Marilyn Ann Swoboda Traffas, born June 30th, 1942 passed away peacefully at 8:23 am on 8/24/2021 with her family close and her daughter by her side. She graduated from St. Francis Borgia High School in 1960; attended Mount St. Scholastica College receiving her degree in education in 1964. She began her teaching career at Union High School. She married James V. Traffas of Wichita, KS. She moved to Hays, Kansas and had her first child Greg; The family then moved to Howe, Indiana, where she had her next 3 children, Christine, Mark, and Michael. She taught grade school at Holy Angels in Sturgis, Michigan. In 1976, the family moved back to Washington, MO; Marilyn started teaching at her alma mater, St. Francis Borgia High School.
Marilyn became a single mother of 4 after making the most difficult decision of her life. But her family flourished under her love and strength. All of her children graduated college - 3 of them in college at the same time she was achieving her Master’s Degree.
Marilyn loved education, she believed in the power of learning and instilled in those around her, that you could achieve anything if you believed in yourself. She spent several years teaching at St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. After getting her Master’s degree, she became Principal at St. Gertrude’s Grade School. Eventually she returned to St. Francis Borgia Regional High School. She served the Borgia community in so many ways and was the first laywoman President. She developed many programs to foster the continued mission of Catholic Education, focused on inclusion, diversity and tolerance.
Marilyn lived life to the fullest. She traveled through Europe with the high school kids; she went to the tallest peak in Hawaii, Haleakala, to watch the sunrise, she hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon; She would hop in her car, plug in GPS and go! Visiting her dear friends in Michigan or her sister in Kentucky, or wherever the GPS took her. She loved to explore and see new places. She could cook anything, sew like a master seamstress and could not kill a plant if she tried.
After retiring, she was a volunteer extraordinaire with her Parish and in the Washington community from Harvest Tables, working at Encore, and volunteering at the Hospital. But her most proud and important role, was Grandma and Great Grandma. Children always had a special place in her heart- any no one would make her happier then to be around her 8 grandkids and 4 great grandkids.
As a lifelong educator, Marilyn’s final wish was that her body was donated to St. Louis University-so others could continue to learn from her.
She was preceded in death by her parents Jerome Swoboda and Arlene (Habeberger) Swoboda, her husband, James Traffas, her brother Warren Swoboda and her sister Lynn Cook. She is survived by her siblings Jane and Morris Newton, John and Monica Swoboda and Roger Cook, children Greg and Lyndsay Traffas, Christine (Traffas) and Kevin Snedden, Mark and Camila Traffas and Michael Traffas; her grandchildren Amanda and Matt Skornia, Emma Duncan, Megan Snedden, Brooklyn Grafrath, Ian Traffas, Hunter Grafrath, Skylar Traffas, Andrew Traffas, Great-grandchildren Noah Skornia, Abe Skornia, Stella Duncan and Silas Duncan. She is also survived by her nieces, nephews and the thousands of students she has taught and guided through the years.
A celebration of life mass is planned for Saturday October 9, at 9:00am at St Francis Borgia. Reception prior to mass at 8:00am in Jesuit Hall.
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