Marge Haugen

Our beloved mother and friend Marge Haugen passed away peacefully on May, 31, 2024.  A celebration of life is being scheduled this summer.  

Marge was born June 4, 1938 in Elma, Iowa to Mildred and Bill Wacha.  She grew up on a farm with twin sister Marian Gebel and brother Merle Wacha.  Every morning before walking to school the kids had to complete their chores of taking care of the cows, pigs and chickens.  Marge attended Howard #10 Country School and Immaculate Conception High School.  She was a star forward on the basketball team.  Her father loved to listen to baseball on the radio and inspired Marge to develop a lifelong love of sports.  She was later an avid tennis player and golfer as well as a fan of her favorite basketball and baseball teams.

After graduation, Marge went on a life-changing trip to California.  Her Aunt Ruth took them to a pizza restaurant for the first time, to see Nat King Cole at The Roosevelt Hotel Theater and to a swimming pool for the first time.  This trip opened the door to what adventures were possible in life.   Returning home, Marge took a job as a live-in nanny for Ronnie Riley’s two children, which she loved.  In her free time, Marge loved to dance and spent her weekends doing the Jitterbug at The Pavilion in Spillville.  

Soon after she met Clarence Haugen.  After courting for two years, they married and moved to Cedar Rapids.  Clarence started out working at the railroad and Marge would keep him company on the night shifts.  Then they moved to Charles City to start a new career at Life Investors.  They had three children, Karla, Steve and Ann.  Clarence moved up very quickly and started his own agency in Rochester, Minn.  Clarence unexpectedly died in April of 1972, leaving  his widow Marge to raise their three kids.  

Marge later married Tom Bodensteiner in 1973 and moved to Clear Lake.  Marge fell in love with this special town. Throughout the years Marge lived in other places, yet Clear Lake was always in her heart and the place she returned to.   Marge and Tom took advantage of living at the lake and enjoyed playing tennis, golf and boating.  They were lucky enough to travel the world over the years.  They explored Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain, Netherlands and more.   Seeing the beauty of the World and meeting interesting people from other cultures, expanded Marge’s heart and mind.

Marge was a thoughtful friend to all who knew her.  She always looked for the positives in life.  She loved flowers, birds, pastries, dogs, decorating, playing cards and watching sports.  She had a wicked sense of humor that never faded.  And probably her most favorite thing was watching her 5 grandchildren grow up.  

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to or your favorite charity in honor of Marge.  

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapels is in charge of arrangements


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

12 N. 4th St.
Clear Lake, IA 50428
Telephone: +1 (641) 357-2131

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