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Marianna Peterson

August 31, 2018 | 4 comments

Marianna Peterson, 65, of Onalaska, passed away peacefully on August 31, 2018 at Gundersen Hospital, after a brief but courageous battle with brain cancer. She was born on May 3, 1953 to Wally and Helen Bodnarczuk in St. Paul, MN. She married Lawrence (Larry) Peterson, her high school sweetheart, on October 14, 1972.

Larry’s career sent them to Rochester and Albert Lea, MN; Galesburg, IL; Muscatine and Waterloo, IA; Peoria and Joliet, IL; before settling in Onalaska in 1994 with their two children.

Mariann recently retired from JCPenney in La Crosse from her position as HR supervisor. She was also an active member of English Lutheran Church, La Crosse. Rotary Lights was a project near and dear to Mariann’s heart. Most December evenings she could be found at Riverside Park, helping with the nightly entertainment. She was a member of the Rotary Lights Steering Committee since 1996.

Mariann was giving and generous, a friend to many. Affectionately known as Mimi, she cherished her family and especially loved spending time with two grandchildren. She is survived by her husband, Larry; son, Matthew; daughter Kristen Odegaard and grandchildren Michael and Megan Odegaard, all of Onalaska; as well as siblings Vicky Sullivan and Michael Bodnarczuk.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Lucy Bodnarczuk and brother Alex Bodnarczuk.

Thank you to the caring and attentive staff in Neurology, Oncology and Palliative Care at Gundersen.

The memorial service will be at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 11 am, visitors may call on the family from 10 a.m. until the start of the service.

In lieu of flowers Mariann requested memorial donations to Rotary Lights or New Horizons Shelter in La Crosse, or you can contribute to the family for a memorial bench in Riverside Park.



  1. Annie Goldman

    So sorry! Marianna and I work at the mall she at Penney’s and me at Macy’s and we became friendly. She was always smiling and having good words she say. She was a bright light and will be missed sorely. So so sorry

  2. Julie Stegemann

    I am deeply saddened to hear of your loss. I worked with her for 5 years at JCP. She was a great lady, gracious and kind, funny, and so giving to everyone around her. The world will feel this loss. My sincere condolences.

  3. Sharon Newberry

    My condolences to the family of Mariann. She was always giving to others. She always stopped what she was doing to do things for others that many people wouldnt think of doing. During the time we worked together at JC Penney, I would see her taking extra time to help someone with the extra packages customers would have. She would watch for customers to drive to an entrance, then assist putting those packages in their car. This type of serving others was just a part of who she was. She was a great lady.

  4. John & Gail Bjerke

    We spent many hours with Mariann at show choir competitors. She was always a joy to be around. John would enjoy when he would be working at Macy’s and Mariann would be shopping but would always take time to visit for a short time. Larry, Matthew, & Kristinen we send our love and prayers your way. John & Gail Bjerke

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