FITCHBURG: Marilyn Wheeler, 77, life-long Fitchburg native and dedicated member of St. Joseph’s Church, passed away peacefully on Nov 6, 2021 after a brave and hard-fought battle with cancer.
She is survived by her dear sister, Phyllis Pawelski, also of Fitchburg; her nephew, Craig Pawelski and his husband Marc Clermont of Maine; her niece MaryAnn Tracia and her husband Bruce Tracia of Florida; and, her close cousin (whom she grew up with and thought of as her brother) Rev. Donald D. Simonds, also a Fitchburg native. Marilyn also had many other cousins and wonderful friends, including her most dear Yvette Beauvais. Marilyn was predeceased by her brother-in-law, Leonard Pawelski, in 2009.
Marilyn was born in Fitchburg, MA on August 20, 1944, the daughter of the late Herbert and Helen (Deneen) Wheeler. She graduated from Saint Bernard’s High School in 1962. She worked at Saint Bernard’s rectory for a period of time before a long career at Cochran Insurance Agency in downtown Fitchburg. After leaving the agency, Marilyn worked at Associated Data Concepts (ADC) in Fitchburg, and most recently for M.O.C. in Leominster before her retirement.
She cherished time spent with family and friends. She was affectionately known to many as “Mim”, a fond nickname her nephew, Craig, started when he was too young to pronounce “Aunt Marilyn”. She really enjoyed being so close to her sister Phyllis, as well as visiting Craig & Marc on the southern Maine coast. She loved taking pretty rides along the shoreline with her family, which often ended with her favorite.... a cup of clam chowder! Mim was an avid Red Sox and NE Patriots fan, watching many games on TV or listening on the radio. The holiday season was a favorite time of year for Mim … (although she wasn’t fond of the cold!)… She would start listening to Christmas music early in November and would keep the holiday music going until the New Year, loving Christmas TV specials and movies (especially “Rudolph” and the many versions of “A Christmas Carol”). She also enjoyed crossword puzzles, history, reading, playing games on her iPad, and loved watching “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”. Being a true pet lover, she also adored the cats she had throughout her life. She gave them all a loving home.
The family wishes to thank Mim‘s wonderful caregivers at Life Care Center and UMass Hospital in Leominster, and Burbank Oncology in Fitchburg.
Family and friends are invited to attend Mass to celebrate Marilyn’s life. The Mass will be held at 11 am Thursday, November 18th at St. Joseph’s Church, 49 Woodland St., Fitchburg. Burial will immediately follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery.
There are no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Church, 49 Woodland Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420 in Marilyn’s memory.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marilyn Wheeler, please visit our floral store.