Marian L. Edwards (1930 - 2011)

Obituary
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After a life of many blessings, Marian Louise Fischer Edwards left this earth for her heavenly home on Friday, April 8, 2011.

Born May 1, 1930, in Hankow, China, to LCMS missionaries John and Martha Baden Fischer, she came to America at age 5 months. Her childhood was spent in the small community of West Ely, Mo., where she attended a one-room Lutheran school. She excelled in academics, art and music. She played the violin, various instruments in a rhythm band, and the fife in a fife, jug, and bottle band. At age 9, she began singing four-part harmony, often as a soloist.

Her education continued at Palmyra High School. There she played the French horn in a marching band, continued in vocal music and art, and graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1948.

She met her future husband, Richard Edwards, her first year in high school. She attended Hannibal La Grange Junior College in Hannibal, Mo.; Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.; Marymount College in Salina, Kan.; and the University of California at Riverside.

She married Richard while he was in the Air Force during the Korean War in 1952. Sharing his interests in sports, fly fishing, and hunting, they were married for 29 and a half years. Every August of their lives together was spent fly fishing in Montana.

Marian taught school in Missouri, Kansas and California. Her students ranged from pre-school through ninth grade. She was actively involved in Lutheran churches wherever she lived. She established the first basketball camp for youth in the state of California. This camp is still active. She owned and operated a printing shop in Oakland, Calif., worked at the corporate office of KOA, Inc., in Billings for 14 years, made hundreds of coverlets and stuffed animals for children, enjoyed playing golf, playing bridge, gardening and softball. She was 67 when she pitched her last softball game. One of her favorite moments was meeting Dizzy Dean at a banquet after her softball team had three undefeated seasons. Another favorite moment was greeting President Truman and Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., in March 1946.

She and Richard had two sons, Michael and Jon. Michael's home is in Columbus, Ga., and Jon lives here in Bozeman. Both sons chose beautiful daughters-in-law and have given Gramma five grandchildren. Her first grandson, Rick Edwards, serves as an officer in the U.S. Army and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Rick married Ashlyn Alford and they gave Gramma her first great-grandson, Fischer Edwards. She was able to see her great-grandson last summer on a trip to her childhood home in West Ely, Mo., where she attended the dedication of a new church for the congregation where her father had been pastor during her childhood. Her grandchildren Rick, Candace, Michael, Katie, and Jack gave Gramma much joy, strength and encouragement.

She was widowed on Jan. 31, 1981, when her husband, Richard, died unexpectedly while working as the head basketball coach at Eastern Montana College in Billings.

Diabetes, COPD and cancer could not break her joyful spirit. Marian treated each day as a special gift from God.

A memorial service for Marian will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at First Lutheran Church, 225 S. Black Ave., Bozeman.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Cody Dieruf Benefit Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 12, 2011
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