- October 2, 2018
Marilyn Janice Murray Ference, 69, of Winter Garden, Florida, took her final breath on Sunday, June 24, 2018, while surrounded by her family.
Born Sept. 2, 1948, in Rahway, New Jersey, to Joseph H. Murray and Julia Cherepanya, she was an only child. She attended St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church and School and later John F. Kennedy High School, both in Iselin, New Jersey, where she played tenor saxophone in the marching band.
After high school, she joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Oakland, California. She received multiple commendations for her service between 1968 and 1971.
Upon returning home, she began dating and eventually married longtime friend Richard Joseph Ference of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. In May 1974, just after getting married, they moved to Bradenton, Florida.
Marilyn is survived by husband, Richard; daughters, Monica A. (of Apopka) and Reneé M. (of Winter Garden); son-in-law, Jeremy E. French (of Apopka); and she was eagerly anticipating the birth of her first grandchild, Ainsley P., in September.
Her passions included animals, cross-stitching, reading, crossword puzzles, baking and, above all, Christmas.
She served as secretary for the Suncoast Lupus Society prior to moving to Winter Garden in 1985. Regarded as a “cool parent” by many, she was very involved in her daughters’ education, always chaperoning, volunteering and serving as PTA president for several years.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at Resurrection Catholic Church in Winter Garden, where the family has been parishioners since they moved to Central Florida. The family will receive friends later that evening from 5 to 8 at Collison Carey Hand Funeral Home in Winter Garden.
The “Jersey Girl’s” final resting place will be at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with Full Military Honors.
While visitors are welcomed and encouraged to pay their respects after this date, the family has requested her interment be a private event for immediate family only.
The family would also like to thank the staff of Cornerstone Hospice for aiding in making her final days as comfortable and memorable as possible.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made on Marilyn’s behalf to the Lupus Foundation of America, 2121 K Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20037-1830, lupus.org or the Lupus Research Alliance, 275 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10016, lupusresearch.org.