Marilyn J. "Terry" Irving


October 5, 2017

Marilyn Jeanne (Hays) Irving, (known by most as "Terry" after renaming herself at the age of 10) passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at the age of 86.

Terry was born to Cletus T. and Hazel V. (Conlee) Hays in Council Bluffs, Iowa on May 8, 1931. She spent the first half of her childhood in Red Oak, IA where her father was the town dentist and her mother owned a knitting store. For a part of this time she lived with her family on the turkey farm her father ran. When Terry was nearly ten, her father passed away. Terry and her mother moved shortly afterwards, to Longview, WA to be closer to family. They later moved to the small town of Cathlamet, on the Columbia River. She graduated from Wahkiakum High School in 1948, and later, from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. It was in Cathlamet that she met her soulmate, Dr. Stanley D. Irving. They married August 30, 1953 in her mother and stepfather's (Chris Ysland's) home.

Terry taught elementary school to keep them afloat while Stan attended medical school. Due to Stan's service in the Air Force, they lived in Washington, Texas, California, and Spain. After leaving the service in the summer of 1971, Stan took a job in Duluth, MN, with the pathology team at St. Luke's Hospital.

Terry was an accomplished pianist and composer, giving her own concerts in high school. She loved taking care of Stan, their three children and dogs. She also liked to cook, knit, travel, and volunteer at the hospital. Terry had a comforting presence, a familiar smile, a welcoming heart and an empathetic ear. She had SPUNK and an infectious laugh. She will be greatly missed.

Terry was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Stan; sister, Susie "Maxine" (John A.) Nelson; and brother, Gordon C. (Joyce) Hays.

She is survived by son, Mark (Diane) Irving of Duluth, daughters, Jennifer (David) Klockeman of Fort Collins, CO, and Gail (Ken) Higgins of Duluth, seven grandchildren: Kristin, Laura, Summer, Courtney, Kieffer, Garrett and Clayton, three great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

The family extends special thanks to the staff at Ecumen Lakeshore and St. Luke's Hospital.

Funeral Service was held on Thursday, September 28th, at Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home, Duluth, Minnesota; interment at Forest Hill Cemetery. Please leave a memory of Terry or words of support for her family at

- Paid Obituary -


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