Marlys L. Christensen, 81, of Arlington died Saturday March 18, 2017, in Phoenix.
Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Monday at at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arlington. Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arlington.
Marlys celebrated her life in color in her flower garden and her vibrant personality so her family requests that everyone please wear bright colors to her funeral service.
Marlys was born on July 16, 1935, on a farm southwest of Lake Preston as the youngest child of George and Lillian (Novak) Larson.
She was confirmed at the Lake Preston Methodist Church. Marlys attended Baker No. 4 country school through eighth grade.
She then attended Lake Preston High School, graduating in 1953, where she was very active in music and journalism activities. She graduated from SDSU with degrees in home economics and art. She taught art classes at Lake Preston and Arlington schools. She met Richard Christensen after he returned from service in Korea. They were married at the Lake Preston Methodist Church on Dec. 26, 1955, and lived on Bunk Hill Farms south of Arlington until moving to Arlington in 1998. They had two sons and two daughters.
She was involved in the farming operation with the family. Marlys was inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002, after serving as a 4-H leader for 51 years and National Friend of 4-H International in 2002. She was honored as South Dakota Eminent Homemaker in 2000 for her work as SD 4-H International Program coordinator for 15 years.
She also kept busy with Arlington Area Chamber, Happy Dozen and Share 'N Learn Clubs, local and state PTA boards, TLCW and TLC boards, church and community choir, 65-year member and officer of SD Rural Youth and YMW Organization, Purple Minded Sisters Red Hat Club, Kindred Spirits Bible Study, American Legion Auxiliary chairman and Lifetime Member, and WNAX Woman of the Year.
Marlys traveled to Costa Rica forfive years to interview the 89 CAPS (Central America Peace Scholarships) exchange students hosted and taught culture classes three years in Japan at the culture center. Marlys and Dick traveled to Norway and Denmark in 2001 to search for their roots. Following this, Marlys was pleased to publish her book, "As I Remember It." They enjoyed their Frames Plus More business after moving to town.
She loved her grandchildren and watching their sports and school events.
She is surived by her children, Brian (Teresa) Christensen of Arlington, Lorinda (Al Avery) Royer of Parker, Colo., Dr. Alan (Karla) Christensen of Watertown and Shellie (Dale) Brandriet of Arlington; eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a sister, Luella (Ralph) Palmer of Parkston; a brother, Verne (Marie) Larson of Parkston andsisters-in-law Betty Mohror of Colorado, Berdell Christensen of Arlington and Maxine Christensen of Watertown.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; brothers-in-law and wives, Clarence, Howard and Ethyl, Vernon and Doris, Merle and Vivian, Willmer and LaVerne "Sam" Mohror; sisters-in-law and husbands, Clara and Hans Anderson, Chris and John Viggos, Cora and Roy Hemmel, and Florence Larson; god-children, Peter Mohror and Todd Gustafson
Funeral arrangements are by Johnson-Henry Funeral Home of Arlington.