Merilyn Vipavetz

 

1932    –    2021

 

Merilyn Vipavetz passed away June 30, 2021. Her family celebrates her beautiful life.

Mar was born in 1932.  She had a younger sister Jan.  They had a happy life, even though it was interrupted with period of great sadness when Colon cancer claimed their dad.  Mar and Jan were fairly young.

Mar’s mother remarried and they moved from town to the country where their two half-sisters, Terri and Colleen were born.  They all grew up on a working farm in Minnesota.

Near the end of Mar’s senior year in high school, she and her best friend Yvonne accepted a job offer from the FBI.  The G-Men had come during their senior year to recruit prospects.  Both thought this was a great way to see the country and experience high adventure.

They left the farm in Aug 1950 and traveled to Washington DC.  Many adventures followed as it was an exciting time for each as the country was still in the post WWII boom.

On New Year’s Eve, 1951, she and Yvonne planned to attend a USO dance at the YMCA.  There were a lot of young military personnel there eager to dance.  It was here that she met a young sailor named George who “had noticed a most beautiful woman with a friend, who appeared frustrated because they could not find the food they wanted”.  Taking initiative, George found them the food they sought.  (Food would be a common theme for Mar and George throughout their life).  Mar stayed and danced with George for the rest of the evening – and she got her first kiss with him at midnight.  A year to the day later saw Mar and George married.

Tragedy struck a year later when Mar miscarried.  They righted the ship and not long after that they had their first son Kevin in 1954, and two years after that they had their second son Steven.  Four years later came their first daughter Kimlyn and ten years further on entered their third son Kristofer in 1970.

A large portion of Mar and George’s early life together was located on the east coast where they began raising their young family. There were summers of yearly road trips for family reunions to Minnesota, and later, visiting their grown children who had established themselves in Virginia, Maryland and in the communities where Mar and George themselves once lived. Mar’s legacy is the devotion she had to family, her beloved husband George, and her dedicated involvement with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mar and George were married for 64 years until George’s passing in 2016. George’s 26-year military career in the Navy saw the family relocated numerous times.  Their marriage endured long periods of separation due to George’s postings on naval vessels at sea. In 1974, George’s final posting moved him cross country from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle WA.  It was here they decided to settle and purchase their last and final home – a home that welcomed and sheltered generations of family, local community members, and blessed memories, still to this day. It was this home that Mar lived in until her peaceful passing.

After George’s retirement, it was within this community where Mar started her career as a real estate agent, primarily through the office of John L Scott.

They became parishioners of St John Vianey Catholic Church in 1974 and were both active throughout the Diocese. They were core original members of the financial committee that raised the funds to build the church.  Mar was a weekly Eucharistic minister and later, after her retirement, worked in the front office of the administration’s reception.

Mar and George were the second parents to many of their children’s’ friends and as such, provided counsel and an open door that reaches into their community to this day.

Mar is preceded in death by her sister Jan, and she is survived by her half-siblings Terri and Colleen.

She is also survived by all four of her children: Kevin (Carol), Steven (Maureen), Kimlyn (Edward), and Kristofer (Gretchen), her 6 grandchildren: Stacey (Michael), Lexi (Glenton), Ryan, Tristan (Cassandra), Jenel (Alexander), and Nolan (Nicole), (preceded in death by grandchild Phillip) and 10 great grandchildren.

The Memorial service is 11am Friday, 16 July 2021 at Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, 12600 84th Av NE, Kirkland, WA.  Please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, at: www.alz.org.

Memorable life lessons from Mar

1. John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone laydown his life for his friends

Pushing this limit:

Circa 1962 or 1963 – Mom always said, “Serve others before yourself and love your children with all your heart.”

Mar, while out and about, had just finished filling her Volkswagen (VW) with gas and had gone to pay.  The car was sitting on a steep incline pointed toward an active highway.  Suddenly, it lurched forward and rolled toward the high-speed trafficked road.  Mar ran to the front of the VW and faced it with arms outstretched to stop it.  The car ran her over, stopping when its front tire jammed against her leg, breaking it in two.

Me (Mar’s middle son), upon dad telling me the news, “Why would she get in front of a moving car?”

Dad, “Kim was in it.”

(Thinking to myself), “Why am I getting this warm happy feeling while Mom is in the hospital?”

Major realization:  Now I knew, rather than believed, that Mom would always protect us and keep us safe.

That remained true till the day she passed.

2. “There are those in this world who want to do better and want to be better, but don’t know how.  It is up to you to do what you know is better and be the example.” 

“Did you wear their shoes?”

3. Mom’s orientation in life and her sense of humor.

Kristofer (Mar’s youngest son):

a.   To ascertain if a moment, movie, a comedian, etc was funny, you only had to look to Mar and see her reaction.  When she laughed, it was pure, and the purity of the laughter was a reflection of the purity of the moment.  It made you feel good to hear her laugh and it improved the disposition of everyone in the room immediately after hearing her.  Perhaps the best way I can frame her sense of humor is best portrayed with my annual experience on the First of April. Without fail every year, instead of meat and cheese between two slices of Wonder Bread, I would find – sometimes I had already taken a bite out of… a handwritten note from my mom, “HA HA HA Kristofer, Happy April Fool’s Day!  There is some money wrapped in tissue in the bag for you to go buy lunch at the cafeteria.  Have a good day, love Mom!”

b.  I have no way of verifying this, but on our parent’s grave, I swear the following happened word for word:

On one of my later visits back home from overseas, just before Dad’s passing, I was sitting up with Mom and Dad asking them questions about their pre-children period together.  I had known that Mom worked for the FBI, but that was about all I knew.  So, I asked for elaboration.

Dad said, “Go on Mar tell him, what did you do?”

Mom said, “I was an executive secretary to the office of J. Egar Hoover.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

She said, “General secretarial duties…”

Dad said, “Go on Mar, tell him, what would you do most mornings?”

Mom, “I had to enter his office, bring, open, and sort his daily mail.”

Dad said, “Go on, what else?”

Mom, “If he wasn’t scheduled to be in that day, sit down on his office chair.”

Dad, “And?”

Mom, “Prop my feet up on his desk…”

“And?”

“Sometimes light up a Cuban cigar he had stashed away.”

Protector of our nation and keeper of its secrets, J. Egar Hoover and Mar Vipavetz.

Go figure.

 

Mom,

We are sad you have gone, but happy you are with dad  and laughing at us, since you now know all the answers…  Send us a feeling about those answers every now and then…

if you can.

Sending you

…Our eternal love and thanks…

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