Marietta Bendorf Moershel died in her 97th year on Dec. 13, 2017, at Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Middle Amana, Iowa.
Except for a brief period living on Army bases in the 1940s with her husband, Carl, Marietta was a lifelong resident of the Amana Colonies and a devoted member of the Amana Church. She was born and raised in High Amana, the oldest of five children of Henry and Susanna (Wendler) Bendorf. She often spoke fondly of the loving, caring little community that surrounded her in those early years.
She married her high school sweetheart, Carl Moershel, in 1941 and moved to his family home in Homestead, where she lived until 1994, when she moved into Lakeview Village in Middle Amana. They had two daughters, Marianne and Rebecca. Marietta suffered a great loss in her early 30s when Carl passed away suddenly due to complications arising from lingering effects of the malaria he contracted while serving overseas in World War II. Though she always keenly felt this loss, she led a very active work and volunteer life and provided a warm, nurturing and engaging home for her girls and later for visiting grandchildren.
In her early work years, Marietta held several secretarial positions that included working for aeronautical pioneer Dr. Alexander Lippisch. In the 1960s, she went back to complete her B.A. studies at the University of Iowa and became a German and social studies teacher at Amana High School, a position she held until she retired in 1982. It was her favorite job. She enjoyed teaching and the interaction with students, and sustained friendships with many of them until she passed away.
During her life, Marietta did volunteer work with Bluebirds/Camp Fire Girls (group leader), YWCA (state board), Homestead Welfare Club (one of the co-editors of the original Amana Cookbook), women's investment club and Amana Heritage Society (founding board member). She also was involved with school projects, including co-editing the 50th Amana School Reunion book, and many translation projects for the Amana Church and individuals who heard she was the go-to person for German translations. In her 80s, she volunteered for a number of years with Essence of Life Hospice.
Marietta was an avid knitter, needlepointer, reader, double-crostic puzzle solver, gardener, traveler, bridge player, sports viewer particularly tennis and the Iowa Hawkeyes stargazer and take-no-prisoners board game player.
Marietta is survived by her daughters, Marianne (Bruce Woodrow) and Rebecca (Larry Gordon); grandchildren, Erich Fox (Rae), Matthew Fox and Ellie Gordon-Moershel; great-grandchildren, Xavier Fox and Leonard Fossat; brother, Henry Allen Bendorf (Kathy); sister-in-law, Madeline Bendorf; and caring nieces and nephews and their families, whose visits and support she treasured: Scott and Ursula Williams, Sally Williams, John and Martha Bendorf, Carl and Linda Bendorf, and Angela and Warner Jamison.
She was predeceased by her husband, Carl; sister, Elizabeth Williams (Lloyd); brothers, William and Marvin Bendorf (Emaline); sister-in-law, Amber Bendorf; niece, Nancy Williams Cook; and nephews, Brian Bendorf and Morgan Williams.
Viewing will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Middle Amana Church. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20. Following the service, interment will be at the Homestead Cemetery.
Her daughters wish to thank the staff of Essence of Life Hospice, Colonial Manor, Lakeview Village and Dr. Richard Pope for the care and support they provided Marietta in her later years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Amana Church Society or the Amana Heritage Society both in Amana, IA 52203.
Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at www.klosterfuneralhome.com.