Marleen Marie Moritz, 71, of Monona, Iowa passed away peacefully with family at her side, early Saturday, August 26, 2017, following a long illness at Crossing Rivers Health, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Marleen Blietz was born December 6, 1945 to parents, Giles W. and Dorothy M. (Jarms) Blietz in Monona, Iowa. She was baptized on December 23, 1945 and received her first holy communion on May 10, 1953, both at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Garnavillo, Iowa. Marleen and was confirmed on March 2, 1958 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona, Iowa. She completed her grade school education in Garnavillo Community School District and St. Patrick Catholic School in Monona, Iowa and graduated from M-F-L High School with the class of 1963. While in high school, Marleen participated in softball all four years, was a member of the track team, excelled in basketball, earning first team all-conference recognition her junior and senior years and was awarded the IDPA all-state honorable mention and the Des Moines Register all-state honorable mention her senior year as well. Following graduation from high school, Marleen attended Winona State University. She graduated from NRI Schools with high honors following completion of the basic and master courses in small engine repair.
Marleen was a long-time member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Monona, Iowa where she had served as a grade school religious education teacher and Rosary Society President.
Marleen was united in marriage with Gary L. Moritz on November 9, 1968 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Monona, Iowa. The couple were blessed with two children; James and Kristie.
In addition to work and normal duties associated with raising a family, Marleen enjoyed activities with her family and friends including, spending time on the Mississippi River camping and fishing, canoeing the Yellow River each 4th of July, many, many week-ends camping at Har-gas Hideaway with the Vorwald family, hot dog roasts while cutting wood, raising a large garden and following her children and grandchildren’s school activities.
Marleen loved being outdoors and worked daily on the family farm with her husband. They operated a dairy, beef and crop farming operation, along with custom farming. Marleen was not afraid of hard-work and was extremely dedicated to the farming operation and was involved in all facets of the farm. Her favorite job on the farm was spring and fall field work. Prior to working full-time on the farm, Marleen was employed by a wheat harvesting crew in Texas, Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kurdelmeyer’s Tavern and the Watson Store, both of Monona. In addition, along with her “sister” Barb, she operated a lunch wagon and provided food at local auctions. Following the decision to partially retire from their farming operation, Marleen was employed by the Monona Veterinary Hospital.
Marleen enjoyed many hobbies including; collecting anything related to John Deere, but especially John Deere toy tractors and farm implements, woodworking, repairing small engines, restoring antique farm equipment and tractors, attending flea markets and garage sales, collecting pens and pencils and following Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball. She was extremely proud of the fact that two of her granddaughters are currently furthering their education at the University of Iowa. Her favorite Iowa Hawkeye football player is #66-Dallas Jacobus (Special friend of her Granddaughter Haleigh). Marleen and Gary also enjoyed collecting two-cylinder tractors and antique farm implements. Their John Deere collection was something Marleen was extremely proud of and provided her much enjoyment.
Marleen was able to build, repair or refurbish almost anything and if you told her it could not be done, she would do whatever to prove that she could do it. Marleen restored and built many pieces of furniture and restored many tractors and farm implements. She took great pride in their farm and spent countless hours, landscaping and maintaining the yard, home and buildings. Marleen was very interested in soil conservation and spent a great deal of time working with the local agencies to establish and implement changes to their crop farming operation to ensure the land was being preserved. Gary and Marleen were awarded the Iowa Soil Conservation Award in 1991 for their district.
As Marleen’s health declined, she found enjoyment in touring the farm and countryside on her John Deere gator, participating in online John Deere collectible auctions, following her favorite sports teams, reading, following her granddaughters on Facebook, an occasional ride through the country, spending time at her son’s cabin, jig-saw puzzles and babysitting her grand dog, Gunner. Most importantly, she cherished the time spent with her family, especially her granddaughters. Accepting the fact that she was unable to continue her desire to work and enjoyed her hobbies was extremely difficult, but she did so with great determination, faith and courage.
Marleen is survived by her husband of nearly forty-nine years, Gary; son, James of Monona, Iowa; daughter, Kristie (Brian) Middendorf of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; granddaughters, Taylor Middendorf of Iowa City, Iowa, Haleigh Middendorf of Iowa City, Iowa and Jaden Middendorf of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; brothers, Roger (Helen) Blietz of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Rick (Laurie) Blietz of McGregor, Iowa and Kevin Blietz of Albuquerque, New Mexico; sister, Jean Ann (Gary) Berger of Waukon, Iowa; nieces and nephews, Julie (Ross) Wiebold, Brian (Shelley) Blietz, Gerad (Betty) Blietz, Chad Darby, Tara Blietz, Randee (Eric) Koenig, Erin Blietz, Emily Blietz, Randy (Faiane) Berger, Rusty (Cynthia) Berger, Linda (Frank) Mahr, Rick (Leslie) Berger, Lisa Berger and their families.
Marlene was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Elaine Blietz; brothers, Gary and Dean Blietz; sister-in-law, Mary Darby; nephew, Brent Blietz; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Velma and Felix Moritz.
The Moritz family gratefully acknowledges everyone who provided care and comfort to Marleen during the course of her illness and extends special gratitude to each of them. She faced her illness with extreme courage and determination and fought tirelessly. It was extremely hard for us to say good-bye to the greatest wife, mom and grandmother, but know that she is free of her pain and no longer struggles to breathe. We hope this will help carry us through the days, weeks and months ahead.
Memorials may be directed to the MFL Ambulance Service, The Froelich Foundation, St. Patrick Catholic Church Building Fund or the charity of your choice.
Visitation will be Wednesday, August 30, 2017 from 4-8 pm with a scripture service at 8:00 pm at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona, Iowa and one hour before mass at the church on Thursday.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am on Thursday August 31, 2017 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Monona, Iowa with Rev. Nils de Jesus Hernandez as the Celebrant.
Burial will follow at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, McGregor, Iowa.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona, Iowa is helping the family with the arrangements.