It is with great sadness that I am writing this post. I was notified that Marilyn, aka Pandagirl, died from complications of a respiratory illness, while recently visiting her family in California. I emailed her husband Craig and expressed our condolences from The Felting and Fiber Studio. He kindly gave his permission for me to write a post in memory of Marilyn.
Marilyn joined The Felting and Fiber Studio forum in June of 2013, where she has written almost 5,000 posts. When one of our original members stepped down, Marilyn joined our team and posted to the website here for five years (March 2014 – April 2019). She had a background in marketing and wrote quite a few posts about how to market artwork and gave some great ideas on boosting small businesses like many of us run.
In Marilyn’s first post, she introduced herself and talked about her fascination with textures. I think a lot of fiber artists have that inclination to be a “hands on” type of person and Marilyn showed us many different fiber textures over the course of her posts.
Marilyn’s work ranged from Easter baskets, nuno felting, felt bags, dyeing, surface design, 3D pods, creating her own hand carded batts, and many felt pictures. She often made gifts for her family members and even one for her retiring physician (wine bottle cover above).
When I asked our other members about their memories of Marilyn, I heard over and over how kind and thoughtful she was. I have included their comments below, interspersed with photos of Marilyn’s work.
“I remember Marilyn from my first postings on the Forum, she was always very present and generous in her suggestions.” Caterina
“She will be missed. Marilyn always contributed to TFFS, either in her posts or with her thoughtful comments.” Antje
“It was only last week that I was wondering how Marilyn was. Soon after I joined the Studio, I remember a post from her mentioning that she was not well. Having delved into the archives from time to time, I have come across her posts and I remember that they were always very upbeat and interesting.” Ann B.
“Marilyn was an enthusiastic felter (one of her many talents) and she made beautiful items – many of which were gifts for her family in California. She was always cheerful and very encouraging in her comments on all members efforts. She will be sadly missed by many.” Lyn & Annie
“It was always lovely to see Marilyn at our gatherings, always cheerful and bright. I briefly knew her through social media (Facebook). She came across as a beautiful person with family at the centre of her universe.” Helene
“I’m heartbroken to hear that Marilyn passed away. She and I used to exchange emails occasionally, talking about our lives and exchanging news. She always had lovely photos of her grandchildren to share and made me feel a little like I was part of her family life. Marilyn was a lovely human being, always ready to help and always upbeat (even when her illness was taking its toll). I’ll miss her dearly. She’s actually the reason I started blogging with TFFS, so she could have some time off – so Marilyn is the reason I got closer to you wonderful people :)” Leonor
“I remember Marilyn as much for her encouragement as for her interesting and inspiring posts. When I first started felting and discovered this wonderful online community she was so supportive. No matter how crude my early attempts with fibre were Marilyn always responded with a positive comment and that encouraged me to continue trying!” Karen
“This is very sad news, Marilyn was such a lovely person, always cheerful, kind and generous, she will be sorely missed. She was the inspiration behind this watercolour sketch from 2018, may she always be happy and smiling.” Teri
“She was always so positive and encouraging in her kind comments that I felt I got to know her a little as a kind, loving and generous person.” Lindsay W.
Marilyn will be missed by us all. If you have memories of Marilyn or wish to express your condolences to her family, please leave us a comment. If you would like to read more of Marilyn’s posts, use the search function on the right side bar using “Marilyn Aka Pandagirl” and her posts will come up.