DALLAS – In all our lives, we are given a name at birth, first and last, or eventually last one can be inherited through marriage.
In the case of Marylyn Love, seems her last name became predestined by a higher authority.
And please give me some latitude here, and excuse me if deciding I'm, being too corny. But truly, Marylyn was a lovely lady. She was a loving woman.
In case you're unaware, and you need to be aware, Marylyn Love passed away on March 10 this past week. She was 80 years old, still working for this Dallas Cowboys organization.
Her official title with the Cowboys has been executive assistant to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. For those of us who have known her for the past 33 years, more appropriately she was the Keeper of the Gate. You didn't get to Jerry Jones unless you got past Miss Marylyn. Ask anyone who has ever done business with Jerry. They know.
She also was Sargant at Arms. She did her ever-lovin best to keep Jerry straight in the office. Can remember many a time showing for a scheduled interview with Jerry. If Jerry was late, doing something else, Marylyn would apologize. If he was on the phone, she'd somehow politely remind him someone was waiting for him.
She was sweet. But she could be stern.
Most of all, she was loyal, not only to her family, but to Jerry and the rest of the Jones family. During Tuesday's memorial service at Highland Park United Methodist Church, Jerry told the story of first meeting Marylyn while she was working for a company he was doing business with in Oklahoma City. She so impressed Jerry that he convinced her to come work for him in his oil and gas business.
And when Jerry bought the Cowboys, he wasn't leaving Marylyn behind. Convinced her initially to come to Dallas for be with him at The Ranch three days a week while working the rest of the week in OKC. She did that with another associate of Jerry's, Carol Padgett. They had an apartment across the street in Valley Ranch.
Eventually both moved permanently to Dallas to work for the Cowboys. Jerry couldn't have been happier, and the rest is history. And this became a family affair for Marylyn, since her daughter, Laura Fryar, eventually became the Cowboys head coach administrative assistant, as she still is today for Mike McCarthy.
This paragraph in the memorial program probably best sums up Marylyn Love:
"Dedicated, loyal, respected and loved (there is that word again) are only some of the words that anyone who met her would say, including countless players, coaches, staff, media and dignitaries."
As evidenced, what greater tribute than to have the entire Cowboys coaching staff attend the service. Then, too, former Cowboys quarterback, offensive coordinator nine-year former head coach Jason Garrett. And players, too.
Dak was there. So was Troy Aikman. And as for the others I personally saw, the likes of Daryl Johnston, Charles Haley, Greg Ellis, Chad Hennings, Tony Tolbert, assistant coaches who played for the Cowboys Leon Lett and Kellen Moore. Doctors and trainers. Even Pro Football Hall of Fame president Dave Baker
And so many more former employees of the organization who have gone on to retire during Marylyn's 33-year stretch with the Cowboys.
As was said about her this afternoon, she was "indispensable."
But what stood out to me was Marylyn's humility. She was so gracious, but never wanted notoriety, even though those of us dealing with her were so appreciative of her efforts. Can remember her desk at The Ranch sitting right outside Jerry's office. Again, couldn't get to Jerry unless you got past Marylyn.
Was also mentioned Marylyn was the one who would send the flowers. I can attest. I had only been working for the Cowboys like three years when my dad passed away in 2003. There was a flower arrangement at his wake from the Cowboys, signed by Jerry Jones. Brought my mother to tears.
But I knew darn well who sent those flowers. It was Marylyn.
As Jerry spoke of her undying contributions to this Cowboys organization, he summed up his "remembrance" bay saying, "We are all indebted to her life of service."
While driving back from vacation on Monday, with a lot of time on my hands coming from Colorado, this thought came to mind. While the Cowboys have a Ring of Honor to preserve the memory of their very best from their football world, maybe there should be like a Hall of Honor display at The Star for those like Marylyn, those with a lengthy history of working for the franchise that began in 1960. You know, the ones behind the scenes who helped make a difference.
There has been so many deserving who have gone unnoticed.
Also thought, to honor Marylyn Love, instead of a moment of silence as usually takes place for those who have passed, and if you are reading this, maybe stand and put your hands together in private tribute to her.
Think about it. She did so much to help others receive standing ovations in this organizations. Players, coaches, front office personnel. Jerry himself. Now she deserves one.
Knowing her, Marylyn would blush, deflecting the attention.
But just maybe, she'd love it, too.