Marlys Marie Garness

Marlys Marie (Schwanke) Garness passed away on September 3, 2021.  She was born February 24, 1946 in Springfield, Minnesota.  She was the daughter of Donald and Ruby (Orloske) Schwanke.  She graduated from Sanborn Public School in 1964. She went to Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education in 1964.

She taught elementary music in many places - such as Middletown, CT, Yuma, AZ and Kalispell, MT.  She taught there for 4 years.   During this time she met her future husband, Ken Garness. 

Marlys and Ken were married on May 14, 1977 at Germantown United Methodist Church near Lamberton, MN. After marriage, they lived in Spokane, WA for 7 years and welcomed their only child, Ruby Marie Teague, on March 6, 1979.  In 1985, they moved to Montana for 2 years and then made their way back to Sanborn, MN to the family farm. They lived on the farm until 1997.  They moved to Springfield, MN and lived there for 8 years before moving to Owatonna, MN to be closer to Ruby’s family. They eventually ended up in Waseca and have been there since 2006. 

During her time in Waseca, Marlys played organ for Faith United Methodist Church, enjoyed her presentation opportunities with Hymn Time Musical Ministries for churches, and Musical Moments for nursing homes.  Her passion has always been music and in the later years, writing.  She wrote many books and poems for friends and family.  Her stories became the chronicle of her life and her family's lives. 

She also enjoyed traveling and learning about the world around her. She traveled to all parts of the United States except the southeast.  She drove the Alaska Highway and traveled through Canada and parts of Mexico.  She did visit Europe three times, visiting Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria, and Denmark. 

Marlys was a devoted wife, mom, grandma and friend. She would support her family as much as she could by attending their concerts when able, and would help out in her daughter’s classroom from time to time. She enjoyed hearing about everyone's life and what they were up to.  She touched so many people's lives and will be greatly missed by many.

She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Ken Garness; her daughter and son-in-law, Ruby and Kevin Teague and their 2 children, Sabastian and Hannah; and her sisters-in law, Mavis Schwanke, Patsy Schwanke, and Margaret Mohl.  She also has many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins who she loved dearly and tried to stay in contact with as much as she could over the years. 

She was preceded in death by her grandparents;  father, Donald Schwanke; mother, Ruby Schwanke; and her brothers Dennis and Bob Schwanke. 

There will be a celebration of life for Marlys at her house on September 18, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 817 9th Avenue NW, Waseca, MN.  Marlys did not want a funeral, she just wanted a “party” to celebrate her life.  Please come and share your memories with us all about Marlys.

 Cards, flowers, or memorials can be sent to: Ken Garness, 817 9th Avenue NW, Waseca, MN 56093 or Kevin and Ruby Teague, 30966 128th Street, Waseca, MN 56093.  

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