Marilyn Stoecker, 84, died Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at the Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, 4980 Gordon Ave. NW, with visitation at
After graduation from Wheatland High School and Iowa State Teachers College, Marilyn married Donald Stoecker in Wheatland on June 10, 1955. Marilyn later completed a bachelor's degree at Mount Mercy College when her daughters started school.
Known as Grammy to her loving grandchildren, Marilyn lived a full and varied life. She was a hard-working farm girl from Wheatland, an ambitious college student and caring teacher, loving wife and devoted mother and loving and devoted companion and caretaker to her husband Don, including throughout his 25-year illness.
At age 59, Marilyn taught herself to play the accordion, and continued to play regularly for the rest of her life. She was a charter member and leader in the Iowa Accordion Club ("Just for the Fun of it"), playing regular "gigs" at local festivals, nursing homes, the public library and the Kosek band gazebo in Czech Village. One of her favorite bumper stickers read, "I'm pro accordion and I vote!"
After her retirement from the Cedar Rapids Community School District and upon Don's death in 1997, she continued on her path of life long learning. Marilyn took four Elderhostal trips, two to explore the Lewis and Clark trail, once to Savannah and once to England and Wales. She became an avid knitter and formed a knitting group that met Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings at Mr. Beans in Marion. She also began to volunteer regularly at Mercy Medical Center, where she logged more than 14,000 volunteer hours over the course of many years. Many children born at Mercy have worn Marilyn's knitted hats and booties as they left the hospital. Hand-knitted Grammy socks were coveted, and new people in her life were honored when they became "sock worthy."
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Don Stoecker.
Marilyn is survived by her brother, Ron Schmidt (Carole) of Aledo, Ill.; her daughters, Julie (Dennis) McPartland and Tracy (Sean) McPartland of Cedar Rapids; and her grandchildren, Ryan McPartland of Brooklyn, N.Y., Michael McPartland (Kyle Carlson) of Chicago, Patrick McPartland (Cara Bader) of Chicago and Molly McPartland of Des Moines.
Memorials may be directed to the Mercy Medical Center Foundation, the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy or Kids First Law Center.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.