|6/18/2020 2:58:00 PM|
Marlys Nordgren, 85, gardener extraordinaire, cook, soprano, social worker and painter, passed away June 13, 2020, after a long illness. Born on April 7, 1935, Marlys grew up on the family farm near Center City, MN.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, earning a double major in social work and music. Marlys’ social work career included stops in Chisago and Carlton counties. It was at Carlton where she met another social worker named Reuben Nordgren. Co-workers who tried to set the two of them up were unaware that Marlys and Reuben were already dating on the sly. They were married Dec. 15, 1962, and moved to Forest Lake, MN to raise their family. She stayed home to raise their three children before resuming her social work career, joining the hospice team at North Memorial Medical Center. The deep conversations she was able to have with patients at North stayed with her, and she often said it was the most rewarding work she ever did.
Marlys and Reuben retired to their lake home in Center City, a place she never wanted to leave. She deeply loved her family and friends, who were from all backgrounds and orientations, and she welcomed them into her life with an open heart and treated all with respect.
Marlys was preceded in death by her parents Ruth and Edmund Jonason, and her infant sister, Judy. She is survived by her brother Lauren (Marianne) Jonason; loving husband of 57 years, Reuben Nordgren; children Paul (Jean) Nordgren, Jennifer (Keith) Bryant, and Matthew Nordgren; grandchildren Peter, Josie, Amber, Anna, Maya, and Kallum; great-grandchildren Alice, Amalia, Amari, Jeremy, Jordan, and Amira, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at Ecumen North Branch Memory Care and Hospice, and the Point Pleasant Heights senior living facility, for the care and companionship she received. Due to current gathering restrictions, a private family service is being planned. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to the Youth Ministry program at Trinity Lutheran Church, 13025 Newell Ave, P.O. Box 768, Lindstrom, MN 55045, or the charity of choice. Arrangements by Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Condolences may be expressed online at www.grand strandfh.com.