Marilyn Lagios

Marilyn L. (Adams) Lagios, 71, of Clear Lake, passed away at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa on Dec. 27, 2017. She was surrounded by her loving family and caring medical team.

On Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, a graveside gathering for Marilyn was held at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life service at the Heritage Room at First Citizens Bank, 2601 4th St SW, Mason City, Iowa. Pastor Tom Martin, of Elk Creek Lutheran Church, Kensett, Iowa, officiated.

Marilyn was an exceptional woman who lived life on her own terms. Nothing would stop her from embracing all that the world offered. She did this despite facing many challenges living with chronic illnesses, including juvenile diabetes and dystonia.

People probably best remember Marilyn for her sparkling personality that filled the room and her big, generous heart. She was extremely charismatic and enjoyed lively conversations with family, friends, and even strangers. Her generosity had no limits. She tirelessly gave with her time, money, and her entire being.

Marilyn was born on Sept. 22, 1946, at Park Hospital, Mason City.  She was the eighth child of Frank Sr. and Henrietta Adams, of Northwood, Iowa. She was baptized at Deer Creek Valley Lutheran Church. In more recent years, she became a member of Elk Creek Lutheran.

In 1964, Marilyn graduated from Northwood-Kensett High School with honors. She then received her B.A. degree in teaching from the University of Northern Iowa and taught at different educational levels. Always curious and ready to expand her professional development, she learned accounting, working for several firms, including Iowa Hardware Mutual, where she met George Lagios, her husband of 48 years. They married in 1969 and shortly thereafter started a family.

Marilyn was a very busy wife and new mother. She worked part-time, played and coached softball, volunteered at the radio station, assisted with her mother’s farm, and became involved with her Lutheran church and her husband’s church, Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, of Mason City. She regularly helped at the annual Greek Festival and within the Greek community she met many wonderful people with whom she fostered life-long, lasting friendships.

Throughout the years, Marilyn enjoyed working and volunteering, eventually entering into politics and government. She became active with the Cerro Gordo Democratic Party and in the 1980s she took employment with Iowa Congressman Berkley Bedell. This inspired her relocation to Washington, D.C. She worked on Capitol Hill for a variety of congress members and Senator Barbara Mikulski. She loved the fast pace and cultural diversity of D.C. Marilyn eventually became a patent law secretary, filing patents with the U.S. Patent Office. After retiring in 2009, she resided in Clear Lake, with George and visited her daughter, Melina, in Friday Harbor, Wash. for extended stays.

During her life, Marilyn met many people from all walks of life. She especially connected with children. She taught Sunday school, babysat, christened godchildren, sent gifts, hosted outings with her great nieces at Stebens Children’s Theatre and dressed up as the Gingerbread Lady for her daughter’s library storytime. A true people person, Marilyn thrived in social situations. She had a gift for connecting with people near and far, keeping in touch through phone calls, visits, writing letters, and by texting with her favorite cell phone always kept at her side.

Marilyn also had many loves and interests. She spent hours baking, socializing, reading, listening to audiobooks, traveling, attending programs at NIACC and the Clear Lake Public Library, studying the Bible, vacationing at her sister’s lake house, organizing class reunions, writing entertaining skits and songs, and enjoying time in her beloved backyard garden that was filled with herbs, flowers, birds and butterflies.

What Marilyn loved most of all though, was her family. She called her sisters her “rock.” She was close to her mother, aunts and uncles, husband, siblings, in-laws, children, godchildren, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and her extended group of friends. She spoke of them often, gave to them generously and always put others before herself. Even near the moment of her passing, Marilyn thought of her family over her own needs, asking about their Christmas holidays and wanting to make sure they were okay. Marilyn took her husband George’s hand, gave it a loving squeeze in honor of their wedding anniversary, the same day she departed from this very precious thing we call life.

Marilyn was a one-of-a-kind, truly inspirational person. She had a special way of spreading her twinkling magic around to others. She will be missed forever by those who love her dearly.

Left to cherish her memory are her devoted husband, George Lagios, of Clear Lake; her loving son, Peter; her caring daughter, Melina Lagios (Gabe Maas), of Friday Harbor, Wash.; her sisters, Frances Guertin, of Mason City, Delores Marsh, of Mason City, and Gloria Helgeson (Jim) of Kensett; her sisters-in-law, Judie Adams, of Northwood, and Marlene Lagios, of Oakdale, Minn.; brothers-in-law, Jim Helgeson and John Lagios; many nieces and nephews, cousins, godchildren, and extended family and friends.

Marilyn is preceded in death by her father, Frank E. and mother, Henrietta (Abrahams) Adams; grandson, Zaid; sisters, Harriet Anderson, Arlene Adams; brothers, Frank Adams, Albert Adams; father-in-law, Peter Lagios; mother-in-law, Sophia Lagios; brothers-in-law, Merle (Andy) Anderson, Richard (Obie) Guertin, Gordon Marsh and Nicholas Lagios; nieces, Ila Anderson Cousins and Sonja Hanna Flahart; nephew, Tyrus Anderson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials were given to Clear Lake Public Library, Stebens Children’s Theatre, and Elk Creek Lutheran Church. These places were important to Marilyn.

Burial of ashes and celebration of life preparations were handled by Marilyn’s family, her Lutheran pastor, and Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory, Mason City.

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