Marilyn S. Wilson passed away on September 21, 2012, at her home in Palo Alto, hours after she would have celebrated her 65th wedding anniversary to her husband Bert Wilson, who preceded her in death in 2008. She was surrounded by her loving family, who for weeks had stayed close at her side.
Marilyn was born in Chicago on March 30, 1927 to Otto and Veda Stratton. She grew up in small towns throughout the west, where her parents owned and operated several successful hotels.
She studied architecture at the University of Oregon, but left a year before graduation to marry a handsome Marine Corps pilot, just returned from World War II – Bert Wilson. Marilyn was bright and beautiful, talented and artistic. They soon settled in Portland, Oregon, where they raised their three children.
The Wilson family moved to Los Altos in 1964 to take over operation of the family hotel in Palo Alto, The Flamingo Motor Lodge, which they expanded, remodeled, and re-named The Creekside Inn. Marilyn used her artistic skills extensively in her role as chief interior designer and purchaser for the highly successful business.
Marilyn’s hobbies included golf, painting, and competitive bridge. She was a long-time member of the Los Altos Golf and Country Club, an active member of the 18-Hole group. She was an exceptional bridge player, winning many duplicate bridge tournaments.
And she loved to paint – especially portraits of her children and grandchildren, and beautiful landscapes of places she had visited. She continued to paint until the final months of her life.
Marilyn was also a voracious reader – novels, non-fiction, magazines – it didn’t matter. She read non-stop, and especially enjoyed her decades-long association with her book club.
In 2007, having sold their Los Altos residence, and after spending several years at their Carmel home, Marilyn and Bert moved to the Vi (formerly the Classic Residence by Hyatt), near Stanford University. She loved living at the Vi, where she could read, paint, play bridge, and where she became close friends with some of the most intelligent and interesting people she had ever known, as she told her family.
Her friends and family remember Marilyn for her ready smile, quick intelligence and a positive and brave attitude towards life until the end of her days.
Marilyn is survived by her daughter, Lynn Wilson Roberts of Los Altos, sons Mark Wilson of Seattle and Stan Wilson of Rancho Mirage, and her brother Stan Stratton of Palo Alto. She is also survived by three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.