Remembering Marilyn Mook

From our 2012 Spring Newsletter

November 2011–If you have attended our Annual Friends Picnic and Auction in recent years, you may have noticed the beautiful quilts that were up for bidding every August. They were donated by Marilyn Mook, who passed away this summer after a recurrence of breast cancer.

I was personally shocked and saddened to hear of Marilyn’s passing. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, Marilyn was one of the many cancer survivors among our members to reach out and offer encouragement. When we sat down this past June, as we did every year, to fill out forms and chat, Marilyn unwrapped two lovely quilts in our library. She had just turned 70 and had retired from her long tenure at MSU as a nutrition instructor and was looking forward to summer at her Homestead condominium. As always, she told me how much she appreciated the work we were doing to protect Leelanau and that she was glad that the proceeds from her quilts could help our cause. She mentioned in passing that her hip was giving her problems.

Soon after the Picnic, I sent Marilyn a note about her quilts and the auction. An email from her friend and executor, Jean Story, arrived a few days later. Jean wrote to say that Marilyn had passed on August 18th from complications brought on by cancer treatment. Jean wanted me to know that before she died, Marilyn had been working on some quilts for future auctions. In September Jean brought us four beautiful creations. Last week, the Conservancy’s Picnic and Auction Committee held our first meeting for the 2012 Picnic. We raised our coffee cups to Marilyn and I presented the four quilts, calling for a vote on which to offer at the 2012 Auction. As each was unfolded to oohs and ahhs, the group decided we could not wait until August to offer the queen-size quilt that is shown in this picture. “Winter is the time when you want to buy quilts,” said longtime committee member Marsha Buehler. But beyond that, as a committee we often wish there were a way to highlight the many heartfelt and lovingly made auction items that come our way. We talked about how gifts like Marilyn’s—including the astounding realization that she provided for future auctions–exemplify the dedication of so many among our membership.

Ultimately, we thought what better way to remember Marilyn than to tell her story and to offer one of her quilts now, separate and apart from our big event. With its color scheme and pointy trees, our committee thought it would be a great addition to someone’s home for holidays. To that end, the quilt pictured is up for bidding on our auction website: If you are not inclined to use a computer, we will also take a “proxy bid” over the phone or via email: [email protected] Last day for bidding is December 15th. The 96 by 84 inch,100% cotton washable quilt may be viewed at Bahle’s in Suttons Bay until December 15th, 2011, the last day for bidding. For questions, contact Carolyn Faught 231-256-9665.

Marilyn always enjoyed naming her quilts. Consider last year’s titles: “Little Girl’s Easter Dress” and “It’s a Puzzlement.” I guess it’s up to me to choose a name for this one. I think I’ll take the simple route and just call it “Marilyn’s Quilt.” –Carolyn Faught, Communications Director. November 2011.

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