Nature 39

Marilyn Dorothy (Oplinger) Denight

November 13, 1942 ~ February 16, 2021 (age 78)


Marilyn Dorothy  (Oplinger) Denight died on Tuesday, February 16, 2021in Westminster, Colorado. She was 78 years old.  Marilyn was born to William Franklin Oplinger and Dorothy Mary  (Bassler) Oplinger on November 13,1942 in Laurel Run, Pennsylvania. Laurel Run was a very small community adjacent to Wilkes-Barre.  She was born in the home of her maternal grandparents Russell James Bassler and Theresa M. (”¶eller) Bassler. Marilyn had many fond memories of visits with family in Laurel Run and Wilkes-Barre, PA. She loved the family get-togethers, picking berries from her grandparents’ garden and the woods behind their house, and throwing apples from the orchard at the outhouse while her aunts and uncles were inside. She was raised in Union City, NJ and later her family moved to Thornton, Colorado in 1956, but her heart was always in Laurel Run.

She graduated from Meritt-Hutton High School in 1960. She then worked for United Airlines as a key punch operator. In 1961 she met Ronald Albert Denight who was also from Pennsylvania at a little cafe near Lowry Air Force base in Denver. They were married on August 11, 1962 in Denver and moved to Minot, North Dakota where Ron  continued to serve at the U S Air Force base in Minot. In 1963 they had their first daughter, Danielle (Dani) Renee (Denight) Abrahamson and in 1965 they returned to Northglenn, Colorado. In 1966 their second daughter, Donna Lee (Denight) Kreutzer was born in Denver, CO.

Being a mother was Marilyn’s life's  dream and she poured everything she was into her daughters and later her four grandsons. Family meant everything to her and she always said  it was the best job and time of her life. Marilyn was also the family historian and loved to share lots of interesting and funny stories with anyone who would listen. 

Marilyn was a full time housewife and stay at home mom until her daughters were in high school. She re-entered the workforce as a bank teller and heavy equipment fleet manager for many years.

She loved reading the morning paper, romance novels, history books and later Facebook posts. She also enjoyed sewing pretty dresses for her daughters for church and school. She loved to cook and bake for others. She was happiest if you enjoyed her cooking and asked for more. Later in life, her duties moved toward picking up her grandsons from school most days. The four boys enjoyed lots of visits to Good Times for ice cream after school. She never missed a single moment of watching her daughter, Donna, dancing with the Swiss folk dancing group. She enjoyed the many family vacations in Vail, Colorado when Donna’s Swiss folk dancing group performed. She loved the mountain tranquility listening to the river and the fresh mountain air. She was always so excited watching Dani play soccer all over the state. Later she loved attending and cheering on her four grandsons at their high school football games, and band concerts. She was their biggest fan.  She later enjoyed her little outings to Blackhawk, Colorado with her daughter, Dani and her grandsons Grant and Jared. She loved playing the slot machines and having lunch together. 

Marilyn was happiest when she was helping her family and spending time together with family. She kept the long distance phone service busy. If she wasn’t with you, she was talking to you on the phone. She unselfishly gave her time, love, and money because she was always wanted to help, and would apologize for not being able to do more. She never wanted anything in return except for your time and love.

She loved to spend vacations with family. Twice she visited Disneyland with her grandsons. The first trip with Donna, Michael, and Adam, who was three at the time, and later with all four boys. She always said she loved seeing the boys light up with excitement.

Marilyn dearly loved her four special boys, as she referred to them. She shared a special bond with all four of her grandsons. They loved getting chewy candy from her purse. She kept a special stash just for them. As a grandmother, she cherished the time talking, laughing, and baking cookies with them and spoiling them with extra love and attention. She kept all of their little letters and drawings that they made for her.

Christmas was extra special to Marilyn. She loved to tell the stories behind each ornament and enjoyed her little Christmas village because it reminded her of Laurel Run and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She and her grandson, Grant, spent lots of time together setting up the village each year. Her favorite Christmas song was I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Bing Crosby even though it made her cry. Christmas will never be the same without her. 

Run free, Laurel Run girl!  Your granny Oplinger is waiting for you.

Marilyn is survived by her daughters, Danielle (and Rich) Abrahamson and Donna (and Michael) Kreutzer, as well as her four grandsons Adam D. Kreutzer, Seth M. (and Ilyssa) Kreutzer, Grant R. Abrahamson and Jared D. Abrahamson, and one  great-granddaughter, Stella  Kreutzer. She is also survived by two siblings, J. Oplinger,  and Clinton (and Debbie) Oplinger, many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one brother, and two nieces.

Due to Covid 19 a small memorial will take place on March 6, 2021.

Please share memories of Marilyn and condolences with her family by signing the Tribute Wall above. 


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