Marjorie Drahn

MONONA — Marjorie Charlotte Otis Drahn, 95, of Monona died Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at Prairie Maison in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. 

     A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2024 at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Monona. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, 2024 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Monona with Rev. Erika Lenth as the officiant.

    Marjorie was born Jan. 15, 1929 in Morgan Park, Illinois to parents Selwyn and Charlotte Otis.  She was the first of three children.  She graduated from Earlville High School and Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, receiving a Teaching Certificate.  

    She then taught for one year in Washington.  At this point, Marjorie joined her family in Salzburg, Austria.  For the next four years she taught for the United States Army in the years following World War II.  While cementing her teaching skills, Marjorie also developed a love of international travel at this time of her life.  

    Upon Marjorie’s return to the United States, she completed her bachelor’s degree in education from Iowa State Teachers College.  She would then teach one year in the Demonstration School of the University of Iowa City.  During this year, she met Lloyd Drahn in her grandparent’s yard in Monona.  By the next summer on August 8, 1954, they were wed.  To this union, three children were born.

    Marjorie would teach in the Monona school system until her retirement in 1994.  Marjorie and Lloyd supported each other in their respective careers; teaching and farming.  Lloyd drove Marjorie to school on bad roads and enjoyed visiting her classrooms far more than Marjorie enjoyed helping with farm chores.  In 1994, they sold the farm and moved into Monona.   

    Marjorie was active in community affairs.  She was the great, great granddaughter of Phineas Page Olmsted, first white settler and founder of the town of Monona.  She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Monona, a member and a President of The Federated Women’s Club of Monona, and served on the Boards of the Monona Historical Society and Murphy Helwig Library.  She enjoyed reading, quilting, and playing cards.  She connected with many people through these activities.

    Marjorie traveled extensively, visiting six continents.  She combined her love of game-playing, teaching, travel, and her grandchildren in one beloved event.  Marjorie would plan an Easter Treasure Hunt with clues for the grandchildren.   As the children got older, the clues became more complex and often related to Marjorie’s travels.  The tradition culminated in an Easter basket and continued for decades.

    Marjorie is survived by three children: Cindy (Gary) Dostal of Muskego, Wisconsin; Chris (Pat) Drahn of Arden Hills, Minnesota; and Sally (Alan) Miller of Boone;  five grandchildren:  Andrew Dostal of Cedar Falls; Tim (Jennifer Lehmann) Drahn of Arlington, Massachusetts; Katie (Patrick) Gleason of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; Cory Miller of Ames; and Jacob (Kylee) Miller of Ames; six great grandchildren: Lucas, Jack and Grady Lehmann-Drahn, Wesley and Connor Gleason, and Jessica Miller.

    Marjorie was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and brothers Gilbert and William Otis.

    Memorials may be sent to Murphy Helwig Library, Monona.

     Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Monona is assisting the family with services.


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