Cover photo for Marianne Elizabeth Gatton's Obituary
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Marianne Elizabeth Gatton

October 26, 1926 — November 2, 2023

Eldora, Iowa

Marianne Elizabeth Gatton


Marianne E Gatton, 97, of Eldora, Iowa died at Scenic Manor in Iowa Falls, Iowa on Thursday, November 2nd, 2023.  A mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Friday, November 10th at 11:00 am.  A visitation and gathering will take place Thursday night from 6-8 pm at Abel’s funeral home in Eldora. 

She was born October 26, 1926 in Cuming County, West Point, Nebraska, the second daughter of William J. and Anna C (Eichholz) Spellerberg. While still a small child Marianne’s family moved, by train, to Richard County North Dakota. As a young child she helped her father in his farming and attended a one room country school. She received her High School Education at St. Francis Academy, Hankinson, North Dakota. After graduating from the Academy, Marianne Joined the Cadet Nurses Corp and entered her nurses training at St. Francis School of Nursing, Breckenridge, Minnesota. After graduating from nurses training September 1948, she worked at Mercy Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa, until 1950. In 1950 Marianne began nursing duties at the Veteran’s Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa, where she was Employed until 1959.

Marianne was united in Marriage at the Holy Trinity Church in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 2, 1951 to Orville Louis Gatton of Leon, Iowa. The couple made their home in Des Moines, Iowa, where their three children were born, Deborah, Mary Jo, and David.

In 1959, she moved with her family to Eldora, Iowa, where she would assist her husband with the operations of Orv’s 66 Service. In September 1964 Marianne began working at the Eldora Community School as the school nurse, a position she held until retirement from the Eldora-New Providence Schools in May 1991. For twenty-seven years, as school nurse, Marianne did what she liked most of all, giving care and love to the children of the Eldora Community.

Marianne was a member of the Eldora Jayceettes in the early 1960’s, and was a long-time member and past President of the Hardin County Nurses Association. She was a Charter Member and past President Eldora Chapter of the National T.T.T. Society. Marianne was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, giving endlessly of her time to various committees and functions of the church.

She along with Orville, delivered Meals on Wheels, sometimes to people many years younger.  They were recognized for their endless hours of service by receiving the Governor’s Volunteer award from the State of Iowa.  During her retirement years she never slowed down. She was active at the Senior Center, played numerous card games with friends, danced her heart out, collected stamps and coins, and enjoyed crocheting prayer shawls. She never stopped giving of her time to others. 

Marianne was preceded in death by her parents, William and Anna Spellerberg, husband Orville, two brothers, Jerome and William Spellerberg, two sisters, Irene Manikowski, and Bette Brand, and her other beloved family members that went before her.

Survivors are daughters, Deborah (Jeff) Hall of Kansas City, Missouri, Mary Jo (Jim) Plantan of Bloomington, Minnesota, and son David (Cheri) Gatton of Parma, Idaho.  Six grandchildren, Kristine (Josh) Haddad, Joshua Eklund, Nick (Karla) Plantan, Mike (Lauren) Plantan, Mathew (Emily) Gatton, and Katie (Lloyd) McClusky. Great grandchildren, Aaron, Sam, Jackson, Evelyn, Elly, Zoe, Bennett, Harrison, Avery, and Archer, and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please make memorial donations to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Hardin County Historical Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marianne Elizabeth Gatton, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, November 9, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Abels Funeral And Cremation Service - Eldora

905 Edgington Avenue, Eldora, IA 50627

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, November 10, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

614 Washington St, Eldora, IA 50627

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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