Marilyn B. Dickler Brown died peacefully in her sleep on April 15, 2021 at the age of 93, bringing a quiet end to a full life that began on the East Side of Manhattan and took her on a winding route to Long Island, Duluth, Madison, New York (again), Florida and finally back to Madison, where she lived for the last 12 years. Marilyn was born in New York on January 17, 1928, to Fay and Isaac Dickler. Several years later, the family moved to Long Island, where she completed high school. In 1946, she married Robert Cohn; the couple moved to Duluth, Bob's hometown, before settling in Madison, where he eventually became president of Master Furriers. There, they raised a family of three sons, Andrew, William and David. When she and Bob divorced, Marilyn returned to New York, where, during her second marriage, she deepened her avocation in home décor, even earning an Associate Degree from the New York School of Interior Design. When she met Bernard Brown, she met her full match in a marriage that only ended with Bernie's death in 1996. During these years, Marilyn and Bernie enjoyed travel, the company of friends and the diversions on offer in the city. After Bernie's passing, Marilyn decided to move to Boynton Beach, Florida, to be closer to her mother. She lived in Florida until 2009 when she decided to return to Madison, where she rejoined her sons, their families and many of her long-time friends, while adding a host of new ones. For ten years, she lived and entertained in her Monroe Commons condominium - an exemplar of understated elegance - before relocating to Capitol Lakes.
The recitation of these dry facts does little to convey how magnetic and engaging Marilyn was. Simultaneously radiant and down-to-earth, she rejoiced in boisterous company, good conversation on a wide variety of topics, fine food and wine, with a special and abiding affection for Russ & Daughters, whether in New York or delivered to Madison, good music, challenging books and unabashedly progressive politics. She was fiercely independent, made friends with striking ease, was always impeccably turned out, and borne by a great sense of humor, although she seldom suffered, gladly or otherwise, those she counted fools. While she may have regretted some decisions, she also accepted their consequences and sought the next challenge. Throughout, she was always identifiably and irrepressibly herself, unforgettable and already deeply missed.
Predeceased by her parents, Bernie and her son David, Marilyn leaves as survivors her brother Stewart Dickler (Honey), sons Andrew Cohn (Kim Vergeront) and William Cohn (Deborah), grandchildren Jamieson (Marianna), Matthew (Carrie), Nathaniel, Abigail (Matthew), and two great-grandchildren, Harper and Cyrus.
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