ROMEO, Marilyn Marie
Marilyn Marie Romeo was born October 9, 1946 in Baldwin Park, California to Umbert and Ann Romeo. She was the youngest of three children, following Joran and Richard. The family later moved to Santa Barbara and she started second grade at San Roque Elementary School. She later attended La Colina Junior High and San Marco High School, graduating in 1964. During most of Marilyn’s childhood, her parents owned and operated Romeo’s Little Dinner House on De La Vina Street, where she would sometimes visit with the customers during the dinner hour. After graduating high school, she went into insurance and made it her career, finishing with Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara. She married Gary Rush, Sr. in 1966 and they later divorced. They had a son, Gary Rush, Jr. and Marilyn raised him in Santa Barbara. During this time her passion for Country-Western dancing came to light.
In the late 1980s Marilyn danced and taught at private events such as The Take One, Galleon Room, Chili Factory, Red Dog Saloon, and Creekside. Marilyn and her friend, Jacquie, with a special group of friends, formed Pacifically Country Dancers in 1988 and they performed at community events, volunteered time to visit and entertain at many rest homes, and competed in local dance events. Pacifically Country debuted in the United Country-Western Dance Council Circuit at the Paradise Country Dance Festival in 1994 and earned first place in the team competition. They also competed in the UCWD World Championship in Texas in 1994 and took fourth place. Later, Marilyn formed an all female dance group called “Got Country” and they were revered in the Country-Western dance world. Marilyn was a major contributor to Country-Western dance in Santa Barbara for nearly forty years. She was admired for her dedication and true love of the art form. She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, students, musicians, DJ’s, and dance associates. She was a talented, kind-hearted, and thoughtful lady who was loved by many. Now she has her wings.
Marilyn is survived by her son, Gary Rush, Jr. She was preceded in death by her parents, Umbert and Ann Romeo, and her older brother, Richard.