Marilyn Kay (McGonagill) Link, age 71, of Lakeland Florida, passed away unexpectedly Thursday May 16, 2019 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida while on a trip with some close friends.
Marilyn was born in Artesia, New Mexico and spent her childhood elementary school years growing up in an oil field company camp in the desert sand hills about 5 miles southeast of Loco Hills, New Mexico. While living there she attended a 3-room school house that had 2 grades to a room where she received a solid education. While a little girl she learned to ride horses, hunt deer and rabbits, and play the piano. She enjoyed going to the family ranch and all that entailed.
While living in Loco Hills she always loved Saturday for that is when the family would to "go to town in Artesia" for shopping and socializing. Then back to town on Sunday for church and usually a family lunch. As social a person as she was, she so looked forward to those times.
She grew up in, was confirmed at and was a long-time member of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Artesia.
When she entered high school, the family moved the 25 miles into Artesia where she attended and graduated in 1966 from Artesia High. She was then one of the first two Artesia residents to enroll in the College of Artesia where she graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
While in school in Artesia she worked at the Artesia Post Office.
While at the College of Artesia, she discovered that she had a talent for drawing and painting which she pursued in the last decades of her life while in Lakeland. During her stays in Artesia she always enjoyed going to "Arts in the Park". She herself painted landscapes and horses and flowers and of course, portraits of her dogs.
Her paternal family had a long history of living and working in New Mexico and that led to a life-long interest in and love of the State. She loved New Mexico history, its art, its jewelry and of course its food.
She married Greg Link in Artesia in December 1970 and the following year the couple began their combined career in the entertainment business. For the next 2 ½ decades they were owners of and provided leadership to one of the largest fair amusement companies in the United States. That career took them across the United States from coast to coast and border to border. They were also leaders in their industry and served as officers in the Showman's League of America.
In 1988 they moved to Lakeland, Florida where she resided until her death. While there, after leaving the amusement business, she and Greg owned and managed The Postal Zone in Zephyrhills.
When health needs of her families in both Florida and New Mexico called, Marilyn always responded. Many times, for next 2 ½ decades, she moved around from Florida to New Mexico and back again, providing both direct and hospice care.
She was known for her love of life, her love for her dogs and for just having fun. She was always ready to put on her "sparkles" and go with friends to a concert, see something new or try the latest restaurant.
She loved people well and for that she will be deeply missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband Gregory of Lakeland and parents Joe and Johnnie McGonagill of Artesia.
Marilyn is survived by her brother Michael McGonagill and wife Candi, uncle Emery McGonagill and aunt Jessie (of Artesia), nephews Colin and Patrick McGonagill and niece Victoria Kunz.
She also had many "adopted" family members both in Artesia and in Lakeland, Florida. They provided so much loving assistance and care to her many times and was so appreciated by her family.
A memorial service for Marilyn was held on Saturday June 8 in Lakeland, Florida at Christ Lutheran Church where she attended.
A separate memorial service will be held in Artesia on Saturday June 29 at 10 AM at the Immanuel Lutheran Church with Terpening and Son Mortuary handling arrangements.
Internment of both her and her husband's remains will immediately follow in the Twin Oaks Cemetery, Artesia.
A light lunch will follow back at Immanuel Lutheran for attendees.
For the memorial services the family encourages her friends and family to dress brightly and joyously. They would also ask individuals attending if they have one to bring a favorite photo(s) of Marilyn, where there will be a display table allowing all to share in those common good memories.
For those who wish to remember Marilyn, a memorial to a charity that you know she would have appreciated is also welcomed.