Marilyn A. (Auten) Berthelsen, 92, of Newton died on Monday, May 24, 2021, at Unity Point Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, July 2, 2021, at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory. The family will greet friends from 12:30 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Andrews Lutheran Church may be left at the funeral home.
Marilyn, the daughter of Jay M. and Grace (Adams) Auten, was born on May 4, 1929, in Newton. She grew up on a farm by Kellogg and graduated from Newton High School in 1947. She then received her B.S. from Iowa State in Home Economics. On November 27, 1952, Marilyn was united in marriage with Dr. John Duane Berthelsen at the Pleasant View United Methodist Church in rural Newton. His work as a Veterinarian took them to Albion, Nebraska, Ames, Clear Lake, and Manson, before returning to Marilyn’s family farm by Kellogg in 1986. Through the years, Marilyn worked various jobs, her favorite being a teacher’s aide in the Ames school system.
Marilyn was a woman of many talents and had a wide variety of interests. When her children were young, Marilyn received her pilot’s license. She was an avid reader, enjoyed gardening, and did many types of hand crafts. She and John spent time camping, hiking, and hunting. Marilyn loved music and could play the organ, piano, and guitar. She also was involved in many choirs and loved singing to her children. Marilyn’s faith was very important to her and she was active in many churches throughout the years, most recently at St. Andrews Lutheran Church. She was a member of the Grange and the Kellogg Lion’s Club. Marilyn had dedicating many hours volunteering for blood drives, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, the Gideons, and the Democratic Party.
Marilyn is survived by her children, Julie Berthelsen of Syracuse, New York; Dr. Mark (Terri) Berthelsen of Baker City, Oregon, Joel (Wendy) Berthelsen of Midlothian, Texas, Dr. Karen Koch (Steve) Palm of Des Moines, and Philip (Chontel) Berthelsen of Des Moines; 13 grandchildren, Clayton Berthelsen, Cristopher Berthelsen, Amara (Jeff) Mattingly, Stefan (Alex) Berthelsen, Philip (Amy) Berthelsen, Ana Berthelsen, Hannah Koch, Lynn (Jake) Haden, Marly Koch (Ricky Burns), Chris (Missy) Palm, Mike (Christa) Palm, Ashlin Berthelsen, and Nash Berthelsen; 8 great-grandchildren, Sydney, Zach, Haley, and Hunter Palm, Shiloh and Roslyn Koch, Owen Haden, and Natalie Burns; 1great-grandchild on the way; her brother, J. Morris (Judith) Auten of Schaumburg, Illinois; and her daughter Karen’s first husband, Al Koch of Des Moines. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John in 2018; and a sister, Barbara Baker.
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