August 4, 1925 - August 1, 2015


Marian I. Melgard passed away peacefully at her home in Watertown, South Dakota August 1, 2015.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. at Benson Funeral Home Chapel, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.

Marian Mildred Irene Schafer was born on August 4, 1925 to Beatrice and Gustav Schafer in Garrison, North Dakota--a “coal miner’s daughter.”

Following her high school graduation from Kensal, North Dakota in 1943, she attended Valley City Teacher’s College. In one summer she earned her teaching certificate and at age 18, began teaching country school. While teaching in Grace City, North Dakota, she met her husband, Peter. They were married March 25, 1949 in Kensal, North Dakota and raised their six children in North Dakota, South Dakota and St. Cloud, MN.

Marian was a busy homemaker until a friend in Milbank encouraged her to return to teaching. She taught at two country schools near Milbank, SD. When the schools closed, Marian was hired as Director of the Milbank Carnegie Library. Now she was “Marian the Librarian.” When the family relocated to St. Cloud in 1968 she was employed by The Great River Regional Library, retiring in 1988.

Peter and Marian wintered in Arizona and spent summers at Lake Koronis near Paynesville, MN. A highlight of their golden years was their 50th anniversary in 1999. Marian was Peter’s caregiver during his illness with Alzheimer’s. After Peter’s passing in 2007, she moved to Watertown, South Dakota where she was blessed with many new friends and the arrival of great-grandchildren.

Marian will be fondly remembered for her quilting, needlework and homemade treats shared with family and friends.

Marian is survived by her son, Rodney (Sheila) Melgard of Buffalo, MN; daughters, Barbara Dohrer of Watertown, SD; Gay Wandel of Denver, CO; Mary Lea Forington of Denver, CO; Jacqueline Melgard of Minneapolis, MN; and Joan Melgard of Denver, CO; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; sisters, Lauretta Petersen of Sioux Falls, SD; Marsha (Walter) Klindworth of Garrison, ND; brother, John (Dorothy) Kolden, Jr. of Garrison, ND.

Marian was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Peter, one sister, two brothers, son-in- law Richard Dohrer and grandson Sean O’Connell.

Memorials are preferred to Prairie Lakes Hospice, 401 - 9th Avenue N.W., Watertown, SD 57201 or Memorial Rifle Squad, Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, 7601 - 34th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55450.