URBANA — Marilyn Upah-Bant passed away after a long illness on May 2, 2018.
She was born in August 1953 in Rochelle to parents Richard and Marge Upah.
Marilyn graduated from Rochelle Township High School and was the valedictorian of her graduating class.
She attended NIU where she met her future husband, Geoffrey Bant. They were married in 1974 and moved to Urbana in 1975, where Marilyn finished her degree in journalism at ISU. Marilyn worked at The Courier until it closed and then at the News-Gazette. Over the years, Marilyn had many jobs including positions at the University of Illinois, Parkland College, the C-U Schools Foundation and Countryside School.
Of the many jobs Marilyn held in the community, her career at University High School where she started as a journalism teacher and became the Director of Development and Alumni Relations, was her favorite because she was able to interact with bright, talented young people, dedicated teachers and thousands of amazing alumni.
Marilyn was active in local government and served on the Urbana Plan Commission and was a member of the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Dick Upah.
She leaves behind her loving husband, Geoff, of 44 years; and her two sons – her greatest source of pride and joy – Jason, who graduated from the U of I in chemical engineering, holds a PhD in Biophysics from Northwestern University and currently working on a postdoctoral fellowship in Neurobiology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.; and Alexx, who graduated from London School of Economics with a degree in Economics History and is currently a V.P. of Advisory with Gartner in Washington, D.C. Alexx and his partner, Stetson Nunes, are planning to marry in August at Martha’s Vineyard and they were hoping Marilyn would be able to attend.
She is also survived by her two brothers, David of Chicago and Dennis (Lisa) of Austin, Texas, and their children, Megan and Drew.
Marilyn also leaves behind hundreds of friends and former students who will always remember her for her passion for writing, education and learning; and her loving, kind and generous spirit and her uncanny ability to find the perfect gift for every occasion.
At a later date, the family will announce information regarding a memorial service to celebrate Marilyn’s life. At that time, the family will name a fund for gifts in Marilyn’s memory.
Anyone wishing to share a favorite memory or story of Marilyn is encouraged to e-mail them to her husband, Geoff, at [email protected]