Marilyn Haugen(1925 - 2013)

Marilyn Haugen

Marilyn Muriel Haugen passed away on Sunday, May 19, 2013 following a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. Marilyn was born to Carl & Bertha (Rehfeldt) Kruse on April 19, 1925. Her early years were spent growing up on her parent's dairy farm south of Humboldt, South Dakota. At the time of her birth, Marilyn had an older brother, Kermit Kruse.

Marilyn's mother, Bertha, died in child birth when Marilyn was seven years old. Within a short time after her mother's death, Marilyn's father, Carl, sold the farm and moved the family to Platte, South Dakota where he ran a hatchery for a short time. While in Platte, Marilyn's father married his second wife, Genevieve Lauer. To this union two more children were born to the family - Keith (Bud) and Kathleen.

Eventually, Marilyn's family moved back to Humboldt where she completed her schooling and obtained her diploma at Humboldt High School. During high school Marilyn met her husband, Bill Haugen. Bill was from the neighboring town of Hartford. The two became acquainted after Bill came to Humboldt to play a basketball game during his junior year.

Marilyn and Bill graduated from their respective high schools in May 1941. After high school, Marilyn attended Nettleton College in Sioux Falls and obtained a general business degree. After completing her studies at Nettleton, Marilyn went to work as a teller at the Northwest Security National Bank in Sioux Falls on the corner of 9th Street & Main Avenue. Following high school, Bill worked for the Union Telephone Company in Hartford as a lineman/telephone installer. Bill worked for the Company for the next three years until he enlisted in the US Navy in 1944.

Before shipping out for the Philippine Islands as a member of the Naval Construction Battalion, a.k.a. the "Seabees", Marilyn and Bill were married on February 23, 1945 in Berkeley, CA. Bill was discharged from the Navy in 1946 and returned home to Marilyn and to continue his life-long career with the Union Telephone Company. Marilyn continued to work for the Bank, becoming an executive secretary to four successive bank presidents.

On November 5, 1963 Marilyn and Bill were blessed with a son, William G. Haugen, Jr. Following the birth of their son, Marilyn resigned from the bank to take care of "Billy" and concentrate on the clerical and bookkeeping responsibilities of the family telephone business. Marilyn and Bill oversaw the growth and expansion of Union Telephone Company and its affiliated businesses. The businesses eventually included telephone exchanges in five southeast South Dakota communities, cable television, cellular communications and DirecTV.

Over the years, Marilyn served in various capacities in the community and belonged to many organizations including the American Legion Women's Auxiliary, Christ Lutheran Church Auxiliary, the Rebecca Lodge and the Hartford Lioness Club. The Haugens retired in 1999 and enjoyed frequent travels with Marilyn's brother Kerm and sister-in-law June, and spending time with their grandchildren.

Marilyn is survived by her husband, Bill; son, Bill, Jr; grandchildren, Daniel and Emma; sister, Kathleen (Bill) VanDuzer; and numerous nieces and nephews. Marilyn was preceded in death by her father and mother, Carl and Bertha Kruse, step-mother Genevieve, and brothers Kerm and Bud.

Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 am Friday, May 24, 2013, at Christ Lutheran Church, Hartford, SD. Visitation begins at noon, Thursday, with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 to 7:00 Thursday evening at Miller Funeral Home Hartford Chapel, 600 S. Western Avenue, Hartford, SD.


Published in The Argus Leader on May 22, 2013