Marilyn Margaret Fanucchi
August 5, 1941-August 25, 2021
On August 25, 2021, Marilyn went home to be with the Lord.
Throughout her 80 years, she was dedicated to her husband of 59 years, Joe and her four children; Mark, Elaine, Joanne, and Vincent. Her loving husband Joe survives her, along with her four children and their spouses: Mark and Allison Fanucchi (Bakersfield), Vincent and Shannon Fanucchi (Bakersfield), Elaine and Dr. Mark Baier (Truckee), and Joanne Fanucchi-Norton and Tad Norton (Los Angeles).
Marilyn was born in Berkeley, CA and was an only child. She grew up in Berkeley and spent summers on Lake Tahoe, learning to drive a boat long before driving her first car, a tiny, tomato orange Karmann Ghia. Marilyn attended college at UC Davis, where she met her husband, Joe. They were college sweethearts and the two spent many fun times together attending Cal Aggie events with college and family friends. She was determined to graduate early to marry Joe, and did so in three and a half years; all while undergoing surgery and making her own wedding dress.
After graduation from UC Davis with a double major in Home Economics and Horticulture, Marilyn moved with Joe to the Bakersfield area to begin her life as a farmer’s wife. She was a city girl, but along with her new brothers and sisters-in-law Charlie and Charlotte Fanucchi and Frank and Judie Fanucchi, she adjusted to country life on the farm. The Fanucchi clan has many fond memories of Sunday dinners at the Lake bottom together. During the first few years of raising children and being on the farm, Marilyn discovered her love and devotion to Jesus Christ. She then devoted her life to spreading the Good News to others.
Marilyn created beautiful holiday celebrations, had boundless energy, great enthusiasm for God’s word, showed generosity towards all, baked fabulous pies, a love of bright colors, adored black and white cats and beautiful flowers, (and jamoca almond fudge ice cream!)
She was talented in so many ways; from sewing to painting, to writing bible lessons to making stained glass, she did it all. Marilyn taught herself to play the guitar and soon after began singing and playing for mass at Sacred Heart Church. Later, she learned to play the piano, and was the leader of the bible study program at St. Phillips. At Sacred Heart, Marilyn also ran the music ministry for many years, taught CCD, sewed the church’s banners, made the stained glass windows and built a community that was alive with God’s love. In all this, her focus was to bring people to know personally the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Marilyn was single-minded in her ministry. She spread the gospel to everyone she encountered, touched and changed countless peoples’ lives, and was unwavering in her determination to share the love of God and the blessings He bestowed on her and her family.
Grammy, as she was affectionately named by her grandchildren, is survived by her twelve grandchildren: Logan, Zac and Jake Fanucchi (Mark and Allison), Cori and Jade Fanucchi (Vincent and Shannon), Luke, Abby and Nick Baier (Mark and Elaine), and Christian, Delaney, Olivia and Ethan Balderas (Joanne).
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice. One of Marilyn’s favorites was Catholic Relief Services. Donations to Parkinson’s research is also welcome.
Our family would like to thank Shelly Tirado for her love, care and devotion to Marilyn. She has been a constant companion to Marilyn over the past few years. Her care has been beyond amazing and our family will always be grateful. Hoffman Hospice also provided compassionate and kind care for Marilyn and our family.
A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, September 7 at 10 AM at St. Francis Church in Bakersfield. Burial will follow at Greenlawn Northeast, along with lunch at Woolgrowers in celebration of Marilyn Fanucchi.