Marilyn Ann (Kulpa) Braida

AMBOY — Marilyn Ann (Kulpa) Braida died March 6, 2023, with her loving family at her side.  

Marilyn, (Maizie, as she was called growing up and still by childhood friends and family) was born March 26, 1935, in St. Mary’s Hospital, LaSalle, the younger daughter of Alex and Julia (Prostko) Kulpa. 

She was a 1948 graduate of St. Valentine’s grade school in Peru and LaSalle-Peru Township High School, class of 1952.  She later took community classes at Sauk Valley College.  Marilyn was married to James J. Braida of Spring Valley, on Aug. 9, 1958 at St. Valentine Church in Peru.  They lived in DeKalb for the first two years of marriage while Jim attended Northern Illinois University, and where their first son, James Curtis (Jamie or Jay) was born. They moved to Amboy in 1960 where Jim began his teaching career, and where three more children were born, Perry, Tim and Bonnie. 

Before marriage, Marilyn worked as a secretary at Westclox in Peru in the tool department, then the Superintendent’s office. While in DeKalb, she worked at the Northern Illinois Corporation. While raising their four children, Marilyn was elected to two terms as the Amboy Township Clerk from 1977-1985. She served as Parish secretary for Msgr. Raymond Wahl at St. Patrick’s in Amboy from 1978-1983. She was an active member of St. Patrick church parish where she was a lector, choir member, eucharistic adoration and food pantry volunteer.  She also was a sacristan for mass at the Amboy nursing home for many years and a Cursillo member since 1971. She was a former member of Shady Oaks Country Club, Amboy Hospital Auxiliary, Amboy Women’s Club and bridge club.  She remained a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Depot Museum, Amboy Civic Organizations, St. Patrick Women’s organization and enjoyed her Tuesday morning exercise group. 

She and Jim traveled in the USA, notably to Niagara Falls on their honeymoon and again for their 50th wedding anniversary. They also enjoyed several trips to Europe and were members of Pope John Paul II audience four times in Rome, Italy. She enjoyed attending nearly every event at AHS while Jim was the principal, watching her children and grandchildren’s activities, attending St. Val’s class reunions, baking (the absolute best) cookies, calligraphy, trips to Wisconsin Dells, and going to flea markets and garage sales. Growing up she played the accordion! She also was self-taught on the piano and guitar.

Marilyn and Jim established the James Braida Teacher Scholarship in 2003 at AHS and awarded scholarships for 16 years to students aspiring to become teachers. 

Dear ones surviving her are sons, Perry, of Amboy, Timothy, of Olathe, Kansas, daughter, Bonnie of Dixon, and grandchildren, Schuyler (Gabrielle) Bielema, Hanna Bielema, Shannon Braida, Michael (Holly) Braida, and step-grandchildren, Amanda (Matt) Pearson, Dustin Wolford, Jodi Ann (Royce) Fundell. She also was blessed with eight step-great grandchildren and her great nephew, David Verda. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James (Jimbo) on Sept. 9, 2018; her oldest son, James (Jay); daughter-in-law, Donna Braida; sister, Patricia Verda; brother-in-law, James Verda; and great niece Debra Verda.

Marilyn was a cornea donor.

Visitation will be at St. Patrick Church in Amboy on Saturday March 11, 2023 from 9 to 10:45 a.m., followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Burial will be at St. Patrick Cemetery in Amboy. A luncheon will follow at St. Patrick’s Parish Hall. Her grandchildren will serve as pallbearers. 

Memorial contributions in Marilyn’s name can be made to the Steeple Restoration Fund at St Patrick Catholic Church in Amboy. 

Arrangements by the Mihm-Jones Funeral Home in Amboy. 

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