Marilynn Jane (Shean) Van Brocklin, 97, passed away of natural causes on September 11, 2020 at Story County Medical Center Senior Care in Nevada, Iowa, where she resided since January 2017.
Marilynn was born October 10, 1922 in Harrisville, NY, the daughter of Verner and Viola (Stowell) Shean. She graduated from Harrisville High School and the Watertown School of Commerce before falsifying her age to enlist in the Women's Army Corps in 1943. She was discharged with the rank of Sergeant at the end of World War II after being stationed at Oglethorpe Georgia, Waco Texas, and Des Moines Iowa.
She married Kermit E. Van Brocklin on July 8, 1946 and resided in Watertown, New York where she raised her family and worked for 26 years at J. C. Penney's. She moved to Palm Coast, Florida in 1986 after Kermit's passing to be near her sisters, Myrtle Lathan and Margaret Branchaud. In 2005 she moved back to Watertown where she enjoyed time with her brother, Francis and niece, Marilynn Hibbard, and her granddaughter, Lisa Criscitello and family. She moved again in 2010 to Ames, Iowa to be near her son, Lee.
Marilynn was proud to have been a part of the Greatest Generation. She enjoyed raising her family, hosting card parties with friends, and later in her life, genealogy and conservative politics. She researched and published a Stowell Family History and was a staunch supporter of the Convention of States.
Marilynn is survived by her son, K. Lee Van Brocklin (Cathy) of Ames, Iowa; her younger sister, Margaret Branchaud of Parker, Texas, 6 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Kermit in 1985; sister, Myrtle Lathan; brother, Francis Sheen; and sons, Stephen Ted Van Brocklin and Reid Shean Van Brocklin.
Donations in Marilynn's memory may be made to St Croix Hospice, 1555 SE Delaware Ave, Suite Q, Ankeny, IA 50021 or to Story County Medical Center Senior Care, 630 6th St, Nevada, IA 50210.
Online condolences may be directed to www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com
Marilynn was a wonderful mother in law. I really will miss our conversations - we could talk about all sorts of things very honestly. I remember the first time I met her in high school. Steve and I stopped by the house to pick something up. He left me in the car :-) She came out and very sweetly welcomed me!
In her younger years
Aunt Marilynn at my mom and dad's 50 anniversary party. 1991
I grew up 1 block from Aunt Marilynn's house on Charles St. and I loved to visit there as a youngster, as she always made me feel special. I remember the amazing african violets she had all over he kitchen and dining room They were her pride and joy. She left me in charge of watering them once when she was out of town for a while and no one was home. Boy was that a big responsibility for a teenager. I was so afraid I would kill them! I also remember the great patch of rubarb in their back yard. After I got married and she moved to Florida we lost touch with each other. But when she moved back to Watertown in her later years she became a big part of my life. The time we spent together was such a blessing to me. I learned so much about her and what a strong, independant woman she was. She was an inspiration to me in so many ways. She showed how to be in control of your destiny and never complained. I can hear her words of wisdom she shared about aging and it rings true to me now that I'm getting "up there". I didn't realize until that time with her, what an honor it was to be her namesake! Loved, Loved, Loved my Aunt Marilynn!
I was delighted to meet Marilynn a few years ago. She was aware of my liberal politics and welcomed me anyway — joking lovingly. Full of life and curiosity, she proudly showed off her genealogy work and told interesting stories. She loved her family and her country so much!! I remember thinking Marilynn was a role model to us all and I’m lucky I got to meet her. Rest in peace!
Gram with her grandsons.
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