Christian 03

Marianna (Dirks) Wolters

December 29, 1940 ~ January 5, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Marianna Wolters Obituary

Beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, Marianna Wolters, of Rantoul passed away peacefully in her loving home on Friday, January 5th.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 12, at American Lutheran Church, 500 Church Drive, Rantoul, with burial in Eden Park Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 10am, with the Funeral service to be held at 11am. There will also be an evening visitation at Lux Memorial Chapel in Rantoul from 4-6pm on Thursday, January 11.

Marianna recently celebrated her 83rd birthday, and was blessed to live a life of faith, service, and love. She was born December 29th, 1940, in Smith Center, Kansas, to Frieda deJung Dirks and Rev. Henry J. Dirks. As the daughter of a Lutheran Pastor, as she grew, so did her passion for living a life of sharing her Love of Christ, the joy of music, and the gift of lifelong learning with others.  She was an only child and was so determined to learn to play the piano, that she saved her own allowance to pay for lessons. She was also a determined student. Marianna graduated from Augustana Academy, Canton, South Dakota, in 1958, received her B.A. from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, and her M.A. in Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1970. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi and “PEO,” a Philanthropic Education Organization to support and celebrate the advancement of women.

Marianna was called to American Lutheran Church, Rantoul, as a parish worker in 1961. She served the church parish by warmly welcoming members, teaching the youth, leading prayer, and visiting the lonely, sick, or bereaved. She shared her faith and pure kindness with all who welcomed or needed it. She then followed another calling to combine her love of children with her passion for teaching by becoming a kindergarten teacher for Rantoul City Schools in 1966. This began her lifelong career of teaching both kindergarten and preschool, and instilling enthusiasm for school and love of learning in the very youngest of students until her retirement in 2000.  “Mrs. Wolters” had a unique way of reaching children and helping them feel heard and understood. At the end of her career, she received the Golden Apple Award for her excellence and dedication to teaching. 

Meanwhile, Marianna married Paul Wolters on June 6,1970, and had three children to build the family she always wanted.  In addition to teaching for Rantoul City Schools and American Lutheran Church Preschool, she also taught piano lessons, beginning in 1974, and continuing until early 2021. She held many recitals for her students to share their talents and hard work.

Marianna loved teaching so much that she did so in her spare time by teaching Sunday School, Bible School, and Confirmation at American Lutheran Church.  She was also a lovely soprano in the choir, and served the church through Altar Guild, quilting groups, WELCA, helping with offering and preparing bulletins, cooking for events, or whatever was needed.


She volunteered for many organizations, including Faith in Action, to assist the elderly, and Prison Ministries, through which she wrote to and visited incarcerated prisoners and ministered to them through her letters and her faith.  She also sponsored under-privileged children and corresponded with them through the Compassion International Organization. Her sponsorship made sure that they had food, clothes, and supplies for school. The letters she received from the children she sponsored were displayed prominently on the refrigerator, which always made her smile.  

Marianna was a wonderful homemaker, mother, compassionate friend, and avid gardener. She grew many beautiful flowers, along with fruits and vegetables, which she turned into delicious meals for her family and canned goods to share.  She was also an excellent baker and loved to share her tasty home-baked goods with friends.  Marianna was also quite a crafter. Her calligraphy was so beautiful that brides would ask her to address their invitations, back before they were computer-printed.  She would always happily oblige. She also enjoyed crocheting, cross-stitching, and especially doing both of these while traveling. Via car, plane, or train, Marianna visited all 50 states of the Union with her beloved husband and enjoyed many international trips with the whole family. She instilled a love of travel and appreciation for other cultures in her own children.

Marianna was a woman of many talents, and used those talents to glorify God, and bring joy, love, and compassion to all who knew her.

Survivors include her loving husband, Paul Wolters, of Rantoul, one son, David Wolters, spouse, Ruth Wolters, of Altendorf, Switzerland, two daughters, KristiAnn Wilson, spouse, Michael Wilson, of San Diego, California, and Mary Beth Wolters of Urbana, Illinois. She also has one granddaughter who brought her grandma pure joy, Abigail Bergman of San Francisco, California. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Lutheran Church, Compassion International, or to an organization of the donor’s choice.  



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January 11, 2024

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Lux Memorial Chapel (Rantoul)

January 12, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
American Lutheran Church (Rantoul, Eden Park Cemetery)

Funeral Service
January 12, 2024

11:00 AM
American Lutheran Church (Rantoul, Eden Park Cemetery)


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