Marilynn Daily Swenson, a retired Director of nonprofit organizations, died Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the age of 91. Ms. Swenson was born in Kingston, PA on November 9, 1932. She was a resident of Midlothian, VA where she lived and served her church and community for the past 19 years. She was pre-deceased by her parents Esther Banks Parkinson and Paul Russell Daily of northeastern Pennsylvania.
Marilynn was known as a person who showed care and sought justice in all her professional and personal activities. Her volunteerism in the community included working with various nonprofit organizations which helped people in need. Most recently, she was a Spiritual Caregiver for the Hospice of Virginia, and a member of the Jubilation Choir which consists of people over 55. She also served on the Board of Directors of The Chrysalis Group. Her activities in the churches she attended included lay reading, teaching, singing in the choir and serving several terms on Church Vestries. She was a member of St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church in Midlothian.
Her career encompassed three major nonprofit organizations – Director of NTL Institute, Washington, DC, which taught human relations and management skills to executives throughout the country; Director of the United Way in Jefferson County, WV; and Director of FOCUS, a drug prevention coalition in that same county where she and her staff led the effort to establish a youth center. In her drug prevention work, she was honored at the state level and in 1994 was recognized at the national level as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow.
In her position as Executive Director of FOCUS (Free Our Citizens of Unhealthy Substances), she directed the efforts of a 130 multi-disciplinary partnership of organizations to develop and implement community-wide substance abuse education and prevention programs. Under her leadership, FOCUS received national, state, and local awards. Her particular interest in multi-cultural issues resulted in this organization being among only a handful in Jefferson County, WV where cultural and racial barriers were crossed. She was instrumental in the development of Friends Advancing Intercultural Relations (FAIR) in that county.
In the 1980’s and 90’s, Ms. Swenson lived with her husband, Mark H. Swenson, in Yokosuka, Japan for a period of 6-1/2 years. While there she worked for the Mobil Oil Company in Tokyo as a cross-cultural trainer. She also taught English and Writing for two colleges as well as to many of her Japanese friends and neighbors. Ms. Swenson was a graduate of Goddard College, Plainfield, VT and received her master’s degree in Organization Development from American University in Washington, DC where she graduated with distinction and was elected to the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society.
During her lifetime, she traveled extensively with her devoted husband Mark H. Swenson, whom she married in 1982. Their travels took them to many places throughout six continents.
In her zest for living, she always strove for a balance of mind, body, and spirit. She was an avid reader, an avid swimmer, and never stopped in her search for a closer relationship with her Lord.
Marilynn is survived by her husband of 41 years, Mark H. Swenson, four daughters, one son and their partners, eleven grandchildren, six great grandchildren, five cousins, a niece and two nephews. Her daughters are Barbara L. Wrigley of Durham, NC, Pamela L Behal of Radford, VA, Christina L. Porter of Hampton, VA and Jennifer L. Wrigley of Pinehurst, NC. Her son, Richard P. Wrigley, resides in Provincetown, MA, and New York City. NY. From 1951-1977 she was married to Robert G. Wrigley. During 22 years of that time, they were resident managers of the Overlee Community Swimming Association in Arlington, VA.
The family wants to thank the staff at The Laurels of Bon Air, Richmond, VA and the staff at Trinity Hospice, Richmond, VA for their competent and compassionate care during the last months of Marilynn’s life.
A memorial service will be held at Noon on Saturday, February 17, 2024 at St. Matthias’ Episcopal Church, conducted by the Rev. Brenda Overfield. Memorial contributions may be made to that church at 11300 W. Huguenot Road, Midlothian, VA 23113, designated for either the Cultural Arts Series or the Music program.