Marilyn Joan Stever died with her daughter, Cindy, by her side on May 14, 2021, after a long, heart-breaking battle with Alzheimer’s at (Winnie’s Place) Edgewood Senior Living in Baxter, Minn. She was 79.

Marilyn was born June 29, 1941, to LeRoy and Floella Jensen in Osceola. She was the fourth of 10 children.

Marilyn raised her daughter, Cindy, as a single mother, while she worked at State Farm Insurance in St. Paul, Minn., during which time she met Richard T. Stever “the man with the hat” who would become the love of her life. Richard and Marilyn were married July 31, 1971, in St. Paul and soon thereafter they began their life as an Air Force family.

Marilyn was many things to many people. Not only was she a devoted mom and loving grandmother, she was a selfless friend, caring sister and faithful Christian. Her unwavering faith in God was always first and foremost in her life which allowed her to lead her family through the uncertain ebbs-and-flows of life. She led by example. There was never a task too large or too small that she would not tackle but always refused to take anything in return. 

Marilyn was a strong, determined and fiercely independent woman. She loved her bird feeders in which cardinals visited frequently. For many years, she was an active member of the First Lutheran Church in Pine River as well as a loyal member of her weekly bible study group. Marilyn was a Twin’s baseball enthusiast but was not interested in attending a game in-person but was content watching “her Twins” on television while enjoying a Diet Coke and relaxing on her couch.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; her parents, LeRoy and Floella Jensen; brothers, Duane Jensen, James Jensen and JR Jensen.

Marilyn is survived by her daughter, Cindy (Kent) Zaffke of Nisswa, Minn.; stepdaughters, Erika (Steve) Costello of Harris, Minn., Anita Stever of St. Paul, Minn.; sisters, Donna Orr of Hudson; Sharon Wise of Osceola and Lois (David) Zezza of Hudson; brothers, Gordy (Rita) Jensen of Hermantown, Minn., David (Shari) Jensen of Isle, Minn., Paul Jensen of Vadnais Heights, Minn.; grandchildren: Erica (Vincent) Norman of Pine River, Minn., Ryan (Jaime) Richards of Pine River, Minn., Nick Zaffke of Eden Prairie, Minn., Jordan Zaffke of Orlando, Fla., Joshua Stever, Jacob Paula; great grandchildren: Rylee, Cecelia, Jace and Ellie Norman and Brea Richards; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Marilyn never liked being the center of attention and per her wishes there will be no public service. She will be laid to rest with her husband Richard at Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery in Little Falls. In honor of her memory, please send donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

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