Marilyn Lou Denevan
Marilyn Lou (Graff) Denevan, 81, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, November 24 due to complications of COVID-19, surrounded by her children at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
Marilyn was born to John and Mildred (King) Graff on July 19, 1939 in Rutland, South Dakota. She attended school in Rutland where she graduated in 1958. The following year, she married the love of her life, Jim Denevan, on June 13, 1959. The two shared 61 years and three children together.
In the early years of their marriage, Marilyn and Jim moved frequently as Jim pursued various coaching and teaching opportunities. After planting roots in Marshall, Minnesota they raised their family where Marilyn was a homemaker for her children Jim, Teresa, and Tom. She was very proud to support her husband as he pursued his Ed.D. and during his coaching career, opened her home to baseball players by hosting them for a meal or holidays. Once the children started school, Marilyn began working at the Southwest State University bookstore, where she enjoyed interacting with fellow staff and students.
Marilyn and Jim retired to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1996 to be closer to their children and grandchildren. She enjoyed supporting the grandchildren at their activities through the years. Marilyn later returned to work at Roosevelt High School, where she assisted special needs students. For the last 15 years Marilyn and Jim spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona, making many new friends from all over the United States and Canada. Marilyn also loved participating in the community choir.
Marilyn is preceded in death by her mother and father; sister-in-law: Mary Lou Denevan; and brother-in-law: Jon Amundson.
Marilyn is survived by her husband: Dr. Jim Denevan; sisters: Jackie (Gene) Thill and Sandy (Ron Laughlin) Amundson; children: Jim (Betsy) Denevan, Teresa (Paul) West, and Tom (Kris) Denevan; nieces and nephews: Brian (Paula) Thill, Brad Thill, Deb (Alan) Schaefer, Diane (Dan) Steinberg, Greg Amundson, Mark (Pam) Amundson; 11 grandchildren: Dallas (Chrissy) Tebben, Ann (Ryan) Gasper, Emily (Derek) Smith, Rich (Maria) Denevan, Brittany Denevan, Sam Denevan, Patrick West, Mari West, Alex Denevan, Erin Denevan, and Elizabeth Denevan; as well as five great-grandchildren: Merrick and Hailey Gasper, Lilly, Ray, and Madi Smith.
A celebration of Marilyn’s life will be held at a later date, to be determined. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Feeding South Dakota would be appreciated.
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