WINTHROP – Marilyn E. (Schantz) Whitney, 78, of Winthrop died Friday evening, September 11, 2020, at St. Mary's Campus of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 16, at the Church of Christ United, Winthrop, with Jason Evans officiating. Visitation was conducted from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Fawcett-Schmitz Funeral Home, Winthrop, and for one hour before the service at the church on Wednesday. Interment was at Fairview Cemetery, Winthrop.
Cards and memorials may be sent to: Marilyn Whitney Family, 301 Larick Drive, Marion, IA 52302.
Due to state and federal guidance on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing was be required, and those in attendance were encouraged to wear a mask at the service. We encourage relatives and friends not able to attend the service to reach out to the family by leaving a message on the funeral home website or by mail, text, or phone.
Marilyn Elaine Whitney, 78 was born September 26, 1941, the only daughter of Carlton and Darlene (Phillips) Schantz at St. Luke's hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She attended school in Littleport, Communia Country School, and Troy Mills until the age of 16, when she quit to marry Duane Whitney on July 12, 1958, at the Lutheran Church in Center Point. To this union, four children were born.
Marilyn spent her newly married years as a housewife and in-home daycare provider until being hired as a factory laborer at the local plastic factory, where she was a hardworking and dedicated employee of Triangle Plastics, Inc. for 30+ years.
Marilyn and Duane spent their summer weekends camping with their family, first in a leaky tent, graduating to a fold down, and then a lovely pull-behind trailer. That penchant for sitting around a campfire with friends continued after the death of her husband in 2004, when she purchased her own little pull-behind.
While her love of that pastime never waned, the effort of upkeep on her trailer and home became more than she could handle, and eventually she sold both, moving into the Midtown Manor Apartments on the main drag in Winthrop in 2005. There, she met new friends and strengthened ties with old ones as together they spent countless hours playing Scrabble during the winter months and, when the weather warmed, she could be found sitting on the patio where together they would solve not only their own problems, but the world's.
Driving herself and her friends, right up to the last, she couldn't resist stopping at garage sales, despite the hardship and toll it took on her body. On the final drive to the hospital, she pointed out the signs and longed wistfully to stop, knowing it was impossible.
She enjoyed birthday trips to the casinos and was an amazing cook and baker, never using a measuring device in her life to put on a spread any professional would envy. Her motto was, "I'd rather have a ton of leftovers than for one person to go away hungry." She detested being late to any appointment or event, and was often an hour early, "just in case."
Always the initiator of a game of Canasta, 500, Buck Euchre, or Dominos with her kids, grandkids, and brothers that would often go well into the wee hours of the morning, she was famous for always wanting to play one more round.
Marilyn had a true servant's heart, baking pies and making fudge for funerals and church events, working the pew ride, rolling bandages, and volunteering for the blood drive. She joyfully drove family and friends to appointments, shopping, and sometimes just to sit in her "buggy" in the Walmart parking lot to people watch in the hopes of seeing someone she knew and have a chance to visit with.
She was a kind and thoughtful soul, remembering everyone she loved with greeting cards on their birthdays, anniversaries, and at Christmas.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to gamble, on Friday, September 11, 2020, she bet it all and bravely chose to accept the risks associated with a life-enhancing surgery, saying, "I can't live like this anymore." Known for beating the odds, more often than not, the good Lord had other plans and called her home. And, while our hearts are broken, hers was full, as she was able to see her children, facetime her sons-in-law and daughter-in-law, as well as with each and every one of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the evening before her surgery.
Marilyn was a member of the Church of Christ United, Women's Fellowship, and Chief Union Steward at TPI for 20 years.
A woman of faith, a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and in-law. A loyal friend to many and a stranger to no one, she was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother, Donald Schantz; niece, Kathy Jo Schantz; nephews, Richard, Tim, and Tom Schantz; and in-laws, Leonard and Ilene Whitney.
She is survived by her daughters, Lisa (Kent) Walton of Marion, Tracey Bellach (Monty Teel) of Marion, and Jackie (Roger) Post of Fayette; her son, Wayland (Jennifer) Whitney of Marion; nine grandchildren, Laurie (Adam) Opperman, Caleb (Sara) Walton, Kasey Bellach, Kody (Erica) Bellach, Ethan (Emily) Walton, Nathan Post, Nicholas (Kim) Post, Marissa (Trey) Roosa, and Jack Whitney; 11 great-grandchildren, Emma, Izabella, and Alayna Munley, Brayden and Blake Opperman, Quinn, Cora, and Mira Walton, and Bodhi, Roman, and Jaxon Walton; brothers, Dean (Kit) Schantz, Larry (Linda) Schantz, and Paul (Kim) Schantz; sister-in-law, Pamela (Steven) Doty; brother-in-law, Larry (Kim) Whitney; and numerous nieces and nephews.
See the online obituary at www.jamisonschmitzfuneralhome.com.