Cover photo for Marilyn Rose Heller Barinaga's Obituary
Marilyn Rose Heller Barinaga Profile Photo
1924 Marilyn 2024

Marilyn Rose Heller Barinaga

January 20, 1924 — June 4, 2024


Marilyn Rose Heller Barinaga, 100, of Castleford, Idaho, passed away peacefully at home on June 4, 2024. She was born on January 20, 1924, to Albert Edward and Laura (Younger) Heller who were of German and Norwegian ancestry, respectively. The Hellers were some of the pioneering farmers in Castleford. She joined an older brother, Charles, who later passed away at age 7.

Marilyn graduated from Castleford High School, then attended the University of Idaho. She would later graduate from the University of Oregon with a degree in physiotherapy. During World War II, she worked in Sacramento, California, and then in Boise, Idaho, at St. Alphonsus Hospital.
In 1948 Marilyn married the love of her life, Jose “Joe” Barinaga. Joe was a local woolgrower and proud member of the Basque culture. Together, Marilyn and Joe built their home next to her parents’ land, just down the road from where she grew up in Castleford. Marilyn thoroughly enjoyed raising her beautiful family and providing a great home. Marilyn was also a huge supporter for the family’s sheep outfit. She took many active roles from trailing the sheep to the desert, to bum-lamb caregiving, cooking during the winter lambing season, shipping lambs in the summer, and many more.

After more than 36 years of marriage, Joe passed away unexpectedly in 1985. Although his untimely death had a profound impact on her heart, Marilyn continued to be a strong, independent, and fulfilled woman who devoted her life to her family, close friends, and the community. Throughout her life, Marilyn enjoyed managing the farms and ranch, playing bridge with many wonderful friends, and traveling, both domestically and internationally.

Marilyn was born, raised, and lived in Castleford for over 94 years. Of the many memories of Mom, her warm, beautiful smile (which could be quite impish at times) stands out to all of us. Her kindness and gentle nature will always warm our hearts. 

Marilyn and Joe had three children, Charles Joe of West Richland, Washington; Linda Rose (Dick Williams) of Salmon, Idaho; and Joy Lynn (Mike Mason) of Kimberly, Idaho, who all survive her. Marilyn was blessed with four grandchildren who also survive her, Richard Patrick Barinaga Williams and Josi Rose Barinaga Williams (Karl Geisler); John Albert (Lindsay) Mason and Joseph Harold (Jenn) Mason. She also got to meet her three great-grandchildren, Neva Rose, William Cody, and Peter Charles, with two more on the way. She is also survived by three nieces.

Marilyn had a special place in her heart for Troy and Vickie Schlund.  They lived next to her, and Troy farmed her place for 36 years. Always there to lend a hand, Troy’s care and concern for Marilyn was truly genuine and heartfelt. We would like to thank Troy and his family for their years of compassionate friendship.

We would also like to send a special thanks to caregivers Josephine and Carolyn, and nurses Don and Kaydence for their extra special care and love for Mom.

Mom, Grandma, you will forever be in our hearts. We love you.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at the Castleford Methodist Church, 303 Elm Street, Castleford.

Memorial donations may be made in Marilyn’s name to the Castleford Fire Department, PO Box 608, Castleford, Idaho, 83321, or the Castleford Methodist Church, PO Box 667, Castleford, Idaho, 83321.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Marilyn’s memorial webpage at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Rose Heller Barinaga, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Castleford United Methodist Church

303 Elm St, Castleford, ID 83321

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