News About Marilyn

Obituary for Marilyn Laszlo:

Marilyn Joyce Laszlo went to be with her Lord and Savior on September 9, 2021. She was 88.

She was born on July 20, 1933, in Gary, Indiana. She was the daughter of Martin and Lois (Jewell) Laszlo, who preceded her in death.

Marilyn was raised on the Laszlo Family Farm in Liberty Township, and she loved helping her dad in the fields. In 1951, she graduated from Liberty Township High School. Starting in 1949, her sophomore year in high school, Marilyn began to play on the championship softball team of the Valparaiso Strongbow Queens and continued with the team through 1960. In 1959, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bryan College in History and her Master’s Degree in Education from Indiana University in 1961. In 1986, Marilyn was awarded the Alumni of the Year Award from Bryan College, and in 2003 Bryan College bestowed their honorary Doctorate of Letters upon her.

Marilyn started her professional career as a high school teacher in Michigan and Indiana. Soon after beginning her teaching career, she answered the call of God to become a missionary. In 1965, Marilyn joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and studied linguistics at the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma. Wycliffe chose Marilyn to be a Bible Translator, and in 1968, Marilyn and her translation partner arrived in Hauna Village. Hauna is located deep in the jungles on the East Sepik River in Papua New Guinea.

Marilyn, along with her original translation partner, had to take the unwritten language of Hauna, which is the Sepik Iwam language, and create a written language. Developing the language entailed creating an alphabet while also learning how to speak the language. Unfortunately, Marilyn’s original translation partner left after five years for another assignment. Marilyn was then joined by her sister Shirley Killosky. As Marilyn translated the Bible, Shirley taught the people of Hauna to read and write their language. Together, Marilyn and Shirley also did medical work and trained the people of Hauna to operate a local school, store, medical clinic, and church.

Marilyn completed the Bible translation in 1990, and the Bible was dedicated in 1991. One of Marilyn’s most memorable moments during this time was bringing a team of six men from Hauna for a speaking tour throughout the United States. They even spoke at a Billy Graham Crusade.

Marilyn retired as a translator in 1991 and became a national speaker for Wycliffe through 2003. In 2003, Marilyn started Laszlo Mission League. She continued as a national speaker and raised money for special projects around the world and in Papua New Guinea. In 2012, Marilyn retired from speaking due to the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013, Marilyn returned to Hauna to say her final goodbyes to the people of Hauna.

During her lifetime, Marilyn recorded four record albums, with her singing partner Beverly Entz, at Pinebrook Recording Studios (owned by Gaither Music Group and now called Gaither Studios) in Alexandria, Indiana. In addition, she had three books written about her work in Hauna: Miracle in Cannibal Country; Mission Possible; and A is for Airstrip. She also had three movies created about her work: Mountain of Light, Come By Here (Angel Award winner), and Return to Hauna (Angel Award winner).

Marilyn was passionate about: her work in Hauna, the importance of missionary work, helping young people discover their career path, her family, her Hungarian heritage, and her upbringing in Liberty Township. Today, there are thousands of missionaries on the mission field worldwide because of the impact of hearing Marilyn speak, reading her books, or watching her films. She was a true inspiration. Marilyn’s work is continuing in the Sepik River region through her organization Laszlo Mission League.

Marilyn is survived by her sisters Shirley Killosky of Garden City, ID and Fay (Lou) Popp of Chesterton and her nieces and nephews, James Killosky of Porter; Lisa (Jim) Holm of Boise, ID; Don Killosky of Garden City, ID; Lorelei Weimer of Chesterton; Robert (Carla) Laszlo of Issaquah, WA; Tracy Popp of Key West, FL.; Martin (Brandi) Miller of Murrells Inlet, SC; Carrie (Steve) Cieliesz of Valparaiso; Jody (Tom Barrineau) Miller of Murrells Inlet, SC; Suzanne (Michael) Olson of Knoxville, TN; and Leo (Natalie) Miller of Chesterton.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Carolyn Miller Prosser, and niece Michele Weimer Tribole.

The family wants to extend a special thank you to Glenna Amburgey, Karen Garza, and Audrey Swieczkowski for taking such wonderful, loving care of Marilyn during her final years.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on October 5, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. at Liberty Bible Church at 824 North Calumet, Chesterton, Indiana. Topher Philgreen will officiate. The service will also be livestreamed. Visit the main page of this website for information on the livestream.

Donations in memory of Marilyn can be made to Laszlo Mission League for the Marilyn Laszlo Legacy Fund. This fund will endow a perpetual scholarship to women pursuing mission work or Bible translation. You can donate to that fund here.

Edmonds and Evans Funeral Home made arrangements.

September 10, 2021:

Here’s a little more detail on Marilyn’s passing:

On Monday, September 6, Lorelei Weimer (Marilyn’s niece) and I (Topher) had the wonderful privilege to sit and be with Marilyn for several hours. We held her hand, talked of old stories and adventures we’d all been on together, and whispered in her ear that it was ok to go home. That was the last time for me to be with my friend Marilyn on this earth.

On Thursday afternoon, Glenna had been sitting with her all day, occasionally rubbing the Q-tip of sugar water in her mouth. Her breathing was becoming slower and slower as her frail body was shutting down. Coincidentally, Lorelei had stopped by to check on her just fifteen minutes earlier when a hospice doctor stopped by to check on another patient. He suggested going from a nasal canula oxygen tubing to a stronger oxygen face mask in order to make her breathing easier. Once that face mask was put on, she seemed to relax and breathe easier. About thirty minutes later, her breathing stopped and she was gone.

September 8, 2021:

As you saw on the first page, Marilyn’s body has taken a dramatic downturn in just this past week. Glenna, her main caregiver, is still recovering from her hip fracture in May. Even so, she stays by Marilyn’s side non-stop. She has even been sleeping in a chair next to Marilyn’s bed to care for any needs she has in the night and to keep her comfortable. Every little bit, Glenna dips a Q-tip type applicator into some sugar water and wets Marilyn’s mouth with it. Hospice comes regularly to check on Marilyn, make sure she has enough Morphine to keep her comfortable and to advise Glenna and the family.

Pray for Glenna. She is old herself and is also somewhat of a patient as she recovers. Her love and care for Marilyn is unparalleled. Pray for her heart as she has become very close to Marilyn as she cared for her constantly over the past several years.

Thank you for your prayers and continued support of the Marilyn Laszlo Legacy Fund which helps to take care of her final needs through a regular salary. Any money remaining in the fund and any money raised will go to a legacy project in Hauna Village to honor Marilyn’s work there.

We will update this page regularly. Also, Marilyn’s Facebook page is being updated by Lorelei, Marilyn’s niece, on a regular basis as well. You can friend request that page HERE.

Marilyn’s funeral will be streamed for all of her friends who can’t make the journey to Valparaiso. Stay tuned to this website.

June 2021:

Pray for Marilyn’s care. Just a few weeks ago, Glenna, Marilyn’s main care giver, fell while getting out of a swimming pool after an aerobics class. She broke her hip and it has required surgery. She is now just as laid up as Marilyn and in the same house! Fortunately, there is a team of people who are taking care of them both. However, they have had to hire additional help to take Glenna’s place while she recovers. This has cost quite a bit more money. We are trying to raise an additional $500 per month to cover this extra cost.

Otherwise, Marilyn continues to be strong and steady. Glenna, except for the broken hip, is in good health and her hired help are more than capable of taking care of both of them.

Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

February 2021:

Topher Philgreen, president of LML, just returned from visiting Marilyn in Portage, Indiana. Quite frankly she looks better in February than she did last November. She is eating better and seems to be in good spirits. Marilyn’s body is very strong. We continue to pray specifically for Glenna who is her main care-giver. Glenna is not young herself, so her continued good health is important for taking care of Marilyn.

Laszlo Mission League continues to collect email addresses of Marilyn’s friends and donors so that they can be notified and be able to watch her funeral and home-going celebration online when that day comes.

October 2020:

Marilyn is very strong. We are quite thankful that she is not in a large nursing home during this Covid pandemic. Although Alzheimer’s is wrecking her body and mind, the years in the jungle have made her very tough. Several times in the past few months the family has been called by hospice to come see Marilyn and say goodbye. Yet she continues to bounce back. We know that Marilyn’s time on earth is drawing to a close and we are praying that she suffers no pain or discomfort. Thanks to donors who faithfully continue to support Marilyn, she has enough funds to pay the expensive long-term care bills. Laszlo Mission League is collecting email addresses of Marilyn’s friends and donors so that they can be notified and be able to watch her funeral and home-going celebration online. In the meantime, Marilyn is very comfortable and very well taken care of.

March 2018:

Today, Marilyn is suffering from an aggressive case of Alzheimer’s disease. She is being taken care of in a private home with just a few Alzheimer’s patients in Chesteron, Indiana, just a few miles from the farm where she grew up. Members of her home church, donors, and the staff of Laszlo Mission League regularly visit Marilyn. She loves to sing and have messages read to her from her friends and donors. Because her memory is fading, she watches her videos almost every day.

The LML Board of Directors established the Marilyn Laszlo Legacy Fund. This fund has been set up to primarily take care of Marilyn for the rest of her life and then to do something, probably in Hauna, in her honor. Please give to this fund here.