Marilyn Rignell, 67, of Chisago City, died Feb. 20, 2013, at Fairview Lakes – Wyoming after a valiant battle through three months of complications from ovarian cancer.
Raised on St. Paul’s East Side, and a proud member of the first graduating class of St. Paul Lutheran High School (now Concordia Academy – Roseville), Marilyn was a beloved daughter, sister, niece, wife, mother, aunt and friend.
She believed (as her husband and sons have believed) that she would be welcomed into a heavenly home by Jesus Christ beside her parents, Lewis (Bud) and Harriet Lindberg, and her in-laws, Carl and Muriel Rignell, who precede her in passing.
Marilyn is survived by Doug, her loving husband of 44 years. They married April 20, 1968, and had met and found each other for a wonderful life together when Marilyn joined her parents to shop for a travel trailer from a dealership, owned by Doug’s father.
Marilyn is survived also by her two beloved adult sons, Paul and Mark, both of Chisago City. Other survivors include a sister, Marge Westerman (Rod), of Newcastle, Okla.; brother-in-law, Dave Rignell (Marlys) of Blaine, Minn.; nephews, Todd Westerman (Heather) of Ligonier, Pa.; Chad Westerman (Mandy) of Oakdale, Minn.; Rick Rignell (Kari) of Stacy, Minn.; Brian Rignell (Stephanie) of Nowthen, Minn.; niece, Dianna Holmgren (Mark) of St. Peter, Minn.; five great-nieces and five great-nephews; many, many friends, particularly those made through more than 40 years of membership at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Chisago City.
Marilyn’s longest service for the Lord as a member at Zion came through her alto voice in the adult choir. She joined many groups for Bible study, taught Sunday School and assisted with Vacation Bible School, volunteered with a Hospitality Committee that caters meals for many church events, and for many years late in her service, she coordinated volunteer drivers for bringing Meals on Wheels to Chisago area seniors in need.
Marilyn was active in the greater community, working with volunteers in the former Chisago City Booster Club to put on and promote the annual Ki-Chi-Saga Days. She recognized the festival’s importance for the town and served an advisory role to Chisago City staff and newer volunteers as they continued (and expanded) the tradition.
Marilyn enjoyed knitting, performing music, playing domino and card games, and much travel with Doug and many friends, sometimes across the United States or to Mexico but often closer to home, into western Wisconsin or to corners of Minnesota.
Marilyn was retired from nearly two decades of working for Chisago Lakes Schools, first at Lakeside School and then at the Primary School, serving as a paraprofessional who helped students build proficiency in reading and math. When not volunteering in her retirement, she spent many weekday mornings meeting with a dedicated coffee group, but she still cared deeply about every student she had ever met. She was proud as a spectator to recognize the names and faces of her former students in athletics (especially basketball) and many varied fine arts events as the students progressed through Chisago Lakes High School.
Arrangements to honor the life of Marilyn Rignell include a visitation Monday, Feb. 25, at the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom. A Celebration of Life service Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. Burial in Chisago Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Zion. Condolences may be left at www.grandstrandfh.com