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1934 Marlys 2023

Marlys Peterson

June 16, 1934 — November 25, 2023

Marlys Elaine (Schultz) Peterson

After 89 years of life, Marlys Elaine (Schultz) Peterson died unexpectedly at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, on November 25, 2023.

Marlys was born June 16, 1934, in Rochester to Gus H. and Bertha (Selke) Schultz. She graduated from Rochester High School in 1952 and Rochester Junior College in 1954. She was a medical secretary at Mayo Clinic and was among the first staff in the Mayo Building when it opened in 1955.

On June 30, 1957, Marlys married John V. Peterson at Peace United Church of Christ. They were the second couple to be married in the church's new building near Silver Lake. Together they raised four children first in Chester, Minnesota, and then near Soldier's Field Park in Rochester.

Marlys was a devoted mother and member of her church and community. She made everyone's birthday and holidays special. Her fruit salad and sloppy joes were favorites of the family. In addition to meals, she brought the family together playing board games.

She was an active member of Peace United Church of Christ and a dedicated member of the Lois Circle, always helping with anything that needed to be done. She served countless meals for funerals and other events at the church. She participated in the women's Bible study and card group for many years.

Committed to her community, Marlys voted in nearly every election held in Olmsted County. After it became too challenging to go to the polls in person, she voted by mail. She avidly followed the news. Marlys read every issue of the Rochester paper and amazed the family by knowing more about current events than many others who relied on the Internet. She impressed her family with her ability to play Trivial Pursuit and answer game show questions. She was also excellent with crossword puzzles.

Marlys appreciated flowers, especially lilacs, peonies, and irises. She was a regular patron of the Rochester Public Library and she endowed her children with a love of reading. Recently, she provided books in her neighborhood through a Little Free Library in her front yard. She enjoyed watching birds at the feeder and baseball and women's tennis on television.

She generously supported many causes and especially cared about women and children in need. She also participated in numerous research studies for Mayo Clinic, including the Study on Aging. Her last gift was authorizing an autopsy for research.

Her family, friends, and church will remember her abiding kindness, generosity, and quiet strength.

She leaves behind a grateful family, including four children: Virginia Wright-Peterson of Rochester, Ann Garritty (Greg) of Burnsville, Sandra Kelm (Joel) of Luverne, and Roger Peterson (Bobi) of Hastings; eight grandchildren: Kristina Wright-Peterson, Megan Garritty, John Peterson (Kirstie), Tom Garritty, David Peterson (Kayla Birk), Christopher Garritty, Elisabeth Kelm, and Katharine Kelm; and two great-grandchildren: Harper and Heath Hesby.

She is preceded in death by her husband and parents.

The family suggests memorials be directed to Peace United Church of Christ for children's programming or the Rochester Public Library Foundation (

A celebration of Marlys' life will be held at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home (5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901) on Thursday, November 30th at 11 AM with a visitation beginning at 10 AM. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Peterson family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marlys Peterson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 30, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, November 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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