School 13

Marilyn R. Bland

December 26, 1923 ~ September 18, 2022 (age 98)


On September 18, 2022 Marilyn Ruth Bland of Westby died at home at the age of 98, surrounded by her loving family.  Marilyn was born December 26, 1923 in St. Paul, MN to Clarence and Esther (Tennstrom) Skrivseth.  She graduated from Green Bay West High School in 1941 and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1945 with a degree in sociology and psychology.  On December 26, 1944 she married Phillips T. Bland, and together they raised four children, Susan, Bruce, Robert, and Sarah. 

A respected member of the Westby community for 70 years, Marilyn was extremely generous with her time and money.  She was instrumental in helping organize the first Girl Scout troop in the city.  She also volunteered with the bloodmobile and was involved with the Vernon Memorial Hospital Auxiliary for over 50 years.  One of her proudest accomplishments was serving as the only female member on the Westby School board from 1973 to 1979.  She also volunteered on the local library committee, helping to bring the Bekkum Memorial Library to Westby, and was a past chairwoman of the Vernon County American Cancer Society.  In conjunction with her husband’s medical practice, she fed and nurtured hundreds of medical students with her gourmet cooking over the years.  Marilyn was an avid reader and loved to do crossword puzzles, play Scrabble, and watched Jeopardy whenever she could.

Marilyn showed unending concern for and kindness toward others and she cared for many family members near the end of their lives.  She accepted the challenges of her life with quiet dignity, setting an example for all of us.

Marilyn is preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Dr. P.T. Bland in 2011 and her youngest daughter, Sarah in May of this year.  She is survived by her children Susan (David) Anderson, Bruce Bland, and Robert (Cheryl) Bland; her son-in-law Theodore Maglio, and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Lange.  She also was very proud of her seven grandchildren; Matthew (Tania) Anderson, Rachel (Brian McEvoy) Anderson, Aaron (Emily) Bland, Thomas (Kate) Bland, Steven (Bailee Schmidt) Bland, Robin (Logan) Bender, and Teddy Maglio; and her three great-grandchildren; Kendall Nachreiner, Mara Rose Bland, and Ivy Hollis Bender.

The family would like to thank Dr. William Calkins, Dr. Dana Benden, the staff of the VMH-Bland Clinic, and Gundersen Hospice for their wonderful care over the years.

As per her request, there will not be a memorial service.  A gathering of friends and family to celebrate Marilyn’s life will be held at Branches Winery on Sunday, October 2 from 12:00 to 3:00.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be directed to the Westby Area Fine Arts Foundation, Norse Fund, or Bethel Butikk.

The Roth Family Cremation Center is serving the family.




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