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Marilyn Kay Rogers

Marilyn Kay Rogers, 75, of Des Moines, passed away peacefully February 29, 2024, at EveryStep Kavanagh House in Des Moines.


Marilyn, an avid gardener and communications specialist, turned her interest in plants and landscaping into a career. After earning a master’s degree in horticulture at Kansas State University in 1989, Marilyn began writing and editing for garden-related publications.


Known for her technical expertise and dogged emphasis on accuracy and reader service, her career included positions at Meredith Corporation (1997-2008) where she edited up to eight garden books per year. She also served as a freelance writer and editor for Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications (2008-2010), Storey Publications; and several service organizations, including the Lupus Foundation of American, Iowa chapter; and Churches United Homeless Shelter.


Marilyn also was an associate editor at August Home Publishing (1994-1997), where her work included writing and editing for Garden Gate magazine. Her editing and writing career began as technical editor for Intertec Publishing (1989-1994) where she wrote and edited for Grounds Maintenance magazine.


In 2010, Marilyn slightly shifted her career path when she went to work for the Internal Revenue Service as a call-site collections representative, directly helping taxpayers.  She also wrote and edited educational materials for training and classes.


After retiring from the IRS in 2019, Marilyn continued assisting others by pitching in with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. As a VITA volunteer, Marilyn helped many people prepare and file their tax returns. 


She was a member of the local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and was well-known for her love of cats, who were her constant companions for many years.


Marilyn was born September 29, 1948,

in Wichita, Kansas to Pauline Weidner Rogers and Glenwood Edward Rogers and grew up in Utah and Kansas.


She is survived by her sister Luann (Jerry) Severson of Salt Lake City; her niece Jolene Severson, also of Salt Lake City; and many friends.


Her sense of humor and devoted friendship will be greatly missed.


A Celebration of Marilyn’s Life will take place April 11, 2024, from 6-8 p.m., at Grace United Methodist Church, 3700 Cottage Grove Ave., Des Moines.  Those who wish to honor her memory may make donations to an animal rescue or shelter of your choice.




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