Rev. Marlyn Sundheim


On Thursday, October 3, 2019, Marlyn Ellsworth Sundheim, loving husband and father of five children, passed away at LB Broen Home in Fergus Falls, at the age of 80.  Marlyn was born January 5, 1939, to Malvin and Sophie (Nelson) Sundheim, in Clontarf, MN. He graduated from Starbuck High School in 1956 and Luther College, Decorah, Iowa in 1960. Following graduation, Marlyn was chosen to work as a volunteer at Hothorpe Hall Lutheran Retreat Center in England. There he met his future wife, Ildiko Sztehlo, from Budapest, Hungary. On June 16, 1962, they were married at West Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MN.  Marlyn attended Luther Seminary in St Paul and was ordained in 1966. Later that year, the family moved to Hothorpe Hall, Theddingworth, England where he served as Pastor and Director of the center until 1974. They returned to the USA, living in Lindstrom, MN, where Marlyn began his chaplaincy training at Hazelden Chemical Dependency Treatment Center. In 1975 he served as chaplain at Saint Vincent Hospital in Sioux City, IA, and then in 1976, the family moved to New London, MN where Marlyn worked as chaplain at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center. He worked there for 29 years, retiring in 2006.  Marlyn loved traveling, visiting family and friends in USA, Europe and South America. He was an active gardener and spent many hours working in the garden providing his family and neighbors with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Marlyn loved fishing, playing piano and singing, sports (ping pong, softball, volleyball…) and following high school sports.  Marlyn was preceded in death by his parents, Malvin and Sophie Sundheim, his sister, Myra Reese and a brother in infancy, Eldon Neal. He is survived by his wife, Ildiko, of Fergus Falls; four daughters: Kirsten (Andrew) Topel of Columbia Falls, MT, Kari (Nadim) Penser of Orebro, Sweden, Andrea (Jim) Brew of Whitefish, MT, and Erika (Pablo) Obregon of Willmar; a son, Matyas (Carly) Sundheim of Fergus Falls; nine grandchildren; sister, Elayne (Ken) Knutson of Columbia Heights; brothers: Steve (Vicki) Sundheim of Hancock and Ron (Lu) Sundheim of New London.  Visitation: Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls and will resume one-hour prior to the service at the church.  Service: 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 2019 at West Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock, MN  Clergy: Reverend Paul Johnson  Interment: West Zion Cemetery Hancock, MN  Arrangements are provided by the Olson Funeral Home of Fergus Falls.  Online condolences may be sent to

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