Marilyn Delores Choike, 78, passed away on October 19, 2020 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Services for Marilyn will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 22, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 711 N Country Club Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075 with Fr. Oâ€™Brien celebrating Mass. A livestream of her Funeral Mass will be available through Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Churchâ€™s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SFX.Stillwater/. Her interment will follow at Fairlawn Cemetery in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of arrangements.
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Marilyn was born on September 12, 1942, in Detroit, Michigan, the first of three children to Arthur and Mildred Dudek. Marilyn attended Carleton Elementary, Dominican High School, the University of Detroit, where she earned a BA in American History and a secondary teaching certificate, and Oklahoma State University. Marilyn and her husband Jim met at a high school dance following a Friday night football game. They started dating regularly two years later as high school seniors and married on July 23, 1966. They were devoted to each other providing love and support to each other throughout their 54 years of marriage.
Marilyn began her professional career teaching 12th grade American History and Civics at East Detroit High School. During her 5 years at East Detroit she was a senior sponsor for the annual senior trip to Washington DC and Williamsburg, VA and taught Civics classes in the evenings as part of adult education programs. These early years of travel with students, showing them firsthand the early history of America, established her long-standing passion for teaching American History and for travel.
Marilyn and Jim moved to Stillwater in 1970 when Jim joined the mathematics faculty at Oklahoma State University. Marilyn juggled responsibilities of three children, George, Joanna, and Catherine, with completing coursework for a Master's degree in Sociology at OSU. In 1981, an opening came available to teach 7th grade American History at Stillwater Middle School, at the time Marilyn was ready to resume her career as teacher. She taught at the Stillwater Middle School until her retirement in 2003. During these 22 years of teaching at the Middle School virtually every Stillwater student either had Mrs. Choike in class or knew who she was. Marilyn loved to tell her classes stories of how immigrants made this country great, sharing with them her personal story of her maternal grandparents meeting in America after immigrating from Poland in the early 20th century. In 1988 and again in 1996 Marilyn was chosen as the Middle School Teacher of the Year. One of her students remembers Mrs. Choike as "a petite and soft-spoken lady, who surprisingly commanded avid attention from her students by means of her interesting lectures and enrichment activities" and how Mrs. Choike encouraged students to share their own family backgrounds. The student recalls for one class, â€śour homework was to bring an interesting item from around the house that most people would not recognize. The next day, the room was filled with everything from ancient cheese-graters to dried ink blocks.â€ť In 1990, Marilyn was selected as a faculty leader to prepare and accompany middle school students nominated to travel to Kameoka Japan as part of Stillwaterâ€™s first sister city school exchange program. Marilyn also served as teacher sponsor and leader for 14 Spring Break trips to Europe for Stillwater students and their family members. She organized evening prep sessions for her young travelers about the people, the language, the culture, and the history of countries to be visited. Stillwater Middle School gave Marilyn wonderful and memorable opportunities to fulfill her passion of teaching students about American History and cultures beyond Stillwater through travel. After retirement she was invited by the OSU College of Education to share her teaching experiences and knowledge as an adjunct instructor, supervising and teaching students preparing for secondary teaching in the social sciences.
Marilyn loved her children and her grandchildren. Marilyn is dearly loved by Jim her surviving husband of 54 years and son George and grandsons Aidan and Dylan, daughters Joanna and Catherine Chastain. Her brother Arthur Dudek and her sister Carol Fitzpatrick also survive her. Marilyn was predeceased by her parents.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsonâ€™s Research at https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate, select the link â€śDonate in Tribute.â€ť
Condolences may be sent to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com