Marilyn peacefully went to be with Jesus the day after Christmas—her favorite holiday, perhaps because her love language was giving, but certainly because she loved to celebrate the birth of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Marilyn was born in Rochester, New York to Floyd Clarence Bratt and Arlene Swift Downey Bratt. She graduated from Harley School in June 1952. She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College in 1956, and earned her master’s degree from Simmons College, School of Social Work in 1958. Marilyn served as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for nearly 55 years, with a passion for marriage and family counseling.
Marilyn and her lifetime love, Reynold Bruce Kirkwood, met in July 1959 at a conference in Mill Valley, and became engaged two months later—the night before Bruce returned to seminary in Austin, Texas. They married on July 2, 1960 and settled in Austin until Bruce completed his education.
Marilyn was born with wanderlust, and enjoyed traveling the world with her family—once taking her young grandchildren to Europe with Bruce’s full agreement. She had a generous spirit and a wonderful sense of humor. Marilyn also enjoyed knitting, and made sure each new family member received a personalized Christmas stocking. Marilyn’s other hobbies included tennis, cooking, and attending sporting events and the symphony with Bruce.
Marilyn recently became a great grandmother, and relished visits from the two youngest members of her family. She often sang the praises of her four grandchildren and their parents, and always spoke of her gratitude and affection for her daughters, Laurie Gabriel and Shawna Bryant.
Donations may be made in Marilyn’s memory to The Terraces and San Joaquin Gardens or Nancy Hinds Hospice.