Life Story / Obituary
Marilyn Matula, 84
Marilyn Matula passed away surrounded by her loving family on February 10 at the Inn at Freedom Village. A woman who once lived a vibrant inspiring life, Marilyn had suffered a major stroke 13 years ago that left her paralyzed, in a wheelchair, and dependent upon others. Despite any limitations, Marilyn brought joy to all those whose lives she touched.
She was born on August 11, 1935 to parents Robert and Barbara Greenwood and grew up in an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Macatawa in a home filled with a love of music and dance. She first began teaching dancing lessons to local children on the family lawn. Marilyn later purchased the Osterhouse Dance Studio where she taught ballet, tap and acrobatics to hundreds of local children and young adults.
In 2000, Marilyn retired from Donnelly Corporation where she had ascended early in her career to manager of communications and the first woman executive in the company’s history. For over 30 years Marilyn championed Donnelly personnel with her creative images, newsletters, events, employee picnics and as the originator of the 25 year club. All who knew her considered Marilyn a friend.
Marilyn’s parents were founding members of what today is the Holland Civic Theater and she followed closely in their footsteps with a love of theater and talent for making it happen. For decades Marilyn was widely known in the community as a very popular director and choreographer who delivered untold numbers of quality productions - dramas, comedies, or her specialty, large inclusive musicals where she taught and inspired casts of all ages and abilities to dance, sing and perform.
Marilyn’s final act was to brighten the lives of the many caregivers who tended to her. Like all those whose lives she touched in her previous roles, they shared in her quick wit, love and laughter.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Robert Greenwood and Terrence Greenwood. She is survived by her children, Lisa Perry, Tom Perry, Mike and Linda Perry and Robin and Jon Rodgers, grandchildren Alex, Hunter, Adam, Kara, Curtis, Ryan and Jonathon, ten great grandchildren, her sister Melodie Moermond, and many cherished nieces and nephews.
No services are planned at this time. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life event is anticipated in the summer.
Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Downtown Chapel.