In Memoriam: Marilyn Maxine Preheim Rose, 1927-2023

Marilyn Preheim Rose, a long-time educator, died late last month in Iowa City. She was 96 years old.

Dr. Rose grew up during the Great Depression on a farm in Hurley, South Dakota. She attended a one-room country school until grade 8, and graduated from high school at age 16. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bethel College. In 1947, Rose traveled to the Netherlands on a post-war student exchange program at the University of Leiden. She later wrote that seeing the devastation and suffering wrought by war reinforced her lifelong pacifist beliefs.

Upon her return from Europe, Rose taught for a year at Freeman Junior College in South Dakota and completed her voluntary service at the State Mental Hospital in Skillman, New Jersey. She then went back to school, earning a master’s degree in biochemistry in 1948 and a medical technology degree in 1949, becoming the first medical technician at the University of South Dakota.

Dr. Rose later earned both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Iowa. She taught the first course on anthropology and women’s studies at the University of Iowa, and subsequently taught in both the anthropology and women’s studies departments at the university, with a focus on women and aging in cross-cultural perspectives.

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