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Marilyn Lea Hegland


Marilyn Lea Walsh Hegland, 87, formerly of Ames, Iowa, made her way to heaven's gates on April 19, 2023, in Norwalk, Iowa with her daughter by her side.


Marilyn was born in Osage, Iowa to Frank Kent and Merle Irene (Thompson) Walsh. She was the youngest of 4 daughters, Helen, Ruth, Margret, and Marilyn. Two of her older sisters died in infancy. The family moved to Ames when Marilyn was a young child. She grew up on Oakland Street and attended school in the Ames Community School District, graduating in 1954.


After graduation, she met the older brother of her best friend (Emilie) and was smitten. She moved to California to be close to her sister but stayed in contact with Richard. Upon her return to Iowa, he quickly proposed, and they were married on April 12, 1958, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Ames. They welcomed two children into their lives, Roger and Mary.


Marilyn was an avid quilter, making quilts sometimes for no reason. She spent many an afternoon at the Quilting Connection learning the next quilt block. She was there SO much that newcomers to the store thought she worked there! She loved being surrounded by her quilting tribe.


Marilyn had a quick wit and sense of humor about her. A laugh that was infectious and warmed the soul when you heard it. If you asked what she wanted to drink she would be quick with a “Vodka Collins”, however, she did not drink – LOL. Or if you asked how she was feeling, she would answer “with my fingers”. A word she loved to use was WONDERFUL, and that is how her life was, wonderful! She enjoyed her family, her cats, daisies, “Sewing with Nancy”, quilting, being a part of the ‘nooners' swimming group, and traveling – mostly to see her son and his family in Colorado. She was a devoted Catholic and a member of St. Cecilia Parish where she was a Eucharistic minister, a member of Catholic Daughters, and would sing in the choir.


Marilyn worked several places in Ames over the years: The Memorial Union, Bourns, Younkers, Ames Visiting Nurse Service, St. Cecilia School and Parish, and The Ames Sewing Center.


Those there to celebrate her arrival in heaven were her husband, Richard, her son, Roger, her granddaughter, Bella, her parents, all of her sisters, sister-in-law Emilie Patten, family, friends, and all her pets. Her Dad once said that if he was reincarnated, he wanted to return as one of Marilyn’s cats.


Those left behind to their memories are her daughter, Mary Kennedy (Kelly Cortum) of Norwalk, Iowa, granddaughter Sabrina of Westminster, CO; daughter-in-law Sherri Hegland, grandson Bode, granddaughter Piper all of Broomfield, CO; Sister-in-law Julie Stephens of Atlanta, GA; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.


Marilyn will be reunited with Richard, and both will be placed in a columbarium niche at the Iowa Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Van Meter Iowa on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 2:00 pm with gravesite service and Richard will have his full Military Honors.


There will be a celebration of life mass at St Cecilia Church with a luncheon immediately following on Friday, May 26th at 10:30 am. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the mass there at St Cecilia Church.


Marilyn loved daisies, please consider choosing them if sending flowers. Memorials may be sent to Mary Kennedy, 520 Crescent Lane, Norwalk, Iowa 50211. God Bless.

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