MADISON—Marlys (Case) Sloup, passed away on Sunday, June 17, 2018, at Oakwood West Nursing Home. Born in Omaha, Neb., on April 1, 1940, Marlys was the daughter of Harvey and Edith Darlene (Dolly) Case. She grew up in North Mankato, Minn., graduating from Mankato High School in 1958. She was a bright, beautiful, congenial young woman, liked by everyone. In 1962 she graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She taught Kindergarten in Roseville, Minn.
Marlys met Joe Sloup at an Audubon Camp in Wisconsin. They were married March 23, 1970, and established their home and teaching careers in Madison. Among their most enjoyable times was old time dancing and ballroom dancing at the Cosmos Club. Marlys sewed her own dresses and had matching earrings for each. Joe coordinated his attire with colorful suspenders. They won many trophies in dance competitions and were well known for their smooth graceful style.
Continuing to learn was an important part of Marlys’ life. In the mid-1980s her school was named the official NCTE Center of Excellence in English Language Arts, due to Marlys’ leadership. Marlys contributed a book chapter for a college textbook, pertaining to teaching the subject of reading. In 1988, she was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in Madison. She extended her own formal education by attending a yearlong Reading Recovery academic program at Ohio State University in Lancaster. She traveled extensively in the United States to attend and speak at professional conferences, related to her expertise as a reading curriculum specialist in elementary education. She was often called upon as a reading consultant for other school districts.
Another passion for Marlys was adventuresome traveling, not only for sightseeing, but more to learn and meet families among many cultures. She took fantastic photos during her travels to seven continents and used them to make note cards. Several of her travels abroad were with such groups as Earthwatch Expeditions and Oceanic Society Expeditions, during which participant travelers worked on research projects to monitor the effects of global ocean pollution, or to monitor nocturnal nesting behaviors of Leatherback, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead sea turtles. Her love of seeing animals in their habitats took her to Africa, as well as the Arctic and Antarctica to see polar bears, whales, and penguins. Other travels included bird watching and Monarch butterfly migration.
Marlys enjoyed the extensive gardening that Joe did, providing them nutritious cuisine throughout the winter. Together they volunteered as ushers for many symphony and musical events at the civic center and center for the arts. Their travels together for dance competitions, visits to family, to Great Britain in 1995, for Joe’s retirement celebration, and especially to Door County, are symbolized by significant art pieces beautifully displayed in their Madison home of nearly 40 years.
Marlys celebrated her retirement with purchasing a 2000 vapor blue, VW Beetle, noting that she had come a long way since owning her light green beetle back in 1962. Marlys loved being the driver on road trips. By 2004, she was working 15 to 20 hours per week in the Reading Recovery program in the Madison School District. In February 2004, she was recognized by the Wisconsin State Reading Association for outstanding service. By 2007 she was fully retired and turned to a volunteer role as a tutor to first graders in reading, and assisted in the library and the gift shop at the local Hospice Center. Marlys was an active member of Chapter BL, P.E.O. Sisterhood, two book clubs, and past president of the local chapter of Alpha Beta Kappa. She served on the board of Madison Civic Club and was co-chair of Youth Grants. She delighted in supporting youth and being involved in presenting scholarships. Also in retirement, Marlys enjoyed individual tutoring and mentoring opportunities for special needs youth. Each of her connections with others became her extended family. Her contribution to the 2007 book, “Amazing Attributes of Aging: Silly and Sacred Stories of Blue Garter Friends,” highlights her independent nature and adventuresome spirit. Friends describe Marlys with such words as respectful, encourager, joyful, mirthful, peace-loving, gentle, accepting, environmentalist, loving, naturalist, generous, gracious, intelligent, faithful, beautiful, and a woman of dignity and integrity.
Marlys is survived by family, sister-in-law, Mary Case of Galveston, Texas; nephews, Brent Case and family of San Antonio, Texas, and David Case and family of Houston, Texas; her brother’s grandchildren, Aidan, Avery, Keller and Landry Case who claimed Marlys as their third grandma and whom Marlys treasured as her own; and a niece, Ginny Conner; and friends Mary Ellen LaChance and Barry Motl; many Madison teachers, students, and friends; traveling companions; her lifelong pen pals who live in Great Britain and Norway; and her many close high school friends of the Blue Garter Gang. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harvey and Edith Case; husband, Joe (2015); brother, Roger; and sister, Linda; and nephew, Tom Whitehill; special Reading Recovery colleague and traveling companion, Anna Lea.
A celebration of life for Marlys will be held at the CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at 1 p.m. To honor Marlys’ love of nature, a spreading of ashes ceremony will follow.
Gratitude is expressed to the staff at Oakwood Village, Senior Helpers and Agrace HospiceCare, for their compassion in facilitating the transitions Marlys needed as she adapted to the changes brought to her by Parkinson’s disease.
In lieu of flowers, if so desired, memorials may be made in Marlys’ name to Agrace HospiceCare. Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com.