Marlys Mullen

Jan. 28, 2023

Marlys Mullen (Joy) passed away on January 28, 2023 surrounded by those who loved her.

Marlys was born on Oct. 6, 1937 in Newton, IA to Maurice Joy and Billie Joy (Miller). She graduated from Newton High School in 1956.

After graduation, Marlys spent some time in Miami but eventually returned home. While working at the local bank, she was encouraged to enter the local beauty pageant. Her talent of a “dramatic reading” set her apart for the other contestants and she would go on to be crowned Miss Jasper County. She went on to attend the University of Iowa where she met Michael Mullen of Marshalltown, IA. They married in 1960 and had two children. Although the marriage didn’t last, Marlys held many fond memories of Mike and their time together.

Marlys’ love for the arts was life long. During her early years, while living in Newton, she was very involved with the local community theater. She acted in and directed several productions put on by the Newton Community Theater. When life took her to Illinois, she was quick to seek out another theater group in order to continue her passion. Because of this passion, She instilled an appreciation for both the theater and movies in her children.

Always a people person, Marlys worked in various industries. She would eventually go on to work for, and then own, an apartment rental agency in Rogers Park Illinois.

Marlys was an avid lover of antiques and unique collectibles. She loved discovering the history of a piece. One of her favorite shows to watch was “American Pickers”. She claimed to have seen every episode.

Anyone who knew Marlys was touched by her quick wit, passionate opinions and love for her family and animals.

Those left to honor her memory include her daughter, Laurie Funes (Mullen); son-in-law, Victor Funes, grandchildren Zachary and Olivia Funes, all of Texas, a niece, Suzan Steinhaus and nephew, Steve Joy, both of Wisconsin, as well as extended family and friends.

Marlys is preceded in death by her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, Art and Carol Joy of Wisconsin, and her son, Tim Mullen of Chicago.

Although Marlys lived in both Illinois and Texas during her 85 years, her heart never left Newton. In the coming months, her family will help her make one last journey back to Newton where she can be “Home” for eternity. One of her favorite quotes comes from the film, Field of Dreams; “Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa”.

Donations in memory of Marlys can be made to your favorite animal shelter.