Marilyn Julia Jorgenson, West Union, Iowa, August 27, 2023

Marilyn Julia Jorgenson, 90, passed away peacefully, Sunday, August 27, 2023, at her daughter’s home in Cumming, Georgia, following a period of declining health. Over this past year, as a “Southern Lady”, she became an Atlanta Braves fan (especially Riley), ate boiled peanuts, enjoyed sunning out back watching the golfers on the 15th hole, grew to understand most southern accents, enjoyed visiting with her many southern friends, old and new, and the numerous visits from all her children, spouses, and grandchildren, much to Lynda’s delight.

Marilyn was born on December 24th, 1932, at the Postville Community Hospital to Anton Robert Kohls and Mary Jane Hills Kohls. They were members of the First Baptist Church of Elgin and never missed a Sunday. She was baptized at the age of twelve and given her first Bible. She fondly tells how emotional it was to see her oldest son, Eddie, baptized in the same tank, in the same church, that she was as a little girl. One of her most favorite gifts, still used and by her side was the Bible her parents gave her years later for her wedding, engraved with her name on the front and zipper closure.

Marilyn grew up on a farm east of West Union near Glovers Creek. Memories she holds dear are of her and her mom getting up at 4:30am, walking to the trout stream, catching their limit and being home by 7am to help milk the cows. When neighbors or town people would walk through their land to get to the trout stream to fish, her sister and her would make money by charging them to pass through. Her dad took her sister Caryl and her to school every day. If the car was not working, he took them on the Farmall B tractor. She graduated from West Union High School at the age of 17. She loved the outdoors and preferred to feed the chickens, gather eggs, clean the barn, fish and bale hay then do indoor chores. She loved animals, fondly recalling their farm animals when she was young, Trixie their collie, Mac and Dick their work horses, Domino her pet chicken and many other favorite dogs and cats over her lifetime. When she was 14, she went to a school Christmas dance with the brother of girls she knew from school and that was her first date with Clarence Jorgenson. They dated for 3 years and on July 28, 1950, at age 17, and after baling hay all day, she was united in marriage to Clarence George Jorgenson at the First Baptist Church of Elgin. To this union, six children were born.

Settling in West Union, they became members of Bethel United Presbyterian Church where Marilyn was active in many of the lady’s church auxiliary groups. She was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years when a friend referred her to a job open that she thought she would be great at. It was with Fayette County Community Action Corp. She worked in the office at the Fayette County Court House a few mornings a week and the rest spent traveling the county doing outreach work. After two years she applied and got a job in the Fayette County Auditor’s Office. She was active in election work, along with her husband who worked maintenance at the County Court House, they assisted the County Auditor in setting up and maintaining the voting machines for all elections. She remembers when the first computers arrived, and she was one of the first to eagerly learn the systems and programs. She was named Deputy Auditor and served 25 years before retiring at the age of sixty-two. Marilyn and Clarence visited family often, loved seeing the grandkids and then the great grandkids. They traveled many miles in their motorhome visiting almost every state in the Country, enjoying trips to see family in Sturgeon Bay, WI, trips to Georgia, winters in Arizona with family, and Texas with many friends.

Marilyn loved to read, travel, camping, planting flowers, gardening, canning, freezing, baking, going to coffee, dinners, and dancing with friends, she loved animals, the smell of fresh mowed hay because it reminded her of her childhood, and being around her five kids, ten grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

Survivors are her children Edwin Anton (Janann) Elgin, Kathy Rose (Arlin) Begalske Sumner, Lynda Mary (Greg) Scott, Cumming, GA, Thomas Clarence (Julie) Gilbert, AZ, Gary James (Molly) Center Point. Ten grandchildren Marcia (Monti) Fisher, Kristen (Marcus) McCrickard, Ryan (Ashley) Begalske, Eric (Krista) Begalske, Jessica (Nick) Scott Sexton, Nicholas Scott, Mallorie (Sean) Plummer, Marisa (David Chalmers) Jorgenson, Matthew Jorgenson, and Adriana Jorgenson. Great grandchildren, Kaden and Brinkley Fisher, Cruz and Taytum Begalske, Parker, Mason and Madison Begalske, Jaye Belle and Jett Sexton, Quinn and Rowyn Plummer, and Ezra and Milo Chalmers. Sister-in-law Doris (Gordon) Kleppe of West Union and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence George Jorgenson, parents, Anton and Mary Jane Hills Kohls, a son, Kevin Allen, her sister Caryl and brother-in law, Robert McClain, parent-in-laws, Oscar and Rose Heller Jorgenson, Clarence’s brother Edwin and sisters, Edna, Adeline, Elna and husband George Campbell, brother-in-law Gordon Kleppe and niece and nephew Carrie Kleppe Hauer and Kevin Kleppe.

A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, September 15, 2023 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home in West Union, Iowa.

A private family burial service will be held at the West Union Cemetery, September 16, 2023 with Pastor J.T. Young, First Baptist Church of Elgin officiating.

 Burnham-Wood-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in West Union, Iowa is assisting the family with arrangements.

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