Marilyn Graber was born May 11, 1931 to Joseph and Agnes Tokheim of Dell Rapids, S.D. She attended Rudd Country School and graduated from Lyons High School in 1949. After attending General Beadle State College, she taught in rural school for two years. She married Charles (Sonny) Jensen of Chester, S.D. To this union five girls were born. Marilyn was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Colton, S.D., where she especially enjoyed the quilting group.
On July 7, 1978 she married Eugene Graber of Freeman, S.D. She joined Gene in the care of his registered Brown Swiss Dairy Herd and milking operation. Marilyn became the farm wife she had always dreamed of being. She had a spinal injury in 1985 but still milked cows and helped with the farm chores for many years, even though she was confined to a wheelchair.
One of Marilyn’s favorite pastimes was attending auction sales, where she mastered the art of her true passion for collecting.
Eugene and Marilyn retired from farming in 1996 but stayed in their farm home until 2012 when they moved to the Salem Mennonite Home. The last few years were spent in the Good Samaritan Center in Howard, S.D. and the Tieszen Memorial Home in Marion, S.D., where she passed away on Oct. 10, 2018 with her beloved Gene by her side.
She is survived by her husband Eugene; daughters: Susan (Dick) Buck, Mitchell, S.D., Cheryl Johnson, Freeman, Cindy Wood, Yankton, S.D.; Carla Henrichs, Ramona, S.D., and Gayle Potter, Freeman; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; three stepchildren: Stan (Stacey) Graber, Sioux Falls, Teresa Graber, Albuquerque, N.M., and Diane (Joel) Ziolkowski, Custer, S.D.; eight step-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sisters: Mildred Jorgenson, Dell Rapids, S.D., and Verla (Ronald) Thompson, Colton; brother Alton (Delores) Tokheim, Dell Rapids; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Ronald Tokheim, brother-in-law Norman Jorgenson, sons-in-law Jerry Henrichs and John Potter.