Marilyn Royal Rossier died on May 12th, 2020 at her home at Kimball Farms in Lenox, MA. She was 84. Everyone who knew Marilyn would swear she was a life-long New Englander, but she was born to Aaron and Myrle Royal in New Jersey and grew up just outside of Philadelphia. It took Stanley Rossier, a dairy farmer’s son from the North East Kingdom of Vermont, to convince her to settle at least as far north as Massachusetts.
Marilyn was a registered psychiatric nurse for much of her working life, teaching and guiding many other nursing students in the Boston area. She started taking classes at Boston University School of Theology while working full-time and raising a family, and during a heart-to-heart talk with a professor, she realized her avocation had become a calling. After nearly a decade of part-time study, she was ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1985 to become a full-time minister.
Marilyn believed in education and community, and was a tireless volunteer and organizer. She spent years feeding the needy at Bread and Roses in Lawrence, MA and helping her congregations in Medfield and Lynnfield prepare and serve meals for their communities. She and Stan lead many church youth group adventures and bible studies for those congregations. The UCC Church, recognizing her rare collection of skills and talents, asked her to serve as an interim minister leading congregations in transition through the process of finding new clergy to serve them.
It could be said, though, that Marilyn’s heart truly lived in a tiny cottage called Woody Crest that her father had bought decades ago overlooking Lake Buell in the Berkshires. In their “retirement” she and Stan moved to Lee, MA to be able to spend the summers watching the lake and to throw themselves into the community surrounding the First Congregational Church there. They both served on the Boards of Construct, Inc, helping to build affordable housing, and Gould Farm residential psychiatric treatment center. Marilyn was also a regular answering phones for Volunteers in Medicine in Great Barrington and WAMC’s yearly fund drives.
Marilyn leaves her surviving children: Linda and her husband Arnold, and Mark and his wife Ellen, as well as her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by her husband Stanley and their son, Jay.
A memorial will be held in the future when it can be done safely due to the pandemic. Donations can be made to Kelly Funeral Home in Lee, MA for Hospice Care in the Berkshires, and the First Congregational Church in Lee.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn Royal Rossier, please visit our floral store.
Hospice Care in the Berkshires
C/O Kelly Funeral Home 3 Main St., Lee MA 01238
First Congregational Church of Lee
c/o The Kelly Funeral Home 3 Main Street, Lee MA 01238