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Whitman County Gazette 

Marilu Girsberger

June 24, 1931 - April 13, 2021


April 15, 2021

Marilu Girsberger was born June 24, 1931, in Tekoa, Wash., to Roy and Bertha (Couch) Gumm. She attended Seltice school for two years, then Tekoa schools through high school.

In 1949 she married Richard Lawson and they lived on a wheat farm near Tensed, Idaho. They had two boys, Rick and Nick. After they divorced in 1962, Marilu moved to Spokane and worked for Easter Seals.

In 1966 she married Gordy Olsen and they ran the Park Inn tavern together. In 1984, Gordy was killed in a plane crash on Vancouver Island, along with seven of his salmon fishing buddies from Spokane. Marilu sold the tavern in 1988, but was always recognized around town for her signature hairdo, pretty smile, rose-tinted glasses and sequined tennis shoes.

Marilu was an avid fan of Seattle Seahawks, LA Lakers and Spokane Jets. She enjoyed trips to Westport and spending time with family. In 1999 at her 50th HS reunion, Marilu became reacquainted with childhood classmate Ken Girsberger.

Ken was widowed in 1999 after 48 years of marriage to Maryanna Fulks. Marilu and Ken married in 2003 and lived on Ken’s farm before moving to Spokane in 2006. They spent winters in their RV with Ken’s red and white 1980 El Camino pickup in tow, traveling to Arizona and the southern states. In summer they enjoyed going to the casino and eating at Applebees.

Marilu was preceded in death by her sister Janice Blumhagen and grandson Casey Lawson. She is survived by her loving husband Ken; brother Duane (Ginny) Gumm; sons, Rick (June) Lawson and Nick (Hillary) Lawson; grandchildren, Matt (Cris) Lawson, Lynette Abernathy, Scott (Beckah) Lawson and Mckenzie Ramirez; step-children, Robert (Sharon) Olsen, Leanne (Mark) Gallison, Barney (Erika) Olsen; and several great-grandchildren; nieces and a nephew.

Per Marilu’s wishes, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Tekoa Ambulance or Tekoa Cemetery.


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