She was as delicate and pretty as heirloom lace, yet strong enough to live with dignity and grace. She was set apart, a "lady of virtue."
This is the Marilyn that I knew.
  • 59 years old
  • Born on February 19, 1952 in Drumheller, Canada.
  • Passed away on January 9, 2012 in Killarney, Canada.

 Marilyn James was born on February 19, 1952

Psalm 139; 14-18

"I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made' your works are wonderful, I know that full well....My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in ther secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.....Your eyes saw my unformed body' all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be....How precious are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand- when I awake, I am still with you."

Family is an inheritance of the Lord, a treasure. No one knew that better than Kenneth and Lillian James, along with big brothers David and Chuck. Marilyn was adored, with her smiley blue eyes and feathery blonde hair. She adored them as well. She was most certainly the family jewel.

Marilyn was no bigger than a ‘minute,’ yet she commanded the keys of a grand piano to dance beneath her tiny fingers. They literally stretched to accomplish the classical works of the Masters. The James family name was synonymous with gifted musicians, but ministry and service was the platform the children were raised on. At the feet of her Grandma, Marilyn learned how to persevere and love God. Though a diligent student of piano and voice, she was first a humble servant of her Lord.

The gifts she was given were also the gifts she gave away. Marilyn could draw  out music from anyone with even a hint of desire to sing or play. She was not only a performer and accompanist, she would ultimately be a teacher. She was Inspiration!
 For passers-by or mere acquaintances, Marilyn was kind and gentle. When she smiled, her mouth and eyes twinkled in unison. One was left with a glint of joy, that was her countenance!

 If you were blessed enough to be Marilyn’s friend, you were blessed enough! She was the best at friendship, always encouraging friends to just 'be.'  She took time. Time to listen and to share insight. Her love was generous and without expectation. Marilyn was a giggler and fun. I can still see her laughing herself to tears, though I can’t remember why!
Sam and Marilyn Knight were married for 38 years. They had two beautiful children, Sara and David. Marilyn was passionately devoted to them.

She nurtured them with her hands;
as a flawless seamstress and a fastidious housekeeper, she created a cozy nest in blue and white.

She nurtured from her heart;
holding her family as if she was large enough to cradle and protect them.

Her words were gentle and timely. Love was unconditional and without limits.
She exemplified purity and faithfulness, conveying her faith simply, being like Jesus.
With her last gesture, her last breath, she committed all of the strength she had left, imparting her love for Sam, Sara and David.

Courage defined her final weeks. As the nurses and doctors cared for her body, they witnessed long-suffering and determined faith. In the end, they wept too. She, and the Spirit of Peace that filled her room, would be missed.

Marilyn James Knight, left this earth and entered heaven;

January 9, 2012

If a miracle was to be found,

it was the 'fruit' of her life,

still budding

In a quiet room

where holy communion

was it's only sound 

Who are the Saints among us?

What is the sound of angels in song?

Where are the meek Jesus spoke of?
Are there still warriors brave and strong?

 Daughter, wife, mother, sister

and friend

she showed us Jesus

Now God has welcomed her.

She is safely home.

Marilyn, a minstrel

in the symphony of heaven--

a fragrance

bringing smiles to the face of God.

  You are forever loved,

and will be deeply missed,

until we see you again.

If you wish to write a tribute that is longer than the space allowed, feel free to write on the 'stories' page! 


Posted by Sam Knight on March 24, 2019
And 13! This last song, Hallelujah, I Have Found Him, was a special favourite of Marilyn's. This again was an onsite live performance, this time at a Community food bank fund raiser held on this occasion in the Bay Avenue Mennonite Church on a Sunday night when Marilyn and I were contributing music. This is a special treat in that you get to hear her lovely voice. She was rarely comfortable speaking in public and there were about 200 in attendance that night. Still, she had her courage and did it admirably.
Posted by Sam Knight on March 24, 2019
Dear friends, I offer my apologies for the lonnngg delay, but finally, here are 12 piano preludes in a live recording that Marilyn performed in Killarney Free Methodist Church on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. It was a small piano in a small sanctuary, with 85 friends and family in the audience, on or about May 1984. She was so familiar with them, she often played them with her eyes closed and her heart singing as her hands performed them. While the congregation worshipped through her music, Marilyn also worshipped as she performed. These were only a few of dozens that she regularly played.
Posted by Sam Knight on February 19, 2018
Ah Marilyn, my love. You remain forever the love and light of my life. No day or night passes without loving thoughts and memories of how you made my life more beautiful day by day. Your powerful influence continues to be felt in comfort, in guidance, in wisdom. Your sweet music flows through me by means of fortunate recordings saved and also nearly note perfect in my memory of many of your favourite lovely piano compositions that I was privileged to hear so often. The void created when you left can never be filled, and so I long for our next meeting. The glimpses I get of you in dreams are sweet and refreshing, but sadly inadequate. I've taken it upon myself to attempt to love our children and now grandchildren as you would were you here. No doubt my efforts are also inadequate, but sincere. Life is incomplete and unfulfilling without you. But I recall your faithfulness, your sweetness, your unfailing love, and I am somewhat restored by them. Your dear children uphold and surround me. And I, I wait to see you once more.... in your own words; all my love, forever.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 19, 2018
Happy Birthday my sweet friend! I'm sure you are having a spectacular celebration of your life today. As the song goes, " I can only imagine." I love you and I miss you and this one thing I know...I will see you again and there will be no goodbyes. Your 'Becca Sue'
Posted by Sam Knight on February 25, 2016
Dear folks who faithfully look in from time to time. So sorry to have missed some important dates from Marilyn's life, but a combination of back problems, nasty cold, and critical shortage of data, all at inconvenient times conspired to create a delay. We've now passed the fourth anniversary of her taking leave, the final commemorative service, and now Valentine's Day and what would have been her 64th birthday. She was so vitally alive in the few short years allotted to her, and all I can do now is keep some of those memories current with occasional reminders. This sweet candle shines on and on. See also, the added article and photo in the story section.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on January 10, 2016
I have waited a year, with thoughts of you, to give tribute to you once again. I have full confidence that in Paradise you bring overflowing delight to our King and everyone who praises Him. I envy them them for that. I miss you my "Dimpo", our memories are far richer and deeper than I could have known, over 40 years ago. And today I realize they are forever. I hope tthat I contributed something of value to your life, for I am so much better having known you. I simply love you and can't elaborate on that. Sam, David, and Sarah, your words are dear to me. I can't imagine being thanked for doing what any best friend would do. You gave me the privilege of seeing her through to the end. I will forever be grateful to each of you for that. Stay together, love unconditionally, and always forgive. That will keep her spirit alive in your hearts. David and Sarah, my heart is very soft toward you. You are gifted with the body, mind and spirit of your Mom, you would do well to honour her all of the days of your lives. Until next year.
Posted by Sam Knight on January 9, 2016
On this 4th anniversary of the day our sweet Marilyn; wife, mother, and sister, left us desolated here, and entered her new existence in that home of all homes, let us also offer our heartfelt thanks and long overdue credit to her dear friend Becky, for the wonderful memorial she solely planned, engineered, created, established, and funded out of her love for Marilyn. Becky, we honour you for your steadfast love and the unmistakable honour you've given Marilyn. Eternal gratitude is yours. We can surely say of you, like another in times past; 'Behold how she loved her'. Sam, Sara, David
Posted by Sam Knight on May 6, 2015
"The total of visits to date on this site and her other site exceed 18460 since Becky started this site on Jan.18, 2012 and mine began on May 4, 2012. What an honour you've given her."
Posted by Donna Reynolds on February 19, 2015
Always loved; always missed.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 26, 2014
In the audio section of the gallery there is a selection where Marilyn plays and Sam recites a poem he has written to her. Beautifully done, a duet that lingers and expresses the inexpressible. Sam might find himself a new career in radio after this.
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 20, 2014
I didn't miss your Birthday yesterday, Marilyn. I haven't forgotten you a single day of the past 2 years that you've been gone. How I wish I could call you, see you, hear you giggle at my silliness! You are all that is beautiful in friendship. Thank you Jesus for blessing me, and others, with precious Marilyn! Happy Birthday!!
Posted by Bill And Diane Conklin on February 19, 2014
Marilyn was silent but all encompassing; she spoke few words but expressed volumes; she loved deeply like a deep river but never wandered toward the babbling brook. Marilyn showed more grit and strength than most award winners....she loved Sam clearly warmed with his shining heart, endless stories, endearing manner. Just being in Marilyn's presence brought peace and the presence of God close. Always in remembrance of their "sold out" love of Father God.
Posted by Sam Knight on February 17, 2014
To read this tribute, select Stories; also, the audio version may be listened to among the music.
Posted by Betty Walrath on January 9, 2014
What happy memories of singing together with Marilyn in the Aldersgate trio. Someday we will sing sweet harmonies together again in heaven. I'm sure the music there is more lovely and rich than we could imagine here.
Posted by Sharon Casson on January 9, 2014
This year at Christmas I made 'Brown-Eyed Susan' cookies from a recipe Marilyn gave me in her own handwriting:) It is a very special recipe to me for that reason not to mention the cookies are delicious and Marilyn got the recipe from our grandma James a very special lady to both of us! I thought so much about Marilyn as I made those cookies. She was a dear cousin to me and I thank God for her. I will never forget her sacrifice of time in making 6 very detailed junior bridesmaids dresses for my wedding with not a lot of time and when she herself was expecting her first baby! I'll never know how she did it to this day but I do know she gave much as did her family to make it happen. I have such lovely memories of our times together from as young as I can remember! Truly my life has been blessed by Marilyn and her family!
Posted by Sam Knight on February 19, 2013
Today I found more of our letters after we were married. They read like fresh new love letters. Your deepest hope was to always be my most treasured possession; to never let anything come between us; to honour me, always. And to have me hold you, and comfort you; you said you could never get enough of it. Me too! I still can’t get enough of you. Forever yours, Sam
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on January 9, 2013
A year ago today you slipped away, and into the arms of God. I have images, memories, and can even hear the sounds of your giggle. But I have no words. They are pent up in the heart of your best friend who can't quite imagine your leaving. How blessed was I to be that girl! I miss you. I'll always be thankful that we got to say goodbye. I'm so glad you're whole and perfect and set free!
Posted by Esther Clausen on May 10, 2012
Marilyn, we haven't seen you for many years. You and Sam came to us one week end to visit and our lives were changed forever, when my husband decided to follow your husband in a major career change. You are missed by so many. See you again one day in Heaven, where we will once again enjoy your music
Posted by Rebecca S Hamack on February 19, 2012
Happy Birthday Marilyn Today you would have turned 60, instead, you are forever. I'm so glad you were born my 'forever' friend!
Posted by Debbie Deyo on February 7, 2012
Marilyn was my favorite cousin. I remember her taking the time to color with me as a young child and the silly fun laughter we shared. She was a beautiful, honest and loving person as an adult. I have heard the colors in Heaven are amazing! See you again one day sweet cousin Marilyn!

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