Marilyn A. Carrels, 93
Marilyn A. Carrels, 93, Wabasha native and resident of Aberdeen, South Dakota passed away Thursday, November 5, 2020, at Angelhaus in Aberdeen.
Private graveside committal services took place on November 14, 2020, at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Aberdeen and a family celebration of her life will be held in the spring.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary & Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.
Family and friends may sign Marilyn’s online guestbook at www.schriversmemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to the Marilyn Carrels Memorial, 6 Lilac Lane, Aberdeen, SD 57401. All memorials will be directed to Storybook Land and the Roncalli Nearly New Shop.
Our mom, Marilyn (Drury) Carrels, was a small-town tomboy before she was anything else. Wabasha, MN was where she was born and raised, and as a youngster she and her best friend explored the Mississippi River using a little motorboat. After graduating from St. Felix High School she completed a nursing program in St. Cloud, MN and began caring for polio victims. After two years of this demanding work she embraced a new career as a stewardess traveling the continent with Northwest Airlines. That was when commercial air travel delivered a carefree, adventurous experience, and Marilyn loved her job. But she also loved a young man she’d met in Minneapolis, a dental student at the University of Minnesota who was also from Wabasha. Don Carrels had only known Marilyn Drury in Wabasha from afar, as he was five years older. Not long after his first date with Marilyn, Don told his mother that he’d found the one. And so, Marilyn Drury resigned her position at the airline, married Don Carrels and moved to Aberdeen, SD, where Don was establishing a dental practice. The year was 1952. The couple settled into an apartment and soon were expecting their first child, a son born in 1953. By the time their second child arrived, a daughter born 11 months after the birth of their first child, they had purchased and finished a small home not far from their apartment and began raising a family and building a life together. Marilyn became a housewife and mother, and four more children would liven up her world. In 1960, she and Don moved into their dream home on Lilac Lane. They lived happily in that home for 57 years until Don’s death in 2017.
As a mother, she carpooled a collection of neighborhood kids. She faithfully attended our activities and was our most supportive cheerleader. She excelled in the kitchen, and her tasty desserts were especially memorable. She enjoyed golf, tennis, skiing, reading and playing bridge with her friends. For many years she was a “band member” at Sacred Heart church. She was a prolific and thoughtful writer of letters and notes, expressed through her beautiful, cursive handwriting. She faithfully and frequently volunteered at the Roncalli Nearly New shop, and she and Don were welcomed into the Roncalli Hall of Fame. Though our parents traveled the world, they were most at home in their homes in Aberdeen and Sun Lakes, AZ, with family and friends. Our mom loved entertaining in their screen porch, serving wonderful meals for her family there, and playing board games with her grandchildren.
She lived a happy, rewarding life, and was grateful for her good fortune. During her final years, she quietly smiled at the world, presenting an almost mischievous look, her small eyes gleaming. Her frail body finally wore out, a process sped up by COVID-19. Her death occurred November 5th. We loved and will miss our mom. We are relieved she died painlessly, though we are saddened she was quarantined and without family at her bedside.
We extend a sincere thank you to the caring staff at Angelhaus in Aberdeen, and to our mother’s special caregiver, Margaret Rieger.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecilia (Grass) and Simon Drury, one brother, William Drury, and her husband Donald James (DJ) Carrels. She is survived by her children, Peter (Mary) Carrels, Sioux Falls, SD; Susan (Tim) Elchert, Woodbury, MN; Tom, Fort Benton, MT; John (Colette), Carrels, Aberdeen, SD; Nancy Carrels, Phoenix, AZ, and Michael Carrels, Aberdeen, SD. She is also survived by ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, including Katherine Elchert, Daniel Elchert, Zach Carrels, Jacob Carrels, JD Carrels (wife Emily and their two sons Beckham and Huxley), Jared Carrels (wife Isabelle), Erica Carrels, Skya Jandt, Mason Carrels and Simon Carrels.