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Walker, Marilyn Alice (née Marilyn Alice Whittet) (Died on 16 Jan 2012)
appeared in Oakville Beaver, 27 Jan 2012, p. 39

Full Text

WALKER, Marilyn Dancing was her passion; her family was her life. Marilyn Alice (Whittet) Walker died January 16th at the age of 84. She was born into an artistic family in Regina, the oldest child of church organist and choirmaster Thomas Whittet and pianist and Saskatchewan dance pioneer Ellen Chambers Whittet. She began dancing at an early age, and quickly displayed an uncommon artistry that was acknowledged well beyond the Regina city limits. While studying in New York, her talent was recognized by the legendary Jose Limon, for whom she became a demonstrator. She began operating her own dance school in Regina while still in her teens, and would continue sharing her gift throughout her life. The University of Regina asked her to establish and run its new Faculty of Dance. But she chose a different path. A frequent performer in productions at Regina's Darke Hall, she was cast in a production of 'Junior Miss' in 1945, where the young actor playing her father began showing affection that was decidedly not paternal. The romance with CKRM radio personality Bill Walker grew steadily, and they were married in 1947. Bill's ambitions lay eastward, and, following the birth of their first child, Scott, Marilyn and Bill moved to Winnipeg in 1950, where Bill became a the city's top morning radio personality. Marilyn continued to choreograph and perform, dancing with the fledgling Royal Winnipeg Ballet, while raising the family that by now included daughter Debbie. Winnipeg was a temporary stop, as Bill continued to look east, this time to Toronto. In 1955, the family settled in the suburban community of Oakville, where Marilyn took care of the home front while Bill pursued a successful career as a television host and announcer in Toronto and New York. The family continued to increase with the births of Michael and Stephen. Marilyn made a loving home, raising four children, managing the household, entertaining friends and Bill's business associates, playing bridge, and joining Bill in his passion for golf. She often joked that her playing ability wasn't the greatest, but that she played 'Catholic golf.....cross to the left, cross to the right.' Summers were divided between Lake of Bays and the dream home Marilyn and Bill built in Oakville. Marilyn also continued to choreograph for, and often danced in, local shows, and taught jazz dance well into her sixties. She was a member of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association, serving as Chair of the stage division and designing the syllabus. She was also the first Canadian member of the American Dance Teachers Association. She lost Bill in 1995, and died at the Allendale Nursing home in Milton of complications from Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by Scott and his wife Anne Wootten, Debbie and her husband Greg Parker, Michael and his wife Jackie, and Stephen and his wife Denise; her sister Shirley Falk and her husband Merv of California; her brother, Bob Whittet and his partner Janet Raynor Thorne of Victoria; nieces Kathy (Partridge and Kendall), Cynthia, Sharon, Tracy, Chelsea, Nancy, and Pat; grandchildren Amanda (and husband Mark Koronczyk), Meredith, Michael (and wife June), Gillian, and Benjamin; great-granddaughter Coco; and generations of dancers with whom she shared her passion for dance. A celebration of Marilyn's life will be held Saturday, February 4th at 11:00 AM at the Oakview Funeral Home, 56 Lakeshore Road West in Oakville. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Media Type:
Genealogical Resource
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Date of Publication:
27 Jan 2012
Date Of Event:
16 Jan 2012
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.4473682625124 Longitude: -79.6665048808289
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Walker, Marilyn Alice (née Marilyn Alice Whittet) (Died on 16 Jan 2012)