Born in the close-knit community of Barry’s Bay, ON to Barbara and Dominic (“Slim”), Marilyn grew up surrounded by family and friends. She was a conscientious student and helped out at the family general store where she developed her love of clothes and her elegant fashion sense.
After completing Teacher’s College, she taught in Deep River, ON where her statuesque beauty caught the eye of a boy from Alberta, Richard. After 2 years of courtship, Marilyn married the love of her life, a union that would last for 54 wonderful years.
The 2 pillars of Marilyn’s life were her family and her faith.
The birth and raising of their 4 children gave her her greatest joy as well as her greatest sadness. The loss of their first child, Stevan, bonded the young couple closer together. A move across the country to support Richard’s career also demonstrated her tremendous resilience.
The foundation for her children’s security and successes in life were grounded in her love, wisdom and support. She encouraged Kris to pursue her dreams of becoming a doctor, started Terry on his path of becoming a teacher and coach by convincing him to try basketball when he was reluctant to do so, and travelled across Canada to support Mike’s university volleyball career.
She was a key member in the Catholic church community. A CWL member for 54 years and a Eucharistic minister, she was also involved in the RCIA program and was a liaison for church-sponsored refugee families.
Marilyn’s influence also extended to many generations of students. She was a school librarian at St. Joseph’s and went on to set up and run the libraries at St. Marguerite’s and St. Thomas Aquinas, providing a safe haven for many staff and students. She developed a lasting legacy and special relationship with the graduating classes by organizing the annual fundraising Spaghetti dinner/silent auction and Graduation retreat, which were a highlight for so many students.
Retirement in 2001 allowed Marilyn the time to pursue other interests and adventures. She loved spending time with her grandsons, scrapbooking, and looked forward to the monthly camaraderie and thought-provoking discussions with her beloved book club. Travelling to far off destinations became a passion for Marilyn and Richard. They particularly cherished cruises to Europe and Australia with their close friends and family trips back to Barry’s Bay.
In the last few years of her life, Marilyn’s resilience and faith were tested further as she dealt with her own diagnosis of cancer and the loss of her husband in the midst of a global pandemic. She met these challenges with the same grace and determination she had displayed throughout her life.
Through her words and actions, Marilyn was a role model to all; the epitome of a caring and open heart who touched so many along her life’s journey.
She is lovingly remembered by her children: Kristine (Jacqui), Terry (Joanna), and Michael; grandchildren Kaden and Kian; brothers Roy and Phil (Joan), as well as numerous relatives and friends.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, December 4 at 1 pm. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Due to COVID restrictions, attendance is by invitation only. The mass will be live streamed; link to view is: https://www.legacytributevideo.ca/marilyn-ann-schipper
If friends desire, Memorial Donations can be made in Marilyn’s name to Light Up Your Life Society (Stony Plain) or the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Serenity Funeral Service – Spruce Grove
780 962 2749