Archive for May, 2020

a tribute to my wife Marilyn Robb Siebert

May 13, 2020

I first met Marilyn in 1980 at an insurance convention. We ran into each other every day at lunch. I finally asked her about her job. She said she was a District Sales Manger for Shelter Insurance. I introduced myself and my company and said that I lived in Salina., she said she lived in Wichita but Salina was in her territory. We met up there for coffee and from then on when she would come to town we would get together.One thing led to another and I  asked her to marry me and she said yes. We were married November 7, 1981.She came into the marriage with three children and I with two children.
And over time I began to really know about Marilyn. I want to relate about her  life before and after I met her. She was born in Boonville, Missouri . Her mom was kitchen manager at the training school in Boonville and her dad was an electrician for the city. She graduated from Boonville High School. was member of the Nelson Memorial United Methodist Church where she was baptized and confirmed and she taught elementary Sunday School.
She held secretary jobs in Boonville until she was referred to Shelter Insurance in Columbia. She spent time in the secretarial pool when she was promoted to secretary to the Vice President of Marketing.
In that job she came into contact with most of the agents and sales managers. One day she went into her bosses office and said that she had become very familiar with the sales managers and she would like to be a district sales manager. Her boss thought enough of her to give her the opportunity.She went to school for a time and then she was to be appointed to a district in the company. To make a long story short, all the state managers she interviewed turned her down for various reasons

She went into her bosses office and said that nobody would hire her. He called the rest of the upper management sales team and said , “get this woman a job” Ultimate;u the state manager of Kansas had a opening so she went to Kansas to interview and he hired her right away. She was very successful and took many of her agents to company conferences all over Europe and in the United States. One year she was named District Sales Manager of The Year.
This drew the attention of upper management and she was promoted State Sales Manger of Kansas. After a time being the only woman manager she was promoted to company recruiter, to help bring in new agents (men and women) into the company. She would fly to different parts of the company territory for interviews. One Thursday night upon arriving home she expressed a desire to retire. That decision was made in time and we made plans to move to Missouri and build on land that had been in her family for over 100 years.She loved it there and enjoyed being closer to her children. Shortly after we moved into our new house two men came to the door and said they had heard that I was a pastor and would I become the pastor of Yeager Union Church. Marilyn said well he is on church business now  and he is appointed in the Methodist Church and can’t do it. They then said can you help us…..So Marilyn preached every other Sunday.This was the church that her father and grandfather attended. I remember every once in a while we would travel from Kansas to attend the annual meeting
After I retired from the Methodist Church Marilyn asked if could take over….I became the full time pastor of the church at that point and Marilyn became board secretary. She also promoted building a new fellowship hall, re-roofing the original church building. She spent a lot of time and I might add a lot of her own money in the projects.

At one of the board meetings of the church the cemetery trustees reported that they had loaned a business in Sedalia $5,000 because they could get better interest. Marilyn spoke up and said you can’t loan cemetery trust funds,it is against the law. Well they got really upset and at the next board meeting put up their own slate of officers. Again Marilyn spoke up and said that being that they were not members of the church they were out of order. Without going into a lot of detail, the trustees sued the board of the church and we went to court. Marilyn spent house getting ready for the trial and she spent all one day on the stand (as board secretary)
Well we lost the case and were told that anyone who wanted to come to the annual meeting and vote on any matter of the church was welcomed. The next board meeting the trustees had several of their people there and voted the existing board was voted out of office.

Marilyn never went back to that church. It was a blow to her that we were no longer part of what had been a 9 year love affair with the church and its people. Marilyn’s focus turned to homestead and her children. In 2017 Marilyn’s daughter Carol committed suicide and as you can imagine, all the “what if'” questions and what she could have done. haunted her.

Later that year we decided that we couldn’t take care of our large home in the woods and 10 acres. We put the house on the market two different times and it didn’t sell. Marilyn had said several years before that if we we were not able to sell the house we would give it to Show-me Christian Youth Home. We eventually did that and moved to Boonville. Marilyn purchased a small 150 year old home and did a lot of work on it. We discovered after a while that it was too small and was not handicapped friendly (for me) so we decided we would build a house on the back half of our property –this was a new project for her-as you can tell from reading-she needed a project. So she designed it, contracted the builder and off we went.

In the middle of this Marilyn had a seizure. After an emergency room visit she was admitted to the Neurology floor at University Hospital in Columbia. She was discharged the next day and put on high-power anti-seizure medicine. The usual go-go person I knew now had to sit in a chair a couple of hours a day and wanted to go to bed early at night. The Neurologist cut the medicine down but that didn’t do much good.
A month later she started having stomach problems.Again, not going into detail we took her to the emergency room twice. She ended up in intensive care and after 2 days they wanted to operate. The doctor came out a few hours later and told us that she did not have a viable bowl and that she would die withing 24 hours…….She passed away 7 hours later..on her birthday October 19, 2019.
She is buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville,Missouri.
She was loved and is missed by all her family. She is now with her Lord and can be at peace.