Madison/Waunakee- Marlyn J. Sachtjen, age 86, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, author and avid gardener, entered into eternal life on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at Oakwood East, Madison. She was born on November 15, 1925 in Cumberland, Maryland, the daughter of Charles Dicken and Mary (Wolford) Cunningham. She met her future husband, Judge William C. Sachtjen during WWII in Newark, NJ. They were united in marriage on February 17, 1945 in Newark.

After the war ended, Bill brought Marlyn to his hometown of Madison, and Marlyn became active in the Madison Jaycettes, Madison Junior Woman’s Club and Metropolitan Woman’s Club. She also pursued a career in modeling as she was raising her family. Her love of nature and the land led to her passion for gardening. This first manifested itself in vegetable gardening with her husband and led to their purchase of Wind ‘N View on River Road in Waunakee. There Marlyn and Bill raised vegetables, flowers, created a virgin prairie and planted many majestic trees. Bill and Marlyn loved the harvesting and preparation of the fruit of their labors and shared generously. Marlyn authored several gardening and cookbooks. Her flower gardens were twice featured in the Olbrich Garden Tour and in the books “Midwest Gardens” and “Eden on Their Minds.” Several thousand people toured her gardens over the years.

Marlyn is survived by her children: Susan Leah (Gerald Mowris) Sachtjen of Fitchburg and Stephan (Shari) Sachtjen of Windsor; grandchildren: Dr. Danae (Matthew) Nakoneczny of Seattle, WA, Jeffrey Mowris of Bloomington, IN, Karl (Tracy) Sachtjen of Lodi, Staci (Craig) Panich of Beaver Dam and Scott (Laurie) Sachtjen of Sun Prairie; foster-granddaughter, Lisa (Kevin) Smith of St. Paul, MN; great-grandchildren: Sierra, Desmon, Kade, Alayna, Lilly, William, Emma and Amelia; foster-great-grandchildren, Gabe and Rowan; sisters-in-law, Muriel Segerson, Sylvia (Earl) Payne and Florence Sachtjen; nephew, Chamblis (Edie) Light and also many Sachtjen nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, William, her parents, step-father, Robert Cunningham, and sister, Donna Light.

Funeral services will be held at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at the RYAN FUNERAL HOME – Windsor/DeForest Chapel, 6924 Lake Road, DeForest. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday at the Funeral home. Burial will be at Lakeview Lutheran Cemetery, Madison.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at Oakwood East (Knoll Unit) and Agrace HospiceCare.

Memorials may be made to Oakwood Foundation, Olbrich Gardens or Agrace HospiceCare Inc.