Obituaries » Marilyn R Wendel
March 15, 1941 - November 5, 2021
Marilyn Ruth (Van Epps) Wendel, age 80, passed away on November 5, 2021.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8, 2021 at Memorial Services of Iowa (4208 N. Ankeny Blvd). Funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (517 SW Des Moines St) with burial immediately following at Woodward Cemetery. The funeral will be livestreamed at the following link: https://youtu.be/ZKy43yojgd4
Marilyn was born on March 15, 1941 in Brookings, South Dakota; the third of five children of Claude and Martha Van Epps. She also lived in Vermillion and Huron, South Dakota before moving to Denver, Colorado where she graduated from East High School.
She attended Yankton College in South Dakota where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education and met her future husband Jim. They were engaged at their prom. Her senior year she was crowned Miss Pioneer and Homecoming Queen. June 9, 1963, was a memorable day: graduation followed by their wedding.
The happy couple moved to Stanwood, Iowa to begin their teaching careers. Marilyn taught first grade at Lincoln Community School. Upon the birth of their children, Sheryl, Sheila and Jeff, Marilyn stepped away from teaching to raise her family. In addition to her full-time job as wife and mother, she also established MW Ceramic Gift Shop, was co-owner of Peter Pan Preschool, a Girl Scout leader and Service Unit Director, co-owner of the Treasure Trunk, and served on the Fall Festival of Arts and Crafts committee.
Family meant everything to Marilyn. She would rarely miss a chance to get together with family, whether it was traveling to a big reunion or the many holiday and birthday parties each year. Throughout Marilyn’s life she was able to travel to many places around the United States. Trips included many family vacations, family camping and fishing trips, and bus trips with friends.
She is survived by daughter, Sheryl (Doug) Kardell of Grimes; son, Jeff (Michelle) Wendel of Ankeny; son-in-law, Michael Woollard; four grandchildren, Kylie (Joshua) Tiffany of Dallas Center, Dalton (Isabella) Kardell of Kansas City, Katelyn and Emma Wendel of Ankeny; two great-grandchildren, Wyatt and Elliot Tiffany; sisters, Betti Taylor and Dorothy Sayers; brothers, Robert (Rosemary) Van Epps and David (Becky) Van Epps.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Martha Van Epps; husband, James Wendel; daughter, Sheila Woollard; and brother, William Butler.