Marilyn Edith (Klewitz) Daniel, 96, died October 11, 2021, in her home in Amarillo.
Born June 6, 1925, in Chicago, Marilyn was the only child of Max August Klewitz and Ida Hulda Pfennig Klewitz. She grew up in her parents’ apartment house on Chicago’s north side, less than a mile from Wrigley Field.
Marilyn’s parents were both German, as were most of her neighbors, and even though English was the language spoken in her home, she grew up bilingual and spoke fluent German. Even in her seventies, when she visited her mother’s family in Germany, her cousin complimented her on how well she spoke German.
Marilyn attended Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School where she and her friends were sometimes rewarded for good behavior with tickets to Cubs games, allowing them to miss school. She graduated from Lakeview High School and attended Wilbur Wright Junior College before transferring to the University of Illinois to study business.
While a student in Urbana-Champaign, she met Rex Daniel on a blind date on Thanksgiving at her best friend Snooky’s house. It was love at first sight, and the two married on June 14, 1949, at Granville Methodist Church in Chicago. After honeymooning in Colorado, they settled in Amarillo, Rex’s hometown. Shortly thereafter, Rex’s twin brother Ray also moved back to Amarillo with his new bride, Marilyn’s college roommate and namesake, Marilyn Rascher Daniel.
From 1952 to 1962, Marilyn and Rex had five children – Tom, Larry, Sally, Jeff, and Rod -- and for more than 25 years, were members of the Homebuilders Class at Polk Street United Methodist Church.
In 1954, Marilyn’s mother Ida joined the household, helping to raise the growing Daniel brood. Big family meals, prepared by Ida and Marilyn, became almost a daily event. The two would often converse in German, usually when they didn’t want the kids to know what they were saying! As Gramma Ida’s health declined, Marilyn cared for her mother at home until Ida died in 1980.
All five of the Daniel children attended Ridgecrest Elementary School, and Marilyn was a familiar face at the school as a room mother and PTA member. In the early 1970s, she earned her Real Estate license and worked as a Realtor until retiring in about 2000. She especially enjoyed helping young couples find their dream homes.
Marilyn and Rex traveled to Mexico and Europe, and after Rex died in 1986, Marilyn traveled periodically with friends, eventually visiting Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. She enjoyed bringing the family together for vacations in Hawaii, New Mexico and Montana, and she especially loved visiting Hawaii, where she was treated royally by her extended family.
Marilyn had a remarkable memory, often recalling names, addresses, events, and meals from her past in vivid detail. She will be remembered as a strong-willed, independent woman, a generous and loving mother and grandmother, and a dedicated food aficionado and critic!
Preceding Marilyn in death were her father Max Klewitz in 1940; her mother Ida Klewitz in 1980; her husband Thomas Rex Daniel in 1986; her son-in-law David Crawford in 2017; and her good friend and travel companion, Dr. Joe Frank Robberson, in 2010.
Survivors include son Tom Daniel and his wife Miki Okumura of Honolulu, Hawaii; son Larry Daniel of Taos, N.M.; daughter Sally Crawford and granddaughters Joely and Camry of Amarillo; son Jeff Daniel, his wife Kitty, granddaughter Emma, and grandson Wiley of Honolulu; and son, Rod Daniel, his wife Jamie Ogden, and granddaughter Rosalyn of Corvallis, Montana.
The family would like to thank Mom’s friends and neighbors, and the good folks at Encompass Health Hospice and True Blessings for helping her live comfortably in her own home until she died.
Marilyn will be interred at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, between Rex and Ida. A memorial service for family and friends is being planned for a later date.