LaVonne RaJean "Jean" Maresch nee Bates, 80, of Bird Island, MN lost her long battle with COPD coupled recently with COVID-19 on October 17, 2021. Funeral services are pending, details to follow.
She leaves a huge hole in the hearts of her family and friends who were always entertained by her stories and witty sense of humor.
Jean was born March 31, 1941 to Samuel Arthur and Nettie Evaline Bates in their home in Ruthven, Iowa. Jean is the youngest of six siblings: Hazel, Doris, Dallas, Florence, and Jessie. Her parents received 40 acres and a mule and began their life in Aitkin, MN, later returning to northern Iowa. Her mother was the finest homemaker and gardener. Her father was a mechanic. One claim to fame is that he once repaired Father Flannigan’s car. Another is that her grandmother moved from West Virginia to Missouri on a covered wagon.
As a young woman Jean was a standout student at Ruthven High School. She was captain of the girls’ basketball team and the cheerleading squad. She was in the Glee Club, FHA, Mixed Chorus, and Newspaper Staff. The girls’ basketball team was quite good and was one of the earliest to be televised in the area. (When she became a mother it was very difficult for her children to win a game of H.O.R.S.E. against her). She held positions of office in the student council and several school clubs which would lead her to receive an invitation to Washington DC to be considered as an intern upon graduation. That was not to be because while visiting her sister Doris on her farm near Bird Island one summer, she met the man who would become her husband and together they built a life near the Osceola Town Hall.
She lived a mother’s life. She warmly received people into her life and was always ready with smiles, hugs and kisses. She made frequent calls and had long conversations with friends and family. She managed her personal, office, farm life, and three children with positivity and in a manner that expressed ease. With all that she had to do she still found time to teach Sunday school and vacation bible school at Our Saviors Lutheran Church. Ancestry, antiques, dancing, singing, puzzles, games, and bird watching were all her favorite things to do. You could call her with a bird description and she would tell you what it is over the phone.
Because she knew so many people, everyone has their own special Jean in their heart. For those of us closest to her, she is the pebble that gets tossed into the lake and we are the ripples it creates extending to others. When a mother dies it is her love that will be remembered.
Jean is survived by her husband of 61 years, Alan; sister-in-law Darlene Maresch-Ostrowski; sister Jessie Fiesler; her sons, Todd and wife Julie, Tim and wife Lucy; her daughter Laurie; granddaughter Ashlie and her husband Eric Ketteman; great-grandson Henry Maresch Ketteman; nieces Ginger, Kittie, Susan, & Rhonda; and nephews Lin, Dallas Jr., Rodney, Duane, Jeff, Dan, & Kenneth. She is preceded in death by her parents; four siblings: Hazel, Doris, Dallas, & Florence; and her grandson Zachary Maresch.
Dirks-Blem Funeral Service offers many styles of services to honor the memory of your loved one. Funerals should be meaningful, reflect the individual, and celebrate the life they led. Personalized funerals are more involved, giving people a chance to remember what made that individual so unique.