Dollie Marilyn Oliver-Stevens, 70, of Pasadena, Texas passed away Saturday, January 17, 2015. Marilyn was born in Merced, CA on July 18, 1944 to William (Bud) & Wanda Oliver. The traditional obituary could be written, but those who knew her best, know that wouldn’t be Mom – Mom had a fun spirit and a great sense of humor, and she could find humor in most everything. Her younger years were spent in Heavener, OK; her teen years in Houston, TX – it’s here where she met and married Charles Edward Stevens. They were united in marriage for over 50 years and separated only by death 3 months before their 51st wedding anniversary. Their union created 5 incredibly awesome children (we can say that because we’re writing this): Charlie, Evelyn (Sissy), William (Billy), James and Eugena (Gina), 10 beautiful grand-children, and 7 super-awesome great-grand-children. Let’s be real, no one really cares where we all live. Oh, and you should know Charlie was her favorite (spoiler alert: parents really do have these). Mom was an optimist and taught us to be the same. Optimistically, we’re sure our Father and brother James, her Mom and Dad, our Dear Aunt Grace, her grandson Angel, and countless others greeted her in heaven. We know the others should be named, but let’s be real – all these words are expensive and Mom was a bargain shopper. Mom would want you to know she passed-away at home of natural causes. Although, she did do it with a little more flare than Dad. Her passing was both sudden and unexpected, just like her sense of humor. We want you to know Mom was well-read and one of the smartest people we knew. In fact, she always said the first book she ever read cover-to-cover was the English Dictionary. She was a human dictionary; she could spell and knew the meaning to most every word known to man. Her youngest (Gina) frequently tested her against the dictionary and found that Mom was always right. We also want you to know just how talented Mom was – she could literally make and do anything out of just about everything. Her creations were only limited by her own imagination. She also loved sharing her talents and knowledge by teaching others what she knew. She was a very patient teacher. Mom played the piano and often filled the house with music. A favorite she played was the Entertainer (she also played Chopsticks like nobody’s business). Mom could play the clarinet, harmonica and recorder (go ahead, be jealous – we couldn’t master it as kids either). Mom was multilingual…okay, this really applies to a few choice words (you know, the words we’re all taught not to repeat). Aside from English, she could read, write and speak French proficiently; her favorite phrase was “je t’aime.” When she thanked you, it was usually in German with “danke schoen.” With that, we want your mind to be filled with her other love, Wayne Newton… “danke schoen, darling danke schoen …” (Let’s see how long it takes to get that song out of your head.) Speaking of music and love, she also loved Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. She’d always play music on the radio or stereo. But when she jammed, she jammed on 8-track to Queen! She loved all kinds of music. Mom could also sing and her voice was beautiful. None of us inherited this talent (our voices are only beautiful in the shower). Mom had the greenest of thumbs and could make anything grow. This past year, Mom planted the seed from every avocado Sissy bought for her. On a side note, if you’re interested in an avocado plant, we’re having a 2-for-1 sale at her memorial service. (Not really people!) Her talents and knowledge didn’t stop there…Mom loved to knit, crochet, and sew (she even made uniforms and costumes at Astroworld). She’s made a multitude of beautiful afghans, quilts and doilies in her life. She’d usually create her own patterns, first on paper and then, as if magically, by hand. She could draw, color, paint, do pottery, ceramics, macramé, and even build furniture, greenhouses, yard decks, dog houses and more. You name it, MOM COULD DO IT! (Except cook – well, she could cook, but she was an expert at take-out). In the end, it was her love of knitting, crocheting and sewing that kept her the happiest. She left us her vast collection of yarn, thread, fabrics and everything in-between, having passed down her knowledge, these items will go to good use to children and grand-children alike. In addition to her talents, Mom was also brave. Very few things scared her, although she loved scaring everyone else. In her stealthy Mom-like ways, she’d sneak up on you and grab or goose you when you least expected it, and laugh while you jumped and squealed (or screamed). Her bravery could be acts big or small, but usually it was saving one of us kids from something. Over the years we’d find a snake in the backyard and she’d come rescue us. Billy said she’d grab the garden hoe, and well, no more snake. As mentioned, Mom was well-read and the world was always at her fingertips – she loved National Geographic. But it was when the world-wide-web arrived that her world opened up even more. She blew through more keyboards than Wal-Mart could stock. Speaking of Wal-Mart, she liked that place because she could buy a little bit of everything there. Sissy would tell you she liked it a little too much. Their sales may suffer as a result of her passing. We want you to know Mom was funny and smart. Mom never met a stranger and would help anyone, anytime. What we loved most about Mom was she kept life real. She never tried to be more than who she was, and she always seemed to be comfortable in her own skin. By her own hands and imagination, she showed us it was possible to do anything, and she also told us we could be anything we wanted. She never limited us. Mom taught us to love everyone regardless of race, color or creed. She taught us tolerance where little existed and taught us not to judge. She always said, “Everyone is going through something and until you walk in their shoes…” She’d also said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” She told us she loved us every day, even on those days when she didn’t like us too much. And even on those days, her hugs were plentiful. To this end, it’s time to say goodbye, Mom. You left us too soon and we were not ready to say goodbye. Sadly, we all must bid you adieu. If you’d like to join us, a memorial service honoring our Mom is being held at 1 PM on Saturday, January 24th at Niday-Fairmont Funeral Home in Pasadena, Texas. P.S. – Mom didn’t like funerals and at her request you will not see her there. When the weather and time is right, her ashes will be spread to the winds at sea. Ecclesiastes 3:20.