Marilyn Ballard Obituary, Death – Marilyn Ruth (Botkins) Ballard was born in Caro, Michigan on October 20, 1941 to Malcolm ‘Hap’ and Della Botkins. On November 21, 2022, she died at the age of 81. Her faith journey began with her baptism on November 9, 1941, and she claimed that faith on June 5, 1955, with her Confirmation. Marilyn is survived by her three children, Deadra (Dan) Hurley of Bay City, Andrea (Don) Beson of Bay City, and Scott (Aimee) Ballard of Akron. Six grandchildren and their spouses, as well as 14 great-grandchildren, are also present: Joshua (Sara) Hurley – Alexander, Cameron; Danielle (Jon) Kleinert – Sienna; Matthew (Crystal) Hurley – Journey, James, Lincoln; Amanda (Drew) Vanderwest – Mikayla, Samantha, Peyton, Brooklyn; Heather Warren – Carson, Sophia, Maleah; Jordan Ballard; Tyler (Haley) Aldrich – Parker;

Marilyn received her BA in Elementary Education from Saginaw Valley College after graduating from Fairgrove High School. Saginaw Valley State University later awarded her an MA in Reading. For 33 years, she used her education to teach second grade and work as a reading specialist at Akron-Fairgrove Schools. The Akron-Fairgrove Board of Education named her Akron-Fairgrove Teacher of the Year for 1989-1990. Marilyn was also involved in her students’ extracurricular activities, serving as Cheerleading Advisor and helping in the press box at A-F Invitational Track Meets.

Marilyn served in a variety of capacities at her home congregation, Grace Lutheran Church in Fairgrove, including Sunday School Superintendent, Choir Director, Parish Planning Secretary, and Ladies Aid. In addition to singing in the church choir, she was an active member of the Akron-Fairgrove Community Singers, co-writing the September 11th memorial tribute ‘For Such a Time as This.’ This was a collaborative effort by several Bay County Lutheran choirs. She was so taken with singing that she joined the Bay Chorale and traveled to Europe with them several times to sing in Europe’s magnificent cathedrals.

Marilyn’s life as an educator and community member touched many people, including a cousin who wrote, “She is such a beautiful example of living a life for Jesus in everything you do, think, and say.” The family would like to thank all of the caregivers who have shown Marilyn such loving kindness over the last seven years, especially Tonya Timm and Wendy Kloha. On Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., a funeral service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church of Monitor, 20 E. Salzburg Rd. On Friday, November 25 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., family and friends will be received at Gephart Funeral Home, 201 W Midland St. in Bay City, and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. A luncheon will be served following the service. At 3 p.m., the interment will take place at Brookside Cemetery in Fairgrove. Please consider donating to the Fairgrove District Library (Children’s Area), Grace Lutheran Church, Fairgrove, or Trinity Lutheran Church, Monitor in lieu of flowers (Building For the Future).