Marlowe LaVern Ohman died on December 2, 2020 at Brookings Hospital and Bonna Jean Ohman died on December 6, 2020 at United Living Community in Brookings, both after short illnesses.
A celebration of life ceremony to remember Marlowe & Bonna Jean will be 10:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2020 at the Kennebec Lutheran Church in Kennebec, SD.
Marlowe LaVern Ohman was born on September 12, 1931 in Clark, SD to Helmer and Mabel Ohman. Marlowe was the first of two children that the couple shared, in addition to five children that Mabel had from a previous marriage.
Bonna Jean “Jeanie” Ohman was born on August 20, 1935 in Kennebec, SD to Clifford and Bertha Halverson, the third of six children.
Marlowe graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Agricultural Education in 1953, and Jeanie with her teaching degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1955.
Marlowe and Jeanie met as teachers in Letcher, SD - he as a vocational agricultural instructor at Letcher High School and she as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Letcher Consolidated Grade School. They quickly became the love of each other’s lives and married on June 14, 1958 in her hometown of Kennebec.
The newlyweds settled in Letcher, and then moved to Redfield, SD where Marlowe managed the Spink County Coop. They welcomed their first son, Mark John Ohman, in 1960 and another son, Michael James Ohman, in 1962. The family moved to Emmetsburg, IA when Marlowe was transferred to branch manager of the Dakota Improved Seed Co. and then relocated to Sioux City, IA in 1968. Marlowe was hired by FMC in 1971. The couple’s third son, Matthew Joseph, was born in 1977. Jeanie taught school in South Sioux City, NE as an elementary school teacher, then as the head librarian at all five elementary schools and the middle school until her retirement in 1993. Marlowe retired from FMC in 1994, and the couple enjoyed many years of retirement together in Sioux City. In 2013, Marlowe and Jeanie transitioned into assisted living and nursing memory care, respectively. They chose to relocate to Brookings, South Dakota, to be near their oldest son, Mark.
Marlowe enjoyed watching sports of any kind, in-person or on television. He enjoyed watching his beloved South Dakota State Jackrabbits football and basketball games. He was also a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, and the Green Bay Packers. He especially enjoyed seeing the Packers crush the Bears at Lambeau Field with his three sons for a special trip to Green Bay in 2003.
Marlowe also enjoyed golf, entertaining friends but most of all his family, and attending his children’s and grandchildren’s many activities. He also coached his sons in Little League and church basketball for many years.
Jeanie was a passionate, voracious reader – she constantly had a book going. She also enjoyed gardening and flowers, cooking, decorating and collecting dolls. Together, Marlowe and Jean loved playing cards and especially cribbage – they were an unbeatable team against family and friends.
Marlowe was the ultimate family man, he was beloved as a fantastic father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. He was a generous, humble and soft-spoken man who always had a kind word for everyone. Jeanie, though short in stature, was a formidable spitfire who was known for her loyalty, generosity and crackling sense of humor. She was also fiercely protective of and devoted to her family and husband.
Most admirably, they loved and cherished each other through sickness and health.
For eight years, through blowing snow and sweltering heat, Marlowe dutifully walked across the street from his Assisted Living apartment to spend all day with Jeanie in the Memory Care Unit of the nursing home, even as her Alzheimer’s intensified to the point that she could no longer communicate or even recognize him. His unselfish and unwavering loyalty to her was a shining example of what it is to be a husband. After sixty-two years of marriage, they were finally separated by pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, a month before Marlowe passed. He called his beloved Jeanie Home to the Lord four days later.
Marlowe and Jeanie are survived by their three sons: Mark (of Brookings, South Dakota), Mike (of Salt Lake City, Utah) and Matt (of Sioux City, Iowa); their five grandchildren: Mike’s daughters Meagen (Brandon) Nielsen, Molli (Brody) Wilcock and Michele (Kyle) Walker and Matt’s children, Mia Ohman and Jack Ohman; seven great-grandchildren; Marlowe’s sister, Norma Wahl (Kansas City, MO), Jeanie’s sister Carol (Presho, SD) and her brother Cliff (Kennebec, SD) as well as many nieces and nephews on both sides.
They were preceded in death by Marlowe’s parents and five step-siblings, Jeanie’s parents and three of her siblings, as well as a nephew.