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Admired umpire's passing leaves a void in softball world

Tributes poured in through various social media posts when it was announced that long-time Battlefords and Saskatchewan umpire, Marilyn O'Driscoll passed away.

BATTLEFORD -- In the early afternoon of Aug. 23, word travelled quickly about the passing of well-known Saskatchewan umpire, Marilyn O’Driscoll.

Tributes poured in through social media sites from Softball Canada and Softball Umpires Canada to entities of the same in Saskatchewan as well as numerous minor ball pages. O'Driscoll was a well-known, admired and respected umpire.

Softball Canada Umpires page posted, “It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of a dear member of our softball community, Marilyn O’Driscoll. Marilyn has been an amazing umpire, organizer, and mentor for our association, and she will be greatly missed. Today is a very sad day for the sport of softball in our communities.”

O’Driscoll started her softball career as a player migrating into officiating.

Guy Jacobsen, executive director, for Softball Saskatchewan says O’Driscoll was a registered umpire for more than 30 years. She officiated at some national events and many provincial and Western Canadian championships. She also served as the umpire and chief for Softball Saskatchewan.

“Marilyn was a true volunteer, well beyond umpiring or playing,” Jacobsen said.

“She mentored so many players and young umpires, and she gave way more back to the game than she ever got out of it. Such a terrific person, I wouldn’t know a single person that didn’t like or appreciate her. “

Many parents of younger players acknowledged their kids’ love and appreciation of her umpiring and mentorship while players of all generations offered condolences and gratitude for her work and her friendship at the diamonds.

“A lot of our ball memories growing up included Marilyn, she will be so missed.”

In her spare time, O’Driscoll was admired for her gardening and her love of family, noting she never complained, and her positive attitude was contagious, both attributes appreciated in the softball community.