Marilynn Hays Obituary

Marilynn Jo Bohrofen Hays
Marilynn Jo Bohrofen Hays

February 14, 1937 - June 26, 2022
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Sun City West, Arizona
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Marilynn Jo Bohrofen Hays, 85, passed away on June 26th, 2022, in Sun City West, Arizona. Funeral Services will be held at 11am, Thursday, July 7th at Brandt Funeral Home in Dallas Center. Interment will follow at Sunny Hills Cemetery in Grimes.
Marilynn was born on February 14, 1937 in Des Moines, Iowa, to Kenneth and Lucille Bohrofen. She attended Grimes Independent School and met the love and joy of her life, Ronald Hays, when he moved from Dallas Center to Grimes in the seventh grade. They began dating that school year, 1948-49. Their parents chauffeured them around for dates until “Ronnie” acquired a license and was able to drive the family pickup out to the Bohrofen farm. While in high school, Marilynn participated in 4-H club, Church Choir, High School Glee Club, teaching Sunday School, playing saxophone and xylophone solos, playing the piano and was a member of the school band. Marilynn graduated from Grimes High School in 1954 as Valedictorian of her class.
Marilynn worked at Brenton State Bank in Dallas Center for two years and then joined Ronald in 1956 at Wartburg College for a degree in Parish Work. As part of her college studies she served as a volunteer Parish Worker at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington. Marilynn returned for her second year at Wartburg College and she and Ronald were engaged in August 1957. While in college, she participated in Phebes, Mission Fellowship, Big Brother-Big Sister Association and the Lutheran Student Association. She completed her degree in Parish Work in 1958.
Marilynn and Ronald were married on August 17th, 1958, at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Grimes, IA. Ronald entered Luther Theological Seminary that fall and they moved to Minneapolis where she served as an office secretary. Janelle was born in 1960 while at the seminary. Jeffrey was born in 1962 while Ronald did his seminary internship in Valley City, N.D.
Ronald accepted a call to serve as the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Neche, N.D. in September 1962. Marilynn was very active in the ministry of Christ Lutheran as the pastor’s spouse and she took great joy in raising Janelle and Jeffrey until 1965 when they were called as a couple to serve as ALC missionaries to Japan. They set sail to Tokyo, Japan, from San Francisco on August 12, 1965 for a 14 day trip with the 3 day stop-over in Hawaii.
Marilynn began Japanese language studies in Tokyo and a year later Jonathan was born. Two years later Ronald was sent to serve as a missionary pastor to the Lutheran Church in the beautiful town of Yugawara on the Izu peninsula of the Pacific Ocean. While Janelle and Jeffrey took the long train ride to the International School in Yokohama, Marilynn cared for young Jonathan while inviting parishioners to join in delicious meals, teaching English in the nearby town of Atami, playing organ music for the worship services, keeping the household running smoothly and carrying her groceries up the mountain to the family home. She did all of this on little sleep as she woke up at 4:45 am every school morning to help feed and dress Janelle and Jeffrey so they could leave the house at 5:50 am to make the 6:07 am train. When they arrived home at 6:30 pm she had supper ready and had them in bed by 7:30 pm. Jonathan joined his older siblings on the train when he entered first grade.
They moved back to Tokyo so that the children could attend the American School in Japan. Ronald was assigned to Minoridai Lutheran Church in Chiba prefecture. Marilynn was determined to complete a four year college degree. She did so and more, earning Summa Cum Laude in her Master’s Degree in English as a Second Language from Columbia University, New York, in 1989. She was then hired to teach as a professor at several universities. She loved her work in teaching and organizing plays with her students and was a favorite professor. Marilynn loved the adventures of travelling with family to Asia, Europe, Egypt, Greece, Soviet Union and in later years travelling throughout the U.S.; she especially loved seeing the European alps and spending time on the Pacific Ocean beaches in Japan, Hawaii, and California.

Marilynn and Ronald moved to Sun City West, Arizona, in December 1999 after Ronald was diagnosed with a brain tumor. When Ronald died in February of 2000, Marilynn bravely started a new life in Sun City West where they had originally planned to retire. She became very active in the choir, WELCA activities and worship at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, as well as in the Red Hat Society. She always made time for exercise, going to eat weekly with friends, and she spoke with her children often. When the pandemic began and family couldn’t visit her, she found companionship in her favorite “puppy dog” Sandy that she received from loyal support of Habitat for Humanity in 2017. She lived in Sun City West till her recent death in 2022. Marilynn’s joyful laughter and generous love will remain a faithful witness to us all of the love that she had for her Lord.
Marilynn was preceded in death by her parents Kenneth and Lucille Bohrofen, her husband Ronald, her sister Doris Adamson, her brother-in-law Wendell Adamson and her sister-in-law Judy Bohrofen. She is survived by her daughter, Janelle (Roger) Osbeck, Des Moines IA; son Jeffrey (Marie), New Providence, N.J.; and son Jonathan, Tokyo, Japan; five grandchildren Joshua, Anastasia, David, Mark and Laura, her brother, Eldon (Augusta) Bohrofen, Ft. Myers, FL; brother-in-law, Dan (Judy) Hays, Venice, FL; nephews Mark, David, Andrew, Peter; and niece Heather.
Memorial contributions may be sent to ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran World Relief, Habitat for Humanity, Phoenix Rescue Mission and St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.





Brandt Dallas Center Funeral Home
1301 Ash Street
Dallas Center, IA US 50063
Thursday, July 7, 2022
11:00 AM
Sunny Hill Cemetery
SE Jacob Street and SE 6th Street
Grimes, IA US 50111
Thursday, July 7, 2022