In Memory of

Marilyn Joan Meyer

June 3, 1931 - January 31, 2021
From: Everly, IA
Marilyn Joan Meyer

Marilyn Joan Meyer

Born: June 3, 1931
Died: January 31, 2021
Age: 89

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   Marilyn Joan Nelson Meyer was born on June 3, 1931 to Arnold Jens and Agnes Miller Nelson in Omaha, Nebraska. She was an only child but enjoyed life with many, many cousins. She attended schools in Omaha, graduating from Technical High School in 1948 and then enrolled at Dana College in Blair, NE for two years.  With the teaching certificate she earned there, she taught in York, NE and then in Omaha.
   While at Dana, she met Robert Meyer of rural Everly, IA and on August 10, 1950, they married. Bob served in the U.S. Navy for four years and during that time, twins, Jeff and Jennifer, were born in 1953 at the Air Force hospital in Omaha, NE. SAC Air Force base had the closest military hospital that offered medical services for the couple.     
   There is a story that a friend of Bob’s met him walking on a sidewalk near the hospital with a dazed look on his face. When questioned if he was feeling well, Bob blurted out: “I just had twins!”
   The family then moved to Spencer where Joel was born in 1956 and then to Everly for a short time. In 1958, Bob’s father, Ben, who owned and operated a farm north of Everly, passed away and the family, in May of 1958, moved to the farm to keep it operating.
   Not long after, Marilyn began teaching in Everly, carrying on a family tradition. Her great-grandfather and great-uncle were teachers in Denmark, her mother, a rural teacher in Audubon County. Marilyn’s twin son and daughter are music teachers and two of her granddaughters are also teachers.
   Marilyn remained in the school system for 37 years in her beloved First Grade. Teaching children was her great love. She especially loved teaching reading and started a custom of inviting parents to the “Reading Party,” where the children would read selections to the audience and then enjoy homemade treats (baked by Marilyn, of course) with their child.
   She and Bob divorced in 1982.
   Marilyn was especially proud of her Danish heritage and traveled to Denmark four times, eventually connecting with cousins there. To celebrate her 80th birthday, she had the Danish flag tattooed on one of her legs, near the ankle!
   Following retirement, she started volunteer work at the Parker Historical Society of Clay County, giving tours to students and attending classes on curatorship. The museum had a replica of a country school in the basement and there, using original props and wearing an old-fashioned schoolmarm dress, she explained to Spencer’s elementary school students what it would have been like attending such a school.
   Marilyn had a penchant for taking an idea, developing it and moving it into the universe. While she worked at the Parker museum, she decided to research rural schools in Clay County. For three years, she traveled the county armed with historical information obtained from the Clay County courthouse atlases and other related resources and started her search for the 131 rural schools on file.
   After rural education was reorganized, most schools were sold, to be used as homes, garages, museums, or churches.  She found these school buildings and along with the pictures and names of teachers and students and anecdotal stories of school life, she compiled all this information into a book entitled “REMEMBERING CLAY COUNTY RURAL SCHOOLS”.
Marilyn had 10,000 copies printed and donated the money from sales of the book to the Parker Historical Society. She was frequently asked to present her research at club meetings, library gatherings and conferences. She converted all of her photos into slides and wearing her schoolmarm dress, she wove the story of education in these country schools into a romance of students gathered round the pot-bellied stove in winter, tin lunch pails, baseball games at recess, the duties and morals required of teachers and how one teacher organized lessons for eight grade levels in readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic.
   Marilyn died January 31, 2021 at Spencer Hospital after suffering a combination of physical impairments.
   She is survived by her three children and their spouses from youngest to oldest: Joel and his wife, Mary; Jennifer and her husband, James McLaughlin; and Jeff and his wife, Cathy; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
   Because of the pandemic, memorial services will be scheduled for a later date. Memorial donations can be sent to Jennifer Meyer, 13406 S29th Ave., Bellevue, NE 68123. All donations will be contributed to special interests of Marilyn’s, such as upkeep expenses for the rural school that was moved to the Everly Park.

Services will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be sent to:
Jennifer Meyer
13406 S. 29th Ave.
Bellevue, NE 68123


Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 8:03 AM
“I am so sad to learn of Marilyn's passing. She was a volunteer in my Head Start classroom for several years and was a blessing to me and the children. Heaven has certainly gained an angel.”
- Michelle Nensel
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 8:47 AM
“I am lost for words. Mrs Meyer (Marilyn) was one of the kindness and most loved teacher and person i know with a heart of gold. Always so beautiful. She touched so many people and left heart felt memories for all. My thoughts and prayers to her family and friends. She will live on in our hearts and minds forever. I bet the next reading party and treats are being served in heaven. Miss you always until we meet again. ”
- Brenda (Simpson) Pomeroy
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 8:02 AM
“It is clear that everyone who knew Marilyn is grieving her loss. She was such a bright light for so many kids and so many people. I'll cherish the memories our families made when I was younger and will always regret not getting to have her as my first grade teacher. Jeff, Jennifer and Joel and families, my condolences. ”
- Lori (Thomsen) Johnson
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 7:59 AM
“My Omaha big "cuz", four years my senior—greatest campground hostess in N.W. IA!
Gonna miss those Dansk ancestor genealogy chats on warm summer evenings! Visiting the lakes, Grotto, schoolhouses, counting the deer etc., etc. etc.
Today, good teachers are very hard to come by—this one will be missed greatly, by many.”
- Joe & Norma Karwal
Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Must have started up a first grade class in heaven. We were lucky to have had her as an educator. One of my favorite people to have known. Condolences to her family.”
Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Prayers to Marilyn's family, she will be missed by many. She was a great teacher and person. She will be missed by many.”
- Betty Walton
Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“My love for this special woman is truly immeasurable, just as her love for all of us...her “special first graders.” Marilyn was family, friend, mentor and an inspiration to me. I have many beautiful memories with her granddaughter, my childhood friend Jill, at her farm and my grandparents house. I cherish every memory made with Marilyn. She was a an amazing woman, my precious friend, and beloved teacher. A blessing to all. Love and prayers to each of you, especially her family. We are here for you, thinking of you and praying for peace, comfort and beautiful memories to surround you. Love to all of you. ”
- Iesha (Meyer) Toft
Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 3:00 PM
“Marilyn was such a sweet lady. I did some framing for her. We quite often got off the tasks of framing and on to many other subjects. Enjoyed our visits much!”
- Teresa Frerichs
Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 10:14 AM
“Our condolences to all of Marilyn's family. She was a great teacher and friend to so many. I can recall staying overnight with Jeff in our younger years and Marilyn was so nice. In reading the obituary, I didn't realize what a fun life she led, full of adventure.”
- Mike and Cindy Carpenter
Friday, February 5, 2021 at 8:06 AM
“Marilyn has been a integral part of our community and our children's education for many years. She will be terribly missed!! Always a smile and never met a stranger. Hold on to the wonderful memories and may God wrap his arms around you all and give you peace. ””
- Gayle & Bryan Bailey
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 4:36 PM
“What a special lady. She was a teacher and mentor to the whole community or whomever she met. She kept so involved in the area and was always willing to help others. She had a wonderful life of goodness. God Bless all.”
- Pat Campbell
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 11:39 AM
“My sympathy to Marilyn's family on the death of your loving mother. I became a friend at Bethany Lutheran Church and also as a member of our T.T.T organization. She loved to introduce us to people that were once one of her first graders. She was a special person to many people.
- Marla Woelber
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8:09 AM
“I had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn at HyVee one day. Somehow we got talking and she told me of being a teacher. As I talked about this with others they expressed so much regard for her. What a legacy! God rest her soul.”
- Pastor Mark Wilms
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 8:09 AM
“To Marilyn's family, she was such an amazing woman. If you were thirsty, all you did was knock on her door and you had water. She was an angel on earth. I loved visiting her whenever I saw her. May God bless and keep you all! Jean Lindemann Williamson ”
- Jean Williamson
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Such a wonderful kind woman. She will be missed by many. Prayers.”
- Sharon Cameron
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“We are saddened to hear of Marilyn"s passing. We were fortunate to meet her through Bethany Church. We will forever remember her teaching our Hannah how to sew. She will be greatly missed by us and so many. Jim & Jan Rusk”
- Jan Rusk
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“I met Marilyn when she and a couple sweet friends visited my 4th grade classroom at South Clay. They dressed in their pioneer clothing, and taught us so much about the “good old days of the pioneers”! Being former teachers themselves, they held the students’ attention every second! When we visited the Parker Museum, Marilyn taught school to us. She was always so positive, remembered so many minute details, and I doubt that beautiful smile ever left her face for long. Sincere sympathy to her family and all of her dear friends. She was a gem. ❤️”
- Nira & Bob Rusk
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 3:50 PM
“My sympathy to Marilyn’s family. She was a talented and kind lady. ”
- Deb Wilcox
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 2:49 PM
“Our community has lost a wonderful teacher, historian, and friend in the passing of Marilyn. Becky and I were always amazed at the energy and drive that Marilyn had and the love she showed for her family and friends. I always enjoyed visiting with her when I was on the school board and she was teaching our children. Marilyn taught our three kids and she was so proud of the fact that our daughter Kristy in turn taught her great grand kids. She seemed to have a bond with all of the students she taught, a bond that lasted throughout her life. She was sincerely interested in their accomplishments and enjoyed hearing from them. We express our most sincere sympathy to her family and we know that God was waiting with open arms to welcome her home.”
- Mark and Becky Schmid
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 11:25 AM
“My sincere sympathy goes out to Marilyn’s family. We knew each other through many years of Reading Association meetings. She was a special positive person and a wonderful influence on all who knew her. Marcie Frevert”
- Marcie Frevert
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:54 AM
“Marilyn was an angel on Earth and now has her wings in heaven. She spent her life giving to others. What a legend she left behind.

My condolences to her family. Judy J.”
- Judy Johnson
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“We were so sorry to hear this news - I travelled to Denmark with Marilyn in 2016, two Danish- to- the -core older ladies following their hearts to Denmark. We spoke often on the phone this past winter and held each other up. I will miss her. With sympathy and prayers, Pixie and Craig and Katrine
- Pixie Jensen
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Mrs. Meyer was the best teacher I've ever had. She truly loved her calling as a teacher and she's impacted the lives of so many of her students. I have so many fond memories of the Reading Loft, Knut the Bear, Pioneer Day, Grandparents Day and the other ways she made learning fun and interactive. She saw the best in her students and nurtured each and every one of them. The world is a little darker today with out Mrs. Meyer in it. My prayers go to her family and the many people whose lives she touched.”
- Roxy (Dass) Strike
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Marilyn lived a full and rich life and in turn enriched the lives of everyone around her. Blessings to her family.”
- Denise Nielsen Swinbank
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Jeff and Jennifer and families im so sorry to hear about your mom. She was my first grade teacher at everly and also was my neighbor by the Hollander farm. Mrs. Meyer was a wonderful lady. I will miss her hugs every time I would see her. ”
- Karen Le Clair Ross
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“What a beautiful lady Mrs. Meyer was! Touched so many and she will be greatly missed by a lot of people! Definitely was one of my favorite teachers for sure. Thoughts and prayers to her family and all of her special first graders!”
- Sharon Fell Mitchell
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“A dear woman, neighbor and one of my favorite teachers. Her energy and warm personality will always be with me. My sympathies and blessings. ”
- LyNae Nielsen Schleyer
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Oh my, such sadness that our world lost such a beautiful woman who spent her life engulfing others with love, kindness, joy, and encouragement. I was so blessed to have Mrs. Meyer when I was an extremely shy first grader (I'm 55 now!). She was such a gentle, loving, generous, and dynamic soul...truly among the most beautiful people on the planet. I had the joy of seeing Mrs. Meyer in recent years, sometimes after I spoke at an event that she attended. After I spoke, she would give me the warmest hug, biggest smile, and hold my face in her hands and slowly and expressively say, "I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU." Tears in my eyes as I write this. What a gift you were to the world, Mrs. Meyer. We all are better people for having known you. Much love to you, Mrs. Meyer. Your spirit will live on in so many of us. I have a feeling God met you at the Pearly Gates with a warm embrace, saying, "Very, very well done, my precious servant on Earth, Marilyn." I love you always, Mrs. Meyer!”
- Brenda Clark Hamilton
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“To Marilyn’s family, I am so very saddened to hear of Marilyn’s passing. She was a dear dear friend. We were looking forward to this Spring when I was back and we could see each other again. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”
- Janet Keck
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“I will always love you ”
- Mia
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“The world is less bright today. Marilyn was a warm and wonderful part of many lives - her positive influence will endure. Many fond memories will always make me smile. My sympathy to Marilyn's family and firends around the world.”
- Linda Raid
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“My heart is shattered. We had just spoken last week and I will always treasure that conversation (& all our phone calls over the years) that were always so positive and ended with "Love You" on both sides. Marilyn was one of a kind - my first grade teacher and someone I always admired and loved being around as a child growing up on the adjoining farm and in later years during our "too-far-in-between" visits in person. She will always hold a special place in my heart and memory. My deepest sympathy to Jeff, Jennifer, Joel, your spouses, children and grands. Please keep me in the loop in regard to a future service. I would appreciate it immensely. ”
- Cheryl Meyer Wright
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Marilyn’s Family, I was so very saddened to hear of Marilyn’s passing. She was a dear dear friend, and we were looking forward to seeing each other again in the Spring when I returned. You are in my thoughts and prayers.”
- Janet Keck
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Our sympathy for her family! She was a great person. What a blessing she was to many people. You have many wonderful memories of her! She loved her family and was so proud of them! God bless you as you go thru this time!”
- Nancy and Jim Hartmann
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Our sympathy for her family! She was a great person. What a blessing she was to many people. You have many wonderful memories of her! She loved her family and was so proud of them! God bless you as you go thru this time!”
- Nancy and Jim Hartmann
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“What a wonderful lady and friend! Prayers to her family and community. Her legacy lives on.”
- Jay and Murt Steffen
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 7:53 AM
“Marilyn was a special lady, very kind and thoughtful. I always enjoyed visiting with her while I worked at Staples and when I would see her out and about.
RIP Marilyn
- Linda Versluis
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“Oh what a great lady! I came to know Marilyn through Aunt Shirley, and for that I will always be thankful. She had such a warm countenance about her, and I left feeling light-hearted each time we saw each other. May we all learn from her gentle spirit, the bright light she was! I pray for you, her beloved family... that sweet memories will always comfort you, the love of God fill you with peace.”
- Marcia Steffen
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“I am so sorry to hear of Marilyn’s passing. She was a beautiful woman and a very special friend. I will miss her. ”
- Sandi Witt
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“Our condolences to Marilyn’s family. She was a favorite teacher to many students. I still chuckle at some of the humorous anecdotes she shared with me about life and teaching. It was fun to see her again a couple years ago when I presented a program to her Federated Women’s Club. A lovely and creative person. ”
- Sandy
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“Marilyn was such a sweet lady and wonderful teacher. Marilyn will be missed by many! Prayers to Marilyn's family.”
- Becky Fear-Hatting
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“She has given so much through the years. That leaves a big foot print. Prayers to her family.
- Myra J Coover
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“Our hearts are sad and the tears are flowing as Marilyn will be dearly missed on this earth. From the first we met her upon our move to Everly in 1988, she reached out and grabbed our hearts. Marilyn had such joy for teaching as well as sharing kindness with all she met! Our sincere sympathies are with her family!”
- Diana and Wayne Koppen
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 2:38 PM
“My sympathy to you. Marilyn was such a neat person. We enjoyed her at Bethany. May God surround you with comfort and peace knowing she is now home in heaven.”
- Onalee Wright
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 12:30 PM
“Marilyn was such a dear friend and I admired her so much. Her many talents and caring, compassionate personality will always be a shining example for us. So thoughtful and giving. I hope she got her wish and was able to pass away at the farm which she loved so much. My deepest condolences to all her children and grandchildren. What a sweet soul heaven has gained. ”
- Fran
Monday, February 1, 2021 at 12:29 PM
“Such a special lady! She will be missed. Our sympathy to you all. ”
- Lori Brown
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