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.

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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 It's O.K. today grandchildren to see her often. Someone was visiting her almost every day. And we loved that! She loved games like 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!

Want to share your condolences?

If you’re in the mourning process or want to help loved ones in the process of mourning consider signing the guestbook, adding to the timeline, or sending flowers to the beloved.

Family

  • 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

Author

Sherri Woolley

Post Date

Jul 20, 2020

Contribute

“In lieu of flowers...”

https://al-anon.org/contributions/

Personal Info

Born

Pegram, Idaho, United States

Died

Taylorsville, Utah, United States

Age

89

Lived

  • Pocatello, Idaho, United States

Worked For

  • Mountain Bell

Education

  • High School
    Montpelier High School, ID, US
Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.

Guestbook

Sincere Sympathy to family and friends. She was such an inspiration to Al-Anon. She will be will us in memory for many years. Yet dearly missed in person. Thank you for being there! Debbie S

Debbie S. Aug 06, 2020

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!!!!!

Gail Kern , Chubbuck, ID, US Aug 05, 2020

Buckshot and Marilyn will be forever a huge part of my life and recovery . I met them in 1981 and thanks to their help I have been sober since. I and my family have many fond memories of time spent with Buckshot and Marilyn.

Eldridge C Kern Jr. "Sonny" , Pocatello, ID, US Jul 26, 2020

She was the sweetest person right to the end. We'll sure miss her!

Thank you Sonny!

Sherri

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

So sorry to hear of the loss of such a wonderful and inspiring lady. She was so instrumental to my recovery and always there with words of wisdom to share.

Tracy Beeton , Pocatello , ID, US Jul 25, 2020

She was amazing and will be greatly missed.

Thank you Tracy.

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

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.

Barbara "Hopkins" Andersen , Albion, ID, US Jul 24, 2020

Oh Barbara, thank you for this wonderful message! We did have some fun times, didn't we? I'm glad you got to know her at the telephone company. She was a sweetheart. Hugs!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

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

Ann and Thematic McCarty , Pocatello, ID, US Jul 24, 2020

Oh thank you Annie for sharing those wonderful memories. Our families were pretty close back then.

How is your mom doing? Tell her Hi!!

Hugs!!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

I went to school with Marilyn and always enjoyed her joyful love of life. My condolences to your family. I know that your memories of her will help you through this time.

Arlene M. Henley Jul 24, 2020

Thank you Arlene. If you knew her you loved her. She was pretty amazing.

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

Ah Sherri, I'm so sorry. I loved her as my second mom. So many many memories, mostly good. 😃 Who can forget the bullet cookies. Think of you all often. We lost my mom in Nov after 2 years battling lung cancer. I know the hollow feeling that remains. Love you.

Julie

Julie Lowe Tuckett Jul 24, 2020

Oh Julie, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. She was so much fun, and yes, like a second mom to me. We loved our moms. Bullet cookies! Ha, I don't think I'll ever live that down. Haha.

Our moms will always be a treasure. Love you, dear friend. Hugs!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

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

Ted Corrington , Chubbuck, ID, US Jul 24, 2020

Thank you Ted for sharing. She will be greatly missed.

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

I enjoyed Marilyn so much. She was so full of wisdom. I spent many hours talking and listening to her. I will never forget her smile. RIP sweet Marilyn. God bless your family.

Jerre Wise , Pocatello, ID, US Jul 23, 2020

Thank you Jerre.

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

Marilyn was so much fun and was always happy. It was wonderful to know her. Condolences to you and your family. Love, The Farnsworth family.

Robin Farnsworth , Los Lunas, NM, US Jul 22, 2020

Thanks Robin! Thanks for always taking the time to come see us. I didn't know how hard it would be to lose my mom. You know. Thank you. Love you dear friend!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

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.

Cass Fonnesbeck , Pocatello, ID, US Jul 22, 2020

Oh, thank you for this wonderful tribute, Cass. She loved you too!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

Kent and Sheri: We are so sorry for your loss. We love you both and pray that the comforter will be with you.

Darrell and Kim Best , West Valley City, UT, US Jul 22, 2020

Thank you. And thank you for the beautiful plant, dear friends. So beautiful and a very sweet remembrance of her. Love you two!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

So sorry for your loss. Although I didn’t keep in touch so much, thought of Marylin and your family often.

My thoughts often to return to my youth of being able to spend a few days in Pocatello there hanging with Kevin.

Also outlet reunions with Marylin and her positive outlook.

Kevin Fairbourn , Sandy, UT, US Jul 22, 2020

Thank you Kevin. They had "fiddlers" that came to Legacy House of Taylorsville for entertainment. She was always watching to see if one of them was you! :)

We need a reunion!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

We were only able to meet sweet Marilyn a couple of times, but that was all it took for us to fall in love with her and her amazing personality! We love you Woolley family and please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. ❤️Jason, Lenore, Jacob, Joshua and Jenny

The Corey Family Jul 22, 2020

Thank you for all you do for us dear friends (family really!)

We love you all!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

I love you so much I wish I would have hot to see you before you left us I will always remember your sweet voice and your loving heart!

Alyssa Henrie , West Valley City , UT, US Jul 22, 2020

Oh, you are so sweet. Thank you Alyssa!

Sherri Woolley Jul 31, 2020

Timeline


  • 2020
  • 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! ;)