Marian Sharkey, 86

Marian Frances Sharkey, 86, of Mesa, AZ, died Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008, at Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa.

She was born in Minnetonka Township, Hennepin County, and was raised solely by her mother, Eva Donley. She was the next-to-youngest of 11 children who early on developed a love of school and learning.

Upon graduating from high school Marian attended Minneapolis business school on a scholarship. Her first job was as a switchboard operator for Flour City Ornamental Co. where she was promoted several times and would also meet Vern Spurzem, who she would marry after the start of World War II. They moved to Washington, DC, area where their 13 years of marriage would see the birth of two sons, Roger and Dale. Following the end of their marriage, Marian, Roger and Dale moved back to Minnesota where they lived until 1961 when they moved back to Alexandria, VA. Marian was to work for several major airlines as office manager and executive secretary.

Before leaving Minnesota, Marian met Joe Sharkey who she wed on June 20, 1970, after a long distance courtship. Their 32 years of marriage ended with Joe's death on September 11, 2002. They lived on Joe's farm near Belle Plaine, and later retired to Mesa, AZ, where they both lived out their remaining years. Joe and Marian enjoyed many wonderful trips in the U.S. as well as several overseas as they loved, cared and looked after each other over the years.

Marian Sharkey is survived by her sons, Roger Spurzem and his wife Celia Mikulak and grandson Jason Spurzem of McLean, VA., and Dale Spurzem and Joanne Snyder of Warrenton, VA. She is also survived by nieces Georgianne Dussl of Scottsdale, AZ, and Katherine Egan of St Paul, both of whom were instrumental in her later years care, as well as many other nieces and nephews who she held close in her heart.

For the last four years of Marian's life she resided at Cypress Court in Mesa.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at Mariposa Gardens Cemetery Chapel in Mesa. Interment will be in National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix.

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