May 25, 2024

Marianne Jane (McPherson) Paulson

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Our dear mother, Marianne Jane (McPherson) Paulson, passed away peacefully on October 13, 2023 in Alpine CA shortly before her 85th birthday. A loving and devoted wife, mother and grammy, she was always there for us with her warmth and kindness. Her smile could light up any room. In fact, Marianne is known for her vibrant personality, which infused the active role she took in the lives of her children (and their children). She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

Born and raised in Southern CA, Marianne spent most of her childhood in San Diego and she graduated from Hoover High School. (She broke into a lively rendition of the Hoover High Fight Song whenever we drove near the school, “Hail, Herbert Hoover High! This is our song to thee…”) When she was a young lady, one of her favorite memories occurred when she saw Elvis Presley live in concert at the start of his career from the first row.

In 1966, she married “Her Captain,” Gaylord Paulson from Elbow Lake, MN and for nearly thirty years was a dedicated Navy Officer’s wife, which led her family to move between California and Virginia over twelve times. “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson became one of her favorite songs.

Marianne is eternally a beautiful lady who, though she claimed to be shy, could charm anyone. Not more than a day went by without her telling her husband and children how proud she was of them. It was important to her that an American Flag was raised above the house for each military holiday. Scots are brave, courageous, loyal, patriotic, smart, stylish, matter-of-fact and funny. Marianne had each one of these qualities.

Animals and music meant so much to her. She always took in animals, put out food to feed her birds and watch all of the wildlife out of the window. The movie “Somewhere In Time” was one of her favorites and the beautiful music from it touched her heart, as well as other country music favorites from Alabama, Kris Kristofferson and Roy Orbison.

Retiring from the Navy in 1990, Marianne and Gaylord settled in the charming cowboy town of Alpine. She became an active member of the Alpine Community Church and a strong supporter of the Alpine Chorale, in which her husband sang bass. Her face lit up when the chorale sang, she knew all of the words and she dutifully watched over any purses while they performed! Living close to her family in San Diego and her three surviving children – Kathi Mitchell, Linda Pierce and Robert Paulson – brought her much joy. Marianne also leaves behind six beloved grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She now joins her dear son Rick Lee, her parents Margaret and Robert McPherson, her loving sister Dolores (Dolly) McPherson and grandson Michael Mitchell, in Heaven. We will miss you everyday!

A Celebration of Life Service was held at the United Lutheran Church in Elbow Lake, MN on Friday, November 17. She is laid alongside loving family members in the Ness Cemetery. Donations in her name can be made to the United Lutheran Church Elbow Lake, MN, SPCA or

to the Alzheimer’s Association. We appreciate your condolences and support during this difficult time.

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