Marjorie Ann Gansen

marjorie gansen

January 20, 1929 ~ December 15, 2022

Born in: Elma, Iowa
Resided in: Riceville, Iowa

Marjorie A. Gansen, age 93, of Riceville, IA passed away on Thursday, December 15, 2022 at Riceville Family Care Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM, Monday, December 19, 2022 at Immaculate Conception Church in Elma, IA with Father Jerry Kopacek celebrating the mass.  Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Elma.

Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 PM, Sunday, December 18, 2022 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in Elma, IA with a 3:30 PM Scriptural Wake Service.  Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral mass on Monday.  Online condolences may be left at  Memorials may be directed to the family.

Marjorie Ann (Shannon) Gansen was born January 20, 1929, to George and Clara (Elgas) Shannon in Elma, IA. Growing up in Elma, she attended Immaculate Conception Academy.  There Marge met a handsome young man by the name of Gerald John Gansen, and they wed June 16, 1948, at Immaculate Conception Church in Elma, where they remained lifelong members. Gerald and Marge celebrated 74 years of marriage this year.

In her early years after high school, Marge worked at Iowa Garment Factory in New Hampton as well as Fort Hopkins Drugstore in Waterloo. Marge and Gerald spent the next 40 years farming and raising eight children on a farm west of Elma. Always an excellent cook and baker, she was known to whip up meals for a large crew in the blink of an eye. She was a people person and enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends.  

Marge found a love of music at a young age, learning to play piano both by music and by ear.  She sang in the church choir and served as a church organist, and she participated in several singing groups that entertained in nursing homes and brought smiles to others’ faces. Marge loved to meet new people and could light up a room with her fun personality and musical talents.

She was also an avid artist. From crafting to crocheting to cake decorating to painting, Marge loved to share her artistic talents with friends and family. She was known for her cakes and created hundreds of novelty and wedding cakes. Over many years, she also produced an extensive collection of oil paintings featuring a variety of subjects from rural Iowa landscapes to tropical Florida wildlife. One notable accomplishment was displaying her artwork at Riceville’s Wapsi Great Western Trailhead Summer Series. 

Marge taught religion classes, was a member of the Elma I.C. Rosary Society and served as an officer for the Elma Nursing Home Auxiliary. 

After retirement Marge and Gerald wintered in Lecanto, FL for 25 years. They also enjoyed travels to Canada, Mexico, New York and California. While in California, Marge got the chance to be in The Price Is Right audience, and she also could be seen painting during a taping of The Pat Sajak Show

Most important to Marge was her love and devotion to Gerald and her family. She delighted in planning fun family get-togethers, organizing activities, and if lucky, finding a piano for an impromptu sing-along! 

Marge is survived by eight children, including Becky Dvorak and Ann (Andy) Penniston of Kansas City, MO; Tim (Kathy) Gansen, Mike (Joyce) Gansen and Tony Gansen of Greene, IA; Dean (Kari) Gansen, Dale (Rose) Gansen and Amy (Randy) Torney of Riceville, IA; 19 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law Norma (Ken) Kolbet, Jeannette (Brian) Glaser, and Eleanore Gansen.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Gerald; her parents, George and Clara Shannon; an infant sister, Elizabeth; siblings Jean Shannon, Paul (Fran) Shannon, Jerry (Barb) Shannon, Lee (Marion) Shannon and Rita (Bob) Boos; and daughter-in-law Elizabeth “Betty” Gansen.


Visitation: December 18, 2022 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Conway-Markham Funeral Home - Elma
508 Maple St.
Elma, IA 50628

(641) 393-2461

Scriptural Wake: December 18, 2022 3:30 pm

Conway-Markham Funeral Home - Elma
508 Maple St.
Elma, IA 50628

(641) 393-2461

Visitation: December 19, 2022 9:30 am

Immaculate Conception Church
207 7th Street
Elma, IA 50628


Mass of Christian Burial: December 19, 2022 10:30 am

Immaculate Conception Church
207 7th Street
Elma, IA 50628


Graveside: December 19, 2022 11:30 am

Calvary Cemetery - Elma
309 Forest Street
Elma, IA 50628

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Although we did not know Marge, after reading her obituary and seeing how much she loved life and music and everything else, we wish we had been able to meet her. Keep hold of all those memories. May she rest in peace.

  2. Light a CandleWe send our sympathy to Becky, Tim, Dean, Dale, Michael, Tony, Amy, Ann and families on the loss of their Mom and Dad. We are sorry that we could not travel for the funerals, but please know that we are with you in spirit and included in our thoughts and prayers. We cherish the memories of many visits and celebrations at their home on the farm where you all grew up and in Riceville when they retired. They were both very talented, willing to share and inspired others with their skills. They were very proud of all of you, their grandchildren and great grandchildren and loved to show pictures of family gatherings.
    Love to all of you! Sincerely, Aunt Norma & Uncle Ken

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

  1. Light a Candle
  2. Light a Candle
  3. Light a Candle
  4. Light a Candle
  5. Light a Candle
  6. Light a Candle
  7. Light a Candle
  8. Light a Candle