Celebration of Life Services: Will be held on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cumberland, Iowa with burial at a later date in the Greenwood Cemetery, Cumberland, Iowa. A luncheon will follow the service at the Cumberland Community Building.
Family Visitation: The family will greet friends on Tuesday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Steen Funeral Home in Massena.
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church in Cumberland.
Marilee June South passed away Friday, September 27th, 2019, at the Greenfield Rehabilitation Center, surrounded by her loving family. Marilee June Lacey was born on June 26, 1933 at the family farm home near Cumberland, to Gilbert Elton Lacey and Esma Ruth Mills Lacey. She attended Crossroads School until 8th grade then graduated from Cumberland High School in 1951, after which she worked for Bell Telephone in Atlantic.
On December 14, 1951, she married Ronald Clair South at her parent’s farm home. The couple worked in California for a short time. After returning to Iowa, Marilee was a homemaker and mother to 4 children; Ronald Lee born in 1953, Vicki Jo (Morrison) born in 1955, Connie Jean (Henkenius) born in 1957 and Cody Allen born in 1963.
Marilee was active in 4-H as a member and later as a leader. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cumberland and served as Sunday School teacher, Awana Leader, Pianist, and Organist and assisted in various youth groups and Vacation Bible School activities. She put her faith in Jesus Christ at an early age and reaffirmed her salvation early in adulthood.
She was also a Cub Scout Den Mother, worked for Helen Denham’s grocery store, was the Food Supervisor, Head Cook and drove a van for the Cumberland & Massena School District. In her spare time, she assisted with farm chores, baked and decorated wedding, birthday and graduation cakes and taught cake decorating in area towns.
Marilee loved cooking and sewing and especially enjoyed spending time with her husband, 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She relished the time spent wintering in Mesa, Arizona at the Aztec Trailer Resort in their park home, attending and playing the piano for the Aztec Fellowship, and interacting with fellow members of the resort.
Frequently, people would stop to visit Clair to inquire about horses or grandchildren and their friends would stop to visit and she would prepare a full meal at a moment’s notice. She also raised a huge garden from which she fed her family and readily shared with anyone who wanted produce. She excelled at cooking and teaching her grandchildren how to make fried chicken, decorating cakes, dressing chickens, freezing corn, and making strawberry jam. She was well known for baking daily batches of cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes, many of which brought high dollar at benefits.
She is survived by husband R. Clair South of Cumberland, Iowa, who resides at the Greenfield Rehabilitation Center and children Lee South and wife Jenny of Spencer, Nebraska, Vicki and husband Mike Morrison of Massena, Iowa, Connie and husband Ted Henkenius of Arlington, Nebraska, and Cody South of Martinez, California; grandchildren, Sean South and wife Michal and their children Carlee, Brian, Mia, Alison, Erin, Shyla, and Evan of Cumberland, Iowa; Stephanie and husband Mike Frankele and their children Anna and Blake Maas and Seth Frankele of Sioux City, Iowa, Tyler South and wife Dorene and their daughters Olivia, Isabelle and Ava of Cumberland, Iowa, Tessa and husband Brian Hendrickson and their children Claire, Aiden, and Lydia of Paola, Kansas, Haley Morrison and Eric Bergum of Pella, Iowa, Lacey Morrison of Granger, Iowa, McCade Morrison of Massena, Iowa, and Taylor and husband Dan Knoll and daughter Edna of Dallas Center, Iowa, Megan and husband Jared Kennedy and daughters Rachael, Lucy and Elisabeth of Louisville, Kentucky, Amy and husband Amin and their children Kaley, Kaden, and Kassidy of Dickinson, North Dakota, Laura and husband Michael Pfeifer of Omaha, Nebraska, Luke Henkenius and wife Autumn of Omaha, Nebraska; sister Ruth and husband David Melena of Sun City, Arizona; special cousin Elizabeth and husband Larry Westphal of Des Moines, Iowa and their children; brother-in-law Delmar South and wife Jo and numerous nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Gilbert Sr. and Esma Lacey, brothers Gilbert Jr. and Roger, (in infancy), sisters-in-law Jean Lacey and Peggy Lacey, in-laws Wilbur South and wife Geneva, and sister-in-law Shirlene South.