Marilyn Kothe died Thursday, May 9, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. She was 86.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, May 17, at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Onalaska, Wis., with Pastors William Bader and Dan Olson officiating. Burial will follow in Onalaska City Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 11 a.m. until the time of the service Friday at the church. In honor of Marilyn’s love of flowers and colors, the family encourages you to wear bright colors in celebration of her life.
Marilyn Mae Weseloh was born Dec. 28, 1932, at home on the farm in Fair Haven to Edward and Lydia (Schauer) Weseloh. She graduated from Kimball High School in 1950, the same year she met Ted Kothe, the new pastor’s son, who was sleeping through his father’s sermon. She married that pastor’s son on July 21, 1956. Marilyn and Ted were married 52 years before Ted died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. Together they adopted and raised three children. Marilyn was very thankful for her family. They enjoyed traveling to visit family around the country, playing cards with friends, and caring for their precious grandchildren.
Marilyn earned her Associate in Education degree from St. Cloud State Teachers’ College in 1954, and her Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State College in 1962. In-between, she taught kindergarten because of the shortage of teachers during the Baby Boom.
Marilyn and Ted moved to Tyler, Minn., where Ted taught. They made lifelong friends there. They moved to La Crosse, Wis., when Ted was hired by Luther High School in Onalaska, Wis. Marilyn managed home and family, and supported Ted throughout his career. Together, they also ran the Triangle Café for a few years in downtown La Crosse; there many locals enjoyed coffee and conversation.
Marilyn was an avid reader, history lover, and storyteller. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (all of them city kids) enjoyed her stories of growing up on the farm. Those experiences fed her lifelong passions of gardening, cooking, canning, and quilting.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ted, sisters Marlys, Laneve, DeEtte, and Mae, as well as other beloved family members and friends.
She is survived by her sister Sharan (and Bud) Brown; children Beth (and Dale Bjorkman) Kothe, Peter Kothe, and Amy Kothe; grandchildren Lindsay (and Lou) Ferguson, Taylor Killilea, Aubrey Howerton, Alex Schuenke, Elise Schuenke, Kate (and Stephen) Marrou), and Chris (and Ryan) Courtney); seven great-grandchildren; and many other family members, neighbors, and friends (including her bridge club, Wednesday Bible study ladies, and book club).
Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s Luther Church and School, or Luther High School.
The family wishes to thank the hospice team at Mayo Clinic, the staff at the Onalaska Care Center, Pastors Bader and Olson, and the many friends and family who offered support during her brief illness.