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Kuiper Funeral Home

9039 Kleinman Road, Highland, IN

OBITUARY

Marlys M. Furnas

October 15, 1921May 26, 2020

Marlys M Furnas 10-15-1921 to 05-26-2020 Carmel, IN - Marlys Marie (Gustafson) Furnas, age 98, died peacefully and of natural causes in her daughter Alice’s home. Marlys enjoyed her entire life without regret or suffering. Her motto was “Everything in Moderation”. Her insights, her stories and gentle nature will be missed by all who knew her. Marlys grew up in Lockport, IL where she lived with her parents, Nels and Marie (Yahnke) Gustafson and her younger sister, Phyllis (McCoy). Her father died when she was 7 years old. This life changing event was followed by the Great Depression. Her mother was a make do, can do, woman with an artistic flair, and Marlys was like her. Marlys learned to sew by remaking old clothes and cooked food from their garden. She matured in the extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins who lived near by and remained close to them for the rest of her life. She attended Lockport High School and after graduation accepted a secretarial position for a defense training program in the high school. The weather was bad one evening and her employer said Mark Furnas could take her home. “Can I trust him?” That ride started their courtship. WWII started and Marlys was asked is she would be interested in a job at The Globe, an oil refinery in Joliet, IL. She considered herself to be a “Rosie the Riveter”, The Globe being part of the war effort. She learned to ride horses with her coworkers during this time, which she loved, a benefit provided by The Globe. Mark Duane Furnas joined the Army. Before shipping out she went to visit him at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where they became engaged. Marlys married Mark right after the war on November 11, 1945. They moved to Chicago and shared an apartment with another couple since housing was scarce. Marlys moved to her first home in Griffith, then Joliet, Highland and finally Munster. There were many years of raising four daughters. The highlight of every year was the family vacation. After one wonderful vacation as the car pulled up to the Highland house Marlys turned to Mark and said, “well Mark we made it home with fifty cents.”

To help support her four daughters, Marlys worked as a sales clerk in the evening selling gloves for Carson Pirie Scott in Hammond. As her family grew more independent she sought a more challenging position at the Calumet National Bank in down town Highland. She enjoyed knowing so many people in town and their stories. Marlys retired from the bank in 1984. Her retirement with Mark included annual Army reunions (for 60 years) and trips with family and friends. She played in two golf leagues until the age of 90. She and Mark realized their life long dream having a cottage on Irish Lake. Every weekend was a vacation with their grand children and friends. Marlys and Mark were members of the Highland Presbyterian Church since 1956. Marlys, Mom, had a really great life. We will miss her so much. Marlys is survived by her four daughters, Debra (Georg Lennox) Stecklein, Key West, FL, Becky Bond, Park City, UT, Billie Sue (Joyce King) Furnas, Orlando, FL and Alice (Bill Hertzfeldt) Stillabower, Carmel, IN. Grand children, Gregory Barnard, Orlando, FL, Jill (Tim) Vavricek, Mt Vernon, IA, Kenneth J (Maura Shannahan) Stillabower, Brewster, MA and Amanda (Will Tuttle) Stillabower, Indianapolis, IN. Great grand children, Anna, Graham, Clara and Kate Vavricek all of Mt Vernon, IA along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Our grateful thanks for the skilled and loving support provided by caregiver Joanna Russell, Senior Home Companions and Heartland Hospice. Due to public health concerns and the safety of family and friends, graveside services will be limited to the immediate family. Marlys will be laid to rest beside her husband Mark at Calumet Park Cemetary on June 2, 2020. There are tentative plans for a celebration of Marlys’ wonderful life in October of this year when she would have turned ninety-nine years old. The family is being served by Kuiper Funeral Home in Highland, IN. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, Purdue University or your favorite charity.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Marlys M. Furnas

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Twyla Woodward

June 7, 2020

To all of Marlys's family (and through her you are my family) I send my love. For nearly 70 years she has been a happy shining light in my life and, through memories, that light will continue to shine. My love and sympathy to you all .

Suzanne Peyrot Irwin

June 2, 2020

Though I didn’t meet Marlys, or the rest of the Furnas family , until I roomed with her daughter Becky after our college graduation in 1972, by virtue of the fact I grew up in Munster, she had known my mother, Phyllis Peyrot, as a banking customer for many years before that!
Marlys was always interested in the happenings in your life and happily shared her own experiences and wisdom in our multiple conversations even into my last visit with her in January of this year. Though I was planning on visiting with her upon my return from Florida in March, due to the COVID pandemic , that never happened. She was a strong, determined, kind, and beautiful person who will be sorely missed by those who had the pleasure to know her through her 98 years.

deb perlet

June 2, 2020

Gloria, Deb and Marlys in Florida - enjoying life in the sunshine!

deb perlet

June 2, 2020

Good memories

Garry Sickles

June 2, 2020

Alice, so sorry to see your mother passed, only met her a couple times but what a wonderful tribute to her, she must have been a beautiful person. Hope you are doing well, May she Rest In Peace. PS, my mother is 93 and still feisty. God bless.

Judy B

June 1, 2020

Dear Deb, Becky, Billie Sue and Alice,
My heartfelt condolences and sympathy to you all. Your mom was so sweet and I always felt welcome. Remembering the fun times we had as neighbors while growing up. Everyone should be so lucky.
Former neighbor - Judy B, Green Bay, WI

Greg Barnard

May 31, 2020

Greg Barnard

May 31, 2020

This is my Grandma and I loved her.

Linda Wiley

May 31, 2020

Dear Deb
I did not have the pleasure of ever meeting your mother,
however I did have the great opportunity to meet several of her daughters and they are lovely women that I'm sure were raised with kindness and love.
My sympathies and prayers are extended to you and your family

The Alshamaileh Family

May 31, 2020

What a pleasure it was to have known such a strong and inspirational woman like Marlys Furance. She never failed to give our family the best advice, and was like a second mother to all of us. Her contagious smile and energy will be missed, none of us could imagine our lives without her in it! May her soul rest in peace. ❤️

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