Cover photo for Wanda Tilbury's Obituary
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1929 Wanda 2016

Wanda Tilbury

October 3, 1929 — March 20, 2016

Wanda Ruth (Olson) Tilbury, age 86, of Marietta, MN, died on Sunday, March 20, 2016, at the Madison Hospital.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 1, 2016, at the United Church of Christ in Marietta with Pastor Brenda King officiating. Burial will follow in the Augusta Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday, March 31, from 5 – 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7. Visitation will continue on Friday for one hour prior to the time of service at the church.

Shelly Schafer will be the pianist and Ruth's children will provide special music. The urn bearer will be Sonjia Lien and honorary bearers include Ruth's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Wanda Ruth (Olson) Tilbury was born on October 3, 1929, in Vernon Township, SD, to Theodore and Ella (Redepenning) Olson. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Revillo. Ruth attended country school and graduated from Revillo High School with the class of 1947. She then furthered her education in Aberdeen, SD, attending teacher's training. Ruth taught at three different country schools in two years.

On February 27, 1949, Ruth was united in marriage with Warren "Gundy" Tilbury at St. John's Lutheran Church in Marietta. To this union six children were born. Ruth and Gundy started their marriage in Marietta and then moved to rural Revillo for six years. In 1960, they moved to their farm two miles outside of Marietta.

Ruth was a member of the United Church of Christ in Marietta, where she was an avid volunteer. She taught Bible School, Sunday School, served on the church board, was a member of the women's fellowship, and sang in the choir.

Ruth enjoyed the simple pleasures of life - reading, gardening, canning, sewing and cooking. Her family fondly remembers the Saturday's Ruth spent baking pies, cookies, and buns. She was also an exceptional seamstress, making countless western shirts for her family and friends. Although primarily a homemaker, Ruth also spent some time selling Watkins products. Gundy always said that Ruth was her own best customer!

Music played an important part of Ruth's life – she sang, played the piano, and filled her home with church hymns and country music that influenced her children. Family trips to Stewart Lake and East Battle Lake created wonderful memories for the Tilbury family. Ruth and Gundy enjoyed traveling and Ruth especially enjoyed a trip she took with Sonjia and Kathy to Washington, DC. Ruth and Gundy were kindhearted and caring, participating in Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, and always opening their home to those who had nowhere else to go on holidays. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Ruth cherished the time she spent with her family and will be dearly missed by those whose lives she touched.

Left to cherish Ruth's memory are her children: Sonjia Lien (Francis Brandenburger), Cleon (Arlene) Tilbury, Colin (Karen) Tilbury, and Calvin (Kathy) Tilbury, all of the Marietta, MN area; Sandi Richards (Matt Rohl) of Pine Island, MN; and Chad (Tami) Tilbury of Madison, MN; 14 grandchildren: Audra, Angie, Shelly, Vicki, Julie, Wayne, Darin, Erick, Mandy, Trevor, Krystal, Jen, Josie, and Kelli; 25½ great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Carol (Leonard) Wittnebel of Ortonville, MN; and many nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Warren "Gundy" Tilbury; her sisters: Evelyn and Marlus; and her brother, Harvey.


United Church of Christ
503 Ninth Ave
Marietta, MN

Thursday, March 31, 2016
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM


United Church of Christ
503 Ninth Ave
Marietta, MN

Friday, April 1, 2016
10:30 AM


Augusta Cemetery

Marietta, MN

Friday, April 1, 2016
11:30 AM


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