Marilyn J. Chapman Thursday, March 11, 1937 - Friday, 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




Join us on January 16, 2017, 2 p.m. Monday

Mission Hills Memorial Chapel 61453 M51, Niles, MI 49120

i enjoyed taking care of marilyn at the timbers she was a very nice lady woll miss her dearly rip  my prayers goes out to the family