School 21

Marilyn Valentine Monachello

September 8, 1936 ~ January 2, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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Marilyn Monachello Obituary

Marilyn Valentine Monachello (Flake), age 87 years, wife of Joe Monachello, of Atwater, California, passed away in the early hours of January 2nd, 2024 after spending the holidays surrounded by her family. 

Born September 8, 1936 in Fresno, California to William Preston Flake and Amelia Beiden Flake. Marilyn attended Fresno High School in Fresno, California, where she was involved in the Luther League, before attending Fresno State University as an Education major with a music minor. 

Marilyn married the love of her life, Joseph William Monachello, on August 11th, 1961 in Las Vegas, Nevada, after only four months of dating. Their first date was the Atwater High School prom, where Joe was working as a school counselor at the time.

After marrying Joe, she moved to Atwater where she worked for over 35 years in the Atwater Elementary School District as a dedicated and inspiring music teacher. She was a member of the Atwater Women’s Club and a performer in the Merced Hospital Assistance Follies, where she was nicknamed “Raindrops” after her rendition of the song Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head. She was recognized by the Atwater Rotary Club as Educator of the Year in 2005. 

In January of 1965, they welcomed their first daughter, JoAnn Lynn and two years later in 1967, they welcomed their second daughter, Kristin Lee.  JoAnn and Kristin gave Marilyn her four grandchildren, which became the light of her life.

After retiring, you could find Marilyn completing crossword puzzles in pen, reading a good mystery, knitting scarves for family and friends, and always looking forward to the next time she could visit her grandchildren in school to host an impromptu music class. She was a thoughtful and generous person who enjoyed several lifelong friendships. The family would like Marilyn to be remembered for her deep love of music, family, literature, and especially children. She played several instruments, including the guitar, banjo, ukulele, organ, and autoharp, but her main love was playing the piano and singing for family and friends. 

She is survived by her husband, Joe Monachello, daughters, JoAnn Monachello Prahl (John), Kristin Ruffoni (Steve) and four grandchildren, Regan (Andrew), Jacey, Jenna, and Jaret.

The family will be holding a private service on January 15th. In lieu of flowers, please make donations on Marilyn Monachello’s behalf to the Merced Alzheimer's Association or your favorite charity.

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