Marilyn Alice (Dingwell) Koehler, age 92, passed away peacefully in the Beaumont Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Northbridge, Massachusetts on Sunday, January 19, 2020.
My name is Marilyn Alice Kohler. I was born on June 17th, 1927 at a Boston Hospital. I had a twin sister named Marjorie. We were not identical. I started coming feet first and was turned around. Marjorie was born 20 minutes later. My mother was going to name the first twin Marjorie. Boy! Was I glad! I love the name Marilyn. There are many Marjorie’s from the ‘20s’. Doris was the oldest. She was born December 12th, 1923 and was very artistic. She gave us a beautiful oil painting that she pulled from an art show and didn’t really want to sell. She was asking $300. It was framed lovely also. There are six clam shells and many, many pebbles that are acrylic. It’s lovely. It has a metal name tag. She called it “Beach-Baubles.”
The youngest sister (no boys) was born in 1936. She was artistic also. Me too! All of us are animal lovers. 40 years ago we adopted three dogs, two kittens from an ad and two purebred kittens and we bought two guinea pigs. If you rub their nose, they talk. I love them and chinchillas also. They are deftly soft.
Margie and I started first grade together in 1933. Margie leaned on me but an idiotic school nurse spoiled it. How dare she!! Margie was doing well. She needed me. By the seventh grade Margie went to a special school. That was the end. She wanted so badly to graduate together.
I was the only one to go to five schools. It was disgusting. We had to pay half of the rent because we kept being thrown out. Doris had five cents a day for the bus to the high school. I had to stop at the little store to get milk from those on welfare. I broke many bottles. My mother was home taking care of Nancy. I had to hike everywhere from school. I took a business course in high school. I took one year of Castilian Spanish for the points. Doris had to use Auntie Evie’s address in her third year of junior high school so she would graduate with her class.
I graduated on June 4th from high school. It started to rain, and speeches were canceled, and everyone went home. Diplomas were in the library. I still have mine but it’s quite yellow and has never been framed.
I got a clerical job in the telephone company in the public relations department on the second floor. The company magazine was put together on the 16th floor and was called “Telephone Topics.” I loved everyone in that department. When I went to my first trip to England in 19__ they gave me $300 to spend; thank Heaven. I went steerage the first time with three strangers, but they were very nice. I was able to take buses for places to see. I went to England and Scotland two more times when my pay was feasible. I am Scottish and English on my father’s side. My parents are long gone.
When Cindy was close to seven, she wanted to be in the Girl Scouts. I didn’t want her in a troop where she didn’t know any of the girls, so I instituted a troop of our own. I adore animals and children. I decided on “A Christmas Carol” since December was fairly close. I worked on costumes that I have done before and I wrote a complete play as well as making costumes which I loved designing. It was performed at the grammar school off of Route 1A. Our children never went there. They went to OPR School. The play was well received.
I also sold cosmetics and I took cooking and sewing lessons at WHS. I believe it was in the mid to late 80s that I worked in the CVS pharmacy for Roy. He was very nice and very helpful and most interesting. It was in Bellingham where we lived. Not long afterward when we moved to Norfolk. I worked at the CVS in Medway. There was no opening in the pharmacy, so I learned the register that I liked, and it helped new help. One girl didn’t know how to open the register or how to set it. I was glad that I was there. Retirement is wonderful!!
Beloved wife of the late William O. Koehler, Jr.
Loving mother of Lawrence M. Koehler of Ossian, Indiana, Cynthia A. Fuller of Norwell, Diane L. Spain of Sutton, and the late David W. Koehler.
Cherished grandmother of 12 and great grandmother of 3.
Sister of Nancy First of Sudbury, the late Marjorie Dingwell, and the late Doris Dingwell-O’Brien.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to Marilyn’s visitation on Sunday, January 26, 2020 from 2 to 4 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A funeral service will be held in the Chapel in the Welcome Center of Knollwood Memorial Park, 319 High Street, Canton on Monday, January 27, 2020 at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The MSPCA, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130 or at www.mspca.org.