Marilyn Jean (Corl) Middlebrook, 92, passed away peacefully at Morris Hall Meadows in Lawrenceville, NJ, on February 25, 2023.
Marilyn was born on March 10, 1930, to Luther M. and Esther (Troxell) Corl, in State College, PA. She graduated from high school in 1948 and attended Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, where she majored in organ and voice. There, on a blind date, she met her future husband, Bob Middlebrook, who was studying engineering and architecture at Princeton University. They married in 1952 and settled in Princeton, and Bob began designing the home that was to be the heart and hearth of their family for 55 years, and the place where they would raise their two children, Carol and David.
Once her children were in school, Marilyn began her music teaching career, starting out at
the Penns Neck School and then moving to the Princeton Public Schools, where she taught at Littlebrook Elementary School, Community Park School, and John Witherspoon School. She was full of energy, and she energized her students, inspiring them through song, movement, and the spoken word. Her choir programs were celebrated for their uniquely vibrant and theatrical holiday concerts.
After retiring from teaching, she began volunteering at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she served as a docent for school groups. She crafted her presentations to students with an eye toward engaging young minds and sparking their curiosity. She also volunteered at the Princeton Adult School, where she designed several poetry courses featuring a diverse array of poetic voices. She was active in the early years of The Evergreen Forum at the Princeton Senior Resource Center, and she and Bob were active members of House 4 of Community Without Walls.
Marilyn was passionate about music, culture, and the arts. She loved attending concerts and cultural events at McCarter Theater and on the Princeton University campus, as well as during her extensive travels throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, Scandinavia and Africa. She had an active lifestyle and played tennis in the Princeton area for many years. She was an avid hiker, and she loved and appreciated the beauty of nature. She liked to play croquet and was a fierce Scrabble competitor. She created challenging scavenger hunts every Christmas, meant for her granddaughter but enjoyed by all. She believed in and practiced life-long learning.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 66 years, Robert Bruce Middlebrook; and many relatives and friends. She is survived by her daughter, Carol Lynn; her son, Robert David (Amy); her granddaughter, Alison; her brother-in-law, John R. Middlebrook (Marcie); and many nieces and nephews. She will be missed deeply by her family and friends.
Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, friends may make a donation to Princeton Senior Resource Center, 101 Poor Farm Rd., Bldg. B, Princeton, NJ, 08540.