Marilyn Anne Barlow

April 5, 1932May 14, 2019

Marilyn Anne Barlow, 87 years old, died Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at her home in Irvine, California. Marilyn battled with ovarian cancer and was very positive throughout her fight for her life. Her strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried her through 5 months of procedures.

Marilyn was born April 5, 1932 in Boston, Massachusetts to Harold and Edith McCarthy. She was the middle child of her older sister and younger brother, Ann and Bob, who passed before her.

Known for her ease in frequent conversation, even with total strangers, (because she was a greeter at Mariners Church in Irvine, California), Some may be surprised to learn of the extreme shyness of her youth. Yet even as a child, she possessed a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor. Through her life she maintained a sweet and simple demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many, who even now are being changed by her witness of constant nurturing, love and faith. Her signature gift of joy, shown through her constant smiling, laughter, and joking around, will never be forgotten.

After graduating from Medford High School, she moved from Medford, Massachusetts to Los Angeles, California with her family. She worked at Standard Oil with Marvel Sinclair who introduced her to her sweetheart, Ken Barlow. The couple were married within three months on February 5, 1954 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Married for 61 years, Marilyn and Ken raised their 4 children, Karen, Mark, Chris and Ray over the years in Wichita, Kansas, San Pedro, California and Newport Beach, CA. She was a stay at home mom while the children were young and attended Harbor College and California State University of Long Beach to achieve getting her Bachelors degree and became a second grade teacher when her children were in high school. She taught second grade for 17 years in Westminster School District. Possessing a true servant's heart, Marilyn faithfully cared for family and friends through family gatherings. With a real zest for life, Marilyn loved to dance, write, read, pray, paint, draw (especially with her Grandchildren), chat with friends and family and travel... just to name a few. She was an artist, a teacher, a pilot, and a greeter at church but she would say her greatest accomplishment was her loving family.

After the couple's retirement, they moved to Irvine, California. She learned to fly along with Ken and they enjoyed flying their Beechcraft Bonanza plane. She loved to paint and graduated from Irvine Valley College with an Associates degree in Art. She took many classes at the Irvine Senior Center where she met many great friends that liked to paint as well.

A life well lived - Marilyn will be deeply missed by all who knew her!

Her surviving family members are numerous, but mainly include:

Husband of 61 years: Kenneth L. Barlow Children and Partners: Karen and John Higgins, Mark and Kathleen Barlow, Chris Barlow, Ray and Diane Barlow

Grandmother of 6: Kelly Christopherson, Ryan Higgins, Camille Standen, Haley Salazar, Kara Beers and Emilie Barlow.

Great-Grandmother of 4: Mikaela, Kiley and Cassidy Christopherson, Jasmine Harrell (with 2 more great grandchildren on the way)

Immediate family: Father and Mother, Harold & Edith McCarthy; sister, Ann Duffey; and brother, Bob McCarthy who all passed before Marilyn.

Other family members: Unfortunately too many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews to even count.

There will be a Memorial Service at Mariners Chapel, 5001 Newport Coast Dr., Irvine, CA 92603 on May 30, 2019 at 11:00 am. A luncheon reception for the family and close friends will be held in the Upper Room on the same grounds as the chapel immediately following the service.

On May 31, 2019 at 10:15am, there will be a 30 minute service at Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside, CA 92518 so Marilyn can be laid to rest with her sweetheart Ken Barlow. The family is deeply grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers and support in many heart-felt forms from to many to name individually, but including family and friends - either through prayer and/or visits, neighbors, and even random acts of kindness through total "strangers". A special thank you to Holly Mitchell (her caregiver & friend while she was sick) and her little dog Blue who helped Marilyn enjoy life to the fullest!

This Obituary was written by Karen Higgins, in honor of my dearest Mother. It is my tribute to her memory, which will be carried on in the legacy of love which is now in each of us--the lives she formed and touched by her love.


30 May

Memorial Service

11:00 am

Mariners Chapel

5001 Newport Coast Dr.
Irvine, CA 92603

A luncheon reception for the family and close friends will be held in the Upper Room on the same grounds as the chapel immediately following the service.
31 May

Committal Service

10:15 am

Riverside National Cemetery

22495 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, CA 92518


Marilyn Anne Barlow

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kathy Rascon

May 24, 2019

I am truly sorry to hear of Marilyn's passing. We had many great talks. I was her Avon lady for years. When I visited her it was always a joy. She was so gracious. Treating me like a best friend, going to lunch at the farm restaurant, always such a special day for me.
Later after I left Avon, I continued our visits along with my friend Susan Gillette. She welcomed Susan like she knew her forever. I will miss her joy for life and hearing about her beautiful family that she loved so much. God has a very special angel with him. A blessing that she is again with Ken. Such a sweet man. They were so in love. Praying for peace and comfort to Karen and entire family.
Love, Kathy Rascon.