Marilyn Derks, age 70, of Appleton, entered into eternal life after, a courageous battle with cancer, at 9:26 AM, on December 5, 2013 at her home, with family by her side. Marilyn was born on January 10, 1943 to the late Alton “Tony” and Ruth (nee Schmidt) Miller in Milwaukee. She was united in marriage with James Derks on November 2, 1968 in Appleton. Marilyn attended St. James United Methodist Church in Appleton. She worked as a waitress when her children were young, and went on to have a successful career of over twenty years at Sears until her retirement.
Marilyn's biggest passion in her life was caring for her family and her home. She had a creative sense to bring old items back to life; from painting her cottage to sewing her own curtains to designing and maintaining her beautiful rock garden. She had a profound motivation to be engaged in projects and activities with her family, and especially her grandchildren. All those that knew her were impressed at her determination to start a project and follow it through until completion.
Marilyn enjoyed her summers at Lake Poygan with her family and grandchildren. She loved spending time with her grandchildren, her pride and joy, and created fond memories with them by sharing herself and keeping them active by showing them how to cook, build a bonfire, fish, play cards and be loved.
Marilyn enjoyed bowling, golfing, gardening, sewing, landscaping, fishing, painting, and canning her home grown fruits and vegetable jams. Marilyn would be best defined as an artist, she had unique talent and creativity in challenging herself to take practical items and make them into treasures. She was well known all her life for giving haircuts to all the men in her family; they would be lined up to get a haircut from Grandma.
Marilyn will be sadly missed by her husband, James Derks; children: Troy Derks, Appleton; Todd (Renee) Derks, Appleton; Grandchildren: Bailey and Bradley Derks, Appleton; brothers: Maynard (Beverly) Miller, Colorado Springs; Richard (Kay) Miller, Waupaca; sister: Carol Zuleger, Larson; sisters-in-law: Millie (Norm) Bodway, Menasha; Elaine (Dan) Stevenson, Appleton; Jean “Dolly” Miller, Appleton; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Twilla Jo; brothers: Robert and Alton “Junior” Miller; parents-in-law: Marie Fitzpatrick and Edward Derks; brothers-in-law: Paul Zuleger and Jack Miller.
A funeral service for Marilyn will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, December 9, 2013 at the WICHMANN FUNERAL HOME, with Rev. Mark Klaisner officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in her name. Online condolences may be offered at www.wichmannfargo.com.