Marilyn Olinger

Marilyn (Begalka) Olinger, 85, of Salem went Home to be with her Lord on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. She passed away peacefully in the presence of family at Good Samaritan Care Center in Sioux Falls, SD just 3 weeks shy of her 86th birthday.

Funeral services will begin at 2 pm on Monday, October 5, 2020 at Ramsey Baptist Church, rural Montrose with family present at 1 pm to greet visitors. Masks are optional for the service.

Marilyn was the fifth and youngest child born to Walter and Alma (Gerth) Begalka on October 21st, 1934, in Clear Lake, S.D. After graduating high school in 1952, Marilyn attended summer school and taught for a short while in a one-room schoolhouse.

In 1953 she married Richard E. Olinger and moved to a farm just north of Salem, S.D. near Center Lutheran Church. She was used to "city life" and soon discovered life on the farm to be much different. Marilyn dutifully helped with field work as well as raising their six children; 3 boys and 3 girls. She was a marvelous cook and baker!

Mom was a faithful member of Ramsey Baptist Church in rural Montrose, and was active in numerous church activities including Sunday school teacher, choir director, Ladies Aid group, and serving for many years as the church organist. Mom was known for her beautiful soprano singing voice and her reflective way of reading out loud to tell a story. Mom's humor helped her get through the tough parts of life, and she was always quick with a little humor to make others laugh, too.

After we sibs were all in school, Mom began working for Raven Industries (Aerostar). She worked at the plants in Orland, Salem, and finally at the Madison plant. She retired after 38 years of sewing everything from parachutes to military uniforms and parkas. This gave her respite from farm life and she truly enjoyed the many friendships she made at "the plant."

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Richard (in 2007), and her four siblings: Walt Jr., Marlys, Leon, and Elroy.

Marilyn is survived by her six children: Lynette (Art) Witkowski of Keizer, OR; Bradley (Merry) Olinger of Madison; Peggy Deremo of Fargo, ND; Rick Olinger of Colton; Lori (Denis) Friederich of Campobello, SC; and Darrin (Taliane) Olinger of Kansas City; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren with 2 more on the way!

Some life lessons from Marilyn: Always keep the coffee pot on and make sure it's hot; keep a good supply of food on hand for visitors and be sure the cookie jar is full; display a keen sense of humor; and when the going gets rough...sing.

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