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Marlys Evonne (Wilke) Schmelz, 76, passed away in the comfort of her home in Perham on March 22; her faithful cat and dog by her side. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. She will be greatly missed.

Marlys was born on June 3, 1937 in Detroit Lakes, Minn., to Milton and Evelyn (Hanson) Wilke. She was the only sibling to Richard Wilke. Marlys attended school in Detroit Lakes and later met Robert James Schmelz. The two married on June 17, 1954. They made their life farming in rural Perham and later moved to a home on the Otter Tail River. Marlys was active in homemaking, bowling, gardening, and ceramics. Grandma Mert, as she was known to most, treasured the time spent with her family. Her grandchildren were her world and she took great pride in attending their many activities. She loved having people over for bonfires and picnics, enjoyed playing cards, winning at games, feeding the birds and spending more and more time with her ever-growing family.

Marlys is survived in death by her eight children, Michael (Sue) Schmelz, Roxane (Dana) Andrews, Pamela (Rick) Fonseca, Gregory (Roxanne) Schmelz, Janet Seifert, Janel (Deacon Randy) Altstadt, Staci (Mike) Schmitz and Suzanne (Dan) Eickschen; 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Schmelz; two grandchildren, Joshua Altstadt and Daniel Altstadt; parents, Milton and Evelyn (Hanson) Wilke; brother, Richard Wilke; grandparents, Einar and Tilda (Olson) Hanson and Herman and Anna (Nass) Wilke.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 26 at 11 a.m. at St. Henry's Catholic Church in Perham. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 25, from 4 to 8 p.m. with parish prayers beginning at 7 p.m. at Schoeneberger Funeral Home in Perham. Marlys will be laid to rest next to her husband at St. Henry's Catholic Cemetery.

Schoeneberger Funeral Home - Perham, is handling the arrangements. For online condolences, visit