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1935 Marlene Coon 2024

Marlene (Ahern) Coon

July 9, 1935 — March 16, 2024



A Celebration of Life for Marlene Ahern Coon. 88, will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 9th at Paetznick-Garness Funeral Chapel, Groton.  Rev. Craig Grams will officiate.  Inurnment will follow in Union Cemetery, Groton.

Marlene passed away Saturday, March 16, 2024 at Alive Hospice in Nashville, TN.

Marlene Deloris Schuelke was born July 9, 1935, in Niles, Michigan. She spent her childhood years with her parents Ora and Winifred (Odland) Schuelke and siblings, Linda and Bill, on a farm in Putney Township. She was in 4-H and attended school in Groton.

Marlene married Willis Lee Ahern on December 29, 1951. They lived in the Andover area and had four children, Michael (who died in infancy), Wallace, Richard, and Patti. When the children were young, the family moved to Rapid City, SD. Over the years, Marlene was employed as a retail clerk, a secretary, and at the Pennington County Register of Deeds. Willis passed away in February of 1964.

Marlene married Dwayne LeRoy Coon on May 29, 1965, and together with Dwayne’s daughter, Jolene, they became a family of six. Dwayne’s work kept him on the road most of the week, so she was frequently running their household on her own. She was delighted when her sister Linda’s family moved to the area, and the two families enjoyed five years of socializing and spending holidays together. When her grandchildren were young, she loved spending time with them, sharing her hobbies and interests. She was also a talented decorator, and many people remember her lovely home décor. After retirement, Marlene and Dwayne relocated to Hastings, MN, to be closer to their son, Richard & family. 

In 1995, Marlene and Dwayne returned to the Schuelke family farm north of Groton.  They were vital to the continued loving care of Marlene’s mother, Winifred. It can be challenging to care for a loved one with dementia, but Marlene took on many hours of her care every day. While there were stressful times, too, she spent many a happy morning enjoying coffee and conversation with Winifred and Neola Schuelke. After Winifred passed away in 2002, Marlene and Dwayne continued to live next door to Bill and Eileen, spending many loving hours with their grandchildren, too. The children knew Marlene had a treasure trove of dolls, buttons, and other small toys, and they would while away the afternoon together. She taught generations of kids how to play card games.

In her years living in Groton, she was a member of Putney Ladies’ Aid and St. John’s Lutheran Church. She also worked as the church secretary St. John’s Lutheran Church in Groton, retiring in March 2015 at the age of 80. She loved interacting with the preschool children every day.

In November of 2018, Marlene moved to Nashville, TN where she lived in the home of her daughter, Patti, for the remainder of her life. She enjoyed playing cards, even into her twilight years.

In spite of hardships she endured in her life, Marlene was a brave woman who had a forgiving heart. She remarked that she wasn’t one to join things, so she focused her energy on her family members. She was known for her passion for making quilts, sewing, painting, and crafts, and her family members were grateful recipients of many of her projects.

She is survived by her daughters, Patti L. Hergenreder, of Nashville, TN, and Jolene J. (Joseph) Shear, of Clarksville, TN; brother, Bill (Eileen) Schuelke, of Groton, SD; daughters-in-law, Christina A. Ahern, of Cape Coral, FL, and Kristina A. Ahern, of Maiden Rock, WI; five grandchildren, Mikel, Linda, Brianna, Patrishia, and Jamison; and two great-grandchildren, Kaiden and Declan.  

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Willis Ahern and Dwayne Coon; sons, Michael Ahern, Wallace Ahern, Richard Ahern; son-in-law Wilbert Hergenreder; and sister, Linda Schuelke Riggs.    

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marlene (Ahern) Coon, please visit our flower store.


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