Symko, Marilyn (nee Crawford)
April 2, 2017

April 17, 1945 – April 2, 2017
Marilyn passed away peacefully on Sunday during a beautiful sunset, her favourite music playing, surrounded by loving family and friends. She was deeply loved and will be infinitely missed by her daughter Christina (Daniel White). She was the proud grandmother of Cove Russell White, with whom she shared a most special relationship and who will miss her fiercely. Marilyn was the daughter of the late Charles and Viola Crawford (nee Noel). She was the loving sister of the late Russell Crawford, Connie Johnson, Noella Chisholm (Ron) and loving aunt to Kimberly, Travis, Paul, Jessica, Julia, Shane and Kyle. She was a loving godmother to Adam Turner, Shane Chisholm and Zachary Woodcock and like a second mom to Shawn Winter.
Marilyn’s uncontainable spirit, her ever-present sense of humour, her pearls of wisdom and her genuine love of life had a deep and meaningful impact on the lives of countless people – her family, her friends and the entire figure skating community. She coached skating with masterful skill but she mostly taught us about life and how to live well and truly. She inspired confidence, courage, strength, passion, individuality and hope in all those she connected with. Our sorrow at Marilyn’s passing is tempered by the knowledge that she lived life to the fullest, with intense passion, unparalleled strength of spirit, deep intelligence, easy laughter and boundless love. What a gift it was for those of us lucky enough to have enjoyed some time with Marilyn on this earth. We will cherish our memories of the unforgettable Marilyn and carry her spirit forward just as she taught us to live, laugh and love, as she rides those wild horses and spreads her beautiful spirit in the next world.
A funeral mass will be held for Marilyn on Tuesday, April 11 at 11:30am at Canadian Martyrs Church at 100 Main Street, Ottawa ON, K1S 1C2. Reception to follow. Burial at Notre-Dame Cemetery in Ottawa will occur at a later date.

Donations may be made in her memory to the West Island Palliative Care Residence

Canadian Martyrs Church, Ottawa

18 responses

  1. Barbara Haines

    April 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Dear Connie and Noella,
    Marilyn was the first person I noticed when I walked into Minto (on Henderson). I was 9 years old and Marilyn was doing a corkscrew spin with her ringlets flying in the air and her knitted skating skirt in the most entrancing wave pattern around her. Three years later we had all ‘matured’ so much and I got to go summer skating in Sundridge. Lylamay and I shared a little cabin at the Inn. Marilyn, Blair, Gilles Vanesse, Nelson (? last name, from Bracebridge) stayed in the main building with Ray and Rosina Lockwood, as well as Rosina’s sister and niece who were over from England for the summer skating session. We all ate at the same table for each of our three excellent daily meals. There were lots of laughs throughout the summer. I remember Marilyn as very funny and vivacious, adding wonderfully to our good times and memories.
    I am sorry for your loss. Though we have not met, I would like to extend special condolences to Tina.
    I will not be able to join you on April 11 to honour Marilyn. But please know that I am thinking of all of you.
    Take care.
    Warm regards,
    Barbara Haines

  2. Tom and Monique

    April 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    It is with deep sadness that we have learned the passing of Marilyn.
    Thank you Stan for giving us the chance to meet such a wonderful woman.
    We really had good times together. We miss her and value all the good memories.
    Our sincere condolences to the family.
    Tom and Monique

  3. Johnny and Nicole Grenier

    April 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    our sincere condolences to all the family
    from Johnny and Nicole Grenier

  4. Yvonne Harding

    April 6, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    To Marilyn’s family, please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss. I skated with The Minto Club from 1980-1985 and while Marilyn was not my coach I remember her radiant smile and infectious laugh. She was “joy”. My fondest memory is of her laughing bag. She would randomly set it off. One session she fell demonstrating something to one of her skaters and the laughing bag went off. Then she was laughing and so was everyone in the vicinity. Her laughter will ring on.

  5. Bonnie Ide

    April 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Marilyn was my big Sister, my Brother Jack’s Girlfriend when they were young, in fact….I was 7 year’s old when she entered my life and remained in my life, what an honour. She, introduced me to skating, yes Minto Skating club (believe I failed), she came to my wedding, helped me with a loss of a child, we roller skated together , cottaged together and we loved, laughed about ‘our family’…my Parent’s absolutely adored Marilyn, who wouldn’t. All I feel right now is that my family is holding her and loving her more than ever in their arm’s…all of them, Ted, Jack and my Mom and Dad. xxxx

  6. Barbara Berezowski

    April 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family. I will always remember Marilyn fondly.

  7. John Coyne

    April 7, 2017 at 8:13 am

    My condolences to the family. I have nothing but fond memories of Marilyn from my days as a skater, and working alongside of her as a coach. She was a wonderful person and coach and she will be missed.

  8. William Thompson

    April 7, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. I remember meeting Marilyn on my first international judging assignment in 1989 in St. Gervais. Along with John Caughell and Paul Wirtz, we had a simply fantastic time. I’m so sad that all three of them have left us but am sure, wherever they are, they are having a great time.

  9. Lynda Audet

    April 7, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    My sincere condolences to the family, she will be missed by many skaters. She entered my daughters life (Valerie O’Leary)when she was just a little peanut and help her blossom into the lovely young women she is today.

    Lynda Audet & Valerie xxx

  10. Mariah

    April 8, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I’m sorry for the loss the community is feeling. She guided me in so many ways. She chose me to coach and lift me up. She encouraged me to fight using grace and stubbornness mixed with love and compassion. I use these today. I remember so vividly when she would tap her long fingernails echoing throughout the arena…the suttle message of “you better land it Mariah!” Lol. Thank you for helping to mold me. Peace to you and your family. ✌

  11. Anna-Maria Angarita

    April 8, 2017 at 9:02 am

    My heartfelt sympathies to Marilyn’s family., but especially her daughter and grandson. Her eyes would light up when she spoke about them. She entered my children’s lives as one of their skating coaches about 9 years ago starting with my eldest daughter, and then also taught my other two daughters as they also joined the very difficult and competitive world of figure skating. My daughters would often come home with funny stories of what Marilyn had said or done on a particular day, or what Halloween costume she had worn, and I as a parent was very grateful that she shared her wisdom, sense of humour and joy of life with my kids. I know that she had a huge influence in the young ladies they have become as they are now, 17, 14 and 13. My children & I were deeply affected by this loss. We will never forget her and will carry her legacy of living life to the fullest as best we can. To her family: you now have your own angel watching over you! May she rest in peace. Anna, Myriam, Leticia & Emma xxx

  12. GianCarlo Elisii

    April 8, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I used to be a skating student of Marilyn’s. My times at the rink were always great with her and she will be missed! My condolences to the family.

  13. Jill Peck (Nee Markham)

    April 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I can hear Marilyn’s laugh just thinking about her. It makes me smile to remember her joyful smile and friendly face. She always brought such lightness to any situation. I’m so sorry for your loss Tina. I met you in Saskatoon when you were with your mom as she coached at a skating seminar. I have great pictures of you demonstrating your mastery of the “devil sticks”. .

  14. Mark Pillay

    April 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    For me – Marilyn was always a voice of reality. And in the world of skating, all we try to do is avoid reality. She would often find me after one of those horrifying summer competitions and ask “so, are you done with singles, isn’t it time Mark, shouldn’t you ice dance … oh, it looks like your elbow is bleeding from that fall” – hello reality.
    If only I would have listened. I will miss you Marilyn, and always remember how much I appreciated your honesty in a world of smoke and mirrors. Thank you for your time, wisdom and grace.

  15. Stanley Gunaratnam

    April 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    “Everlasting Memories-Short but Best-a great person to be with.Very Unfortunate but the Good Lord has plans for her.May be she is telling jokes to the Angels.May God Bless her Soul.

  16. Jamie Forsythe

    April 11, 2017 at 12:15 am

    My sincere condolences to the family and everyone who knew Marilyn. She was always a joy to be around, and had the best advice or story. She is truly missed, but certainly loved.

  17. Dianne MacDonald

    April 11, 2017 at 12:54 am

    My condolences to Marilyn’s precious family and loved ones. Marilyn coached my children as a dance pair at the Glencoe Club in Calgary and was loved and respected. She got them through the “crazy” teen years and we will always cherish her wonderful coaching ability, pep talks, creativity and laughter. She was one of a kind! Take care –

  18. Judith Boudreau (Clowy)

    April 11, 2017 at 9:23 am

    My deepest sympathy to Marilyn’s family. She was such a kind person, and such a support to me when my husband passed away. I’ve known her since our training days. We celebrate the 50th anniversary of graduation from the Ottawa Civic Hospital School of Nursing in June. Our whole class will miss her. Rest peacefully my dear friend.


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