Marilyn Opal Loughrey
October 30, 1955-March 28, 2018
Marilyn Opal Loughrey, age 62, passed away last week in her sleep surrounded by loved ones. She is survived by Steve, her husband of 42 years, her siblings, and her two sons James and Ryan.
Marilyn was born to Mary and Ben Abe in Selma, California. Marilyn grew up with three older brothers and one younger sister, who she remained in contact with through the years via email, physical letters, phone calls, and annual get-togethers. Marilyn worked odd jobs, such as working at a fruit packing factory, but eventually achieved her goal of working with the U.S. Forest Service. She spent most of her career there, and one summer, as a ranger she met her eventual husband Steve. Marilyn was the first woman on different sites within the forest, and all noted her gentle perseverance and grit working in this changing world. Marilyn married Steve Loughrey in 1978 at Bass Lake in the Sierra National Forest. Their first son, James, was born in Chico, CA in 1989, and second son, Ryan, was born in Bishop, CA in 1993. This forest family moved to Redding, California in 2001. Marilyn and Steve continued to work with the Forest Service and retired here in the town of their choice. The years were filled with many camping and exploring trips in mountains, international trips to Baja, Mexico, Europe, north Africa, Australia, July 4ths spent on the California coast, and many other memorable adventures. After retirement, Steve and Marilyn continued to travel and visit their family and sons.
Friends and all knew Marilyn as sweet, patient, loving, and with a quiet power. She was an avid letter writer, with pen pals in Scotland, across the US and elsewhere; she was also a dog lover, a thrift store shopper, and collector of all things Snoopy and Woodstock from the Peanuts comic strip. The weekend before she passed, in the world's most beautiful weather, Steve and Marilyn traveled to the Stanford/Palo Alto area where they enjoyed a wonderful cruise up the Santa Cruz Mountains, along beautiful Skyline Boulevard, took back roads through the forest down to the Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean, and cruised to the beach at Half Moon Bay to enjoy an afternoon before visiting their family that evening.
Steve, James, and Ryan are very grateful for extended family and friends who have come together to give their time and support. Additionally, Marilyn was aided by many kind and heartfelt doctors and nurses across the state that each deserve recognition.
Celebration of life arrangements are pending.