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Marilyn Leona, daughter of Elmer Alexander and Verna Grace (Fine) Starmer, was born at home, in Union County, IA on December 17, 1938.
Marilyn grew up and attended Diagonal High School, graduating with the class of 1957. Following graduation, Marilyn went to beauty school in Des Moines.
On January 10, 1958, Marilyn was united in marriage to Mark Richard “Rich” Richardson at the Methodist Church in Diagonal, IA. To this union was born three children: Terri, Lori and Chris.
Marilyn will always be remembered as a loving wife, mom and grandmother. She was a hard worker who cared for and looked after her family. She raised a big garden and cooked wonderful meals for all. She was active in the Methodist Church and was a member of the Methodist Circle. Marilyn loved crafting, painting and decorating for every holiday, especially Christmas. Marilyn and Rich enjoyed being part of a card party group. The family enjoyed their annual family vacation traveling and camping around the U.S. and Canada.
Marilyn began working in the health care profession as an aide but eventually, Dr Mitchell saw the potential in Marilyn, and she trained to be a surgical assistance. She helped out in all capacities of surgery and was there to help deliver her three grandsons: Nathan, Cody and Wes.
Rich passed away on March 6, 1993.
Marilyn married Gary Ray Bear on May 16, 1998, in Diagonal. Gary passed away on February 9, 2007.
In May 2016, Marilyn entered Mount Ayr Health Care Center, where she enjoyed fellowship and received care.
Marilyn passed away with family by her side on December 20, 2022, three days after her 84th birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents, both husbands, in-laws, son-in-law, Mickey Austin, grandson, Wesley Cooper, brother, Eldon Starmer, nephew, Chad Starmer, niece, Brenda Meyers, sister-in-law, Nadine Bales, brother-in-law, Gary McCullough.
Those left to cherish and share her memory include her children and their families beginning with Terri Austin of Cassville, MO, Nathan (Kim) Austin and their children, Dylan and Emilee; Cody (Jenny) Austin and their children, Cylas, Waylon, Lucy; Lori Richardson of Olathe, KS; Chris (Wendy) Richardson of Cherokee, IA and their children, Tyler and Taylor Richardson; sister, Merrill McCullough; sisters-in-law, Linda Starmer, Mary Ellen (Gerald) Piland, Glee Toney; brother-in-law, Ray (Deloris) Bear; many nieces and nephews.
A graveside service for Marilyn will be held in the Diagonal Cemetery, followed by a time to celebrate her life, tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2023.
A memorial fund has been established for the Diagonal Development Corporation.
Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.

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