Board Games 09

Marilyn A. Birky

May 19, 1932 ~ November 19, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Marilyn Birky Obituary

Marilyn A. Birky, 91, of Delavan, went home to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at 1:46 pm Sunday, November 19, 2023, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.

She was born May 19, 1932, in Hopedale to Richard Clayton and Hazel Helena (Tompkins) Smalley. She married Mervin Jacob Birky in Hopedale on June 20, 1953, and he went home to the Lord on April 18, 1999. She was also preceded in death by her parents and her brother and sister-in-law, Richard Dean (Donna) Smalley; Mervin’s seven brothers and sisters, and their spouses; and by three nephews and two nieces.

From the time she was a little girl, Marilyn had wanted a large table filled with family all around it, and she was most pleased when it became a reality.  She loved having get-togethers with her family.

Marilyn and Merv have two daughters, Joy Lehnert of rural Pekin and Sandra (Robert) Boston of Tremont; nine grandchildren, Sarah (Joe) Flint, Kathryn Capel, Daniel (Lindsey) Lehnert, Elizabeth Lehnert, Joseph (Daci) Lehnert, David (Mindi) Lehnert, Jameson (Hannah) Boston, Rachel (Jason) Haupt, and Russell (Molly) Boston; 17 great grandchildren, Josiah and Caleb Flint, Grant, Miles and Leo Capel, Wren, Jacob, Elijah and Sadie Lehnert, Lydia Lehnert-Pivoney, Anna, Reuben, and Leah Lehnert, Emmy Lehnert, Tess and Roy Boston, and Teddy Haupt (arriving in January 2024).

Marilyn taught school in Delavan for 27 years, the first few years as a fourth-grade teacher, and then as an elementary physical education teacher, which fit her perfectly.  She loved the children, and she loved playing games.

She also taught Sunday school for more than 60 years at Delavan United Methodist Church, Delavan Baptist Church, and New Life Fellowship in Hopedale.

Marilyn loved camping with her family in the earlier years, traveling and going to Florida for the winters with Merv in their retirement, and spending time with friends visiting and playing games in these latter years. Her greatest joy was being with her family, to whom she was devoted, especially her grandkids and great grandkids, who call her Granny B.

A private interment has been accorded in Prairie Rest Cemetery in Delavan.  Davis-Oswald Funeral Home handling the arrangements. In honor of Marilyn’s love for people and gathering with them, there will be an open house to celebrate her life on Saturday, December 2 from 1-4 pm at Common Ground Bakery, Locust St. Delavan.  All who knew her and would like to remember her love of life in this way are encouraged to come.

Memorial contributions may be given to Peoria Rescue Ministries or to Samaritan’s Purse for the funding of Operation Christmas Child, which was dear to her heart.

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