Online Obituaries for the Indianapolis IN Area

Ms. Marla K Dankert

January 27, 1934 - June 26, 2017

In Loving Memory of Marla K Dankert

Marla K. Dankert, 83, died peacefully, with family at her side, after a very brief illness, on Monday, June 26.  Born in St. Louis on January 27, 1934, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Kelly, she grew up in Chicago graduating from North Park Academy in 1951.  After 2 years at Oberlin College in Ohio, she transferred to the University of Illinois at Champaign where she graduated in Art Education in 1956.  Her most treasured moment at college was meeting her future husband William Dankert.  They married June 23, 1956 in Chicago.  They moved to Indianapolis in 1959 after he completed his military service.

In her art education career, she had the unique opportunity to develop docent and education programs for two different newly built museums in Indianapolis – at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the 1970s and fifteen years later at the Eiteljorg Museum of Indian and Western Art.  She earned her masters degree in Art Education and Art History from Butler University in 1976 and taught classes in Art History and Art appreciation primarily at Butler for fifteen years. She retired from the Eiteljorg as Curator of Western Art in 1995.  After retirement, her passions for teaching and learning led to volunteering as a tutor for English Language Learners – helping people from Sudan, Brazil, and Russia gain their citizenship through building knowledge and understanding of this country beyond the basic language.

She loved traveling, often to destinations that she taught about, and she shared her passions for art, history, architecture and archaeology with everyone around her.  She was a life long learner, loving deep discussions, reading, and always digging beyond the basics to fully understand context and cultural connections.  She was an accomplished pianist and loved quilting with a wonderful eye for design and impeccable craftsmanship.

Family was by far the most important thing to her, and she always felt especially blessed to have a very close family over the years, in relationships and location.  This has been most comforting since the death of her husband Bill in 2011 after fifty five years of marriage, a true partner in love and art and architecture. She leaves behind children Karen (Randy Walker) and David (Marty), grandchildren – Kelly (Ryan Meyer), Scott, Maggie, and Charlie, and great grandchildren Bella and William.  She is also survived by her younger brother Preston Kelly (Lois), several nephews and nieces, and leaves behind her beloved dog Gilly.

A memorial service will be held at First Congregational United Church of Christ (7171 North Pennsylvania), where she was a fifty year member, on Saturday, July 29th at 3 PM.  Family and friends are welcome to visit an hour before and after the service. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to either the church or The Coburn Place Safe Haven women’s shelter.

She was greatly loved and she will be greatly missed


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