Marlis C. (Fernelius) Chesness

February 4, 1940 ~ June 4, 2022 (age 82)


Marlis C. Chesness 82, of Hawick, died Saturday, June 4, 2022, at her home in rural Hawick.  Her funeral service will be 11:00 am on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Nordland Lutheran Church in rural Hawick.  Burial will be in the church cemetery.  A visitation will be held on Friday, from 5-7:00 pm at Nordland Lutheran Church and continue one hour prior to the funeral at the church. If you have received a quilt from Marlis over the years please bring it to the funeral to display.   Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. 

Marlis Colleen Fernelius Chesness was born on February 4, 1940, in New London, MN the daughter of Marvin and Lucille (Olson) Fernelius.  She was baptized and confirmed at Lebanon Lutheran Church in New London.  Marlis grew up in New London where she attended elementary and high school, graduating from New London High School with the Class of 1958.  After high school, Marlis worked for Twin City Optical, the County Highway Department, and Woolworths in Willmar. 

On August 29, 1959, Marlis was united in marriage to Gaylord Chesness at Lebanon Lutheran Church in New London.  This union was blessed with two daughters and two sons.  The family made their home in rural Hawick where they ran a dairy farm.

 Marlis enjoyed volunteering at her church and in her community.  She and Gaylord worked 20 years for the food shelves in the area, Paynesville, Willmar, and the Link in New London.  Marlis had the honor of teaching preschool Sunday School at Nordland Lutheran Church for over 50 years.  The Nordland Lutheran Church Women was very special to Marlis, she worked with such great women over the years as she served in the offices of secretary, Vice President, and President and on many other committees there including the lutefisk supper.  Journaling and writing were Marlis’ passions and she was very proud to help organize and edit Nordland’s 125th &150th Anniversary History books.  She was constantly sending cards and letters for seemingly every occasion. 

Marlis loved God, Gaylord, family, friends, neighbors & her cats (but not always in that order.)
She enjoyed gardening and her many Hosta plants were her favorite.
Marlis was an avid quilter and was always planning, working on, or finishing a quilt for someone's new baby, baptism, or wedding. She also sewed a few other things including a couple wedding dresses. Her Scandinavian cooking was loved by everyone, especially Gaylord. She spent countless hours sitting with 'Dad' watching the birds and deer out the front window (with a cat on her lap.) And at Halloween, she dressed up and greeted all her little trick-or-treaters.

Marlis is survived by her husband of 62 years, Gaylord; daughters, Monica (Tom Nelson, of Maplewood, Marcia Hunt of Youngsville, LA; sons, Gerald of Hawick and Greg of Sauk Rapids; Grandchildren:  Natasha (Ryan) Moravetz, Nathaniel Chesness, Peter Hunt, Andrew Nelson, Sophia (Corbin) Curtis and Benjamin Hunt; great-grandchildren, Dexter Clayton Moravetz (4yrs), Madison Lily Curtis (3yrs) and Kyla Lucille Moravetz (9mos).  She was also survived by four beloved sisters, three brothers, and all her nieces and nephews.

Marlis was preceded in death by her parents, Marvin and Lucille Fernelius; paternal grandparents, V.J. and Ida Fernelius; and Maternal grandparents Robert and Winnie Olson.   


To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


June 10, 2022

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Nordland Lutheran Church
18510 180th AVE NE
Paynesville, MN 56362

Funeral Service
June 11, 2022

11:00 AM
Nordland Lutheran Church
18510 180th AVE NE
Paynesville, MN 56362

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