Marilyn Joan Coney Ahrens, the daughter of Charles Edward Coney and Matilda Dorothy (Carlsen) Coney, was born August 14, 1930, in Carroll, Nebraska. She departed this life on August 18, 2019, at Parkview Haven Nursing Home in Deshler, Nebraska, at the age of 89. Marilyn grew up on the family farm at rural Pilger, Nebraska, and was the eldest of eight children. Growing up in the 1930s, she was a great help with chores on the farm and with her younger siblings, and had many stories to tell about life on the farm. Marilyn was confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pilger, Nebraska. She attended country school at District 18 in Stanton County and Pilger High School, graduating in 1948. After graduating from high school, she completed Normal Training and began teaching at a country school in Stanton County. She moved to Lincoln with her sister, Nancy and taught at School District 51 in Seward County near Garland, Nebraska. At that time, she met Donald Ahrens and they were married on May 10, 1953, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pilger, Nebraska. This union of 63 years was blessed with two daughters, Patricia Kay and Cheryl Fay. Following their marriage, Don and Marilyn resided for a short time in Lincoln and Seward, Nebraska. In 1954, they moved to rural Davenport and in 1957, they moved into the town of Davenport, where they made their home.
In 1962, Marilyn returned to teaching at Carleton Public School in Carleton, Nebraska. Marilyn continued her education at Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, commuting to Lincoln during the school year and summers to achieve her degree. Marilyn graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She went on to teach at Edgar Elementary School-Sandy Creek Public Schools until her retirement in 1995. Marilyn was a dedicated teacher who cared deeply about her students, and she had many wonderful memories of her students and fellow teachers.
In her retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren, attending school activities, ballgames, plays, and music and church programs. She loved gardening, canning, and was an excellent cook and baker. Holiday dinners were very special around Don and Marilyn’s large dining room table. She enjoyed traveling with Don to south Texas in the winters, and attending music jams and visiting with friends were highlights for her. Marilyn was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Davenport, Nebraska, and a member of the Nebraska State Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, Hastings Area Retired Teachers Association, and the Davenport Woman’s Club. Marilyn moved to Parkview Haven Nursing Home in Deshler, Nebraska, in October 2018.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brothers, Stanley Lee Coney, Charles Eugene Coney, and Rolland Stephen Coney; sisters, Nancy Ann Coney Funk, Carol Ruth Coney James, and Donna Mae Coney Firkins; brothers-in-law, LeRoy James and Leonard Ahrens; and sisters-in-law, Norma Coney and Marcelene Ahrens. She is survived by her daughters, Patricia Keleman of Hebron and Cheryl Walburn of Lincoln; grandchildren, Brett Walburn and wife Melissa of Lincoln, Jerod Walburn and wife Molly of Santa Monica, CA, Brittany Walburn, Casey Pratt, and Carson Pratt, all of Lincoln; brother, Larry Coney of Onawa, IA; brothers-in-law, Norman Firkins of Omaha and Larry Funk of Akaska, SD; sisters-in-law, Jearleen Coney of Onawa, IA and Hannah Coney of Ames, IA; nieces, nephews, and a host of relatives.
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