Marilyn Oldefest

Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 5:07 pm
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Marilyn J. Oldefest, 86, of Milan, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at Trinity Rock Island.
Visitation will be Friday, Nov. 30, from 4 until 7 p.m., at First Lutheran Church, 1230 5th Ave., Moline. Services will be Saturday, Dec. 1, at the church, at 10 a.m., with burial at Moline Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Wendt Funeral Home in Moline.
Marilyn Jean Barclay Miller Incerto Oldefest was born on Oct. 2, 1926, in Rock Island, the daughter of Bernays Lucian Barclay "Papa" and Elizabeth Lavenus Lees "Toodie." Marilyn grew up in Coal Valley and attended Garfield Elementary, John Deere Junior High and Moline High School.
Music always was a part of Marilyn's life: as a member of the Moline Youth Chorus (14-16) and performed with Lawrence Welk in an act entitled, "The Two Young Ladies of Song" during 1942. She sang on the radio in 1943, with the late Florentina (Palos) Rasso, on the WHBF Radio Mutual Network and had a lead role in the first Quad City Music Guild production, "Sweethearts."
Marilyn was a member of the following organizations: Rock Island Fine Arts Club; Ottumwa Community Players; East Moline Woman's Club; Upper R.I. County Woman's Club and the Quad City Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society.
Marilyn met Robert E. Miller in 1944, while he was on leave from the Navy. They were married on Aug. 12, 1945, in a whirlwind World War II romance. Bob passed away in 1967. Marilyn later married Anthony Francis Incerto on Oct. 22, 1977. They lived in East Moline, where Tony was retired from the Arsenal. Tony passed away in 1990. Marilyn married Willis H. Oldefest on Oct. 16, 1993. They lived in Milan near the airport. Willis passed away in 2011.
Marilyn worked as a waitress at the Walgreens on 15th Street and 5th Avenue; Deere & Company in the mail room and as an elevator operator; choral director at Riverdale High School; a personnel office clerk typist at the Rock Island Arsenal and choir director at First Baptist, Trinity Lutheran and Calvary Lutheran churches.
Faith in God was a major part of Marilyn's life as exemplified by her longtime membership and service at First Lutheran Church, Moline, where she often sang in the choir and performed many solos.
The fine arts always were alive for Marilyn including art, teaching children, organizing shows and numerous programs for children and adults alike. Music was her preferential art form, however, she was a classic person who enjoyed all the fine arts and encouraged a love of them in all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Marilyn said the most important role of her life was of being a mother to her children and extended family. She loved and encouraged each individually as well as a total family group. She was especially known by family and friends alike for her ability to make you feel special each and every time you interacted with her. Her love, care, concern and laugh will be deeply missed by all.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, James Barclay; her husbands; and son-in-law, Chuck Toppert.
She is survived by six children, Judy Toppert, Hillsdale, Jennifer (Joe) Pacha, Coal Valley, Jeffery Miller, Milan, Jayne (Decker) Ploehn, Bettendorf, Julius (Melissa) Miller, Cordova, and Jon (Tammy) Miller, Washington, Ill.; five stepchildren, Mike Incerto, Buffalo Grove, David Incerto, Hutchison, Kan., Jon Lundahl, Reno, Nev., David (Rita) Griffin, Milan, and Ron (Claudia) Griffin, Milan.
Marilyn also is survived by 20 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the following: Robert E. Miller Scholarship Fund at Riverdale High School; First Lutheran Church, Moline; and Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer for the Cure.
Online condolences may be sent at


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