Marilynn K. Bokenkroger

Marilynn was born on December 13, 1949, in Iowa City, IA, the first of four children to Albert and Marilyn Joens.  She lived in New York City for a short time, but was raised in Denver, CO, where she attended John F. Kennedy High School and was active in theater, debate, speech and the National Honor Society.

Marilynn earned a scholarship to the University of Denver where she achieved her bachelor’s degree. She met her husband, Bryan, at DU, and the two moved to Los Angeles, CA, in 1973, where they welcomed their first child, Matthew, in 1975.  Shortly thereafter, they moved to Kansas City to be closer to Marilynn’s family, who had relocated for her father’s job. They welcomed their daughter, Laura, in 1977.

Marilynn spent the majority of her professional career with State Farm, starting out as a secretary when she was 18 years old, as she pursued her bachelor’s degree. She became the first female claim representative in California, and later, one of the first (if not the first) female managers in the company.

Born Catholic, Marilynn was devout in her faith.  She was a prayer warrior who dedicated countless hours in Perpetual Adoration every Saturday.  She loved to pray the Rosary, and believed in asking for the intercession of the saints.  She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where she sent both of her children through elementary school.

Marilynn’s greatest joy was her family.  She loved watching her grandchildren in their many activities, and hosting family gatherings at her home. She was an animal lover who never met a dog she didn’t adore.

Marilynn valued fairness and truth. She stood up for what she believed in, yet always welcomed input and thought from others. She exemplified tolerance and open-mindedness. She loved to debate and philosophize about morality and divinity and faith and politics. There wasn’t a problem she couldn’t solve. She loved others with boundless energy. She put the needs of others before her own, always. Tirelessly, always. She cheered for the underdog. She befriended the unpopular. She was most comfortable behind the scenes, reveling in the joy of those she made happy through her selfless contributions and often thankless work. She had an extraordinary gift for discovering the best in people and bringing it out. She was by every definition, a leader. She inspired those around her to believe in themselves. She lived to help others shine. Her legacy lives on in the many, many people who were better, stronger, happier, smarter, because of her influence, her faith and love.  

There are people who leave this world better than they found it. Marilynn Bokenkroger is one of them.

Marilynn is survived by her husband, Bryan Bokenkroger, their children, Matthew (Courtney) and Laura (Grant) Gorr; grandchildren, Brett, Cali, Lucy, Molly, Grace, Mackenzie, Alex and Kiley; and brothers, Dana (Terri); Steve (Cherie); and Greg (Valerie).


A Rosary will be on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. with a visitation to follow until 7:00 p.m. at Amos Family Funeral Home. Funeral Mass at 2 p.m. on Friday at Good Shepherd Catholic Church.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to:

St. Joseph Catholic Church
5901 Flint St.
Shawnee, KS 66203


American Heart Association
6800 93rd St.
Overland Park, KS 66212

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Tuesday, Jun. 6th 2017 | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Marilynn K. Bokenkroger”

  1. Charlie - State Farm Says:

    Marilynn was such a pious and religious person. She always seemed to be running off to church. I told her that when she died she was going to go straight to Heaven without passing go. And I am sure she did. Will miss her terribly.

  2. Grayce Thomsen Says:

    Hugs and love she will be missed.From J and G cleaning. Jeanette and Grayce.

  3. Sue Collins Says:

    Marilyn was my inspiration and friend while we were at State Farm. She was so bright and did her job well. I cherish the many memories we made . May the angels lead her to paradise.

  4. Kathy Davis Sutton Says:

    I remember the first time I saw Marilynn at the Mission claim office. My initial impression was that she was the quintessential California girl, thin with long blond hair and wearing a white sheath dress. I could not have guessed that she would rise through the ranks, eventually becoming my boss – and how lucky was I. Marilynn was whip smart, kind, patient, compassionate, and had a great sense of humor. She and I decided to leave the company during the great purge of ’99 to find out if a life truly did exist outside of insurance claims, and I think we were both happy with our choices. And luckily, we did remain in touch through occasional lunches with a group we called The State Farm Sisters. Marilynn will always be in our hearts and memories. My deepest condolences to her family and many friends.

  5. Gary Beatty Says:

    I worked with Marilynn in the early 80s. I do not know who wrote this obituary but it really captures the Marilynn I knew and remember.

  6. Clarence Etienne Says:

    Our prayers and thoughts are with the Brokenkroger family in this difficult time. May you find some comfort and peace in the words of Jesus at John 5:28,29 as you look forward to that wonderful time.

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