Marilyn Lonzo (née Nolan), 89, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2023, in the company of her loving son, Tom Lonzo, and daughter-in-law, Margaret. Marilyn was predeceased by her parents, Walter and Helen Nolan (née Krings), her husband, Warren Lonzo, her brother, Walter Nolan, Jr., and most recently, her beloved daughter, Julie Minato (née Lonzo).
“Mimi” is survived by her grandchildren, Patrick and Madeleine Lonzo, and Patrick, Michael, and Colleen Butler, as well as her son-in-law, Scott Minato, and sisters-in-law Bev Nolan, Adrea Miles, and Judith Orlopp, plus many nieces and nephews.
Marilyn often spoke about growing up on Nicholson Street, in Joliet, and attending elementary school at St. John the Baptist. She continued her parochial education, at St. Francis Academy (now Joliet Catholic Academy), where she remained a loyal and giving alumna. Marilyn’s adventurist spirit and love for warm weather took her to Barry College (now University), in Miami, where she graduated with a degree in education. While in Florida, Marilyn’s love of the water led her to participate in underwater swimming ballets (the pictures are fantastic!)
Marilyn returned to the Midwest, where she met Warren, in Chicago, in 1960. They fell in love, married, and had two beautiful children, Tom and Julie. Soon after Tom was born, Marilyn and Warren moved to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, with their new baby, where they enjoyed the warm weather and beaches. Missing family and friends, they returned to Joliet, where Marilyn started her teaching career in special education. She went back to school, graduating with a master’s degree in special education and dedicated many years to teaching children with special needs. Later, she enjoyed teaching English as a Second Language to adults.
Never afraid to try something new, Marilyn obtained her real estate license, only to discover that was not her true passion. Instead, she fulfilled her “fashionista” desire and opened MLN Boutique, in Joliet. She would often travel to the Merchandise Mart, in Chicago, to stay on top of the trendy “preppy” fashions, and running her own store gave her much pleasure for years.
Marilyn remained independent and active at the age of 89. She drove to mass daily, was curious to learn new things, and loved spending time with her dear friends and wonderful neighbors, who have been tremendously loving and supportive. Her family will never forget the kindness they have offered.
Marilyn’s greatest joy was her family. She loved planning the next get together, holiday party, or family vacation. She adored her grandchildren, always there for them while they were growing up, and hoping to inspire them to “keep the faith.” Sadly, Marilyn recently lost her beloved daughter, Julie, to a three-year battle with cancer. She was still writing thank-you notes to all the kind people, who offered their condolences. Her family takes solace in the belief that Marilyn has been welcomed into eternal life by her daughter, husband, brother, and parents.
Visitation is on Tuesday, June 13, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., at Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home, at 1500 Black Road, Joliet, IL. Funeral from the Blackburn-Giegerich-Sonntag Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 14, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, at 18 Woodlawn Avenue, in Joliet, IL. for Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Interment, Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Illinois. Special thank you to the staffs at Ascension Saint Joseph Medical Center and Lightways Hospice Home for their compassionate care of Marilyn. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lightways Hospice or the Arthritis Foundation would be appreciated.