Obituaries

Marilyn Anne Rotermund

January 6, 1928 - October 31, 2021

RotermundMarilyn Anne Rotermund, 93, of The Holmstad Retirement Community in Batavia, and formerly of Park Ridge, IL, passed away October 31, 2021 in Geneva, IL. 

She was born January 6, 1928 to Edward and Anne (Lehr) Deffner.  She was united in marriage to Melvin Rotermund August 4, 1951, in Waukesha, WI. 

Marilyn led a life of unshakeable faith in God and total devotion to her husband and family. She was immensely generous and had an optimistic spirit, a cheery outlook and a lively, curious mind. She earned her bachelor’s degree in teaching from Concordia College in River Forest, IL, where she met Mel, who was also studying to be a teacher and a church organist.  They spent the first 15 years of their married life serving Zion Lutheran Church & School on 99th Street on the South Side of Chicago. They moved to Park Ridge, IL, in 1967 where Mel was a teacher and Minister of Music at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, and Marilyn worked as a librarian at Maine West High School.

She was so humble, but feisty and resourceful, too. In the mid-1950’s she and Mel were able to get their first car, but she had never been taught how to drive and it quickly became apparent that Mel’s patience did not extend to seeing his new car put at risk with Marilyn’s total lack of mechanical aptitude or spatial awareness. She solved the problem by landing a temporary job as a typist in the Loop and using the extra paychecks for a professional driving teacher.  She didn’t stop driving until she was 89.    

She and Mel shared a desire to see the country and an ability to do it on a shoestring. They slept in the car on their first few trips (Mel made screens for the car windows for ventilation), and then upgraded to a tent. Once they had a family they bought a little pop-up camper that was home for several weeks each summer, usually alongside Mel’s brother Don and his family in a matching pop-up. Together they showed their children the national parks, the coasts, the mountains, and even the launch of Apollo 11.

Marilyn’s joy when she eventually became a mom was a defining part of who she was. Her husband and daughters felt treasured all of their lives, and she embraced her sons-in-law Clark and Ric with that same love and appreciation. When grandchildren entered the picture it went to a whole new level! Mel and Marilyn reveled in each new little person’s arrival and their individual personalities. They were both deeply invested in giving the grandchildren a strong foundation of faith and family. One of her favorite sayings was “A loving family is but an earlier heaven”.

When Mel died in 2002, Marilyn continued to be that caring, generous presence, even taking the two families to Alaska and to Italy. Watching her grandchildren grow up and cheering them on was the joy of her later decades. Their visits with her would often include a list of questions about their lives and opinions that she wanted to be sure to ask them.  She was so proud of the families and of her now-adult grandchildren.

Although she never expected to be a widow for 19 years, she was a valiant one, staying independent and active and engaged in her family and the world.  She read the Tribune, used her Apple computer to email and do online banking, and even texted (usually in all caps). She loved a good conversation and remained spunky and curious, even during some difficult last months.  Just a few weeks ago she was asking for an explanation of Bitcoin and wondered if she should consider buying some.

Marilyn is survived by her two daughters: Mim (Dr. Clark) Zeddies of Batavia, and Maureen (Ric) Larson of Woodstock; six grandchildren, Erich Zeddies, Christian (Sarah Tiemann) Larson, Jonathan Larson, Evan Zeddies, Megan Zeddies and Timothy Larson.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin, and a granddaughter, Erin Rotermund Larson. 

Visitation will be held 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Moss Family Funeral Home, 209 South Batavia Avenue, Batavia, IL. 

The Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, November 5, 2021, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 950 Hart Rd., Batavia, IL. Prior to the service another brief visitation will be held from 9:30-10:30 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to

  • Immanuel Lutheran School, 950 Hart Road Batavia, IL 60510
  • The Holmstad Benevolent Care Fund, c/o the Holmstad, 700 Fabyan Pkway, Batavia, IL 60510, or
  • Lutheran World Relief, PO Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21297-1061

Guest Book

  • Pr. Ron Weidler It was a great honor to have Mr. Rotermund as my 5th and 6th Grade teacher at Zion Lutheran - Chicago. It was an equally great honor to be Marilyn's pastor at Immanuel - Batavia, IL. Officiating at her funeral is a complete privilege. She was a great Christian lady. Won't heaven be a grand reunion?