Cover photo for Marilyn J. Chapman's Obituary
Marilyn J. Chapman Profile Photo
1937 Marilyn 2017

Marilyn J. Chapman

March 11, 1937 — January 13, 2017

Marilyn J. Chapman, 79, of Dowagiac, died Friday, January 13, 2017, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

She was born March 11, 1937, in Niles, one of four daughters of John and Bernice Walker, and grew up on Chapel Road.  She married Roland Rutz and together they ran a successful 60-acre fruit farm in Baroda, doing much of the work by hand, in addition to caring for her family and tending her rose garden. 

After many years of farming, she went to Southwestern Michigan College in Dowagiac to pursue a career in Fine Arts.  Her art came naturally, and she taught art classes to third graders and also at the college level.

“Miss Marilyn”, as she was known ever since becoming a resident of The Timbers of Cass County in 2013, had a sense of humor and a quick wit, and she brought joy to many.

She is survived by her daughter, Rhonda Rae (Robert) Feury of South Carolina; two sons, John Rutz of Stevensville and James Rutz of Dowagiac; and a sister, Beverly Jacobs of Niles.

She was preceded in death by two husbands, Roland Rutz and Richard Chapman (whom she married in 1996); a son, Robert Rutz; and two sisters, Shirley Bellman and Norma Walker.

Funeral services and burial were on Monday, January 16, at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles.  Bowerman Funeral Home, Eau Claire, was entrusted with arrangements.  Online messages and memories may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn J. Chapman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Monday, January 16, 2017

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mission Hills Memorial Chapel

61453 Michigan 51, Niles, MI 49120

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree