Marilyn Ada Coy Zwicker

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Marilyn "Ada" Coy Zwicker

March 20, 1923 - January 08, 2019

Merritt Island - Marilyn Ada Coy Zwicker Marilyn 'Ada' Coy Zwicker, 95, mother of six, world hiker/traveler, and friend to everyone she met, took every opportunity to 'live her life to the fullest'....
Marilyn Zwicker died beautifully on her own terms at Merritt Island, FL on January 8, 2019. She had a wonderfully long and adventurous life shared with lots of loving family and friends.
Born in Milo, Maine, on March 20, 1923, Marilyn was married to Kenneth F. Zwicker in 1946. Ken predeceased her in 1994. Her eldest son, James K. Zwicker, also predeceased her in 2003. As well, a later partner of 9 years, Maurice Rosebush, of Milo, Maine, predeceased her in 2011.
Survivors include her sister, Lois Doyle; her son, Kurt Zwicker (Susan Stetson); her daughter, Liana Haubrich (Jeffrey Gale); her daughter, Susan Laufter; her daughter, Linda Bournival (Rob Armstrong); her daughter, Jennifer Ledbetter (Gerald Ledbetter); four granddaughters: Leah Sandberg, Zola Luebkeman, Inga Hoag and Sadie Haubrich; two grandsons: Seth Bournival and Peter Haubrich; eight great-grandchildren: Calvin, Ada, Alma, Kaya, Leona, Lucinda, Orion, and Blake, and many nieces and nephews.
Marilyn grew up in Milo, Maine as one of seven children born to Aubrey & Susan Coy. She graduated from The University of Maine with a BA in 1944. After marrying Kenneth Zwicker in 1946 and having their first three children while living in Bangor and Ellsworth, ME; in 1953 they moved to Ridgewood, NJ, so that Ken could run a newspaper there, for his employer, Jim Ewing, of The Bangor Daily News. While being in NJ for less than one year, a new offspring, Susan, was added to their growing brood. Realizing that they wanted more elbow room for raising their fast-growing family, it was at this time that Ken decided to accept an offer to run a different newspaper,The Keene Sentinel, that Jim Ewing had just acquired in Keene, NH.
Keene and Marlborough, NH were where their final two children were born. Cheshire County proved to be a perfect fit for their growing crew, and the many rural adventures from climbing Mt. Monadnock, blueberrying, fiddleheading, skiing, sledding, skating, swimming, to dirt road-exploring, fireside-breakfast picnics with Ken's ukulele, and vacationing on Cranberry Island in ME, all constantly taking place with Marilyn 'at the wheel'.
Marilyn's answer to, "How did you raise so many kids with no extended, family help nearby?"
was, "When you can't beat them, you have to join them. It always saves the day."
Besides having an open-door policy and constantly feeding impromptu, groups of people (she was a terrific cook!); while raising her family, Marilyn had a penchant for taking in 'extras' whenever there was a chance. The first exchange student she hosted was, Nuri, from Turkey. Then, later in Marilyn's retirement when she began to travel, she had a chance to visit Turkey and get the red carpet treatment in return from Nuri and his family. This kind of exchange happened again when Marilyn volunteered to host four brothers, at various times, as Mexican exchange students from the School for International Living in Brattleboro, VT. This time, the return volley was a future hosting for one member of our family in Mexico City in 1968. It was a tremendous cultural opportunity, to say the least! In addition to opening her family doors for cultural and educational reasons, Marilyn never hesitated to give care to elderly or disabled relatives, as well. Her generosity in this way was quite commendable considering the many family responsibilities she was always juggling.
When Marilyn's brood was in high school and beyond, she became more active in civic organizations such as The League of Women Voters, The Unitarian Church, Driving for the Red Cross, and helping on a local hotline. Then, when her 'chicken's all eventually flew the coop', it was about this time that Ken retired and began to have physical issues that put him in a wheelchair. She took this new challenge in stride and didn't let it stop her from the new-found, Sierra Club group that she had begun to hike, canoe, ski and snowshoe with extensively---hiking ALL The White Mts., parts of The Appalachian Trail, The Allagash, many of the sporting camps and islands of Maine, as well as, many traveling and hiking tours all over the US, Canada and Europe. Each time another trip was planned, she would put care-takers in place for Ken. Eventually, he got used to the fact that it was 'her' turn to be out of the house. When Ken died in 1994 and all Marilyn's children had homes of their own, she sold their Keene house and began to travel in earnest, alighting with any one of her children and their families between trips. It was a brilliant way to get the most out of all those kids she so lovingly gave her life to, as well as, having a way to stay connected with them all in a real and meaningful way.
When Marilyn turned 81 and began to accept that her adventuring and traveling was becoming too much for her, a fellow from her high school years in Milo, Maine, Maurice Rosebush, now a widower, got in touch with her. For the next nine years they lived and traveled together between his winter abode in Stuart, FL and his summer camp on Ebeemee Lake in Brownville, ME. It was a fitting, next chapter for the easy-going 'gypsy' that she had become. She cherished her summers with Maurice back on a lake in the Maine woods where she had come from, but also, loved the kinder weather of Florida each winter when they made the trek south.
When Maurice died in 2011, it became appropriate for Marilyn to resume her 'round robin' living with her children, again. At this point, she could no longer drive, and began to need more help getting around. For the next eight years her large family of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren lovingly shared their lives with her in Maine, NH, Vermont, Georgia, and Florida.
In all of her life's chapters, not only did she make a rich ride for herself, but also for everyone else she was sharing it with! We are all endlessly grateful for everything that she has given us!
"May you go out in Joy and be led forth in Peace;
May the Mountains and the Hills burst into Song for YOU,
And may all the Trees of the Field CLAP THEIR HANDS!"
Isiah 55:12
A graveside, family ceremony will take place in Milo, Maine after the winter.
Published on January 23, 2019
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2 posts

Lynn Alderman Sikes
Jan 24, 2019
I was so sorry to hear of Marilyn's passing. What a wonderful lady !! My mother, Edith Rosebush Alderman, so enjoyed her company during the summers on Ebeemee Lake. Around 4ish in the afternoons she would say, I'm off to see Marilyn and have a glass of wine. They had a wonderful friendship. My Mom passed in 2015. - I'm sure she was one of the ones in line greeting her in heaven. My sincerest condolences on your loss.
Jan 16, 2019