Marilyn Flagler

Term: 1997 to 1999

“Live your life in such a way that you’ll be remembered for your kindness, compassion, fairness, character, benevolence, and a force for good, who has much respect for life.” For many of the members of The Garden Club of Long Beach Island, who have had the opportunity to know or work with Marilyn Flagler, this quote summarizes the character of this extraordinary past President.

Marilyn was born in Norristown, PA. and attended Penn State earning a BS degree in chemistry. She and her husband Philip raised three children in Moorestown, NJ., and now delight in their five grandchildren. Marilyn’s parents had a house in Brant Beach where she summered regularly. She and her husband moved full-time to the island and relocated to Beach Haven.

Marilyn became President in 1994 and she did not hesitate to use her many talents to enhance our garden club and to teach and advise our members. If anyone had a question about plants or gardening, Marilyn was the one to seek out. She initiated the “Let’s Talk Gardening” group and spearheaded it for five years.  This well-attended group is still going strong.

Marilyn was also the chair of the committee who put together the club’s book, “Gardening at the Shore”.  It’s a wealth of information that has been a reference for many people who live and garden at the beach. It goes along with Marilyn’s own words of “loving to watch things grow”.

Marilyn’s science background, combined with being a Master Gardener, allowed her to encourage and share environmentally friendly ways of growing vegetables from seeds. Also, as a scientist, she took pleasure in the Latin names given to plants that she often drew and sketched.

Besides the scientific side of this woman, Marilyn later in life allowed her artistic side to come through. She began painting with watercolors and other media. Those who have worked on house tours with Marilyn, still remark about her exquisite floral designs. In fact, Marilyn’s comment “leave room for the butterflies” still inspires members to remember to leave spaces in their arrangements.

Later in life, Marilyn resumed a passion started as a teenager, horseback riding. In fact, Marilyn shared she rode all over Europe, including England, Scotland, and Spain. This remarkable woman led a remarkable life. The Garden Club of LBI is grateful that she gave us her time and talent as a gardener, scientist, writer, artist, designer, and friend.

As an honorary and lifetime member, Marilyn just celebrated her 25th anniversary with The Garden Club at Medford Leas where she now lives. President Teresa Hagan presented Marilyn with a certificate and her 25th anniversary brick to be placed at the Beach Haven lLibrary Garden. Marilyn shared The Garden Club is “the greatest group on LBI” and added, “thank you for having me as a member.” Our response is, “Oh no, it is us, The Garden Club Of LBI, that thank you!”