Weller remembered for ‘biggest and most kind heart’
Marilyn Weller always had plenty of food available for her daughters’ friends when they came over or when the family would head out for a Sunday at the lake.
Weller always made sure to take care of others, whether it was her family, her physical therapy patients in Leavenworth County schools or an underprivileged youth who might be getting picked on.
The Rev. Bill Gepford told of Weller’s varying acts of kindness — and sometimes good-natured mischief — during memorial services Monday at Tonganoxie United Methodist Church. Marilyn Weller died Thursday after a battle with cancer. She was 56.
Her impact on the community was far-reaching. Tonganoxie USD 464 classes were canceled Monday for the funeral because so many faculty planned to attend.
Overflow from Monday’s funeral at TUMC gathered at the Tonganoxie Performing Arts Center on the Tonganoxie High School campus to watch the service, which also was shown via Facebook Live through the church.
The night before, friends lined up down the block before visitation began Sunday night at the church.
“My mom had the biggest and most kind heart,” said middle daughter, Maddie, during the service.
She joked that when Marilyn packed school lunches for her, there usually were three — one each for classmates Sam Mitchell and Zach Ditty also. Her locker also “was like a vending machine” because her mother always made sure, once again, there was plenty of food for her children and their friends.
Gepford said an estimated 800-1,000 people came to the visitation, while 350 attended services at the church. He was unsure how many were at TPAC, but more than 500 watched the funeral through Facebook.
Gepford shared various family stories, including one regarding a family trip years ago to the Bahamas. Marilyn recently had been diagnosed with breast cancer and started taking chemotherapy. Local women kept pestering her to braid her hair for money. Marilyn, with her great sense of humor, eventually handed the women her wig and said “do you want to braid this?”
She also was sure to always help others, including covering rent for a family in need and diapers for another family faced with hard times.
Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Willie Nelson’s cover of “What a Wonderful World” played during the service.
Her full obituary can be found on page 3A. For those unable to attend or watch the services on Monday, it also can be viewed on the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church Facebook page.