Marilyn Ruth Siggens Haugen was born in Racine, Wisconsin, on January 20, 1930. She was the youngest of two children born to J. Clifford and Charlotte Siggens. Marilyn attended Eau Claire High School, graduating in 1947. Following high school, she attended UW Eau Claire where she received a degree in elementary education, graduating in 1951. On June 20, 1952, she married Roald Christian Haugen. They had dated for 5 ½ years prior to their wedding, and they were married for 65 ½ years. Theirs was a love story spanning 71 years.
Marilyn served as a kindergarten teacher for 45 years following her graduation from UW Eau Claire. Marilyn taught school in every place where she and Roald lived, and she taught for a year in Chippewa Falls, WI, in the year prior to their marriage. During their marriage, she taught kindergarten in Berwyn, IL, St. Paul, MN, Richland Center, WI, Menominee MI, Omaha, NE, and Sturgeon Bay, WI. In the final 39 years of her teaching career, she taught in three school districts. She taught 8 years in Menominee, 7 years in Omaha, and the final 24 years were invested in the Sturgeon Bay School District (Go Clippers!).
While in Menominee, Michigan, two sons were born to Marilyn and Roald – Tim in 1958, and James in 1960. Marilyn was not only a loving and faithful companion to her husband, she was also an excellent mom to her sons. She loved her sons. The last two words Tim heard from his mom the day before she died were, “Love you.” Marilyn really loved family. That’s an essential component of her legacy. In the final years of Marilyn’s life right up to the final days, when Marilyn would see pictures of Roald, she would visibly choke up and remark, “I so loved that man, and I miss him.” Devotedly, she loved her sons. She loved her son’s families. She loved Ann and Karna, and she loved her six grandchildren. Her nine great grandchildren were special to her and she loved them. Marilyn grew up loving her parents who came to be known in the larger family as Meme and Papa. She loved her brother, Ray (whenever she saw pictures of Ray, she would remark about how exceptionally handsome she thought her brother was). Marilyn loved family.
Marilyn was a woman who was loving and she was loud. She was exuberant and she was excitable. She loved to read. She loved to cook. She loved to be on a boat or near a lake or a bay. She enjoyed so many simple kinds of pleasures. She was marked by contentment and gratitude. She persevered in the face of disappointment and she was generous with others. She had an extraordinary work ethic, yet she was satisfied living rather simply. Through most of her adult life she made it a practice to bake a loaf of banana bread that she would take to new neighbors to introduce herself and welcome them to the neighborhood.
Marilyn was a follower of Jesus. She loved Jesus. In her final years when she would be served communion, she would get choked up as she remembered the love of Jesus displayed at the cross. And Marilyn believed that the resurrection of Jesus really mattered – that Jesus is alive today. She embraced the hope He had secured for her. She served in many capacities in churches – as a pianist, a choir director, a soloist, and as a support to her husband who was a pastor.
Marilyn is survived by her sons, Tim (Ann) Haugen of Gladstone, MI, and James Haugen of Palm Springs, CA, six grandchildren, Karissa (Cory) Marquez of Sierra Madre, CA, Shelly (Ryan) Lettau of Brookfield, WI, Stacey (Jonathan) Fall, of Cedarburg, WI, Erik Haugen of Minnetonka, MN, Anika Bastian of Sister Bay, WI, and Kirsten (Carlos) Romero of Tijuana, Mexico, nine great grandchildren, one sister-in-law, Ginny Haugen, of Jackson, MI, and many nephews and nieces.
A memorial service is planned for 1 PM on Saturday, October 22, at the First Baptist Church in Sturgeon Bay, WI, with Pastor Cory Dahl and Pastor Tim Haugen officiating. A private family graveside will take place the day before at Bayside Cemetery in Sturgeon Bay. A visitation is being planned from 3-5 PM on Thursday, September 22, at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone, MI. Though Marilyn was a long-time resident of Door County, WI, she lived the last 2 ½ years in Gladstone at the Lakeview Assisted Living facility, with Tim and Ann only five minutes away from her. The family wants to thank Lakeview for the wonderful and compassionate care Marilyn received during the past 2 1/2 years.
Memorial gifts in Marilyn’s honor would be given to the missionary work of Marilyn’s granddaughter, Kirsten, and her husband, Carlos, in Tijuana, Mexico. Kirsten and Carlos are serving with YWAM. The Skradski Family Funeral Homes of Delta County are assisting the Haugen family.