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Marilyn Allen Eldridge

Obituary for Marilyn Allen Eldridge

July 13, 1938 - October 22, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 81


Marilyn Allen Eldridge, age 81, died peacefully in her sleep with her lifelong angel Ramona Zamora by her side, on October 22, 2019. The daughter of the late Dr. S. W. Allen and Minnie Denson Allen, Marilyn was raised in the San Antonio Plaza Hotel until age nine, where she developed an affinity for room service, cleanliness, and giving orders--including chairing the committee on how to write her own obituary! Commander in Chief until the very end, a very rough draft of her own obituary was found in her files this week and we have attempted to honor her words while only paraphrasing when needed. Marilyn's life was purposeful and driven by her deep love of all people, service to her community and a tireless quest to make the world kinder and better.
Marilyn graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and then earned an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies from U.T. Austin. Marilyn was one of only four women in her graduating class from the U.T. Austin School of Law. She often chuckled when reminiscing about being voted a "Top 4 Beauty Queen" by her fellow students. Yet even with this Magna Cum Laude law degree in hand, Marilyn could not get a job in any law firm during the 1960's because "for women", they said," we only have a job as a secretary". However, this closed door only fueled her intent to further succeed and clearly opened up the window to her life-long passion of helping others and fighting for equality.
A self-proclaimed feminist in a Chanel suit, Marilyn enjoyed and dedicated her professional life to serving underprivileged women and families as they made significant decisions about their reproductive lives. Marilyn's civic roles are, quite literally, too many to list. The following are just some examples of organizations where she held countless leadership roles, usually as the President: The Junior League of San Antonio, The Southwest School of Art, SA100, The Battle of Flowers Association, The Charity Ball Association, The San Antonio Fiesta Commission, Bexar Country Battered Women's Shelter, Planned Parenthood of South Texas, The State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, The Order of The Cascarones, Terrell Hills City Council, The AHISD PTSO, The St. Luke's Episcopal School Board, The Trinity University Fine Arts Center, The San Antonio Symphony League, National Health Lawyers Association, State Bar of Texas, The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, The Southwest Foundation Forum….and who could forget her surprising leadership role in the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Professionally, in 1973, she was the co-founder and original chairperson for Nova Health Systems. Undoubtedly, one of Marilyn's most satisfying accomplishments was creating Adoption Affiliates in 1985, for which Time Magazine recognized her innovative and important work in the field of adoption. This founding feminist lived her life tirelessly fighting for causes, particularly women's rights, while fiercely loving her own children, family and community.
While many can only hope to find true love once in a lifetime, Marilyn was one of the fortunate ones to have found it multiple times, starting with her first husband and father of her children, Robert McIntosh Cazort; 2nd husband, Myron Wayne Chrisman; and 3rd husband, Huard Hargis Eldridge. Sadly each preceded her in death. She is survived by her children, Allen Mcintosh Cazort and his partner, Molly Kelly; Cynthia Cazort Collins and her husband, Everett Taylor Collins, grandchildren Julia and Chloe Collins and Luis Rodriguez and his mother Ramona; sister Laura Jane Allen Klise; niece Katherine Klise and her children Sophie and Ash, her nephew Todd Allen Hallmark; bonus son Tony Chrisman and his three children of Dallas.

Profound gratitude for the love and support of countless friends, family, medical team, caregivers, therapists and the City of Terrell Hills Police and Fire Department who have helped us in the last year of her life. In particular, her nephew, Todd Allen Hallmark and Ramona Zamora who as Godly caregivers, were able to provide Marilyn with not only companionship and love, but also ensured that she was able stay in her beloved Terrell Hills home of fifty years.
In the rough draft of her own obituary, Marilyn stated that death was "The separator of friends, and the terminator of dreams." Clearly, she took this statement as a challenge, because she reached for dreams her entire life; not just for herself, but also for others, and is now reunited with many dear friends and family.
Marilyn also included the following poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate the beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
To our precious Mom, You did SUCCEED! Your life indeed was a job well done!
A Memorial Service, officiated by the Reverend Taylor Boone and assisted by Community Chaplain Debbi Chesney, will be held on Sunday, October 27th at 4:30 p.m. at The San Antonio Country Club.
Fried chicken reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Charity Ball Association or Planned Parenthood of San Antonio and South Texas or to the charity of your choice.

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  • The Charity Ball Association

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Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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