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Marian Elizabeth Menges

March 3, 2017
Marian Elizabeth Menges
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Obituary for Marian Elizabeth Menges

Marian E. Menges – A Life Well Lived (1923-2017)

Rest in peace and power to Marian Elizabeth Menges, who died of natural causes on March 3, 2017 at age 93 with her children at her side.

Marian was born in South Bend, IN to parents John and Marjorie. She graduated high-school valedictorian at age 17 and was offered a full scholarship to University of Chicago in 1940. Marian moved to the Chicago area in 1941 and attended Northwestern University. In 1947, she married Richard 'Dick' Menges, her husband of 59 years. They moved to Oak Park in 1961, where she resided for the rest of her life.

Marian worked as an elementary school teacher, legal secretary, and bookkeeper. Additionally, she worked with the Oak Park Housing Center during its infancy, and she and Dick were instrumental in its development. After retirement, she returned to work at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio to provide financial assistance for her grandchildren’s college education.

Marian was a life-long learner who never stopped taking advantage of opportunities to explore and experience life. She and Dick traveled all over the world. Marian avidly appreciated the arts and culture in the Chicagoland area. She loved to read, sing, paint, and dance, and was an ardent movie and opera buff. Marian was an enthusiastic swimmer, and saved the lives of four people from drowning over the course of her life. She stayed physically active and engaged in her community throughout her life. Marian and Dick were also very engaged in and devoted to social and economic justice and took part in a variety of movements. Marian was also heavily involved with the Oak Park Independent Democrats.

Marian is survived by her sister JoAnn, her children Michael, Chris (Jean), Patricia, Rich, and Cathy (David), and her grandchildren Suzanna, Andrea, Paul, and Tim. She was preceded in death by her husband Dick in 2006.

Per Marian’s request, no memorial service is planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to her favorite Chicago area charities: Thresholds (a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to the mentally ill), and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Chicago.

To plant a tree in memory of Marian Elizabeth Menges, visit the Tribute Store.

Memorial Contribution

National Alliance on Mental Illness - Chicago

1536 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642


4101 North Ravenswood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613

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