Marilyn Jeanne Robertz passed away on November 1, 2020 in St. Peter, MN, where she was a fifth-generation member of her community. She was born there on October 3, 1927 to Wayland and Virginia (Laumann) Barnes. Her heritage, place of birth, place of marriage and place of death confirm that she was truly a Saint.
Marilyn was baptized, confirmed, and later married at Trinity Lutheran Church. In 1943, sixteen-year-old Marilyn left her high school friends and entered Ah-gwah-ching State Sanatorium in Walker, MN for treatment of tuberculosis. She was released in 1946 and she returned home, graduating with honors from St. Peter High School. Marilyn attended Gustavus Adolphus College, graduating with a BA in Art and English. Gustavus is also where she met Bill Robertz, whom she married on August 22,1953.
Marilyn was a high school art teacher in White Bear Lake, MN and in Fisher, IL while Bill worked on his PhD. In 1957 they returned to St. Peter when Bill accepted a teaching position at Gustavus. They welcomed their first child, Paul John, in 1958. The next year, they moved into a house near campus which was their home for 60 years. Their second child, Ruth Lynn, was born in 1962.
While her children were growing up, Marilyn taught Sunday School, assisted with Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, and was a substitute art teacher. As the children grew older, Marilyn started dedicating her time to volunteer activities at Trinity Lutheran and in St. Peter, including four years on the City Council. Local history and gardening were especially important to Marilyn, and she became an important member of the Nicollet County Historical Society.
Marilyn and her family enjoyed annual fishing trips to the same resort each year for decades, with enough summer vacation time left over for both gardening and camping trips throughout the U.S. and Canada. Marilyn and Bill spent much of 1987 living and teaching in Mora, Sweden and continued travel throughout Europe and the U.S.
Marilyn had an amazing ability to make new friends and nurture those friendships for decades. She was also a life-long letter writer. The process of re-reading and editing her sanatorium-era letters from WWII was the highlight of her 90th year. The resulting book, "The Girl in Building C" was published in September 2018 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, and by her beloved husband, Bill. She is survived by her son Paul (Jennifer) Robertz, daughter Ruth (Noah) Krieger, brother Keith (Sharon) Barnes, nieces/nephews, grandchildren, and her first great-grandson.
Memorials may be made to the Nicollet County Historical Society, the Trinity Lutheran Church Bill and Marilyn Robertz Endowment or to Woodlawn Cemetery. A public memorial service will be scheduled when conditions permit.