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Maryanna Frances Sarazine

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


July 9, 1936 - March 9, 2023


Funeral Mass for Maryanna Sarazine will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 18, 2023, at Divine Mercy Parish - St. Cecelia Catholic Church. Burial will be at St. Margaret Cemetery in Spirit Lake at 3 p.m. Saturday. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday, Mar. 17 at Oakcrest Funeral Services. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Women’s Alzheimers Movement (

Maryanna Frances Spies Sarazine died peacefully on the morning of March 9 at the age of 86 after a long battle with dementia, which she handled with grace and poise. Maryanna was a northwest Iowa native who had an idyllic childhood spending summers on the shores of  West Okoboji, waterskiing and attending band camp. She graduated from Graettinger High School in 1954 and participated in many school activities including band (clarinet), playing basketball (awarded all-state), and being honored by her peers with titles of homecoming queen and band queen. Maryanna was game for just about anything that involved friends and laughter, including occasional truancy. She went on to attend the University of Iowa, graduating in 1958. While at UI, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and played bagpipes for the Iowa Highlanders, with whom she marched in the 1958 Rose Bowl Parade. Upon graduation from Iowa, she sailed to Europe with her best friend for an adventure-filled 10-week tour. She then moved to Los Angeles where she enjoyed the sun and taught high school Physical Education. Feeling the pull of Cupid’s bow, she returned to the Midwest, marrying Charles ‘Chuck’ Sarazine in 1960. They formed a strong bond that lasted more than 60 years, including lovingly raising four daughters.

A special calling for Maryanna was helping to improve the lives of others, which she undertook with tremendous energy and passion. Her many community commitments included co-founding the Family Crisis Center of North Iowa, helping start the Kossuth County Recycling Center, forming and directing the Children’s Liturgy program at St. Cecelia’s Parish and serving on the Algona School board. Maryanna also was a long-time member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The advancement of women and girls was a cause near and dear to her heart. Perhaps her favorite event was to organize the Equal Pay Day Race for the AAUW.

She nicely balanced her hard-work with time for fun. She had an insatiable curiosity which led her to travel extensively. She loved traveling with Chuck, their daughters and families. Over the years they took many trips out west to National Parks for hiking and family hijinks. Maryanna loved these trips and made sure everyone was having a great time.

Her final years were eased by the loving care of Jill Buscherfeld. The kindness and love that Maryanna put into the world came back tenfold through Jill.

Among those left to celebrate Maryanna’s life are her daughters: Annette (Monte) Sarazine-Jensen, Julia Sarazine (Tom Gorey), Lisa (Frank) Elsenbast and Monica (Scott) Anderegg; grandchildren Rachel and Reid (Rachel Sosnowchick) Jensen, Sophie, Claudia and Quinn Elsenbast, and Genevieve and Charles Anderegg; brother Jim Spies and his wife Karen; and many, many friends.

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