Marilyn Louise Brubaker

She was unlike anyone I had ever met, a combination of intelligence, humor, adventure, authenticity, and inquisitiveness, coupled with kindness and a hint of the flower child. I met her in the mid-1960s and was immediately drawn to her, intrigued by her. I adored her then and ever since.

Marilyn loved frosty weather, Lititz (especially Lititz Springs Park), thrift stores, yoga, reading, walking, enjoying the scenery of life, and above all her family. She especially cherished sitting on the floor and playing Legos or games with her grandchildren. She didn’t like tropical heat, flying roaches, pretension, or phoniness.

Vegetarian cooking was a craft that she mastered. It was always prepared with the healthiest ingredients and tasted terrific: with cooking, as with life, she consumed it all and wasted nothing.

She was a thrift-store aficionado, relishing the thrill of the hunt with a quest for the highest quality, unusual items which matched her funky and highly individual style. She knew, and frequented, every thrift in Lancaster County and many around the world, searching for the next find.

Marilyn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, but raised since her early years in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Yet she always referred to herself as being from Minnesota, probably because of its Midwestern informality, sense of community, and honesty. In her twenties and thirties, she lived with her family in various parts of the country, and was particularly fond of Menomonie, Wisconsin. Still, she enjoyed living in places like Carbondale, Illinois; West Point, Kentucky; Houston; Washington, DC, and Bismarck, North Dakota. She welcomed new experiences and unfamiliar places, until she moved to Lititz in 1982 and found her true home. She traveled widely: to her ancestral home in Slovakia, where she got to know her relatives; to the Philippines and Rome to visit her son and his family, and throughout Europe and southeast Asia. She particularly loved Prague, Chaing Mai, Ohiopyle and anywhere with a hiking trail.

She had eclectic interests, starting out as an X-ray technician, studying art, working with disabled adults, and most of all, being a mother. She worked for twenty years at Paw Print Gallery in Ephrata, with the owner and close friend Sandra Scheetz: It was a labor of love. She had a keen sense of color and perspective, and practiced a variety of artforms, from watercolor to rug making.

She was a frequent volunteer, helping folks to read, distributing food, or helping a charity to market the products of developing countries. Marilyn was a follower of Jesus in the broadest sense, a believer in helping people who needed it, in welcoming the stranger, and praying for a better world. She wasn’t much for organized religion.

Marilyn was predeceased by her parents David and Evelyn Lavrinets, and her brother, David Lavrinets. She leaves behind her husband David, son Andrew (wife Kristen and grandsons Roman and Lucian) of Manila, Philippines, and daughter, Adriane, and granddaughter Ronin of Lititz, as well several nieces and nephews.

She helped me in profound ways, whether it was editing a manuscript, fixing an appliance, or just offering advice or consolation. She made me a better person.

Marilyn was health-conscious and svelte, and she maintained her weight from high school until she became ill at seventy. She exercised continually and ate an almost perfect diet. She died on February 4, 2024, of primary progressive aphasia, a gruesome and hideous disease that causes dementia and death. To support research to end this condition, contributions can be made to the University of Pennsylvania,
Frontotemporal Degeneration Center, Attention Page O’Malley, 35353 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Checks should be made out to Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and “Penn FTD Center” should appear on the memo line.

Cremation Services of Lancaster – 717-cremate

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