Marilyn Karls

WAUNAKEE – On early Tuesday morning, Dec. 24, 2019, Marilyn Priscilla (Bowar) Karls received her wings after a valiant battle with emphysema.

Marilyn was born on Nov. 23, 1932, to Mathew Engelbert Bowar and Crescence Marie (Esser) Bowar. She grew up in Cross Plains helping her dad at his John Deere dealership. Marilyn was married on Oct. 2, 1952, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Cross Plains to George M. Karls, Jr. Together, they farmed the fourth-generation family farm with his brother, Alfred, and wife, Mary Ann near Waunakee. The city girl quickly rose to the challenges — the hard work of farming, raising a family and the pranks of her husband.

Marilyn was a woman of faith, family and virtue. A matriarch of love, sacrifice and grace, Marilyn was an amazing mom and person who made the world a better place. She was humble, kind and loved by so many. One of her most important legacies was her family. In her words, “We do family well.”

Marilyn is survived by her six loving children who will cherish her forever, Rick (Lynette) of Verona, Tim (Trish) of Waunakee, Dan (MaryEllen) of Waunakee, Lori (Keith) Ripp of Lodi, Randy (Nanette) of Oregon and Tami (Tom) Gulland of Morrison, CO.; grandchildren; Michelle Karls, Angela (Zach) Wood, Mathew and John Karls, Rochelle (Evan) Schnadt, Ryan (Brianna) Ripp and Radley Ripp, Ethan (Nikki) Karls and Alexis Karls, Grant and Serena Gulland; great grandchildren: Sienna, Avery and Bowen, Leighton.

She is also survived by her beloved in-laws: Florian Dahmen, Edmund (Virginia) Karls, Genevieve Greiber, Elizabeth Laufenberg, Lucille Endres, and many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, George, her parents, Matt and Cresence Bowar, her brother Lucian “Bozo” (Gathy) Bowar, sisters Coletta (Fred) Aeschbach and Charlene Dahmen. She was also preceded in death by her in-laws: George Wolfgang (Elizabeth) Karls, Sr., Helen (Lawrence) Neisen, Alfred (Mary Ann) Karls, Herman Greiber, Herbert Laufenberg and Donald Endres.

A Mass was held at ST. JOHN’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 209 South Street, Waunakee, a on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. Msgr James Gunn officiated. Burial took place in the church cemetery. A Visitation was held at the church on Monday

Memorials may be made to Agrace HospiceCare. Online condolences may be made at

Winn-Cress Funeral Home

5785 Hwy Q

Waunakee, WI

(608) 849-4513

A special thanks to Dr. Ranum and the staff at SSM Health, the Waunakee Manor, including Yolanda and Jon, Agrace HospiceCare angels, the many family and friends who visited her, plus her special friends Betty, Mary, Jeanette, Rosemary, Bud and all other friends in her assisted living family.

Mom, you were a beacon of love and strength. You showed us the power of working together as a family and treating one another with respect and kindness. You’ve left us a legacy of life, love and memories to carry on.

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