Featured Resident – Marilyn Thudium
Marilyn was born in Brookfield, MO. She and her brother, Myrl, grew up in town with their parents, Ray and Genevieve Sternke. Marilyn was always into outdoor activities. She loved to play tennis. Her family belonged to the Brookfield Country Club and had a cottage on the lake there. During the summer months, they would live in the cottage and take advantage all the lake and country club had to offer. They would move back into town when school started. Marilyn liked school and was a cheerleader for the Brookfield Bulldogs. Marilyn worked part time at JC Penney’s.
During her freshman year in high school, she started dating Richard (Dick) Rose. Their first date was going to the movies. They also spent a lot of time at the Olympia – the local teen hangout. They would go there for sodas and dancing every day after school for an hour or so and on Friday and Saturday nights. They dated all through high school.
When they graduated, Dick went into the service. Marilyn went to Missouri Valley College at Marshall, MO. She took general classes towards an associative degree. Dick returned to Brookfield in the spring of 1946 and went to work with his dad in Rose Construction. The couple married in May of 1947 and settled into their own home. Dick became sole owner/operator. They had two children – David born in 1951 and Jennifer born in 1955.
Marilyn was a real go getter and innovator. She saw someone waterskiing on TV. So she got on a train and went to Kansas City to get water skis. She bought them and all the paraphernalia and boarded the train back to Brookfield. She was met at the station by half the town. After much trial and error, she became the first person to ever ski on the Brookfield Country Club Lake.
While still in high school, Marilyn directed the children’s choir at First Presbyterian of Brookfield and sang in the adult choir. Her lifelong best friend, Emily, would play the organ and Marilyn would sing at funerals. Over the years, that was how they made their spending money. Marilyn eventually took over as choir director for the adult choir at church.
Dick and Marilyn were huge fans of University of Missouri – Columbia football. Dick had even been offered a scholarship to play football but with the war and his dad needing help, he was unable to attend. He told Marilyn that he may not be able to play there but they would never miss a game. They got season tickets for football along with their friends, Pat and Floyd Cleveland. The two couples would go down to Columbia and see all the games. Marilyn was recognized a few years ago at an MU game for being a season ticket holder for 65 years.
Dick passed away suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 51. Marilyn was in New York at the time at a family wedding . His brother took over running the construction company.
Her friend, Emily, was diagnosed with ALS. Marilyn helped Lane in her care for the last six or eight months prior to her death.
Marilyn became acquainted with Girl Scouts when Jennifer was young. She was a Scout leader. She then went on to become involved with the Becky Thatcher Girl Scout Council. She would organize new troops plus recruit and train leaders throughout northern Missouri. She retired from the Scouts in 1984.
In 1985, Marilyn went to MU and became a house mother for the Chi Omega sororeity. For those five years, she would spend time in Columbia during the school year and then go back to her home in Brookfield. She still had the cottage at the country club as well.
While she was at MU, Lane would come down and go to all the football games with her. After a couple of years, Lane and Marilyn decided to marry. They married at the Chi Omega house during Mizzou Basketball Sweet Sixteen game in March of 1993. She sold her house and moved into Lane’s house on the lake at the Country Club. They enjoyed spending time with friends and belonged to couples card clubs – the men played Pitch and the women played Bridge. Lane passed away in 1999.
Marilyn moved to Westbrook to be closer to her daughter who lives in Liberty. She likes the food and the fact she doesn’t have to cook it. She really enjoys the activities especially the choir which she joined and the music. She loves her apartment and the fact that she has her own patio. She has her Cupie doll collection on display as well as her MU memorabilia.
Besides her children, Marilyn has a daughter-in-law, Rose, a son-in-law, John, and three grandchildren, Whitney (husband-Adam), Mallory (husband-Garrett) and Dave.