By Greta Zarro, Organizing Director, World BEYOND War, November 18, 2021
World BEYOND War is saddened to learn of the passing of Marilyn Olenick this past Armistice Day. Based in Pennsylvania, United States, Marilyn was passionate about ending war and promoting peace. Since 2018, she generously volunteered her time with World BEYOND War, writing and editing for the Peace Almanac, doing data entry, and petitioning. She was kind, generous, and dedicated to the cause of war abolition. Her emails brightened my day because of her consistently positive attitude.
In 2019, Marilyn was featured in World BEYOND War’s Volunteer Spotlight. In her responses, she talked about what kept her motivated to do this work. “Change is crucial to preserving a future for our children, my own grandchildren, and our very planet. I grew up worried that my three younger brothers would be drafted when they turned eighteen as the U.S. had been at war for as many years as we had lived. Fifty-eight thousand from my generation died in Vietnam. Why?” You can read the full article here.
Marilyn also knew first-hand the impact of war, which motivated her to get involved with World BEYOND War. Her husband, George, was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He served two tours and worked with civil engineers on improving living conditions in Vietnam. George died in 2006 after suffering both kidney and liver failure from his exposure to Agent Orange, the toxic herbicides sprayed by the U.S. during the Vietnam War.
The work that Marilyn did wasn’t always visible to the public, but it was vital and kept our movement going. Marilyn, thank you for all that you did to advance the cause of peace. You will be sorely missed at World BEYOND War.