Date of Death: October 22, 2019
A visitation for Marilyn will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Hohner Funeral Home in Three Rivers.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. the following day, Friday, November 8, 2019 at First United Methodist Church in Three Rivers, MI with Rev. Heather McDougall officiating.
Marilyn Elaine “Marmie” Miholer, age 93, of Three Rivers died on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at her home on Fisher Lake, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on September 15, 1926 in Richmond, Indiana. She was the eldest daughter of Russell and Bernadetta (Taube ) Neff.
Marilyn attended Three Rivers Public Schools, graduating with honor from TRHS class of 1944. She was the first in her immediate family to attend college, entering the University of Michigan where she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 1948.
Marilyn married Thomas L. Miholer on September 5, 1948 in Three Rivers and the couple embarked on a 60 year journey as florists together when in 1954 they took over ownership Neff’s Flower Shop, previously the retail arm of G.W. Neff and Sons Greenhouse, which was proudly established in 1930 by her parents and grandparents.
True to her belief in giving back to the community, Marilyn was active in many civic organizations. She served two terms on the Three Rivers Public Schools Board of Education, with a term as president. During that time she helped the board navigate the construction of the new Three Rivers Middle School. She also was appointed as a member to the Michigan Association of School Boards, where she had influence on public education throughout Michigan. She was a long- time supporter of the Carnegie Center for the Arts, serving on their board of directors for many years. Marilyn was honored as Citizen of the Year 1991-92 by the Lion’s Club in Three Rivers for her steadfast civic involvement and contributions.
In 1998, Marilyn received the honor of being named an Emeritus Scholar by the University of Michigan, where she was also a lifetime member of the UM Alumni Association, enjoying several trips with their travel club to Italy, Greece, Paris, England, and Holland.
Marilyn was a faithful and dedicated member of First United Methodist Church of Three Rivers and was active in coordinating many church activities as a member of United Methodist Women. She is fondly remembered by many for her decades of pretzel-making with Sunday school children at Easter. She and Tommy made sure there were alter flowers every Sunday adorning the sanctuary for years.
An avid amateur chef, Marilyn began a second career of sorts when she took up her pen to write restaurant reviews for the local Shoppers Guide, and then went on to have her own column “Ripples and Waves” in the Kalamazoo Hometown Gazette.
Above all, Marilyn cherished time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren, who affectionately called her by her chosen name from the novel Little Women, “Marmie.”
Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband Thomas Miholer in 2005, as well as her parents, her sisters, Nancy McArdle, Patricia Wolgast and husband Jay Wolgast, and niece Mary Wolgast Monk.
She leaves to cherish her loving memory her children Thomas L Miholer II, Laurie Miholer (Garry Zachritz), and David Miholer (Lisa Armstrong), as well as beloved grandchildren Megan Miholer, Zach Miholer (Darcy Miholer), Marissa Miholer, Katelyn Zachritz (Adam Gamez), Whitney Zachritz-Brown (Sarita Brown), and Alison Zachritz. Marilyn adored her great-grandchildren Dylan and Madisyn Cornish, Charlie, McKenzie, Maycie Miholer, Bailey Miholer-Wortinger, Cameron, Maliyah and Monae Flowers, Frankie and Eloise Zachritz-Brown, and Wynne Zachritz-Gamez; brother-in-law, Richard McArdle and sister-in-law, Eileen Miholer.
Many cherished cousins, nieces, and nephews will also remember her with love.
Of course Marilyn’s family would be honored to have her visitation and memorial service adorned with flowers, but those who wish to do so may direct memorial contributions to
either Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, or Carnegie Center for the Arts in Three Rivers. Envelopes available at the funeral home or church.
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