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Marie Louise Plawski

Updated: Apr 30, 2023


Marie Louise Plawski, known to her friends and family as Mary Lou or Nickie, passed away on April 21, 2023, at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Des Moines, Iowa. She was 90 years old. Marie was born on September 9, 1932, in Quincy, Illinois, to Edmund Doyle and Emma Irene (Boden) Dunham. Her family moved to Des Moines when she was eight years old, where she attended Callanan Junior High and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1950. During her teenage years, Marie worked at Wally’s Drive-In, where she made many friends and cherished memories.


Marie worked for Cash Credit and then the State of Iowa while raising her family in Des Moines. In 1977, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked for various companies, including International Food Services, Garrett's Furniture, and the Environmental Protection Agency as a contract employee through NOWCC, from which she retired in 2010 at the age of 78. She returned to Des Moines in 2019.


In her free time, Marie enjoyed playing video poker at casinos, online shopping, reading Nora Roberts books, collecting dessert recipes, collecting butterfly-themed items, and listening to country music.


Marie is survived by her daughter, Donna “Didi” (Matthew) Sterling Loynachan, her son, Brad Sterling, her granddaughters, Jenni Liston and Shannan Belden, and her great-grandchildren, Bethany, Christian, Caitlin, Caleb, Wyatt Belden, and Anakin Liston. She is also survived by two nephews, a niece, and many cousins. Marie was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Francis Eldon and Joseph Edward Dunham, her husband Henry Plawski and ex-husbands Gerald Eshelman and Daniel Sterling.


The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center and Unity Point Hospice for their care and support during the last 15 months of Marie’s life.


A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, May 5th at Merle Hay Chapel from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a luncheon provided during the gathering. Donations may be made in Marie's memory to Unity Point Hospice or the Reiman Gardens Butterfly Wing-Iowa State University Foundation.


May Marie's memory be a blessing to all who knew her.


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