Marilyn Alys Billings Claus, 74, of Westerville, Ohio, passed away on Tuesday, December 15th, 2020. She was born on May 1, 1946 in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of the late Howard James and Reba Sleeth Billings. Marilyn was one of five children in the Billings family -- the middle child and always the peacemaker.
Marilyn attended and graduated from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, where she met her husband, George Claus. They were happily married on August 10, 1968. After college, Marilyn worked as a teacher and then at Anheuser-Busch in Columbus, Ohio.
Although Marilyn may not be present with us on this earth, she will always be in our hearts. She touched all those that knew her and her kindness and compassion for others will forever be imprinted in our hearts and minds. Marilyn was a devoted grandma, mother, sister and friend to all and who always put others before herself. She truly was an angel on earth and will continue to look over those she loved from Heaven. Marilyn loved family -- nothing brought her more pleasure than spending time with her grandchildren Sydney, Cooper and Tucker. They would play cards and games, get half lost, go out for meals, watch baking shows together, sing songs in the car, and make frequent trips to the toy store. She absolutely spoiled her grandchildren (in a good way as her grandchildren would say). She loved to come see her grandchildren play in their sporting events and school activities and was always so proud of them.
As a mother, there was no better role model for Ed and I. Marilyn was lovingly devoted to our dad, George, and to us. Marilyn was selfless and sacrificed for others. She left teaching and worked 3rd shift while we were growing up so we never came home to an empty house after school. Time and time again, she put us and others before herself. She was the most kind, compassionate and giving person who will forever be missed and never forgotten.
Marilyn was a loving sister who spoke often of her fond memories with her siblings especially the summers at Hatch Lake growing up. She followed and kept track of all her nieces and nephews over the years even when distance did not allow her to travel as often. Nothing made her smile more than to talk about her children, grandchildren and family.
She loved the holidays -- all holidays from Christmas to unbirthdays, Marilyn always had something special planned. The holidays were always a time full of joy and togetherness with family. Marilyn typically had all her Christmas presents wrapped and ready to go by December 1. Afterall, she was Mrs Claus!
In her spare time, Marilyn loved to watch old classic musicals, worked on her artwork -- she made her own wrapping paper for every gift, read, made homemade crafts for those she loved, baked, sang, and played board games.
She was also quite a card shark. Marilyn participated in monthly card club gatherings for over 20 years with some of her closest of friends. Marilyn was an avid Buckeye fan and never missed a football or basketball game. She was also a member of Central College Presbyterian Church for over forty years.
Marilyn is survived by her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, Lori, Scott, Sydney, Cooper and Tucker Nickel of Powell, Ohio, son and daughter-in-law Edward and Shannon Claus and children Alex Harris and Ryan Justice of Westerville, Ohio, brother Bruce (spouse Christina) Billings of Ocala, Florida, and sisters Barbara Seels of McMurray, Pennsylvania, Sylvia (spouse Bud) Brown of Mooresville, North Carolina and Marjorie (spouse Paul) Martinez of Eaton, New York.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband, George.
A family service will be held on Monday, December 21st at Blendon Central Cemetery at 10:30 am. Internment by Hill Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made in Marilyn’s honor to the American Heart Association Go Red foundation at https://www.goredforwomen.org/.
The family will hold celebration of life in the spring/early summer. The date will be posted later.