Marilyn Hankinson Obituary

Marilyn  Hankinson
Marilyn Hankinson

December 25, 1936 - June 10, 2022
Born in Carroll, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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On June 10, 2022, we lost a daughter, wife, mother, grandma, and a friend to so many.

Marilyn (Chisholm) Hankinson, 85, passed away on Friday, June 10, 2022. Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 16, 2022 at Plymouth Congregational Church followed by burial in the Plymouth Memorial Garden.

Marilyn was born on Christmas Day, December 25, 1936 to Rod and Melva Chisholm, in Carroll Iowa. The family moved to Des Moines in 1947 where Marilyn attended Roosevelt Junior High and High School. Later she attended Cottey College then Drake University where she earned a Master’s Degree in English. She met the future love of her life, Richard Hankinson, while at Roosevelt but didn’t admit it until they were at Drake. They were married in 1959 at Plymouth Congregational Church in Des Moines.

Marilyn was an English teacher in the Des Moines school system, at Drake University, and DMACC. She became President of the Drake Alumni Association. Later, Marilyn wrote an English rules and tips book that she used as a teaching tool in her writing services business.

Marilyn had hobbies including reading and extensive travel but her biggest and most important interest was people. She was a friend to everyone and enjoyed everybody’s story. She would introduce people she barely knew to people that she didn’t know at all. Her appreciation of what everyone had to offer was a truly amazing gift. Her cherished friend groups included The Lunch Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, and The Precious Few. Marilyn loved throwing parties most notably for the entire neighborhood on July 4th and for 100 or so of her closest friends on or near Christmas Eve. She leaves behind so many important people that will miss her greatly.

Marilyn is survived by her son, Michael of Scottsdale, AZ; daughter, Susan (James) Gruening of Ankeny, IA; her grandchildren, Jack and Mary Kate; and innumerable friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Jane, and loving husband, Richard of nearly 59 years.

Contributions may be made to Drake Alumni Association. Online condolences are welcomed at

Arrangements by Iles Westover Chapel




Memorial Service
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Saturday, July 16, 2022
11:00 AM
Plymouth Memorial Gardens, Des Moines
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50312
Saturday, July 16, 2022
2:00 PM


Drake University, Office of Alumni and Development
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50311