Obituary of Merle Marquiss (2021) – Michigan City, IN



Merle Josephine (Rhodenbaugh) Marquiss, 97, passed away peacefully on Sunday, October 24, 2021 in Franciscan Health Michigan City, Indiana.

Merle was born to Francis (Frank) and Faye (Higgins) Rhodenbaugh in Wyndmere, North Dakota. She was one of six children who grew up on the family farm in rural North Dakota. Merle loved to tell stories about life on the farm and his days in college. She attended North Dakota State School of Science, then completed her bachelor’s degree in nutrition at the University of North Dakota, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Social Sorority.

Merle moved to Chicago in the 1940s to begin her dietetic internship at the Cook County School of Nursing in Chicago and the Presbyterian Hospital where she completed her work as a dietitian.

In 1947, Merle moved to Michigan City, Indiana, where she helped establish the diet program at St. Anthony’s Hospital as the first registered dietitian. It was in St. Anthony that she met her partner, Wayne (Dutch) H. Marquiss, an electrical contractor who worked at the hospital during its expansion.

Merle loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has been active in the community as a dietitian for the Red Oaks Nursing Home and a member of the Tri Kappa philanthropic organization. Merle loved to garden and always appreciated a good book. She also loved to cook for her friends and family. After the death of her beloved husband, Wayne, in 1998, she rekindled her friendship with high school friend Duane Little. They traveled to the United States until his death in 2012.

Preceding in death were her husband, Wayne, and son, Reed F. Marquiss; his parents; three brothers, Keith F., Douglas A. and Dean H. Rhodenbaugh; and two sisters, Carol F. Yeater and Helen (Joan) Rhodenbaugh.

Merle is survived by her daughter, Kimberly A. Stokes (Dr Thomas); son, Garry W. Marquiss (Jane); and grandchildren, Dr Faye C. Stokes Harmon (Dr Shane), Douglas T. Stokes, Christopher J. Marquiss, Dr Andrea M. Marquiss, Taylor M. Gatzka (Jordan), Lauren M. Gann (Eric), Abigail R Marquiss and Mallory LF Marquiss; as well as his great-grandchildren, Foster, Saylor, Piper, Maddoc and Cora.

The family will have a private celebration of life at a later date with interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Michigan City, Indiana.

Please send your condolences to the family at

Posted by La Porte County Herald-Dispatch on October 29, 2021.


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