Grace Marilyn Skouge Irwin passed away on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at Loring Hospital in Sac City, IA. Marilyn was born on September 4, 1929, in Kanawha, IA, the daughter of Mons and Nellie (Nelson) Skouge. She grew up in Kanawha and graduated from Kanawha High School in 1946. Marilyn attended Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) in Cedar Falls, IA, and graduated in 1950 with a BA Teaching Degree in Physical Education. She taught school in Sac City and Marshalltown, IA.
While teaching in Sac City she met a young farmer, Neil Irwin, on a blind date. On August 23, 1953, Marilyn married Neil at the Lutheran Church in Kanawha. To this union there were three children, Julie, Mike and David. Marilyn was a busy homemaker, raising their family and helping Neil with the large livestock and dairy operation. She loved living in the country and life on the farm. Marilyn also was a ‘kid at heart’ and frequently committed time to teach and enjoy swimming and roller skating with the family.
Marilyn was an active member of United Methodist Women for all of her married life and held several offices. She received the special pin of recognition. Marilyn was a long-time Sunday school teacher and Campfire Girls leader. As a music lover, she sang in the Sac County Community Chorus, was a past member of the Sac Fine Arts Association and participated in several of its productions under the direction of Gordon Lamb. Marilyn also taught several of her children and grandchildren to play the piano.
Marilyn was proud of her Norwegian heritage and especially enjoyed when she and Neil traveled to Scandinavia to visit Neil’s relatives in Sweden and her relatives in Norway. They found the birthplace of Marilyn’s father in Skouge, Norway. Marilyn felt that she had finally “found her roots”. Another key experience occurred when she and Neil toured throughout Alaska, including along the Alaska-Canadian Highway that her dad helped to build in 1942 to aid the WWII military efforts. Through the years, Marilyn and Neil enjoyed many nice trips and had fond memories of tent camping in the Rocky Mountains and national parks.
Marilyn’s children and grandsons were her great joy. Marilyn loved playing bridge with her friends and playing the piano for her own enjoyment. She was a voracious reader, especially of historical fact and fiction, and always had a book handy.
Marilyn is survived by her children Julie (Rick) Murphy of Algona, IA, Mike Irwin (Lois Andert) of Shakopee, MN, David Irwin (Becky Pontious) of Sac City, IA; grandsons Dan Irwin of Titonka, IA, Mark (Kayley) Irwin of Sac City, IA, and Cody Pontious of Sac City, IA; brother-in-law Dwight Irwin of Golden, CO; a great grandson, due in November, 2019, and many extended family members and friends.
Preceding her in death were husband, Neil Irwin; parents Mons and Nellie Skouge; brother and sister-in-law Dr. Oren (Mary) Skouge; brother-in-law Craig Irwin; sisters-in-law Carol Irwin and Phyllis Irwin; and nephew Danny Irwin.