"Marge is someone who loves Bayonne," said Henry Sanchez, a member of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority, the Bayonne office of the American Red Cross, plus numerous other civic bodies in Bayonne. "She will be missed."
"She is a wonderful person," said Eddie O'Rourke, president of the Bergen Point Merchant Association.
Joe Ryan, spokesperson for Mayor Joseph Doria, called Wilk one of the most civic-minded people in Bayonne.
"She was an air raid warden during World War II," Ryan said. "After the attacks on 9/11, she came to us volunteered to do that again if we needed her."
While Wilk has worked other jobs during her long life, many people know here from her association with newspapers. She worked for the Bayonne Times from 1941 to 1960, starting in the circulation department. She soon became a critical person in the sales of display advertising, before she left work to get married and raise her kids.
She came to the Bayonne Community News shortly after its started in 1978 as a part time employee, and soon because a full time employee learning nearly every aspect of the job. She retired for a short period then was asked back. She started the newspaper's bridal column, and was for a long time the driving force behind its greeting section, but also hand a hand in various promotions such as the Easter section. During her tenure at the Community news she handled accounts, sold advertising, even helped with layout.
In an interview last week, Wilk said she enjoyed newspaper work and has fond memories of her time with the newspapers.
"Being with the newspapers allowed me to meet and talk with various people," she said. Wilk - who will continue her civic duties - is past president of the Bayonne Historic Society (where she is currently vice president) and a trustee of the board of the Bayonne Community Museum. For a time, she was a member of the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation (BEOF), which sponsors two Head Start programs in Bayonne as well as other programs. She is a member of the Concerned Citizens of Bayonne, president for eight years of the Holy Family Alumni Mothers' Club, and former president of the Mothers Club.
Born and raised in Bayonne, Wilk also served as president of the Parents Teachers association at Horace Mann School.
In speaking of the future, Wilk said she did not want to lose touch with the community. "There are a lot of things I want to see and do," she said. "Maybe I'll be another Grandma Moses. Maybe I'll write a book. Maybe I'll try and conquer the computer. But above all, I will concentrate on preserving the history of Bayonne by work with the Bayonne Historical Society and the Bayonne Community Museum. And if I were younger, I would for councilwoman."
Contact Al Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org