Feature of the Week
February 28, 2020
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A Swedish and German lass in Rohnert Park

By: Irene Hilsendager
December 6, 2019

Yes, the lass is Marilyn Eskew who was born in Seattle, Wash. She attended schools in the Washington area and even attended nursing school. At the age of 18, she married her first husband and several children were born to this union; however, the marriage did not last.

In 1963 Marilyn married Pat Eskew, the love of her life. She and Pat were teenage friends. After the union to Pat, the family packed up and moved to Rohnert Park. However, because some of the children were still in school, Marilyn stayed in Wa. And Pat accepted a position at the Safeway store. When the family had completely moved to Rohnert Park Marilyn said they lived in the A and B section for a while. After several years, her brother-in law said it was time to buy a house and so they did buy one on Brett Ave. and have resided there for 45 years. Marilyn said it is a wonderful neighborhood with caring and delightful neighbors who look after each other. 

Eskew went to work at a hardware store for several years and then started taking side classes at the Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State for a while. She said bookkeeping courses looked pretty interesting so she sort of took that as her career. Her husband Pat was still working at Safeway but in the meantime they opened two accounting firm offices in San Francisco with Pat coming in at various times to help Marilyn. 

Marilyn also worked at San Francisco Mutual Funds doing floor trading and selling stocks. Early in the mornings she would in-put figures of sales in the computer and in the afternoons saw her getting out to different companies and customers. It was a very hectic job, but Marilyn had the “know-how” to do such jobs. She also worked for Dibble’s accounting firm in San Francisco and stayed home for a year or so. 

Commuting to San Francisco for many years, all of which Marilyn enjoyed, but even with clients in San Francisco she did odd accounting jobs for other customers and then started working from home. Marilyn retired in 2016 but she still dabbles in accounting for a few chosen customers.

Marilyn remembers the first Founders’ Day in Rohnert Park. They went as a family outing and enjoyed the day considerably. The children made new friends, and everybody was just so friendly; hence the friendly city.

At one point Marilyn heard that the Boys and Girls Club was having trouble with their bookkeeping process and since this was right up Marilyn’s alley, she checked it out and was eventually made program director for the club. She says those five to six years was the best job she ever undertook. Her staff consisted of students from Sonoma State. 

She told of an incident that still sticks with her. There was one student that seemed to be in trouble at length. He was finally sent to sit in Marilyn’s office each day and each day she saw pouting, stomping of feet and being very unruly. One day at the end of her patience she said to the students, “why don’t you go and teach safety on skateboards to the other students?” The child changed attitudes overnight. You have the touch, Marilyn!

Marilyn didn’t have enough on her plate. Since the Boys and Girls Club had five old rickety sewing machines in place. She decided to teach a sewing class to the youngsters so on Wednesdays she would teach the children how to thread a needle, how not to use a sewing machine as a race car and even showed them how to iron.

The old sewing machines would go home to Marilyn’s house at least once a week so Pat could repair them. The Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati gave Marilyn a grant and was able to go to Walmart and purchase five new sewing machines. When Marilyn was asked how many students she had in a class, she replies “about five or eight depending on the moods of the kids.” She still proclaims that was her best job ever.

Eskew is an avid reader. It just depends on her mood and subject, she reads about one and a half books a month.

Marilyn has been a member of the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati and has signed up at the Rohnert Park Senior Center to take classes and be able to mingle and converse with other older seniors. She did celebrate her 90th birthday this summer and had a great party.