Marilyn Freeman Bills passed away peacefully on July 16, 2020 at 2:45 a.m. with her daughter and son-in-law (a son to her), Sherri and Kent Woolley at her side.
Marilyn was a joy to be around! She was happy and content. She did not complain and didn’t have expectations. She could beat anyone at Pinochle, and you were lucky to learn the game and tricks from her.
Marilyn was born in Pegram, Idaho on Nov. 6, 1930 to DeVarel and Caroline Freeman. She had one older brother, Jack Freeman. She would have been 90 years old in November this year.
Her father was a sheep man and she grew up on a ranch in Border, Wyoming. At a young age she had chores on the ranch and helped her mother fix and serve meals to their hired help.
She graduated from Montpelier High School in 1949. It was in high school that she met Wade L. Bills from Montpelier, Idaho and they were married on April 7, 1949 at Border, Wyoming.
Wade worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and they moved from Montpelier to Pocatello, Idaho where they bought and lived in a red brick house on the corner of Pine and McKinley Streets for many years. After all the kids had grown up and were gone, Dad built a beautiful cedar home for mom on Johnny Creek Road. You drove down the lane lined with Juniper trees and the house was on a knoll at end that opened up to an amazing view of the valley. We all loved that home! Dad built all the kitchen counters and cupboards lower so they were more convenient for her height.
She was a remarkable seamstress! She made most of her own clothes (she was only 4’ 2”) and made all of Sherri’s prom dresses, which were beautiful. She made clothes, quilts and soft blankets for her grandchildren.
Mom retired after working over 15 years for Mountain Bell as a hostess in the break room. She would go early in the morning, pick up doughnuts, make coffee and keep the break room tidy. Everyone loved her and she made many dear friends.
Dad was an alcoholic most of their married life. In 1975 he sobered up and started going to Alcoholics Anonymous and Mom started going to Al-Anon – the program for friends and family of alcoholics. They were totally committed to the programs and served, supported, and helped many, many people. Mom was the Idaho Delegate for Al-Anon for a few years and traveled to New York, Hawaii and many other places as she represented Idaho Al-Anon. Little 4’ 2’ Marilyn. She was amazing!!
Wade smoked most of his life. He finally quit but still died of lung cancer at home on Nov. 2, 1998. Mom continued to live in her beautiful home, with the help of her son L.D., and son Kevin and his wife Varina until 2018 when she move to Legacy House of Taylorsville, Utah to be closer to her daughter, Sherri and many of her grandchildren.
Sherri was so happy! She was 5.5 miles and 15 minutes away for the first time in over 40 years, making it possible for Sherri and many of her grandchildren to see her often. Someone was visiting her almost every day. And we loved that! She loved games like
It's O.K. today Pinochle, Las Vegas rummy, Yahtzee and Phase 10 dice. She was always up for a game.
Everyone at Legacy loved Marilyn! She was happy and kind and fun to be around. She made some very dear friends while she lived there. Thank you, Legacy and residents for all your kindness right to the end.
And the end was tough. Starting March 13 no one was allowed to visit Legacy residents in person because of the pandemic. So, we would drop goodies off at the front door and drive over to the north side and call her. She was able to see us from her 2nd floor apartment window and we would talk and laugh.
The week before she died, Sherri and Kent took her to the ER twice and were so grateful to see and hug her before she passed, although she was in a lot of pain the second trip to ER. Two days later, she passed away peacefully on July 16, 2020 at 2:45 a.m. with Sherri and Kent Woolley by her side.
Marilyn’s remains will be cremated and we are hoping to have a gathering to celebrate her life when it’s safe to get together after the pandemic subsides.*
In the meantime, please post comments and pictures in the timeline and sign the guestbook to celebrate Marilyn’s wonderful influence in your life.
Marilyn is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sherri & Kent Woolley and her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Varina Bills; 9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
Remember to hug your Mom!
*Little did we know it would take 1 year and 4 months to actually gather together to honor her. And we'll celebrate her on what would have been her 91st birthday!
- Survived By
- Sherri Bills Woolley (Kent), Daughter
- Kevin J. Bills (Varina), Son
- Preceded in Death By
- Wade L. Bills (Buckshot), Husband
- L.D. Bills, Son
Life Story Info
“In lieu of flowers...”https://al-anon.org/contributions/
- Pocatello, Idaho, United States
- Mountain Bell
High SchoolMontpelier High School, ID, US
Oh how we loved your Mom. Small and mighty! A firecracker in a tiny body! She helped me so much and always had a joke and a smile. How I loved hanging out with her and Frances. Now they are both together giving your Dad a bad time! We were all blessed to have had her in our life and recovery. She showed us how to do it with a smile on our face!! Hugs...you were a GREAT daughter!!
My sincere condolences to you Sherri, and Marilyn’s entire family. My heart goes out to you all, and is tender for my loss of marilyn’s love and friendship. I will remember her as a member of my Al-Anon family, a sponsor, mentor and friend. Your father passed before I met Marilyn. I feel like I knew him a bit as well, from all the things he passed down to others in his Legacy. For me, Marilyns Legacy includes many parts, including her love and acceptance of everyone. She had a beautiful spirit. She was a loving human being. Helping family and friends of Alcoholics. When I was new in Al-Anon, several of us met in Boise to attend a weekend Speaker Meeting. She included me in every part of it and made sure I felt a part of this new “family”. She was a good kind friend. I was invited to her home many times, to many individual and group get together s. Her timing. She seemed to always say the right thing at the right time, even if it was just “keep coming back“! Her humor. Just seeing her smile and hearing her laugh would brighten my mood. She had a way of telling a story that would be funny and also be very encouraging at the same time. It always gave me a different perspective on my own life’s trials. I will miss Marilyn very much. I will have great memories to keep her alive in my heart. I hope the same for you, Sherri, your family and everyone who knew her. I can see her now, leading a meeting on the other side. She’s in good hands.
I would visit Marilyn on Sundays and often share a brief message with her. I invited her to church and she replied with "I'll go with you if you go with me to an AA Meeting with me." I loved spending time with her. She once took myself and another young man from the ward to lunch. Those are some of my favorite memories of her.
She also taught me an important lesson about service. After helping stain her large deck in Pocatello she provided monetary compensation. I just loved serving her and didn't want to take the money, and she knew this was the case, but how do you say no to money when there's a note attached that says "cheerfully recieve so I can blessedly give." She's one of my favorite people and will miss her.
We loved sweet Marilyn. She was such a sweet little lady, her gift was to smile and laugh! She just made everyone happy when you were around her. As a neighbor we truly loved her. Marilyn was so kind to joseph!! Sharing a. Birthday together. She will always be in our memory. Another angel in heaven.😇
Marilyn was such a neat and loving person to everyone. I met her at one of my first Al-Anon meetings and grew a close and wonderful friendship with her. Loved her laugh and whenever I saw her to give her a hug, I got down on my knees and did a big hug. A great cook and was lucky enough to participate in her great hospitality. Couple of years ago, her and I did a road trip to meet up with her family camping along the Snake River, a great day. Will miss her!!!!!
Sherrie, I just loved your mom, when I worked in Pocatello for Ma Bell it was always so cool to take a break have coffee and see what she was cooking for lunch and hoping there would be some left when I had my lunch break. i also remember as a young girl visiting you house and remembering those fun times as children that we had. I have fond memories of her she was an amazing person. My sincere condolences to you and your family at this time.
Bills Family my Mom Thelma was a childhood friend and a great family friend with both Wade Marilyn ( Thelma and Wade lived next door to each other in Montpelier ) when they were both married my parents and yours all moved to Pocatello to work for the Railroad. My Dad FJ (Mack) McCarty and Wade fished and traveled to several RR events. Mom and Marylin played cards, camped and fished , also in the Junior / Old
Timers. When they moved to Pocatello they were our neighbors from around the block on
Richland. My Mom has sure missed Marylin the last two years after her move to Utah. Our family sends our prayers and love
So sorry to read of Marilyn’s passing. Although I didn’t know her well, I had the opportunity to meet her a couple of times in her custom built home on Pine St. I was fascinated by the low kitchen counters.
My aquaintance came through her son, L.D. Bills. He was a good friend and classmate of mine at ISU in the Drafting program. Lost touch after finishing school and getting married. Always wondered where L.D. ended up. So sorry to hear he has passed as well. May God bless your family.
Ted A. Corrington
Oh my gosh, I was surprised to learn of Marilyn's passing. I thought she would go on forever. She was my Al Anon sponsor for many years in Pocatello. She taught me so much about acceptance, patience and love. She was a delightful lady who never had a bad word to say about anyone. She would open her home to us to meet and to craft items for various dinners and events. We all would have such fun together! She loved having people around. Everyone I know loved her and wanted to be around her. I visited Marilyn often in her lovely home and missed her when she moved down to Utah, but she was excited about the new adventure and being close to her family. I know she was happy in her new home, making new friends.
I'm so sorry for your loss and ours. I'm so sorry it happened during this horrible time. I'm sure she was happy to see her husband again. She has left us with many happy memories and I am blessed to have known her. Love to all.
This was taken the first time I met Marilyn Bills at Legacy House of Taylorsville. I loved visiting with her at her dinner table. She had the best table. These ladies loved each other so much. Marilyn will be missed!
Marilyn made the best chocolate cake. I never saw her without a smile on her face. She became a special friend when she gave me rides to school. She always could make me laugh. Her daughter Sherri is one of my much loved life-long friends.
Feb 19, 2020
Game night! Grandma and Sherri teaching Luke how to play Cribbage while Kristi watches. There's a language to Cribbage; fifteen two, fifteen four, and a Paris eight! ;)
Jul 25, 2020
Small but mighty, we loved her so much love to you and your family!God bless sending love and hugs Tom & Shirley Mills
Jul 25, 2020
Had many memories with Maryland. She was a bid part of my life for many years.. Maryland And I took a trip to see a friend in southern Utah and we really had a wonderful time together.
Aug 23, 2020
Oh how we loved your mother. We send our Love Peace, and com! We know she is laughing with your Dad and raising eyebrows. She was small, but mighty!! Hugs to you and youfr family!!