Marilyn B. Spates, 88, of Dubuque, passed away April 5th, 2021, at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Des Moines, Iowa, due to declining health.

Friends may greet the family from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 11th, 2021, at Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home, 2659 John F. Kennedy Rd., Dubuque. A prayer service will take place at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 12th, 2021, at Church of the Resurrection, 4300 Asbury Rd., Dubuque, and will be livestreamed on the Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home Facebook page. Masks are required at the funeral home and church. Interment will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Key West. Condolences and memories may be shared at

Marilyn was born July 16th, 1932, in Key West, Iowa, the daughter of Frank and Catherine Meyer. Even as her memory faded in recent years, she always spoke fondly of her years on the farm, and singing and making music with relatives and neighbors as a favorite family pastime. She was educated at St. Joseph in Key West and St. Columbkille High School in Dubuque.

She married Thomas V. Spates on July 11th, 1964, at Church of the Nativity. He preceded her in death on February 9th, 2016.

Most of Marilyn’s career was spent working at Loras College, where she developed and directed the Word Processing Center. Her many years of service at Loras provided her children with college educations.

Marilyn is survived by a daughter, Julie (Mark) Merfeld, of Des Moines, and their children, Emily, Matthew, Thomas, and Michael; a son, Stephen (Daniel) Spates, M.D., of New York City, and their children, Thomas “T.J.” and Matthew; sister, Loretta Meyer; in-laws, Carol Becker, Frank and Kathy Langkamp and Michael and Linda Spates, all of the Dubuque area; as well as nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Harold and Francis “Bud” Meyer and Sister Mary Madonna Meyer of the Presentation Sisters; in-laws, Dorothy Meyer, Norma Meyer and Marvin Becker; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Marilyn was a devout Catholic throughout all of her life. She will be remembered most as a kind and loving person. She exemplified to her children and grandchildren the values we strive to carry forward. Perhaps her greatest joy in life was spending time with her six grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Bishop Drumm Guild to honor the excellent care provided to our mother in the final stage of her life.

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