Marilyn Jeanne (Parrott) Frackelton was born Aug. 30, 1928, to Edna and Joseph Parrott, in Lima, Ohio. Joseph was a newspaper man, taking the family to New Jersey for work, until settling West Salem, Ohio, in 1938, and starting the W. Salem News. The family ran the paper until the 60s, when I-71 made travel through town unnecessary. Marilyn graduated from W. Salem High in 1945, in a class of five, and graduated in English from The College of Wooster in 1949.
Marilyn worked in radio with WJW and married Robert Wenger in 1950. They had a son, Marshall Wenger, in 1952. Her career went to teaching in 1960, starting at Snowview Elementary in Parma, Ohio. She taught fourth through sixth grades and was given the honors children as part of a pilot program. She also wrote and directed the sex education program for sixth-graders and spent long hours fighting the ignorance and prejudice against the program in school board meetings and other public forums.
Marilyn remarried in 1978 to Dr. James P. Frackelton of Westlake and together they traveled to all seven continents, with multiple trips to China, Antartica, Africa (hot air balloon over Mt. Kilimanjaro) and many cruises around S. America, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. They sailed their own yacht, the Polly, at CIC in Catawba for 20 years and were members of Rattlesnake Island Club and Sandusky Yacht Club.
Her father's grandfather, Joseph Parrott, was awarded the first Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War. In 1990, by a unanimous act of Congress (535-0), the medal was accepted for permanent public display.
Marilyn donated the medal and gave a speech in Statuary Hall in the Capital Building before senators, congressmen, the Marine Band, relatives and acquaintances and the largest gathering of medal of honor recipients in history, almost 80. Included were six recipients of the Victoria Cross, from Australia and Great Britain. A reception followed at the White House with President Bush.
Marilyn died of a stroke, Thursday, Jan 4, 2007, on St. Martin in the Caribbean. Her life was an exhibition of grace and kindness and she will be missed by many.
Please make donations to Shriner Hospitals for Children or the American Institute for Complimentary Alternative Medicine, in lieu of flowers.