Marilyn “Bonnie” Bliss McKinstry Woodburn (1932-2019) of Tallahassee, Florida, formerly of Yellow Mountain, passed away into the loving arms of Jesus on Jan. 7, 2019. She was 86.
A daughter of the late Ruth B. McKinstry and Myron C. McKinstry, she was born in Oxford, Massachusetts on Dec. 12, 1932.
She was raised in Wilton, New Hampshire, where she was high school basketball captain, class president and valedictorian. She attended Rhode Island School of Design and graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Florida State University with Bachelor and Masters of Fine Arts degrees. She danced several years with Arthur Murray and other celebrities on the “Arthur Murray Dance Party” television show.
In Tallahassee, Florida, she was active in the arts community helping preserve historic architecture. The old Florida State Capitol was rescued from demolition through her activist oil paintings. MusArt was the name of her studio.
For many years she was active in the Western Carolina University community on Yellow Mountain. She taught Sunday school, helped lead vacation Bible school and was part time church pianist for Yellow Mountain Baptist Church. She also taught History of Architecture and Interior Design at Western Carolina University for several years. She loved the mountains and the people who live there and never forgot the miracles of faith her family experienced.
She is preceded in death by her parents and one son, Kenneth Valiant.
She is survived by her loving spouse of 59 years, Kenneth Woodburn; their children, Kenda and Lance; six grandchildren, Bill, Jack, Molly, Sam and Weston Woodburn and Rachel Troy; sister, Elizabeth McKinstry; sister-in-law, Ruth Wilson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was filled with music, love, light and life. She cared about everyone she met and greatly loved the Lord. Her faith kept her strong as she endured much pain. The family’s beloved Marilyn is free now in a land of incomparable beauty and love.
A celebration of life was conducted Sunday, Jan. 27at Dorothy B. Oven Park in Tallahassee, Florida. In the spring, a memorial will be conducted at her beloved Yellow Mountain home.