Our beloved Marilyn Helmke Horsefield passed away suddenly on Feb. 22, 2022, after bravely battling leukemia for nearly seven years. She was born on May 9,1963, in Columbus, Ohio. Her life was a precious gift to so many, including her maternal grandfather who rejoiced over their shared birthday.

Marilyn’s spirit is carried on by her adoring husband Mike, daughters Jessica and Mackenzie, sons-in-law Spencer and Jonathan and two grandchildren Ruby and Logan. Marilyn is also survived by her loving parents, Henry and Shirley Helmke, brothers Rick (and Pam), Tom (and Kim), Rob (and Roselle), a single cousin Nick and an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life. Marilyn LOVED her family.

A native of Auburn, Marilyn attended both Auburn High School and Auburn University. In her college years, Marilyn studied Political Science, and served as an intern for U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton and Congressman Bill Nichols in Washington, D.C. Marilyn was also a talented musician. She played in the marching band throughout high school and was also a member of the Auburn University Marching Band. It was there where Marilyn met fellow bandmate, Mike. Together, Mike and Marilyn’s souls became one, and their love ignited an unstoppable force best described as pure magic. They were incredibly happy and married for 36 short years.

Mike and Marilyn’s love multiplied over the years when they were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Jessica and Mackenzie, whom Mike and Marilyn describe as their “treasures.” Their family life was dynamic and ever-changing, often full of new places and faces from all over the world. Marilyn embraced being a Navy wife wholeheartedly. She enjoyed interacting with other wives regardless of their spouse’s rank or job and loved her adventures with them. She always went out of her way to make sure that everyone was included in the fun.

Marilyn immersed herself in every adventure, radiating a pure and selfless love wherever she went. An avid traveler with an insatiable appetite for adventure, nothing was too unusual or unfamiliar. She was willing to try anything. Marilyn had a heart for teaching and became a beloved English language teacher to a colorful array of Japanese, Korean, French, Belgian and Dutch students. While living in Japan, one student often described her as “sunshine.” She loved her ESL students at St. Michaels and did everything she could to make her classes fun.

Marilyn valued kindness and love. She enjoyed music; all of it; everything from Michael Jackson to Josh Groban and Flo Rida. She danced often and everywhere, passing that same love and appreciation for good music and dance parties onto her daughters.

When Marilyn’s grandchildren, Ruby and Logan, were born in 2020, their lives initiated a whole new chapter for her. ‘RuRu’ and ‘LoLo’ were her whole world, her little loves and her pride and joy. Their time together may have been cut short, but we are hopeful that “Lolly” will live on as our guardian angel.

In the days since her passing, Marilyn has been described by many as an angel among us, a cherished friend, an amazing woman and a beautiful soul. Another so aptly said, “Gentle as a dove yet protective like a hawk. She taught me how to balance motherhood with Navy wife life obligations.” 

Marilyn was the fire behind every one of Mike’s, Jessica’s, and Mackenzie’s successes. Her proudest accomplishments live on through each of them. 

Marilyn will be desperately missed by all those that she’s left behind. Our hearts are so broken by this unexpected loss. She was one of a kind.

To be loved by her was to be truly blessed. To say that she will be missed is a colossal understatement.

A funeral mass was given for her at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Auburn on Saturday, Feb. 26. There was a reception after the mass.

If Marilyn had one weakness in life, it was in her difficulty in saying “goodbye”. She was consistently an inconsolable sobbing mess and saying goodbye was always difficult for everyone around her. She felt so much love that it would hurt. Right now, we are inclined to believe she had it exactly right. So rather than say goodbye, we will instead take comfort in knowing that we will with certainty see her again and feel her warm embrace in Heaven.

In lieu of flowers, Marilyn would like you to:

Register as a bone marrow donor. It is easy and all you have to do is give a small vial of blood. There are multiple sites for information, here is one

Be a blood donor.

Donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here