Marilyn Joyce Caldwell passed away in Orofino from pneumonia on Thursday, May 19, 2022. She was 94.
Marilyn was born on March 19, 1928, in Washington state, to Dora and Lloyd Shafer. She was named for her grandmothers Mary (Marne) and Lillian (3 “I’s”). They lived near grandmother Lillian in Seattle where she also had a strong bond with the family dog who watched over her.
As a result of her painting of flowers at age eight, she received a scholarship to Seattle’s Cornish School of the Arts which she attended on Saturdays. She began attending University of Washington at age 16 as an art major, but disliked the “way of teaching art” so quit.
Later she received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and then a master’s degree in zoology and physiology while keeping her own art studio off campus. She went on to teach at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College in Nebraska, and was appointed Assistant Curator of Anthropology for Washington State Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle.
She met her husband Warren Caldwell while at the University of Washington and they married in 1952. They worked on archaeological digs together near the Columbia River, and developed a passion for Dalmatians and then Curly-Coated Retrievers.
After retirement, they purchased rural property near Orofino, Idaho, near Huckleberry Butte where they could keep a successful breeding and showing kennel. Ravens flew skyward over Huckleberry Butte so the kennel was aptly named Sevenravens.
Marilyn was among the charter members of the Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America and successfully showed and placed well at the first Curly specialty held in 1979, as well as having bred the top female dog at the show. She also trained and showed two of the first Curly-Coated Retrievers to attain advanced obedience titles.
Marilyn continued her passion for art and books, sketching and painting the dogs and amassing a huge book collection which she stated was a “disease she couldn’t cure”.
When Warren and the last dogs passed away Marillyn recognized the advantages of living in town where she could socialize and receive extra help. So, she moved into Brookside Landing in Orofino where it took two apartments to hold her massive book collection. She loved her neighbors and the staff there.
She leaves behind her family at Brookside and a few cousins and friends. She outlived most of her relatives, husband Warren, daughter Susan Hanley, and dozens of dogs and friends. It was Marillyn’s wish for any donations made in her memory be given to the Clearwater Humane Society, PO Box 2063, Orofino Idaho 83544.