20 August 2019

Marvellous Marilyn

If you’ve ever wandered through the lounge area at Arcare Malvern East, you’d know that Marilyn is one of the instantly-recognisable, friendly faces that you might see there. Always ready to strike up a conversation, Marilyn welcomes any opportunity to get to know someone new, or to share a story or two from her life.

A self-made woman, who never shied away from hard work. Marilyn has always put family first, and has lived a colourful and creative life filled with happy memories and good company.

Marilyn recalls growing up in the suburb of East Preston, where money was often short, but her family home was always warm and filled with love. She had a very close relationship with her mother, who worked in a clothing factory, and her older brother Billy, who affectionately referred to her as ‘the little one’.

Marilyn was only young, when she gave birth to her son, Mark. Determined to give him the best life that she could, she dove into full-time work, working up to three jobs at a time.

Marilyn worked in the fashion industry, working in dress shops across Melbourne, including Sally Brown, where her creative instincts and natural people skills could truly flourish. She had a knack for choosing the perfect outfits, a sharp eye for styling, and was excellent at charming the customers; it wasn’t long before she rose up through the ranks. While working in these dress shops, her usual tasks included store management, looking after the staff, managing stock, and window-dressing.

After many years of hard work, Marilyn succeeded in her efforts, and managed to independently put her son through the highly esteemed Haileybury College.

One of Marilyn’s many talents included home renovation and interior decorating.  Some of her favourite projects included the art-deco apartment that she bought and refurbished in Elwood, and the family home in Mount Waverley, that her and her husband renovated together.  

Marilyn has always been excellent at hosting and entertaining. She was well known for putting on extravagant Friday lunches; she would often spend the entire Thursday beforehand cooking and preparing. Often the menu would feature delicious casseroles, curries and plenty of fried rice. She would always ensure to keep the wine and champagne flowing for her guests. Marilyn would invite up to eight people to these gatherings, mostly friends, family and other loved ones, all of which would always chip in and help clean up together at the end of the event.

Her son Mark, who is now grown up with three kids of his own, is Marilyn’s pride and joy. She fondly remembers his 21st birthday, where in his speech he thanked her for giving him the best possible start in life. Mark is now a merchant banker and a business-owner, with a beautiful wife and three loving children. In their early years, Marilyn jumped at every opportunity to help look after her precious grandkids, and enjoyed having them round to stay several times a week.

These days, Marilyn is a well-loved member of the Arcare Malvern East community. One might spot her attending social activities, such as High Tea and Happy Hour, enjoying a glass of wine and a singalong. Marilyn is a good friend to many, and gets along well with just about everyone who crosses her path.

Read more resident profiles stories

Read more Arcare Malvern East stories

View our Victorian aged care residences