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Marilyn L Stoakes
August 1, 1941 - June 16, 2017





Marilyn Lee Stoakes, age 75, peacefully died on Friday June 16, 2017 at the Sanford Centennial Hospice Cottage in Sioux Falls, SD. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Sioux Falls Humane Society.

Marilyn Lee was born on August 1, 1941 in Detroit, MI to Don and Jeanne (Falk) Bierschbach. She was raised and received her early education near Houghton, MI until making her home with her mother and step-father, Victor Castro in Hibbing, MN. Marilyn graduated from Hibbing High School in 1959. Following high school Marilyn worked at many jobs including the Taconite mines. While working at the mines in the early 1980’s Marilyn decided to continue her education, first at the Eveleth Area Vo-tech and continuing at Bemidji State University. While in college Marilyn excelled and went on to earn her Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona.

Marilyn used her education and passion for helping people as the Executive Director of the American Red Cross in Cass & Crow Wing counties in Minnesota as well as serving as an Economic Director in Winneshiek County in IA and Executive Director in Jackson MN. Throughout Marilyn’s life she resided in San Jose Costa Rica; Houghton MI, Hibbing MN; Brainard MN, California, Boston, MA, Rochester MN and Sioux Falls SD.

In 2008 Marilyn found the love of her life, Gary Keith Stoakes of Sioux Falls, SD. The couple were united in marriage at Wesley United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls on September 27, 2008.

Marilyn enjoyed racing snowmobiles and race cars in her younger years, and later in life camping and fishing. She was a gifted artist and spent countless hours making crafts. Many knitted caps that she created were donated by her to the maternity ward at Sanford Medical Center. Above all she loved spending time with her family.



Grateful for having shared her life are her two children: Deb (Mike) Miller of Rochester, MN and Mike (Mary) Wennen of Charlotte, NC; two grandchildren: Elisabeth Miller of Rochester, MN, and Jaeson (Teresa) Thieme of Napa, CA; sister, Terry (Sam) Crispo of Duluth, MN; step-father, Victor Castro of Hibbing, MN; step-children: Jeanne (fiancé, Dave Saunders) Stoakes of Sioux Falls, SD, Linda (Don) Melin, Hartford, Patricia (Brad) Pagel, Slayton, MN, Kathleen (Scott) Hanisch, Sioux Falls, and Keith Stoakes of Canistota, SD; many step-grandchildren and great grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.



Marilyn is preceded in death by her husband, Gary K. Stoakes in 2012; father Don Bierschbach; and her mother, Jeanne Castro.

300 N Chapel Hill RD, Sioux Falls, SD 57103-1106
605-338-6551 1-877-877-3796


Member: International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association

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