Marilyn Theresa McLaren

February 14, 1941January 10, 2021

McLaren, Marilyn T. F. (nee Watson), born to us on February 14, 1941 to parents Orville and Marie (Hyland) Watson in Halifax, lost to us all January 10, 2021 in Halifax.

Marilyn was a genuine lady, a loving wife to me (John), and a wonderful mother to 3 unique children, Daniel (Charlie), Chris (Renee) and Cynthia. She is also survived by her sisters, Gloria (Roger) and Karen (Robert) in Ottawa as well as her grandchildren Evan, Emily-Cerys, Nadine, Thea and Jack. She always lived life to the fullest and was an exceptional friend to people she liked.

Marilyn was an executive secretary, a figure skater and coach and one of the founders of the Bedford Skating Club. She was involved in ballet with Halifax Dance and at one point was the ballet consultant for Nova Scotia and she also assisted in the formation of the Atlantic Ballet Company. She was a member of Alan Wylie’s and John Cook’s art classes for several years at 10 Mile house in Bedford and was instrumental in having it saved as a historic site. She enrolled in the 2-year Costume Studies Program at Dalhousie University at age 52 and graduated with Honours. Marilyn was one of very few to be invited to attend a 3rd year that featured advanced costume design as well as set design and was also awarded the Woman’s Award of Excellence. Robert Doyle was her professor and mentor and on graduating he recommended her for the position as Head of Wardrobe for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo where she enjoyed a 25 year career running the costume department and in later years assumed the duties of costume designer. Marilyn designed and created costumes for Eastern Front Theatre and Opera Nova Scotia over the years and oversaw the production of hundreds of costumes that Bob Doyle designed for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1999 Pan Am games in Winnipeg. Looking for an activity we could both enjoy we joined the archery club at CFB Halifax. Once involved, Marilyn went full tilt as usual and was awarded medals at tournaments all over Nova Scotia, she became a certified coach and a provincial judge and was a board member at Osprey Archery Club for many years. I kept wondering what she would do next, but will have to wait and see. Marilyn will be missed by me, and hundreds of people who were lucky enough to know her over the years.

Love John

At this time a private family ceremony will be held.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Marilyn Theresa McLaren

have a memory or condolence to add?

Beth Windeler

January 17, 2021

My heartfelt condolences to John, Danny, Cindy, Chris, family members and dear friends of Marilyn.

Marilyn was tiny, but she was mighty. Her million dollar smile as well as her passion, kindness and energy will long be remembered and cherished.

As a young woman starting ballet classes during Chance to Dance in 1978 and later as an administrator at Halifax Dance, barely a day went by when I did not receive encouragement and mentorship from Marilyn.

I always admired the entire McLaren family, and was inspired by the devotion that was so apparent in John and Marilyn’s relationship.

Rest in peace dear Marilyn.

Robert Reicker

January 17, 2021

My deepest condolence to you John and your family. I have fond memories of Marilyn from the Tattoo. It was an honor to know such a great lady.

Mary Lou Martin

January 16, 2021

Dear, sweet, fierce Marilyn, thank you for all you have done for Halifax Dance and for me over the years. You were a mentor and a cheerleader when I was a young teacher, your passion for dance and for the school was infectious. Your kindness and generosity were unwavering. I am so happy we had a few super fun lunch dates the last few years when Cyndi visited. I am honoured to be counted among your friends. Condolences and big love to John, Cyndi, Danny and Chris.

Janna Mae Ballesteros

January 16, 2021

Dear John and family,
My deepest condolences to your family, Marilyn was an exceptional teacher and life coach to me, but more importantly she was a wonderful mother-figure to me.
She will be missed.
My condolences and prayers to your family.

Sincerely, Janna.

Barbara Forster

January 16, 2021

I knew Marilyn in the late 1970's and early 80's when I was involved with the board of Halifax Dance Association. She was so supportive and always so full of energy - often wondered how so much energy could fit into such a tiny package. We lost touch when I moved to Alberta so I missed out on her continued amazing accomplishments. What an incredible life she led and what an empty space she has left behind - yet one filled with treasured memories for those who knew her. My condolences to the family and friends who miss having her in their lives.

Robin and Dave Biggs

January 16, 2021

To John and family
With our heartfelt sympathy. So sorry to hear of Marilyn passing.
May it bring some comfort and help ease your sorrow, to know that warmest thoughts are there with everyone of you.
Many hugs, John
We will always be here for you if you need a listening ear. Your friends.
Robin and Dave (no puppy yet)

Lindsay Gregory

January 16, 2021

Nothing but smiles and warm hugs come to mind when I think of Marilyn. Biggest of hugs to you all.

Ed and Cathy Kerr

January 16, 2021

John and family. We were so sorry to hear of Marilyn’s passing. We met you both at the Westin attending a brunch arranged by Eric. It was lovely meeting you both and we have thought of you often. Eric was so fond of the two of you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Eric’s family from Windsor.

Randy Hart

January 16, 2021

John, I am so sorry for your loss. Marilyn was very special.

Dean Oakley

January 16, 2021

John my sincere condolences to you and your family!
I so much enjoyed shooting with the two of you at the
Archery tornaments , she was a inspiration and will be
Greatly missed by myself and our fellow archers!

Dean Oakley