A resident of Montauk for over 50 years, Marilyn is a familiar, friendly face around town. Born in Flushing Hospital, Queens, and daughter to Marion and Jim Sullivan, Marilyn was an army brat. After graduating from St Agnes High School, Marilyn went on to pursue a business/secretarial degree from Catherine Gibbs in Manhattan. With a degree in hand, Marilyngot a job working for the art director at American Home Products, and moved into NYC where she lived and worked for 5 years.
Marilyn first met John Behan, her future husband, at the age of 16. They reconnected years later at the Behan restaurant in Queens, and were married in ’68. This is when their Montauk adventure began.
Marilyn’s involvement in Montauk covers a wide range of experiences. From owning and running a liquor store with John, being a long-time member of the Montauk Village Association,serving as the Executive Director of Montauk Chamber of Commerce, and working part-time at the medical clinic, to being the wife of a Politician in Albany while raising three kids here in Montauk. In addition to working, she volunteered at school events, and as a boy scout and girl scout leader.
In 1995 during the administration of Governor George L. Pataki, John was appointed to become the director of the State Division of Veterans Affairs. At this point, the kids were grown, so Marilyn retired from the Chamber and moved with John to Albany. She worked for Governor Pataki on the MAT-Marketing, Tourism and Advertising Program. While in this position, she became an advocate for Montauk with the state, helping market tourism. She also ran the ‘I Love to Ski Program’ for the state of NY.
In 2001, with Marilyn and John retired and at home, she decided she needed a job. So, Marilyn joined the Uihlein family. For ten years, she worked at the Uihlein’s Marina and Hotel in Montauk; running everything from day-to-day office operations, to staff training, and billing.
In addition to everything else, Marilyn Behan has a long history as a volunteer with the Montauk Friends of Erin. It started early on when John and his father were members. She and some of the other wives volunteered to support the group’s activities. This evolved into her being a part of the FOE Ladies Auxiliary; she is still an active part of the group today.
In 1988, John, with Marilyn’s help, decided to hold a St. Patrick’s Grand Marshal Luncheon to honor the outgoing Grand Marshal, as well as to welcome the new one. She and John continued hosting the luncheons for many years. Last year, after a few years away, she decided to pick up the job again.
Marilyn also keeps busy with her children- Bridget, Jason and Danielle, Jack and Nancy, and grandchildren- Samantha, Jack, Harry, Teddy and William. She told me that she loves fishing,and baking; her treats can be enjoyed at The Shagwong, where she is their dessert chef.
With an infinite number of acquaintances, friends, and family members, Marilyn is a cherished member of the Montauk Community. Her years of dedication to her family and our community makes her a perfect choice for the 2022 60th Grand Marshal.