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July 8, 2020

6/24/2020 12:11:00 PM
Marilyn Morin leaves legacy of Foster G'parents
Marilyn Morin, who literally built the Foster Grandparent program for Jennings and four other counties’ school districts, passed away Friday, June 19 in her adopted city of Greensburg.
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Marilyn Morin, who literally built the Foster Grandparent program for Jennings and four other counties’ school districts, passed away Friday, June 19 in her adopted city of Greensburg.
Marilyn Morin, who literally built the Foster Grandparent program for Jennings and four other counties' school districts, passed away Friday, June 19 in her adopted city of Greensburg.

According to her family, Mrs. Morin found "her true passion in life" when she moved to Madison in 1972 and began working with senior citizens through federal agencies that included the Peace Corps and VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America).

As part of those duties, she was asked to create a new program for what was then the Area on Aging. Her job was to transition a program at the former Muscatatuck State Developmental Center where senior citizens worked with babies and children into a program based in public schools in Jennings and four other counties.

The rest, they say, is history, as Marilyn pursued this goal with a dedication born out of her love for both the older and younger populations.

"She lived it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She was so dedicated," recalls Tom Lawson who served as president of the Foster Grandparents Advisory Board for years and continues in that position to this day.

"She was on the go all the time, going to all the schools, meeting the principals and making sure the grandparents were doing what they needed to do."

She was constantly concerned about the Foster Grandparents as well. It didn't matter what time of day it was, but if one needed assistance or help, she was right there. She was the best friend a Foster Grandparent could ask for, said Lawson.

It was evident to anyone who ever heard her speak about the Grand-parent Program how much she valued the program for the positive impact it had for students and seniors alike.

She would stress how seniors gained a sense of purpose and of making a positive contribution in a young person's life. On the other hand, students received assistance in their lessons combined with an older person's perspective and life experience.

Mrs. Morin described the role of Grandparents when she received the Sagamore of the Wabash back in 2016.

"Every grandparent in a classroom is there to listen, to love and to give a hug. You have listened, you have loved unconditionally, you have made them believe," she told these special people.

Marilyn was "extraordinary" in her commitment to and in her relationship with the seniors who participated in the program, noted Marcia DeBock, current director of the Foster Grandparent Program of Thrive Alliance.

There are now close to 100 participants in this program, several of whom have been with the program close to or over 20 years and originally recruited by Mrs. Morin.

Her obituary is in today's newspaper.





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