Marilyn Granger Bunn | Obituary

Marilyn Granger Bunn
Date of Death

Marilyn Granger Bunn, a 60-year resident of La Cañada Flintridge, passed away peacefully at age 91 at Villa Gardens Retirement Community, Pasadena, CA, on November 22, 2021.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Wiley D. Bunn. She leaves behind her four children Barbara, Douglas (Deette), David (Kellie) and Carolyn (Steven) Nahigian; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Elinor (Thomas) Bunn; brother-in-law, Robert and sister-in-law, Ardis Bunn; and many nieces and nephews.

Marilyn was born to Warren and Ruth Granger on May 6, 1930, in Bellingham, WA. In Marilyn’s early years the family lived in Mount Vernon and Big Lake, WA. Both of Marilyn’s parents were lifelong teachers. Big Lake was hit hard by the Depression and although Marilyn was an only child, she had several informal foster siblings who lived with them due to need. Marilyn also remembered her parents providing meals to people in need. Like many of her generation, her early life was shaped by the Depression and WWII. She never forgot, or took for granted, the struggles of that time.
While teaching in Big Lake, the family lived part-time on Lummi Island, WA, where Marilyn’s pioneering great-grandparents were early settlers. Her father ran a commercial salmon fishing business, which Marilyn eventually inherited and continued to operate for many years with help from David, Doug and her cousins. Like the salmon, Marilyn and Wiley continued annual summer visits to Lummi, a tradition carried on by their children and grandchildren.
Marilyn’s family left the state of Washington for Pasadena as part of the post WWII migration to the promise land of Southern California. At age 14, on the first day at her new school, Eliot Jr. High, Marilyn met Wiley. Soon they began dating and eventually they married at age 21 while Wiley was a USC law student and Marilyn taught school. Eventually Wiley practiced law and Marilyn saw to the details of home life. Together they shared a deep and abiding Christian faith that formed the basis of their values, family life and friendship circles.
Marilyn attended Pasadena City College, Wheaton College and Whittier College. At age 19, as a fully certified teacher, Marilyn began teaching kindergarten in La Cañada Flintridge. After three years of teaching, Marilyn left the profession to become a full-time mother and homemaker; however, she never lost her love of teaching young children.
Marilyn and Wiley were active members of Lake Avenue Congregational Church, Pasadena, CA. Together they participated in small group Bible studies, hosted and mentored small diverse groups, and supported several missions both local and abroad. In addition to being active in many facets of LACC, Marilyn volunteered for the Parent Teacher Fellowship at Pasadena Christian School where their children attended. She was an active member of the La Cañada Thursday Club. Marilyn spent many hours as a volunteer for the Huntington Hospital. She sat bedside with oncology patients providing solace and assistance as well as working in the gift shop.
Marilyn enjoyed following current events, studying history, theology, art and culture. She found great joy in her relationships — especially with her children, grandchildren and extended family back in Washington.
During the last few years of Marilyn’s life, she experienced debilitating physical pain and loss of mobility. She was eventually bed bound, yet retained her interest in music, learning, and current news as well as keeping in touch with her loved ones.
One of her greatest legacies is the example of her final years as she demonstrated incredible grace, gratitude, an enduring faith and an active prayer life. She continued to take an interest in others despite her situation. She was fortunate to have exceptional caregivers; the mutual love and affection between Marilyn and her caregivers is a testimony to the power of Christ’s love and human connection regardless of outward ability.
Marilyn is greatly missed by her family, friends and caregivers, but they take heart in what she said just before she passed, “Wiley, wait for me … I’m coming home.”