Marilyn Dean Jackson, age 88, passed away at her home on Friday, December 13, 2019.
Marilyn was born in Ainsworth, Nebraska on November 20, 1931, to Clement and Ellen Anderson. She had three sisters. Jeanne, Gloria and Bonnie. She had many fond memories of her family while growing up and as an adult.
When she was a little girl in Ainsworth, Nebraska she was always told how much she looked like Shirley Temple who was a popular child actress at the time. Her mother always fixed her hair in curls every morning. She was proud when she won a Shirley Temple look-alike contest in her town. She was given a Shirley Temple doll.
The depression hit the Anderson family especially hard. Her father worked in the banking business with his father. Marilyn remembered being hungry. Her mom and dad would shoot bullfrogs to eat. They would hunt pheasant out of season out of necessity to feed the family with. Marilyn remembers they would hide the pheasants in the hubcap of the car so they could get it home without getting caught. To the end of her life she didn’t like to eat chicken because it reminded her of these things. That is also one reason why she remained so frugal all her life and had a hard time throwing anything away.
Marilyn moved with her family to California in 1940 when she was in the fifth grade. Her father had gone ahead to find work. She remembered how they put everything that they owned into the back of their Ford car along with the kids while her mother and oldest sister drove them all the way to California.
She attended Reseda Grade School. Canoga Park High School and Pierce Jr. College for one semester. It was an honor to be one of the very first woman to be admitted into Pierce Jr College. She loved school and was an “A” student throughout.
During high school she worked at Canoga Theater, so she would have money to buy hay for Patches, her horse. Her aunt and uncle were able to board her horse at the 20th Century Fox motion picture ranch, which is now the Malibu Creek State Park. Her fondest memories of that time are riding Patches through the Malibu Canyon area.
She remembered vividly when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States were thrust into World War Two. She remembered everything being rationed including food and anything made with steel. Everyone went to work for the war effort and her mother and sister worked in an airplane manufacturing plant. The whole country pulled together in the effort. On the day the war ended she was home alone, but everyone was celebrating in the streets. Marilyn went in the house and got a roll of toilet paper for a streamer, and ran up and down the street shouting, “Hooray, the war is over!”
In 1956 she married Elbert Jackson, in Reno Nevada. They raised three children together in the San Fernando Valley in Northridge, California. They bought the home of their dreams in 1959. It was a beautiful ranch house surrounded by orange and grapefruit groves. She deeply loved her family and not a day went by that she didn’t re-affirm that love to them.
She loved following the Los Angeles Dodgers from the time they were located in Brooklyn, New York to when they moved the team to Los Angeles in 1957. The summer and fall would always have the radio going with the voice of Vin Scully announcing the games as she ironed clothes or worked on craft projects. She loved doing crafts and painting with oil and always loved tending to her flower garden.
There were always pets in her house and there wasn’t a stray animal she would turn away. Over the years there were dogs, cats, parakeets, sea turtles and even a few pet rats.
Christmas was always a special treat with lots of extended family around the house, decorations and good food. She made homemade stockings for each of her children and those stockings are still being used to pattern new ones for her great grandchildren to this day.
In 1968 she and Elbert bought a Pioneer Chicken restaurant in Northridge and worked at running the business together until their retirement in 1988. Marilyn really fell in love with the San Fernando Valley and especially Northridge where she lived for 50 years. In 1990 Elbert and Marilyn moved to their final home in Boise, Idaho. It was a difficult move for Marilyn to leave her lovely home that held so many sweet memories but common sense won out and they decided to move closer to their daughter in Idaho. She spent many happy hours cooking Sunday dinners and watching her grandchildren grow. During this time, she also continued being an avid walker and enjoyed countless hours walking the Boise River Greenbelt and all the connected parks along the river
with her husband.
Marilyn enjoyed traveling and vacations to Colorado, the place of her husbands birth many times. The family made so many wonderful memories visiting with Aunts and Uncles, riding horses and visiting the beautiful mountains. Other vacations included visiting Idaho, Florida, both Reno and Las Vegas Nevada. A Panama Canal cruise was also done during her retirement years. The last year of her life she was able fulfill most of her bucket list including Honolulu, Cape Canaveral, Oklahoma City, to see the grandchildren, and Connecticut to see more grandchildren. With the help of her family in Connecticut, she was even able to see the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.
She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Not a day went by that she didn’t remind the loved ones around her how special they were and how much she loved them. As her body aged and she became limited in what she could do she could still hold the new great grandbabies and that became her greatest joy. She will be missed by her family and her legacy will live on in these little ones that she loved so dearly.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, Clement and Ellen Bruhn Anderson, her sisters Gloria Schneck and Jeanne Boyd and one great grandson, Kairos Jackson. She is survived by her husband, Elbert, her three children, Bill & Tamara Kent of Northridge California, Debbie & Farrell Firkins of Boise, Idaho and Joel Jackson of North Hollywood, California as well as a sister, Bonnie Vela, of Port Hueneme, California. She has 11 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and numerous loved nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements were made by the Relyea Funeral Chapel in Boise, Idaho and the Crawford Mortuary in Northridge, California. A funeral was held on Saturday, December 21, 2019, at the Oakwood Memorial Park chapel in Chatsworth, California, where she was laid to rest.