Marlys June Weyrauch was born on June 16, 1932 on a farm south of Ray, ND to Raymond and Dora (Welo) Weyrauch. At age 18 she married Garfield Bergstrom, the oldest son of E.G. and Laura (Daniel) Bergstrom, whom she began dating when she was 16 years old.
Marlys and Garfield were the first couple married in the new St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Ray on Tuesday, November 28, 1950 at 8:00 a.m. Mom’s grandmother missed the wedding as she overslept due to the early ceremony. Our parents remained faithful members of the church throughout their lives.
Dad often joked that during their first year of marriage his young bride wasn’t much of a cook. One of her first efforts was making glorified rice and when they tasted it, it was realized she had forgotten to add the rice. After a lot of practice, there ended up being no one who could master caramel rolls, homemade buns or molasses cookies like she could.
Even though Marlys was a straight “A” student, she quit high school to work at the grocery store to save money for her upcoming marriage. She often told us quitting school was the biggest regret of her life. One summer day in 1972, without telling anyone, she drove to the college in Williston where she took and successfully passed the GED.
Our mother was a supportive farmer’s wife who was never afraid to roll up her sleeves and work right beside dad. She was active in every aspect of operating a farm and ranch while nurturing seven children and keeping a clean and well-run household. Mom had top-notch bookkeeping skills, kept very accurate farm records and balanced their checkbook to the penny. She would stay up late to find an error, even if it was a penny.
Harvesting and canning garden produce was very important, and during their first years together the couple milked cows, raised chickens and sold cream and eggs in town. She often talked about hating to clean the cream separator and it was one of the happiest days of her life when they decided to quit milking cows. In 1969 when dad broke his leg during harvest, mom received a crash course on driving a combine which she enjoyed and continued to do every harvest for several years, along with her sister-in-law, Connie, who drove the other combine.
Marlys served many years for the church on committees and St. Ann’s altar band, was a Ray school board member and the township assessor for Equality Township. She was also co-president of the Ray Senior Citizens.
Mom always had a passion for babies. The joy babies brought remained with her throughout her life. Mom loved to dance (dad didn’t) and sing in church and with her best friend, Vi Ware. One of her favorite programs was the Lawrence Welk Show. Mom and dad were lifelong followers of the Ray Jays.
Mom was an excellent seamstress. She sewed several prom and bridesmaid dresses for her daughters and spent many hours patching and repairing jeans and coveralls for dad and her sons.
During the 70’s and 80’s mom enjoyed hanging wallpaper along with another good friend, Margie Hauge. She and dad enjoyed playing cards with neighbors and friends through the years and putting puzzles together during long winter evenings. Mom loved crossword puzzles, reading newspapers and watched Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune where she answered questions/puzzles like a pro. In the summer she loved her garden and flowers, and in later years riding around their property with dad in “the pumpkin”.
Although our mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, she was able to remain on the farm with dad until the last three years of her life largely due to her and dad being a true team. They relied on each other, and dad was 100% devoted to caring for mom.
Mom will be forever missed by her seven children: Barb (Les) Slagle, Jacki (Vern) Barman, Gary Bergstrom, Bruce (Mari) Bergstrom, Janis (Dave) Bosch, Andrea (Brad) Miller, and Alan (Rachel) Bergstrom. Fifteen grandchildren: Brenna (Don) Neumann, Teresa (Brian) Claypool, Eric Barman, Alysia Barman, Ryan (Jaci) Bergstrom, Austin Bergstrom, Keaton (Lexi) Bergstrom, Mallory (Chris) Briol, Matthew Bosch, Colin Miller, Brady (fiancé Chantel) Miller, Kinley Bergstrom, Kiara Bergstrom, Kasen Bergstrom and Kai Bergstrom. Eleven great-grandchildren: Brynn, Ava, Luke, Nora, Wyatt, Noah, Ty, Andee, Bo, Tyus and Theodore. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Doris Weyrauch and Connie Bergstrom, and her brother-in-law, Lennie Larson, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Marlys is preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Garfield, on December 27, 2019. She is also preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Chauncey Weyrauch and his wife, Helen; her brother, Duard Weyrauch and his wife, Delores, and her only sister, Jean Larson; her in-laws, and her brothers-in-law, Sidney Weyrauch and Don Bergstrom.
During her time in the nursing home, mom would often say, “It’s time to go home”. God finally granted her wish to her heavenly home on Sunday, February 16, 2020. We will love and miss you forever, mom!
The family requests memorials be given to St. Vincent’s Care Center, Benedict Place in memory of our mom, or a charity of your choice.
We would like to thank the St. Vincent’s Care Center, Benedict Place staff for their kind and compassionate care.
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