Area resident and philanthropist Marilyn Swillinger, age 87, passed away at her home in Delray Beach on October 30, 2023 after a courageous two-year battle with lung cancer.
Marilyn was a beloved member of the community who will forever be remembered as a woman of style and substance. Petite, yet incredibly powerful, she radiated a dynamic spirit that commanded attention, love, and respect. Her fashion sense was legendary, and each charity event she attended became a red-carpet experience that left everyone dazzled. However, the designer attire and fabulous jewels never overshadowed her biggest assets, her incredible heart of gold and the innate kindness she exemplified.
A graduate of the University of Kansas, Marilyn became a savvy businesswoman, who was the Founder and CEO of Facets, Inc., a global executive leadership management company. Combining her keen business insights with her signature panache for event coordination, she helped countless charities ascend to an elevated level of success.
After Marilyn married Mark Swillinger on May 12, 2001, they moved from Chicago to Boca Raton, Florida in 2002, where the couple quickly became immersed in local philanthropy. Through Marilyn’s diligent and indefatigable leadership, she advanced the fundraising efforts of numerous South Florida nonprofits and cultural institutions. With the support of her loving husband, she devoted herself to championing causes that were dear to her, with special emphasis on the arts and advancing health care.
A few of the organizations that benefited from her devotion include the Friends of the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University, where she served as both the President and a board member; The Center for the Arts and Innovation, where she and Mark are Founding members; Impact 100, where she served for 11 years, with 7 on the Board of Directors; The Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center; The Wick Theatre & Museum Club; FAU’s Theatre Lab; the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters; Symphony of America; Jazz Society of Palm Beach, National Society of Arts and Letters Florida; The Pap Corps; Lynn College of Nursing at FAU, where she served on the advisory board and supported the Lamplighter Scholarship program; Boca Raton Regional Hospital; Boca Raton Museum of Art; The Red Cross; The American Heart Association, the George Snow Foundation and the Parkinson’s Foundation, and many more.
For Marilyn, giving back was an essential part of her being thanks to her upbringing. Adopted a few days after birth, she was raised in a loving home in Kansas City, Kansas.
“My parents always taught me that as a chosen child it was my duty to give back and continually give of myself. They showed me how to do charity work and constantly guided me to serve others. It is an honor to be able to help others and my personal success would always be measured by the way I helped others, not by what possessions I had or what monies I earned,” Marilyn had stated.
Marilyn is survived by her loving husband Mark, an immigration attorney, and her beloved daughter Kathryn Kossove and her husband David.