Date Honored: October 2014
Marilyn Vondell (Spalding) Retherford was born in Cape Girardeau, MO and attended schools there. When I first met Marilyn, she was working at J.J. Newburys on a school work program. I was home on a weekend pass while in the Air Force and was downtown with a friend who introduced me to Marilyn. Soon after I was transferred overseas for 18 months.
Upon returning home, Marilyn and I were married, and we traveled to my next duty station in Albuquerque, NM. While there, we had four great children: Darla, Robin, Ronald, and Darren. After seven years, I was transferred again overseas and this time she and the children were able to be with me on the assignment. We were there for 18 months and then I was off to Vietnam. Upon my return, we were off for another assignment until the unit closed down and we were off again.
After that assignment was shut down, we finally arrived in Colorado Springs, where we purchased a home and have been here since.
I often praised Marilyn and wondered how she was able to get things packed and ready for the moves. She was great with our children through the years and then as the children married and had their own children. We had eight grandkids and nine great-grandkids. However, she was not able to see the ninth one. Even though she worked outside the home, the employment was civil service which included jobs with the IRS in Kansas City, here in the Springs at the USAF Academy and Peterson AFB. Later she worked for school districts primarily to have funds to travel to Europe. However, Marilyn was all about family and kids.
Marilyn passed away at home on her father’s birthday. Pikes Peak Hospice was fantastic with her care and to the end. She made several friends with the staff that came to our home to check on her and provide her comfort. Thanks to all who gave her the help that was needed.
~ Ronald L. Retherford, husband