    

Susan Spiegel (Pastin)

Judith and Bruce gave wonderful tributes!  Judith,

that's a fascinating story.

I don't remember Marilyn, but I, too, am glad that

she found a place where she could

let her free spirit soar.



10/16/23 12:58 PM #9    

Susan Holsten (Blumer)

Wonderful comments about her and like all comments. Yes knew her for so long myself. Many times.. through my life! She was a fabulous and happy- go - lucky type person! So sorry we have yet lost another. Nice to know how much people care. Bruce Boyer- great comments about your knowing her so long. Thing she and I were at College Hill together and as we moved in Evanston we crossed paths again.

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