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Marian Vesta (Murphy) Pyan, age 94, passed way on February 28, 2023 at her home as requested with daughter, Reeny, and son, Dan present.
Marian was born November 10, 1928 in Sleepy Eye, MN to Vesta and James Murphy. Her grade and high school years were spent in Sleepy Eye, and she kept many of her classmates as friends for many, many years. She believed that she was last living member of the SEHS class of 1946.
Marian’s role in the household was multi-fold, helping her mother as needed, watching her younger sister Ardis, making sure sister Jean did not into too much trouble, and occasionally walking uptown a few blocks to fetch brother Dan from the Lincoln Tap on main street before he got into too much trouble.
A claim to fame as it were also happened in her teen years. She babysat Ralph Jon Fritz who later worked for WCCO-TV for many years in the sports department.
Another friend she made, even though the friend attended the catholic school, was her future sister-in-law, Sally. Marian always used the term ‘we ran around together,’ not sure what they were running from or to. When Sally’s brother, Doug, ended his Navy service and returned to town, she had a chance to meet him, and as they say, the rest is history.
They married on a very cold January 22, 1948 and soon moved to Austin as Doug had a job offer with Hormel. Reeny was born there, and after Doug was trained, he was assigned to a livestock buying station in Redwood Falls in 1950. Both Jeff and Steve were born there, and in January 1956, the reassignment was to St. Peter where they stayed all their remaining years. Kate born in 1957 and Dan in 1960 to round out family.
One of the first orders of business for her was to complete her catechism studies and conversion to the Catholic Church. A new friend, Mary O’Brien, was assigned as her sponsor and Marian was forever grateful to her. Marian will be laid to rest with a rosary Mary gave her upon the acceptance into the church. She managed to hang onto to it for 66 years and will hold it for eternity.
Mary was also instrumental in starting Marian into a lifetime of volunteerism when she persuaded her to help with the Red Cross Blood drive.
In the next 60 plus years, Marian continued to give her time with several organizations in the community, including the American Legion Club, Meals on Wheels, driving seniors to medical appointments, and a Headstart reading program at John Ireland.
But the one service she is most remembered for and rightly proud of her years was the Church of St. Peter Ladies Guild - Funeral Luncheon committee. In 1965, she and Marion Boys started a dedicated committee of church woman who had the time and commitment to put together a post-funeral lunch if the family so desired. Marian was either co-chair or leader for over 50 years! Dozens of women served on the committee who she affectionately called them “her girls.” During her time, they served over 1,000 meals, which included a very large number of pans of Funeral Hot Dish.
She loved baseball, likely an interest developed when her father took her to games to small towns around Sleepy Eye on Sunday afternoons. That interest was sustained and really came out when a group in the city revived St. Peter’s Townball team about 1970, which lead to renewed interest in Legion and Babe Ruth ball leagues, too. Marian teamed with Doug to man the concession stand, selling many hot dogs, bags of peanuts, and a few beers every game.
But Marian was not only about service to others. She also enjoyed life as the First Lady of St. Peter when Doug was Mayor traveling to conventions with him.
Her interests included playing bridge, and for many years, she was a member of two bridge clubs and would fill in around town when necessary; summer vacations with family, and most often coordinated with the Hoffmanns, visiting a resort up north. Later years, when they became an option here and other nearby states, she enjoyed visits to casinos with friends.
To relax at home, she loved to read, generally going through 3-4 books a week for most of her life. She also liked certain TV shows and was usually found watching HGTV when visitors or family dropped by.
In order to finance some of her interests after the kids were old enough to survive on their own, she went to work at a few different places around town. Working for both Wally Covell and her good friends the Vogels at their liquor stores, she did a stint at the hardware store, and then in about 1980, she was approached by Shoreland CC members and was offered job as manager of their food, beverage, and event operations. She worked there until 1986 when Doug was able to retire, and she decided not to be tied down.
They went on to many travel adventures, including Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, and other states as well. Marian was a friend to so many around the city. She loved the city. Perhaps her most cherished personal highlight was in 1996 when she was named Queen of St Patrick’s Day.
She loved Doug, her children (even if she would occasionally need to say… I love you but do not like what you did or how you are acting), the Church of Saint Peter, her extended family, and dear friends through the years.
Marian is survived by Reeny Blank of St. Joseph, MN, Steve of Minneapolis, Kate Martin of Wyandotte, MI, and Dan (Karin) of Stewartville, MN; grandchildren, Barb Blank Theisen, Brad (Amy Hopkins) Blank, Brian Blank, Andrew (Jodie) Davis, Victoria Pyan, Allie Pyan, Murphy Pyan, Jacquie (Brandon Riddle) Pyan, Jake (Kim) Pyan, and Jon Pyan; 12 great-children; sister, Ardis (Clete) Shroepfer of St. Peter; sister-in-law, Randeen Murphy of Sleepy Eye; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Doug; son, Jeff; sons-in-Law, Ron Blank and Gary Martin; sisters, Ruth, Harriet, and Jean; and brother, Dan.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00am Monday, March 13, 2023 at the Catholic Church of St. Peter, St. Peter. Visitation will be 3:00-6:00pm Sunday, March 12th at St. Peter Funeral Home with a Rosary at 6:30pm. Visitation will continue 10:00am Monday at church. To view a complete obituary, leave a condolence or view the service livestream visit her obituary at www.saintpeterfuneralhome.com.