As our family shares the great loss of our mother, Marilyn Marie Dugelar-Zotnowski, a quote from C.S. Lewis only begins to capture our experience:
“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”
It is much too difficult to put the vast, contradictory, mysterious and infinite complexities of our Mother’s life into mere “words” — no matter how beautiful or profound. Still, it is our family’s hope that if you are reading this you will at the very least get a sense of who Marilyn Marie Dugelar-Zotnowski was. Our mother had a great and glorious FAITH. She loved and loves God the Father Almighty, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ His Son, the Holy Spirit and Blessed Mother Mary and the Blessed Protector St. Joseph. She loved and appealed to her special Saint Anthony her entire life, and to Blessed Father Solanus Casey, soon to be a saint with a capital “S,” who interceded for miracles that came upon our mother and our family from the very day she was born in Detroit, Michigan nearly eighty-seven years ago. And our mother loved her Guardian Angel who she spoke to and shared a unique and special friendship with her entire life and will continue to share forever.
It seems silly to say that our Mother was loved, and will always be loved, by her family. But we say it anyway. We remember when contemplating our mother that Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Our beautiful mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, neighbor and friend, Marilyn Marie Dugelar-Zotnowski was, if anything, one “such as these.” She was Blessed to possess the true soul of a child her entire life. She held the wonder of a child in everything she did, thrilled with bliss by all the things a child loves: Parties and Holidays, music and song and decorations, gifts and games, teas and lunches, pastries, and candies, and all the beautiful and wonderful stories alive in great books, and musicals, television shows and movies. To know our mother was therefore to know this most of all: She truly, truly, LOVED all the things in life that give it color and beauty and joy. Marilyn Marie Dugelar-Zotnowski ENJOYED IT ALL. Nobody we have ever known was as eager and happy to simply BE with those she loved… the perfect companion for any trip, any travel, any adventure… any errand or task whatsoever even if it were of almost no significance. Whether physically or spiritually, or psychically, our mom was always there. “Johnny on the spot.” For us and those who knew her, she was one of the greatest and brightest “wingmen” to ever live.
Our mom was born May 10, 1936, in Detroit Michigan to Henry (Hank) Dugelar and Bernice Dugelar (né Spotowicz). She graduated from Our Lady Queen of Heaven Elementary School (K-8), and Dominican High School Class of ‘55, both in Detroit. She attended the now defunct Detroit Business College for two years and then became the Executive Assistant to the Head of Advertising at the J.L. Hudson Company’s downtown, flagship store. There she met our father, Robert Anthony Zotnowski when he returned from two years in the Navy, having been stationed at Port Hueneme, California. Bob and Marilyn were married at Our Lady Queen of Heaven on October 7, 1961. They made their first home in Warren, Michigan, then spent 20 years in Troy, Michigan where they raised their family and Marilyn worked part-time at Shifrin-Willens Jewelers. She was an avid and excellent bowler, was President of the Christian Mother’s Society at Our Lady Queen of All Saints, sang in the Bereavement Choir at St. Anastasia Parish with her beautiful voice, and served as Vice-President of the Altar Society at Santa Clara Parish in Oxnard, California, where she and Bob settled in 2000, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2021. Marilyn is survived by her husband Robert, three children Kathy (Philip), Stephen (Dawn), and Robert (Catherine), two grandchildren Ava, and Madeleine Grace, her sister Sandra LeClerc, niece Geneviève LeClerc, her brother Gerald (predeceased), and countless friends, and neighbors. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Family and friends are invited to a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial to be held at Santa Clara Parish, 323 S E Street., Oxnard on Friday November 3, 2023 at 10:00 am with Reverend Patrick Ayala. Arrangements are under the direction of the JOSEPH P. REARDON FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICE, Ventura.