Marilyn Townsend Challenner

Profile Updated: July 15, 2022
Residing In: New Braunfels, TX USA
Spouse/Partner: Gene, deceased 11/2021
Occupation/former occupation: Retired
Children and Grandchildren:
Three children: Melissa, 43 years old. Stephanie 42 years old. Grant 40 years old. Three in Edmond, More…Oklahoma. Five "grandboys".
If you just updated your profile, what did you update? A picture, address or email info, etc?

Updated picture.

Family ties (list any relatives from other classes here)


School Story or Favorite Memory:

Have been reminiscing over the pictures here on website. I supposed high school had some good, some great, some not-so-great memories. I remember Mrs. Sanders, my English teacher, who really believed in me. I remember my great times with the Madrigals and Clay and Caia and Sharon and Doug and....who else? Music was my life and it was my "good place to be".

Did you have any nicknames in school?

Not to my face!

What classmates have you kept in touch with over the years?

Eyvonne Childress and Cindy Cates, only. Also Monte Tatum. Wishing that I had reciprocated more faithfully to her. She is a sweetie.

What is your favorite quote or bible scripture?

"Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides Thee. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my refuge forever."

God allows what He hates so He can do what He loves.

If you knew then what you know now, what would it be? Words of wisdom?

That I do NOT have to apologize for my existence, and that "there are no big deals".

What is the farthest you have traveled?

Europe. New Zealand and Australia.

Did you ever skip school and if so, what did you do?

No, too afraid.

What's your favorite kind of food or restaurant?

Thai food, or any gourmet restaurant. I hate fast food....any of it.

If you don't live in Austin, how often do you get back to visit?

I try to avoid Austin wherever possible. Nothing personal, I just hate driving there.

Besides, I did NOT enjoy going to the University of Texas. Bad memories, all the way around. Actually I hated my high school years in Austin, too, to be honest....except for music. I simply was not true to myself.

What is your favorite movie(s)?

Sound of Music? (That is pathetic!) But my husband and I go to the movies once a week....for the popcorn! We have seen a bunch of great movies, but they don't come to mind. I also liked Chicago.

Have you ever lived in a foreign country?

Just Oklahoma! My husband lived in Australia and New Zealand.

What is a funny story about your kids/grandkids?

I have funny stories about my kids, but they would make me look ridiculous, too, so I will pass!

Describe your first car

Bright orange Dodge Dart.

As you look back on your life, what advice would you give to your kids or grand kids?

Learn to love well and never withdraw that love, while you simultaneously guard well the treasures inside your skin that God gave you.

Do you have any hobbies or what do you do for fun?

Travel. Go out to eat with friends.... Music, music, music.

Have you been able to attend all the reunions?

Not a single one.

What teacher stands out most in your memory and why?

Mrs. Sanders. She was amazing yet thought that I was, a time when I had no idea what she was talking about.

What did you do for fun back in high school?


If you could re-live your high school years, what would you do differently?

Be true to myself.

Would you be open to doing a combination reunion with the classes from 66-69?


What would we be surprised to know about you?

You knew very little....mite be surprised about everything, if you asked! But you won't.

If you could write your autobiography, what would the title be?

The Only Way Up, is Down. I am Up.

Marilyn's Latest Interactions

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Oct 26, 2023 at 3:33 AM
Nov 13, 2022 at 9:28 AM
Oct 26, 2022 at 3:33 AM
Clay Smith posted a message on Marilyn Townsend's Profile. New comment added.
Jul 18, 2022 at 12:17 PM

Posted on: Jul 16, 2022 at 11:16 AM

Hello Marilyn, nice message about Jim Sheppard. I hope all is well with you.

Marilyn Townsend Challenner added a comment on Profile. New comment added.
Jul 16, 2022 at 9:43 AM

Posted on: Jul 16, 2022 at 9:43 AM

Marilyn Townsend Challenner added a comment on Profile. New comment added.
Jul 16, 2022 at 9:42 AM

Posted on: Jul 16, 2022 at 9:42 AM

Garden Goddess
Jul 16, 2022 at 9:37 AM

Say, Eyvonne! Perfect timing. I was just reviewing all of "life's blessings" and up pops your birthday announcement. Needless to say, you are on the list. I trust that all is well with you, I would anticipate that you might have retired from now, but knowing you, "retirement" is not in your vocabulary. My husband died 11/2021 but the memories and reminiscences of what an incredible man he was, has "softened my fall" in measurable ways. I do wish you did not live in Austin (which terrifies me these days - politically and traffic-wise) so we could have a casual weekly event. Happy, happy birthday and above and beyond that, all joy and peace that we share in the Savior in Whom we rest.

Jul 15, 2022 at 11:47 AM

Well, Monte, I see that you have an upcoming birthday. We have all grown up some, and I have a very strong sense that if given opportunity, you and I would have a solid friendship moving forward. If ever you are "down south" please let me know and I will drive anywhere to meet you within reason...except for Austin, Texas! My husband died last November. He was the most wonderful individual that I believe graced this earth and it is the pride of having been married to him that sustains me and diminishes the grief that could have overtaken me. I believe that you came to a reunion ONE time. If that happens again, while I probably would not attend the reunion, I would come and find you for a short lunch or "cup of Joe'!

Jul 15, 2022 at 11:15 AM
Jul 15, 2022 at 11:09 AM
Jul 15, 2022 at 10:49 AM

Singing in the choir and in the Madrigals with Cindy, Jan, Doug Garmen, Clay Smith, Kaia, Clyde Bennett, Sharon Dearing....?  was the absolute joy of my days at Reagan High School.  I was unhappily moved from West Texas to Austin through my dad's job in high school, and Mr. Sheppard and his absolute joy not only for music but also his love for us, enabled me to "make it through" those years.  He will be the inspiration for not only music but for GOD and music that has enriched my days to the very present.  He will always be alive in my memories.  Also, his love for his sweetie, Brenda, raised the bar for me in knowing what kind of marriage that I someday would aspire to.  I am quite sure that Jim Sheppard is head choir master in heaven and I will sing under his direction again some day. 

Oct 26, 2021 at 3:33 AM
Oct 26, 2020 at 3:33 AM
Oct 26, 2019 at 3:33 AM
Apr 22, 2019 at 10:55 AM

Monte I am very sorrowful with you in this. While I was not supportive at a much earlier "crisis" in your life, how I wish I could be there for/with you in this one. I am so very grateful that you have the arms of a loving husband and a loving Savior into whom to fall. Be good to yourself in this time and know that you are surrounded in perhaps even unknown places and unlikely people who are cheering you and your family, on. Wish I could see you.

Marilyn Townsend Challenner posted a message. New comment added.
Mar 13, 2019 at 5:58 PM

Posted on: Feb 25, 2019 at 9:56 AM

Hi Bobby. I saw your pics on the reunion album and I swear you have not changed in appearance one iota, it seems. I do remember that you were ALWAYS welcoming, friendly and kind. One good memory among many other kinds of memories, some not so great. Thanks for the memory and happy birthday. I know it is early but if I don't do it now, I KNOW I will not remember on time....

Marilyn Townsend Challenner has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jan 22, 2019 at 11:33 AM

I came to Reagan High School with resentments from being made to move to Austin from San Angelo, and with somewhat of a determination to make myself as invisible as possible while there.  I was successful pretty much of the time.  I do not remember one single word passing between Ronnie and myself the entire time at Reagan High School and was glad when graduation came.  HOWEVER,  Ronnie's love for his people, his tenderness in his annual birthday calls, his genuine humility and caring has forever made a permanent impression upon my heart and has transformed my memories from non-existent, to fondness, and that without ever having formally met him.  He is the embodiment of what it means to be a committed disciple of the loving Jesus to a lost and hurting world, in order to bring them out of isolation into a caring community.  Thank you, Ronnie...and I simply cannot wait to meet you in Heaven so that you can SEE who you are talking to, this time.  Waiting to give you a mighty, might hug. 

Oct 26, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Marilyn Townsend Challenner has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 26, 2017 at 4:56 PM

Posted on: Oct 26, 2017 at 3:33 AM

Marilyn Townsend Challenner has a birthday today. New comment added.
Oct 26, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Posted on: Oct 26, 2016 at 3:33 AM

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Posted: Dec 16, 2013 at 11:41 PM