Obituary of Marilyn Jane Whitwell
Marilyn Jane (Dempsey) Whitwell, 86, formerly of 5870 Stone Road in Lockport, died Saturday, March 14, at Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, New Jersey, surrounded by her children. Born June 15, 1933, in Lockport, New York, she was the daughter of Stephen L. Dempsey and Hazel Sheldon Dempsey. On Dec. 13, 1951, in Lockport, she married James H. Whitwell, who died Feb. 28, 2002. Marilyn grew up in Lockport and graduated from Lockport High School in 1951. She worked briefly at Harrison Radiator before leaving the workforce to devote herself to raising her six children. She was a member of the Progressive Mothers Club of Lockport, taught Sunday School at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Lockport, and was actively involved in planning reunion activities for her high school class. Marilyn enjoyed spending time with her family and boasting of the accomplishments of her children. She delighted in spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and particularly enjoyed viewing new photos of them on her iPad. An avid reader of thrillers and mysteries, Marilyn also enjoyed watching crime dramas on TV and shopping at the Bon-Ton. She was an enthusiastic fan of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Blue Jays, Tiger Woods, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. She especially loved her cats Mitzy and Bandit, who provided company for her after the death of her beloved husband. In 2015, Marilyn moved to Cuba, New York, to live with her daughter and son-in-law, and recently became a resident of Brookdale Florham Park in New Jersey, near the home of another daughter and son-in-law. Marilyn is survived by six children: Deborah (Tom) Donahue of Cuba, New York; Robert (Lisa) Whitwell of Syracuse, New York; William (Ann) Whitwell of Blackville, South Carolina; Beth (Rubens) Correa of Morristown, New Jersey; Lynne Lewis of West Henrietta, New York; and Julie (John) Elwood of Lilburn, Georgia; 14 grandchildren: Michael Donahue, Carey (Andy) Barbour, Bradley Donahue, Derek (Sara) Whitwell, Corinne (Robert Paxon) Whitwell, William Grubbs, Shannon (Todd) Sharpe, Amy (Brandon Maritoto) Jordan, Nichole Lewis, Justin Lewis, Kelly Lewis, Aaron Elwood, Jadrienne Elwood and Ryley Elwood; eight great-grandchildren: Louisa and Maisie Barbour, Molly Whitwell, Madisyn Mears, Makhayla Grubbs, Benjamin and Scarlett Klisiewicz, and Rilynne Hoffmeister; a sister-in-law, Angela Dempsey; and several nephews. Besides her husband, Marilyn was predeceased by a brother, L. James Dempsey. Funeral services have been postponed due to the nationwide coronavirus crisis. Instead, a memorial gathering to celebrate Marilyn’s life will be held at a later date. Burial will be at North Ridge Cemetery in Cambria. Arrangements are under direction of the Prudden & Kandt Funeral Home of Lockport. Memorial donations in Marilyn’s name may be made to Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Drive, Lockport, New York 14094; or Niagara County SPCA, 2100 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, New York 14304. Online condolences may be expressed at pruddenandkandt.com or obituaries.lockportjournal.com.
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