Marilyn I. Wanous, 73

Published 5:09 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

Marilyn I. Wanous, 73

Marilyn Wanous, age 73, passed away Wednesday, April 5, 2023. She was an incredible woman who was happiest surrounded by family and friends, tending her flowers and home, and stepping in to help others.

Marilyn grew up on her parents’ farm near Ellendale riding horses, keeping her younger sister in line, razzing her brothers, challenging her school’s dress code and doing her best to give her Dad gray hair. Her love of fast cars and cold beer landed her future husband. She and John were married just after her high school graduation and went on to raise five daughters, all of whom feel honored and proud to be compared to her never still, fun, crazy self.

While dementia unfairly changed her life these past five years, we can now remember her as her true self… a fun, hard-working, loyal and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend who could drink beer, cheat mischievously at any game and leg wrestle with the best of them. Her husband will remember her for the immaculate, welcoming home she created, along with her amazing holiday feasts. Her daughters will remember her as the gift she was and will be forever grateful for her and the example she set – her sense of humor, her strong work ethic, her love of and commitment to her family (so many sporting events and activities that she truly loved attending) and her zest for and enjoyment of life, no matter the hardship. Her ridiculously lucky grandchildren will remember how much fun she was and just how much she enjoyed spending time with them. They felt her love every time they were with her, no matter their age and despite her constant cheating to beat them at Slap Jack. They were all willing to “lose” as long as she kept her homemade iced tea flowing. Her friends will remember her ready laughter, which could be heard across any room, and her quick smile and wave as she rode her bike through town spring, summer, and fall.

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She will be so missed by all who knew and loved her; but we’ll smile as we remember her and wonder what shenanigans she would be up to if she were still here with us.

A special thank you to Cascade Creek Memory Care and Mayo Hospice for their care the past two years and especially these past few weeks.

Survivors include her husband, John Wanous of Brownsdale, Minnesota; daughters, Lisa Hegland of Osage, Iowa, Julie (Brad) Tapp of Dexter, Minnesota, Amy (Tracy) Tapp of Rochester, Minnesota, Jodi (Jeff) Carney of Hayfield, Minnesota, and Katie (Andy) Brumm of Osage, Iowa; 12 very, very lucky grandchildren; and siblings, Tom (Kay) Sawyer and Susie Wilker. She was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Hilda Sawyer, and siblings Jim and Kathy.

A celebration of life will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11, at the Worlein Funeral Home in Austin with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Friends and family are then invited to the Frontier Lounge in Brownsdale to lift one last Busch Light in Marilyn’s honor. Interment will be in St. Columbanus Catholic Cemetery, Blooming Prairie, at a future date. Services are prearranged and performed by Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at