Marilyn (Yates) Herr 1937 -2024
Described as a spiritual mother to everyone who came to her, willing to take on the burdens of others, Jeanne Marilyn Herr, 86, of San Clemente, California, died on January 17, 2024.
Marilyn was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on June 9, 1937, to Frank and Willa Mae Yates. The oldest of two children. She would often recall the places she and her family lived with fondness and share stories from her earliest memories of Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Indiana. She’d reminisce about the unique landscapes, climbing trees, and playing with her brother, Ralph. Once her father no longer actively worked for the government, he moved the family from Florida to Southern California where she attended high school in Huntington Park and Whittier.
Marilyn attended and was actively involved in student life at Whittier College, in dance and cheerleading, also majoring in psychology. She switched her major to Education and achieved a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential.
While at Whittier College, Marilyn met Leonard “Dick” Herr, who was encouraged by a friend to ask her out. Although Dick was reluctant, he invited her on a date and quickly realized “she was a catch!” They were married on June 5th, 1959, in Whittier. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage until Dick’s passing in 2021.
After marrying, Marilyn taught second grade in East Whittier School District for three years and then upgraded her position to that of “Home Manager” with the birth of her oldest child. As a young mother, Marilyn was given the opportunity to act as children’s director at their church in La Habra, which ignited a lifelong passion for church lay ministry.
While living in La Habra, Marilyn and Dick had two sons, Bobby and Kevin. In 1965, Dick became an administrator in the Capistrano Unified School District and the family moved to San Clemente where their two daughters, Kimberly and Kristen, were born.
Marilyn, along with Dick, became active in The First Baptist Church of San Clemente (now Pacific Coast Church.) Marilyn took on roles of service, teaching, and leading. Later in life, she and Dick were asked to mentor married couples. Some beautiful friendships grew out of these relationships.
Marilyn enjoyed studying and learning. As a deep thinker, she found wisdom in the pages of her Bible and stability in her faith in Christ. She prayed for guidance and spent a significant time in prayer for others, her children and grandchildren.
Marilyn also enjoyed the arts. She sang in the choir and played the guitar. She took art classes and painted, crafted, gardened, and created. She hosted in her home, preparing special dishes and baking.
Among many friends, past and present, two of her closest friends were Ralph and Marilyn Yates, her brother and sister-in-law. With Dick, the four would take their growing families on camping adventures and celebrate holidays together. As “empty nest” couples, they would share vacations and attend special events, delighting in each other’s company.
Although she would describe herself as an introvert, Marilyn will be remembered as someone who enjoyed conversation. She had a beautiful smile and appreciated a good sense of humor. She loved to share stories about her past experiences and encourage with words of wisdom.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Yates and Willa Mae George, as well as her husband of sixty-two years, Dick Herr.
She is survived by her brother, Ralph (Marilyn) Yates, her children; Bobby (Kiki) Herr, Kevin Herr, Kim (David) Stephens, and Kristen (Jeff) Massey. Additionally, her eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A private, graveside service will be held for family.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held Saturday, February 3rd at 1:00pm at Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente.
Celebration Of Life
- Date & Time: February 3, 2024 (1:00 PM)
- Venue: Pacific Coast Church
- Location: 2651 Calle Frontera San Clemente, CA 92673 - (Get Directions)