Marilyn Lovell, Wife of Astronaut Jim Lovell, Passes at 93 | Aero-News Network
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Sat, Sep 02, 2023

Marilyn Lovell, Wife of Astronaut Jim Lovell, Passes at 93

Of Dear Memories and Distant Mountains

Marilyn Lovell, wife of renowned NASA astronaut and Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell, passed away peacefully in Lake Forest, Illinois on 27 August 2023. Mrs. Lovell departed life surrounded by her devoted husband of 71-years and loving family.

The youngest of five children, Marilyn Lillie Lovell was born on 11 July 1930 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She met her future husband while attending Milwaukee's Juneau High School. Upon graduation, Marilyn relocated to Washington D.C. for the dual purposes of attending George Washington University and being closer to Jim while he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Marilyn and Jim married on 06 June 1952, immediately following his graduation from the Academy. The ensuing years saw Mrs. Lovell function as the consummate Naval Officer’s wife, and later as an active member of the original Astronauts’ Wives Club, via which she tirelessly promoted her husband’s NASA career.

As a military family, the Lovells resided in many locales, but Marilyn looked upon Houston, Texas and Lake Forest, Illinois as her true homes. The matriarch of the Lovell clan, Marilyn took her greatest joy in family, enjoying close relationships with her children and grandchildren—the latter referring to her as Grammie.

Among Mrs. Lovell’s legacies is Mount Marilyn, a lunar mountain so named by Jim during his historic Apollo 8 mission—humankind’s first departure from Earth orbit and the first spacecraft to reach and orbit the moon. Mount Marilyn, as the Lovell family attests, symbolizes the strength and steadfastness with which its namesake moved through life.

Marilyn is survived by her husband, Captain James A Lovell, Jr; four children: Barbara Harrison (Ken), James Lovell III (Darice), Susan Lovell, Jeffrey Lovell (Annie); Eleven grandchildren; and seven great grandchildren. Mrs. Lovell was preceded in death by her parents, Lillie and Carl Gerlach, and siblings: Milton Gerlach, Irene McCann, Ralph Gerlach, and Grace Redmond.

The Lovell family recognized and extended their thanks to Rosy Rea, Maria Rogers, and Valerie Rus, who cared for Marilyn during the last year of her life.

A Memorial Service for Mrs. Lovell will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, Illinois on Friday, 08 September at 11:00 CDT. Marilyn will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, monetary gifts may be made in memory of Marilyn Lovell to Northwestern Memorial Foundation supporting Lake Forest Hospital APP Critical Care Fellowship: @foundation.nm.org .

FMI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Marilyn

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