Marilyn Fenton Walz

Marilyn Fenton Walz, 92, currently of Lawrence, Kansas, passed away peacefully at Bridge Haven, Madel’s House, on Saturday, October 17, 2020. The beloved daughter of Elsie (Katz) Fenton and Everett Orr Fenton, she was born on November 29, 1927, in Des Moines, Iowa, where she spent her childhood and graduated from Roosevelt High School. Her college career began at Drake University then transferring to University of Iowa where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theater. She married Frank Eugene Munson in 1950, with whom she had three children and was married to for seventeen years. In 1965, she returned to college and earned a MA in education from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC). She taught elementary students in the Shawnee Mission School District for 20 years. On November 9, 1973, she married M. John Walz. They were married eighteen years. After retiring from teaching, she turned her love of teaching 4th grade Kansas History into a second career as a tour guide with Blue Ribbon Tours in the Kansas City area. Along with her love for sharing local history, she was deeply involved in volunteer activities. She volunteered for her church, the American Royal, and for her Sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. She was a board member for CASA, one of Theta’s philanthropy projects and was named KC Theta of the Year in 1995.

She is survived by her children; Karen (Gary) Vespestad, Laura Munson, Kirk (Kelly) Munson, grandchildren; Dyan Vespestad, Heather (Shawn) Ong, Joseph (Lianna Baimas-George) Rodhouse, Daren Rodhouse, Shaun Munson, Leandra Munson, great-grandchildren; Kirk Johnson, Alivia Johnson, Tatum Johnson, Annelyse Ong, Mariela Ong. She is also survived by three step-daughters; JoLynne (Robin) Martinez, Julie (Shawn) Taylor, Cara (Brad Hackerott) Walz of Tucson, step-grandchildren, Felix Hackerott, Isabella Martinez, Charlotte (Chris) Proud, Chandra Walz, step-great-grandchildren; Kyler Walz, Mira Proud.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents, brothers; Ronald Fenton and Keith Fenton, sister, Janice Fenton-Harris and her husband, John Walz.

Services are pending, but will be held in Des Moines. The family suggests memorials in her name to Johnson County CASA and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

9 Condolences

  1. Jane Weingart on October 20, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    So sorry to learn of Marilyn’s death. We had good times through the years at AIB events. Prayers and deepest sympathy to Marilyn’s family!

  2. Julie Boyle on October 21, 2020 at 4:57 am

    Sending love to you, Karen, Gary, Dyan, and the kids. I hope your happy memories comfort you.

  3. Austin H. Turney on October 21, 2020 at 10:46 am

    We will miss Marilyn. She was a witty, charming lady with whom I shared an interest in Civil War history. My deepest condolences to Karen, Gary and all of her family.

  4. Julie Goulding on October 22, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Know that I am thinking of you and your family as you say goodbye to your beloved Grandmother. I feel like I got to know her a little bit through your stories! She was a beautiful, vivacious soul. I see a little bit of her in you! Please let your parents and kids know I send my condolences.
    With comfort,

  5. marlene burkgren on October 23, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I shared many adventures with Marilyn and I will always remember her kindness.
    My heart goes out to all family members

  6. Lois Rice on October 24, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Very sorry to learn of Marilyn’s passing. I knew her through her work as a board member for CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties. She was so talented and committed to promoting CASA’s advocacy for abused children. She will be missed.

  7. Janice Richter on October 24, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Marilyn was such a dear friend for so many wonderful years ….. we enjoyed so many special times together ….. from weekly lunches/dinners together, special events together, concerts, wonderfully beautiful parties that she would host in her lovely home, way too many occasions to even mention ….. she will always hold a very special place in my heart ….. my dear friend, Marilyn was truly “one-of-a-kind”!

  8. Don and Janet Breithaupt on October 24, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    So sorry to hear of your mother’s passing Karen. We are all thinking of you and Gary, and the entire family!

  9. Lisa Brackett on November 26, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    To Marilyn’s family, I’m so sorry that I am just finding out about dear Marilyn’s passing. I found the address and phone number from when she moved from Russell. I have such great memories of your home there when we were kids and from babysitting Bogie and Divot. Marilyn was such a sweet lady and great neighbor for decades. I hope you know that she and all of you are thought of often with great fondness.

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