Marilyn Gries died last week.
I cannot apologize for the oxymoron of this smiling photo. There are no photos of Marilyn without a smile. Not in my collection. And, if I’m with her, guaranteed I’m smiling, too. (This is a 2015 selfie.)
The cherished widow of Robert Gries. The treasured Veterans Air storyteller who personally lived part of our 1945 history. And my much-loved friend, Marilyn Gries, has left us.
We giggled a lot…in person and over the phone.
She had a tremendous memory and quick wit. And made my Dad’s adventure come alive with details she learned from Bob and those she created on her own!
Marilyn’s Bob was Robert F. Gries, who, as an Army Air Corps Lead Navigator, flew 33 missions during World War II from a base in England with his 392nd Bomb Group in the bomber named Pregnant Peg.
During our last visit in 2019, Marilyn honored me with an incredible gift…an original “birthday” telegram that Bob sent her after he navigated one of those bombing raids. He sent many such telegrams. Not because it was her November birthday. But because the telegrams were his signal, his way of letting her know he was safe. Letters were way too slow and untrustworthy for his worried bride in the States.
Marilyn bragged to her friends and the staff at her senior living community that “Gaye has driven her RV, all by herself, all the way from Santa Fe to Boynton Beach to visit me!“ (Marilyn, in fact, was a huge impetus in my decision to buy Gracie so I could visit more easily.)
Veterans Air family’s loss…
At 98 years young, Marilyn Gries died last Monday, 19 April 2021.
The Veterans Air family has lost a cherished member and valued historian. I have lost a precious, precious friend whom I’ll love and remember always.
Vivacious. Spunky. Gracious. Forthright. Fiercely independent. Glowing Spirit.
I thought if I read a few of her stories, it would lift my spirits. It has. But it has also made me cry. Again. They compile so many descriptions of the Marilyn I miss and why thinking of her also makes me smile. Vivacious. Spunky. Gracious. Forthright. The very definition of independent.