The Deer Park Kiwanis WinterFest 2022 Committee is pleased to announce Marilyn Reilly as this year’s Honored Citizen.
Marilyn was born in Loon Lake in February of 1938. She remembers being told there was too much snow for the Doctor to make it to her family home, so her Auntie Mary had to act as midwife. Since then, Marilyn has made several significant contributions to our community.
Marilyn’s parents and her brother, Clifford, had moved to Loon lake in January 1938. Her father was from Grand Coulee and was looking for a place to make a living year-round.
Marilyn and her brother, Clifford, were still quite young when the house she was born in had to be moved from its original spot. With Highway 395 coming through the land, the home had to be shifted about 300 feet. This great undertaking was accomplished through the tremendous efforts of just horses and manpower. Even at a young age, Marilyn’s desire to help others was apparent to those around her. For example, during the house move, she and her brother made a good team as they would each take a handle of the wheelbarrow to help move materials.
In 1960, Marilyn moved to Deer Park when she married Fay Reilly, owner of Deer Park Auto Freight’s freight division since 1956. The first community project she remembers doing with Fay involved them working as a Deer Park Junior Chamber of Commerce member, also known as “Jaycees,” when they embarked on the massive lighting project for the “football field.” This football field would later come to be called Perrins Field. She participated in many different service projects led by the Jaycee group throughout the years.
Marilyn took on many different service opportunities with various groups and roles. In 1990 Marilyn and Fay sold Deer Park Auto Freight to their sons, Joe and Bob, who kept the family business going until 2019 when they sold off the trucks, but the family still maintains the mini storage. Marilyn says that Deer Park Auto Freight is a name of the past now because they are no longer a freight shipping company.
Some of the groups Marilyn still works with today are the Deer Park Friends of the Library, Dollars for Scholars, and the Clayton and Deer Park Historical Society. Deer Park Auto Freight has also waived the storage fee for some local non-profit organizations such as the Deer Park Kiwanis and Deer Park Friends of the Library. The Friends of the Library store and organize their gently used books and hold the sale directly from the site most of the time. Marilyn is more than happy to do her part and give them a place to operate and an easy drop-off for people who wish to donate books. Her warm and friendly personality allows others to feel comfortable interacting with her. In addition, Marilyn and her husband, under their business Deer Park Auto Freight, have donated an annual scholarship for Dollars for Scholars. She could not remember precisely when they started, but was certain they had been supporting the program since as early as the 1980’s when Marilyn’s own children were in high school. When asked what motivates her to keep donating to Dollars for Scholars, she says, “If you belong to a community and you need to help these people who need the help.” Through the Clayton and Deer Park Historical Society, she can meet up with like-minded people who want to preserve our history. You can view many of the pictures she has contributed on the society’s website. She is a fountain of knowledge about what goes on in our area and is willing to share her stories to anyone with listening ears. It is plain to see that Marilyn is proud of her community and values those around her.