Marilyn Joan Van Wagenen, 86, died peacefully in her sleep Sunday evening, Nov. 12, 2017, at Bayberry Place Assisted Living Center, Lower Burrell, Pa.
Marilyn was born Feb. 22, 1931, in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; a daughter of Alva "Cub" and Irma (Blaska) Libert. She attended boarding school as a young woman and later graduated from Edgewood College, both in Madison, Wis., where she earned a B.A. in elementary education.
Marilyn would later meet her husband Peter, a future steel executive, whom she married and shared a life with for 48 years. The two would later move to Lower Burrell, where they began their journey of raising five sons.
During that period she would embark on her lifelong dream of teaching kindergarten, honing her skills around a busy family life that eventually led her to Hermitage and Notre Dame Parochial Grade School, where she taught for many years.
She loved and embraced the Shenango Valley where she made numerous friends and was often recognized around town long after she retired as the woman who taught their sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters.
A deeply religious person, Marilyn was a devout Catholic who prayed often for others with a special place in her heart for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Later in life she would make a special pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.
Her beloved husband of nearly 49 years, Peter A. Van Wagenen, whom she married Aug. 13, 1955, passed away Aug. 24, 2004.
She is survived by her sons and their wives, Christopher and Kathleen of Pearland, Texas; Mark and Julie of Suwanee, Ga.; Jeffrey and Lori of Friendswood, Texas; Greg and Holly of Lower Burrell; and Army Brigadier Gen. Matthew and Stephanie Van Wagenen, stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas.
She is also survived by seven grandchildren; Anthony and Michael of Suwanee, Ga.; Brittany (Nicholas) Scannell and Josh of Friendswood, Texas; Hope (Colin) Jack, Haley and Hannah of Lower Burrell; and Isabel and David of Ft. Hood, Texas.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Larry Libert.
The family would like to express thanks to staff of the Bayberry Place Assisted Living Center, Lower Burrell, who took care of Marilyn for the past year as well as Gateway Hospice in Pittsburgh; in particular, Jill and Stacey.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Church of Notre Dame, 2325 Highland Road, Hermitage, 16148.
Marilyn, 86, of Hermitage.
Calling hours: 10 a.m. until the time of Mass Wednesday (11-15-17) at Church of Notre Dame, Hermitage. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.McGonigleFuneralHomeandCrematory.com.
Funeral Mass of Christian burial: 11 a.m. Wednesday, in the church, with Very Rev. Richard J. Allen, pastor, as celebrant.
Interment: St. Mary's Cemetery, Lower Burrell, Pa.
Published on November 13, 2017