Marion Beatty

Thursday, September 1, 2016 8:09 pm

Marion Beatty, 63, of Decorah, died Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, at his home following a valiant five-year battle with colon cancer. A celebration of Marion’s life is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Decorah Lutheran Church. Friends, relatives, colleagues and anyone whose life Marion touched are invited to Oneota Golf and Country Club between 4 and 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, to meet with the family and to spend some time sharing “Marion stories.”
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember Marion send a donation to an organization or charity of their choice, or to one of the following: Winneshiek Medical Center Home Health and Hospice (901 Montgomery Street, Decorah, IA 52101), the Marion and Peggy Beatty Family Scholarship (Loyalty Hall, Luther College, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101), Decorah Lutheran Church (309 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101), or the Food Pantry at First Lutheran Church (604 West Broadway, Decorah, IA 52101). Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Marion Lee Beatty was born April 24, 1953, in Vinton, to Charles Edward and Marcella Ann (Robbins) Beatty. He was raised on the family farm near Vinton. Growing up and working on the farm provided Marion with his work ethic, sense of loyalty, purpose, humility and a love for family that he carried with him for the rest of his life. Marion graduated from Vinton High School in 1971. He loved his friends and activities at VHS and his friends in later life were often regaled with his youthful stories of wrestling, noon football league and the various classmates, teachers and classes that he so fondly remembered. Marion attended Luther College, where he met the love of his life, Peggy Hall, in a Shakespeare class. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975, graduating magna cum laude with degrees in English and History. Two days after graduating, Marion began law school at the University of Iowa. He was in the “accelerated” program at Iowa, graduating in 1977. Marion and Peggy were united in marriage May 15, 1976, at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City. In Sept., 1977, Marion returned to Decorah, where he began his legal career with the law firm of Miller, Pearson, Gloe, Burns and Beatty, the firm he was with throughout his 39-year career. Marion had a rare gift of making everyone he met feel special and valued. His friends were an extension of his family. Activities he enjoyed included fishing, hunting, Jeeping, camping, traveling and telling stories. More than anything, Marion loved his family. He was fortunate enough to witness the marriages of his three children and to welcome four grandchildren. Spending quality time with his favorite people was what made him tick. Above all, he treasured his 40 plus years of marriage to his true best friend, Peggy. The mantra of “Faith, Family, and Friends” represented Marion’s approach to life. Marion lived a life of unshakable faith in his Lord Jesus Christ. He was a member of the Decorah Lutheran Church, having served on various committees, and as attorney for the church during his lifetime.

In the early years of his law practice, Marion handled both criminal and civil cases. During the last 30 years, he focused primarily on civil litigation, handling both insurance defense and plaintiff’s cases. Marion was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Iowa State Bar Association (President 2006-2007), a Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers (President 2010), Iowa Defense Counsel Association (President 2000-2001), American Bar Association, Minnesota State Bar Association, Winneshiek County Bar Association (President 1979) and was a Life Fellow of the Iowa State Bar Foundation.

Some of Marion’s honors and recognitions that reflect the respect he earned from his peers in the legal field include: the highest award of the Iowa State Bar Association, the Award of Merit (2012), the Iowa Defense Counsel Association’s highest honor, the Award of Merit (2014), and the Iowa Defense Counsel’s Edward J. Seitzinger Award (1993-1994). He was an AV preeminent rated lawyer, recognized as one of The Best Lawyers of America, Super Lawyers of Iowa, and Super Lawyers of the Great Plains. Marion was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater, Luther College in 2005. Marion’s community service included serving on various boards and committees, including the Decorah Chamber of Commerce (President 1983), Winneshiek Medical Center Foundation board (Past President), Oneota Golf and Country Club (President 1994-1995), Silvercrest Golf and Country Club (President 1983), Winneshiek County United Way (former Chairperson), Winneshiek County Historical Society (Past President), and Rotary Club (Paul Harris fellow).

Marion is survived by his wife, Peggy; his son, Benjamin Beatty (Arrilla) of Denver, Colo., daughter, Laura Newton (Samuel) of Cottage Grove, Minn. and son, Jeffrey Beatty (Mallory) of Coralville; his grandchildren: Jack, Mari and Noel Newton and Miles Beatty; his brothers, Dr. Charles Beatty (Ann) of Rochester, Minn. and Brian Beatty (Robin) of Des Moines; sister, Annette Wingfield (Lance) of Northlake, Texas; mother-in-law Mary Hall of Mankato, Minn.; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Janet and Dennis Roseland of Palm Harbor, Fla. and Roger and Gayle Hall of Fleming Island, Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and cousins, who were all very special to Marion.

Marion was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Marcella Beatty; his brother, Michael Beatty; his father-in-law, Galen Hall; his stepmother, Suzanne Beatty; and his uncles, Keith Beatty and Ronald Beatty.

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