Marlys Ann (Knutson) Boschee
Marlys Ann (Knutson) Boschee arrived in this world on a national holiday, June 14, "Flag Day," 1937. Born in Carrington, North Dakota, she grew up in the rural town of Oberon, North Dakota. Her parents, Kasper and Eldora Knutson, welcomed her into the family as their third child, joining sister Fay and brother Don, who also had birthdays on national holidays. She slipped away from earthly life after battling COVID on August 12, 2021, in Sun City West, Arizona.
Marlys Ann is survived by her four daughters – Barbara Ann Baird (husband Jason) of Norwood, Missouri; Brenda Rae Dronen (husband Steve) of Hot Springs, South Dakota; Bonni Fay Boschee of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Beth Marjorie Boschee (husband Rob Huseby) of Minden, Nevada. She leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren, along with brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews so numerous, but so very dear to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister. The love of her life, Floyd, passed away eight days before she did. Succumbing to COVID was not in their plans, but we accept that they are both in Heaven together and waiting for the rest of us to join them someday.
Marlys Ann attended Valley State Teachers College after graduating from high school (valedictorian) in Oberon. After her first year of college, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse near Oberon in order to earn a year of tuition money. That year, she also received an engagement ring from Floyd Boschee, whom she met while at college. Together, they would raise a family of four daughters, continue their education and travel the world.
Her journey with Floyd took her to various towns in North Dakota, out to Montana and eventually to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she once again entered the classroom. Her elementary age students learned to love reading and math, two of her favorite subjects, but we suspect they really loved her more. Marlys Ann earned a Master's and an Ed.D. in Education, from the University of Montana and the University of South Dakota, respectively. Her last place of employment, at the University of South Dakota, found her advising students in the Education Department and being invited to serve as the grand marshal for a USD homecoming parade. She was awarded the status of professor emeritus upon retirement from the university.
When not teaching, she loved singing. Blessed with a lovely soprano voice, she often sang at weddings, funerals and other gatherings. Having grown up in a musical family, it was natural for her to belong to Sweet Adelines in Mandan, North Dakota, and various choirs, including the choir at her last church, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, in Sun City West, Arizona.
Her daughters will remember her active spirit, and love of life and family. Childhood friends commented that she looked like a movie star, and so when we were adults, we sometimes teased her and called her "Movie Star Marlys." She ran a tight ship with never a dull moment, and always showed and shared her creativity – whether in imaginative games, outdoor sports, art and sewing projects or baking in the kitchen.
Her grandchildren will remember her for many reasons, one being the queen of cereal bars such as Scotcheroos and Rice Krispie bars. She was the grandma who flew down a snowy mountain on a Radio Flyer sled, who colored hundreds of pages and played endless children's board games/cards and who always took the time to listen.
Her 26 great grandchildren will continue to hear stories of her feats and life. Known to them as Grandma Great, Grandma Floyd and "Little Lady," she will not be forgotten.
A celebration of life will be held for Marlys Ann after the COVID surge subsides. The family asks for donations to be made to a charity of choice on her behalf.
Arrangements for cremation occurred at Camino del Sol in Sun City West, Arizona. Some of her ashes will be placed at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church Memorial Columbarium in Sun City West, Arizona. For the remaining ashes, her daughters are planning to visit their favorite family outdoor places in North Dakota, Montana and South Dakota.
Posted online on August 24, 2021