April 16, 1940 - December 6, 2020
White Bear Lake, MN - With striking red hair, a sharp wit and an infectious laugh, Marilyn Lavonne (Erickson) Singer moved through life with curiosity and charisma, enjoying adventures all over the world during her 80 years. She dabbled in fine art, fashion modelling, skiing and boating. She embraced working motherhood and volunteering at school even as she handled bookkeeping and accounting for business clients. She enjoyed travel, bridge club, and especially, football Sundays celebrated with friends, despite health challenges including the autoimmune disease lupus.
Although lupus weakened her kidneys and a stroke at age 78 left her disabled, it was COVID-19 that ultimately ended her life. She died at Cerenity Senior Care in White Bear Lake, MN, on Dec. 6, after the pandemic virus struck the care facility.
She is survived by two children and four grandchildren, whom she deeply loved: Son CAPT Scott Singer, USN (Ret.), and daughter-in-law, Kimberly Singer, of Mahtomedi, MN, and grandchildren Matthew Singer of Duluth, MN, and Rachael Singer of Washington, DC. Also, daughter Stacey Singer DeLoye and son-in-law Michael DeLoye, who live in Boynton Beach, FL, along with grandson, Thomas DeLoye. Grandson James DeLoye lives in Berkeley, CA.
In her youth, Marilyn moved frequently among multiple Naval-base communities during her father, Chief Clarence Erickson's, career in the Navy. During World War II, Marilyn's mother, Harriet Genevieve (Wells) Erickson, sister Joan Erickson, and dear Navy friend, Iduna Holter, crisscrossed the US by train to meet the ship her dad and Carl Holter served on. After her father retired in 1953 from the Navy after 20 years of service, they settled in northern California where Clarence, a boy from Kansas, took up farming.
After high school, Marilyn took classes at San Mateo Jr. College and Chico State, and finished with a business degree from San Francisco State University where, she said she had been the first woman student to graduate from their business school.
It was in one of those classes that she met her future husband, Terry S. Singer. They eloped to Reno, and went on to enjoy a married life that took them from Thunderbird School of Global Management (then the American Institute for Foreign Trade) to a posting in Lisbon, Portugal, and Brussels, Belgium, and later Flossmoor, IL, and Madison, WI. While living in Europe, she modelled petite clothing for department stores and fashion houses, and appeared as an extra in several movies, including "A Man Could Get Killed," with Sandra Dee and James Garner. But her favorite role by far was that of mother. Her son was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1965, and her daughter in Chicago Heights, IL, in 1968.
They moved to the Madison, WI, area in 1973. For the next 20 years, Marilyn worked as an accountant, doing taxes, cost reports and nursing home audits. She also loved art and took up painting in oils at first, later watercolors. She was active with her church, St. Stephen's Lutheran, as well as a bridge club and an informal theater group. Fall was her favorite season, as Wisconsin Badger football Saturdays and NFL Sundays brought friends together each weekend.
After their children graduated college, she and Terry divorced. Marilyn continued to move frequently, moving to Roseville, MN; then the mountains of Boise, ID; and later her daughter's home in Florida. After braving two consecutive Florida hurricanes in one month, Marilyn opted to return to the Midwest to be near her son's family. She adopted a cat, Moe, who became her closest companion until a stroke left her disabled and forced a move. She lived happily for another two years at Cerenity Senior Care in White Bear Lake, MN, where her intelligence made her a regular winner at trivia, and her wit and positive attitude made her a beloved member of their community.
A virtual celebration of life is planned for the near future. Contact Mueller Memorial in White Bear Lake or visit the website at https://www.muellermemorial.com/ for details.