Obituaries » Marion Claire Cziok
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June 9, 1926 - August 23, 2022
Burial Date October 15, 2022
Service Location Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church
Memorial Service: 2pm on Saturday, October 15, 2022
Visitation: one hour prior
Marion Claire Cziok
August 23, 2022
Marion C. Cziok—caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend—passed away from cancer on August 23, after a very long, wonderful life. Beloved by many, she leaves behind a rich legacy of stewardship, kindness and joy.
She was born June 9, 1926, to George and Agnes Scudder at the Swedish Hospital in Minneapolis. As the oldest child of five, Marion was lovingly admired and revered as a ‘Big Sis’ by her three brothers and sister.
A natural-born leader, Marion chose to spend her life making a positive impact on others. She served as class president at Roosevelt High School, where she graduated in 1943. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1947 from the University of Minnesota, where she was awarded the Pi Lamda Theta, the College of Education’s highest recognition for leadership and service.
She pursued a career in education where she touched the hearts of many of her students. She taught English, History and Physical Education in Litchfield and Deephaven, Minn., for roughly four years before starting a family. While her time teaching was short, she made an indelible impact on her students. Many of them wrote letters several years later, describing the impact she’d had on their lives, and what her encouragement helped them achieve and believe in themselves.
It was palpable to those around her that the things Marion cared most about in life were family and friends. She met her husband, Les, at the University, and the two were married in June 1949 in Richfield, Minn. They were married for 58 years, before Les died in March 2008. They made their home together first in Burnsville – moved to Burnsville in 1965 and then to Apple Valley in 1996. They also spent several winters as snowbirds in Destin, Florida, along with many friends from Les’ golf group from the New Prague Golf Club.
She played a very active role in the lives of her three children—Michael, Lynne and Julie. She was a busy mom, chauffeur, cook, baker, Camp Fire Girls leader, and Sunday school teacher. Our mother was all encompassing: She was passionate about politics and the environment, a problem solver, fiercely independent, determined not to give up, a good listener despite her hearing challenges as she aged, and a lifelong learner. She was always a great friend, mother, sister, cousin, aunt, grandma, and great-grandmother who loved her family and friends unconditionally.
Her grandchildren will tell you she played a mean game of UNO—and was always up for a friendly competition. She loved watching her grandchildren’s many successes—academically, athletically, personally, and professionally. You may even say she was their number one fan in all areas of their lives.
Marion never dreamed she would live long enough to meet her great-grandchildren, and often remarked about how blessed she was to have five of them—ranging in age from 16 to 6. They were arguably her crown jewels. She spent countless hours driving around town, in search of the perfect gift to spoil them with.
Her smile and laugh were among the most memorable traits about her—boundless evidence of her deep joy for life and kindness for others. Just ask anyone who knew her, and they’ll talk about how much she genuinely cared about what was going on in their lives. And she was the most loyal of friends you’ll ever meet. It’s no wonder that several of her sorority sisters from Zeta Tau Alpha at the U, were lifelong friends. They formed a Bridge Club after graduation, which continued for nearly 60 years.
Marion’s many interests and pastimes included history, politics, books, and cheering on her hometown sports teams—especially her Golden Gophers. She shared a love of golf with Les, and they passed that love on to their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. You could frequently find her perched in her armchair, cheering on her favorite golfers on the Golf Channel—sometimes even hooting and hollering in appreciation for a well-read putt.
It’s clear Marion knew how to make the most of her time here on Earth. She had a profound impact on her community in so many ways over the years—including time spent working at the Dakota County Government Service Center after Les retired, volunteering with the League of Women Voters, serving on the board of her townhouse association in Apple Valley, and as a loyal member of Shepherd of the Valley Church where she was beloved by her fellow congregation members.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Les; parents, George and Agnes; brothers, Paul and John; brothers-in-law, Len Cziok and Iner Swanson; four sisters-in-law, Dorothy Cziok, Lillian Swanson, Shirley Scudder, and Donna Scudder; and son-in-law, John R. Carlson.
Marion’s legacy will live on in the hearts of her family. She is survived by her three children, Michael (Deb) Cziok, Lynne Carlson, and Julie Cziok (Chris Middlestaedt); four grandchildren, Dave (Amber) Cziok, Sara (James) Payne, Dan Carlson, and Jeff (Kathryn) Carlson; five great-grandchildren, Ayden, Ellery, and Leyton Cziok, and Harper and Sienna Payne; siblings, Carolyn (Jerry) Gleixner and Glenn Scudder; sister-in-law, Emily Scudder; and eight nieces and ten nephews.
Memorial service at 2:00pm on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, with visitation one hour prior. Inurnment at Shepherd of the Valley Memorial Garden.
Her family would like to thank Dr. Catherine Casey, Diana Czel, and the entire care team at Minnesota Oncology; Dr. Diana Crintea with M Health Fairview; Sylvia and Julie A. with Baywood Home Care and St. Croix Valley Hospice for their exceptional care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, donations preferred to either the American Cancer Society or Mayo Clinic for uterine cancer research.