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Marie von Forell

September 4, 1920 — April 3, 2023

Marie von Forell

Marie Evelyn (Brown) von Forell was born September 4, 1920, to Bernard V. and Ethlyn (Hartman) Brown.  The doctor said not to name her because she wouldn’t live more than a couple of weeks.  She entered into eternal life April 3, 2023, at the age of 102 years, 7 months.


Marie was born in Hebron, Nebraska, the second of four children.  At a very young age, the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and then back to Hebron in 1928.  She grew up during the depression with multiple generations living together at her grandparents’ home. Marie graduated from Hebron High School in 1938.


Marie was married to Drexel G. von Forell on November 24, 1938 (Thanksgiving Day).  They farmed at Hebron through World War II.  In the late 1940’s, Drexel was called into the ministry and attended Manhattan Bible College.  Marie became a supportive pastor’s wife.  As she and Drexel moved from church to church, she held jobs as a bookkeeper at several banks in Nebraska, a hospital in Wisconsin; worked for the newspaper in Smith Center, Kansas, and Boss Motors in Marysville, Kansas. She raised four children in Kansas and Nebraska and participated in church life as the pastor’s wife for most of her married life. 


After their retirement, Drexel and Marie moved to Waterville, Kansas, and started renovating a 100-year-old home.  They later moved to the Kansas Christian Home in Newton, Kansas  Marie kept busy with her doll collection; began quilting and made quilts for each child and grandchild.  She also made many quilts for charity and was the coordinator for the Kansas Christian Home sewing group which provided residents with gowns and bibs.  If you had a baby, you probably received a Raggedy Ann doll.  She made hundreds of these for gifts and for the church bazaars.  In 2015 she moved to Manhattan, Kansas, to live with her daughter and son-in-law, as her glaucoma was getting worse.  She continued making her charity quilts until she was 98.


She was predeceased by Drexel, her husband of 58 years; her parents, Bernard and Ethlyn Brown; siblings, Gene Brown, June Hainlen and Melvin Brown; and granddaughter, Rayna von Forell.


She is survived by her children, Gene von Forell (Brenda), Donna Copeland (Lee), Margaret Zimmerman (Bob), and Nancy Schurle (Fred); granddaughters, Deborah Copeland, Rebekah Palmero, Beth Hewes, Kaitlin Witt, Joelle von Forell and Danielle von Forell; great-grandchildren, Terran Copeland-Garcia, Aric Garcia, Allegra Garcia-Oliver, Bennett and Audrey Witt; great-great-grandchildren, Rowan and Gage Copeland-Garcia and Baby Boy Garcia (on the way); and 13 nieces and nephews.


The family will receive friends from 7:00 until 8:00 p.m. Monday, April 10, 2023 at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.


Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at the Keats United Methodist Church with Pastors Sandy Ferguson and Gary Bell officiating.  A graveside service will be at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Hebron, Nebraska.


Memorials may be made to Legacy of John, Kansas Christian Home.  Contributions may be left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marie von Forell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Monday, April 10, 2023

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home

303 S. Broadway, Riley, KS 66531

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Keats United Methodist Church

3193 Keats Ave, Manhattan, KS 66503

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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