Marilyn Ann Wankel, 70, of Blandinsville, Illinois passed away on Friday, March 19, 2021.
She was born on December 24, 1950, in Springfield, Illinois to Raymond (Bud) Wankel and Ruthelma Benjamin Wankel.
Marilyn is survived by her husband Tim Schroll of Blandinsville; two children, Joshua Taylor (Ashly) of Perkins, Oklahoma and Megan Taylor Krueger (Tim) of Deephaven, Minnesota. Four grandsons, Sam Taylor and Max, Will and Camden Krueger. Stepdaughter Becky Flowers (Molly) of Indianapolis, Indiana. One brother Mark Wankel (Anita) of Pleasant Plains, Illinois; her three nephews and their families.
Her beloved parents and very special Jones aunties preceded her death.
Marilyn grew up showing cattle in Menard County and even won Grand Champion steer at the Illinois State Fair. She loved farm life and the cattle barns, but music would become the central force in her life. She could cast a spell on the entire room singing Latin with ease or playing Mozart by memory.
She was a teacher in the Schuyler County School District for over 30 years. She taught several grades before becoming the music teacher as well as musical director for fifth grade – high school. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and her Master’s Degree from Olivet Nazarene University.
She accompanied and directed several church choirs throughout her life. In addition, she was lead singer for local rock band Cloud Nine in early eighties, coached gymnastics and taught tap dance lessons. She led countless show choirs and music contests, helping many a budding musician unlock their potential. Marilyn also often starred in or directed Pandora Playhouse productions as well as participated in Madrigal Christmas shows all in Rushville, Illinois.
Upon retirement, music remained prevalent; she volunteered to assist the Rushville High School Marching Band for several years, specifically the drumline. She and her dear friend, Cathy Teel, even formed a singing/storytelling duo of Celtic and Irish traditions called Cambric Garden, and were featured in Illinois Stories aired on public television.
These are a few of her favorite things: bragging about her children whether deserved or not, watching her grandsons grow, cruising for photographs with her husband, Hallmark movies, historical fiction, Ireland, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, mountains and everything music.
Marilyn requested there be no formal funeral service. Her relationship with God always centered beyond walls and pews. She found her faith strengthened by nature and music. She wanted her final resting place overlooking the majestic Castle Mountain Range near Crested Butte, Colorado. A place she found solace and comfort. A spot almost as beautiful as her soprano voice or the love you saw permeate straight out her heart when with her grandsons. Her family plans to journey there over the summer and carry out this important wish.
Memorial contributions can be made to Pandora’s Playhouse Rushville, Schuyler-Industry Schools Fine Arts Building and to your local Gilda’s Club. Marilyn was our heart song. Her carefree and generous spirit will be missed. Life without her won’t be nearly as fun or meaningful, but those who loved her will keep singing the sounds of music, perfecting the box step and spilling our coffee beside 88 gorgeous ivory keys.
Cremation rites have been accorded. Clugston – Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb is in charge of arrangements.
You may sign the guestbook and leave condolences online at clugston-tibbitts.com