Marcella Catherine Marzen Koenigsfeld was born October 30, 1920 to Frank Lawrence Marzen and Josephine Noss Marzen. Times were hard for people in this era. Marcella was born at her aunt and uncle’s home: Jack and Katie McKigney, who lived on a farm northeast of Doughtery, Iowa. Marcella was the oldest child and her brother Kenneth was born a few years later in 1925. The family wanted to move into the Marzen home 1/2 mile east of Roseville but had to wait for the current family to move out. Frank, Josie and newborn Marcella lived in a tent on the Marzen property until they were able to move into the farmhouse. Their tent had a small stove and Marcella was made comfortable in an apple box. Frank and Josie worked hard to make a living on the farm. Franks’ father had died in a farm accident when Frank was in the 4th grade so this young man had taken over the farm at a very young age. Marcella attended the Roseville Catholic School through the fourth grade and the family went to Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and they shopped at the Roseville Store.
Over the years this family made a few moves dictated by economics. They lived near Doughtery a few times and once headed to California in December of 1935. Marcella was 15 and Kenny was 10. She remembers living close enough to her high school that she could listen for the five minute morning bell, leave home at that time and make it to school with time to spare. Marcella’s family was back at the Marzen farm when she was a senior in high school, but she finished high school in Charles City where she boarded with another girl. A life long friendship and memory was when Marcella went to Connecticut and became a cook and nanny for the family of Gene Sarazan, a world famous golfer. She worked for them for a year and returned to Roseville to continue her courtship and life with Lawrence Koenigsfeld.
Marcella's first memory of Lawrence:
One day, as a young girl, Marcella and several friends, were playing in some water along the road near the store. A young man came out of the back door carrying empty boxes that were stacked higher than his head. As he walked down the steps the whole stack fell and a litany of colorful language reached the ears of these young girls. Marcella asked her friends: “WHO is that?” They answered: “THAT is Lawrence Koenigsfeld” The Roseville Store was to become the focal point for Marcella and Lawrence meeting, dating, and marrying.
Another wonderful memory happened when Marcella was an older teen. Her mother sent her to pick up a few groceries and Lawrence waited on her and handed her the receipt after she paid the bill. Marcella took the receipt and threw it in the bag of groceries. Lawrence said: “Aren’t you going to look at the receipt?” She pulled it back out and on it he had written: “How about a date sometime?” That was the beginning of several years of courtship ending in marriage on February 25, 1941, when Lawrence was 35 and Marcella was 20.
The Roseville Store played a vital role in their lives and the lives of their 11 children. The store, the home, and the family were interwoven and intricately connected. The food on their table was often determined by the produce and meat that was approaching its expiration date. Every child had their turn working at the store or caring for younger kids and cooking meals so others could work across the road at the store. There was an exclusive telephone line between store and home. If 3 short rings came from the store, it meant that Lawrence needed help with a barrage of customers. If 3 short rings came from Marcella, it meant the children (little renegades) were out of control and she needed Lawrence to help with discipline. The kids knew that if dad was on his way over from the store, they better “shape up” fast!
Marcella lost Lawrence on August 17, 1992 after 51 years of marriage. Her 11 children have all done good things with their lives. She now has 33 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren (5 more due in 2008). Marcella left Roseville in 2006. She is now being cared for by her daughter Mary Ann and son-in-law Joe Barry in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
St. Mary’s Church and the people of Roseville are what Marcella misses today.
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