Marilyn Joyce Austin passed away with her family by her side February 15, 2014. Born October 21, 1930, in Kalamazoo, MI to Rodney and Blanche (Hanson) Keim, Marilyn grew up in Wisconsin and Michigan the second eldest of five sisters. An athletic teenager, she played on a championship basketball team and graduated from Portage High School in 1950. On September 23, 1950 she was united in marriage to Louis Ben Austin in Kalamazoo, MI. The couple wore matching blue jeans for the occasion. They moved to Racine, WI early in their marriage and together raised three children on English Street. Married 50 years, Louis preceded her in death in 2000.Marilyn worked at Western Publishing for several years, however, everyone knew her as the lady who sold Avon for four decades, a feat that earned her numerous top sales awards and the nickname Avon Ma.She was a dedicated collector and had several sets of Depression glass dishes, bird figurines and hundreds of music boxes that she happily let her grandchildren play with to their hearts’ content. Marilyn enjoyed playing cards and was a fierce competitor at rummy, bridge and poker.Her greatest joy was spending time with her four grandchildren with whom she made many trips to the zoo and beach and lovingly spoiled. Every summer she travelled to Michigan to attend the Austin Family Picnic, a favorite of hers. In recent years she was blessed with energetic great-grandchildren whom she loved to visit.Marilyn is survived by three children, whom she admired for their caring dedication and individual personalities: Rodney (Cathy), JJ (Jeanette) and Dea. She also is survived by three sisters, Rodnetta, Janet and Betty Kay; best friend and sister-in-law Ruth; four grandchildren, Adam (Tina), Annie (Brian), Linda (Jay) and Jimmy (Jamie) and 10 great-grandchildren. Her eldest sister Faye preceded her in death. Marilyn and the family extend a special thanks to niece Cherie DeGroot, for her loving care during the last several years.Visitation with family and friends is Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning at 12:30 p.m. with a memorial service at 2 at Strouf Funeral Home, 1001 High St. Racine, WI. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to H.O.P.E. Safehouse for animals, 1911 Taylor Ave., Racine, WI 53403; the Racine Zoo, 2131 N Main St., Racine, WI 53402 or to the charity of one’s choice.;