Marilyn Jean (Sharp) Neill, 89, a long-time Fredonia resident, died Saturday, March 20, 2021, at Morningstar Care Home in Neodesha where she had lived the past few months.
She was born in Fredonia Dec. 6, 1931, to Arlo and Cleone (Smith) Sharp, the oldest of four children. She attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse, and graduated from Fredonia High School in 1949.
On Jan. 6, 1952, she married George Neill in Fredonia, and the couple lived in Washington State a short while as he trained for service in Korea with the U.S. Army. When he deployed, Marilyn returned to Fredonia where she worked and volunteered her entire life. Mr. Neill died March 17, 1996.
She worked for USD 484 for several years, and retired as a bank branch manager, but didn’t get to actually retire, for she spent time with nearly every community organization. Among her community work, was her service with the Rotary Club, PEO, Fredonia Regional Hospital Foundation, Fredonia Housing Authority, 1910 Club, Fredonia Chamber, Fredonia Tourism Committee, Fredonia Business Women, Extension Council board and units, Homecoming committee, for which she worked tirelessly on the annual window displays, headed the mini-reunions and the “Fredonia Has Talent” show.
She volunteered for many school and sports activities, and was deeply involved with the local FCCLA organization. She also was a member of the selection board for ribbons awarded at the Wilson County Classic basketball tournament. In addition, she was dedicated to working with 4-Hers and was a superintendent at the Wilson County Fair.
A member of the Presbyterian Church until it closed, she then became a member of the First United Methodist Church.
Survivors include her two daughters, Jeannine Neill of Park City, Janice Chenoweth and husband John of Fredonia; two grandchildren, Carey Jones and husband Chad of Colby, Robert Chenoweth and wife Lindsey of Kansas City, Mo.; two sisters, Marita (Sharp) Wilkinson of Gainesville, Fla., Sharon (Sharp) Green of Mount Vernon, Ind..
In addition to her husband George, her parents and brother Dale Sharp preceded her in death.
Services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 27, at the First United Methodist Church in Fredonia under the direction of the Wickham Family Funeral Home in Fredonia. Burial will be in the Fredonia City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held at Wickham Family Funeral Home, 510 N. 7th Street, Fredonia, from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday, March 26.
Memorial donations may be made to Fredonia Area Community Foundation or Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and may be left at or sent to the funeral home.