PULLMAN, Wash. — The mother of seven children and stepmother to three others was named 1998 Washington State University Mom of the Year during the annual Mom’s Brunch at WSU April 18.
Marilyn Krause of Olympia counsels preschool through sixth grade students at Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School and Littlerock Elementary School, both in Tumwater. She was nominated by her daughter, Mari, a WSU senior in clothing, merchandising and textiles.
The Krause family includes five girls and five boys, ranging in age from 11 to 27. Mari is the fourth youngest, at 21, and has twin brothers, aged 23.
“Raising a large family has been fun,” Krause says with a smile. “The older kids have always helped with the younger kids. As a result, I think they might go into parenthood with a more realistic view of what it is all about.”
For example, she explained that the younger children can’t get their driver’s license until they can pay for the gas and half of their insurance. “They have to take responsibility for driving a car.”
Krause graduated from California State College in Long Beach. Her husband, Jon Krause, is a 1965 WSU graduate in social studies. He teaches eighth grade science at Yelm Middle School.
As might be expected, raising a large family has stretched the Krauses financially.
“All of the kids going to college know that while we will pay their books and tuition, they must pay their living expenses,” says the WSU mom. “It would be wonderful to get a full ride from us, but they learn a lot by helping support themselves.”
Mari is doing her share. She works 12 hours a week as a receptionist in the Office of the President at WSU. She also teaches aerobics four times a week at a Pullman studio. After she graduates in December, she hopes to start out in sales and merchandising, and eventually become a buyer, then store manager.
She credits her mom and dad for increasing her responsibility level. “We didn’t always get all the things we wanted, so we don’t take things for granted,” Mari says.
The WSU Mom is active in the Olympia community and in her church. She teaches a parenting class and plans retreats for women members of her church. “It’s important that they get away once in a while,” she says, speaking from experience.
Her hobbies are gardening, flowers and reading novels.
“Even though half of us are grown and on our own, there are still times when we need advice from our mom,” Mari says. She misses the time spent around the dinner table with her parents and six to eight siblings. “We were taught a lot. Basically, there were no forbidden subjects,” she says.
She recalls experiencing a tinge of homesickness during her first quarter at Western Washington University in Bellingham.
“I phoned my mom in desperation for some comfort. She said she would get in the car and drive four hours to give me a hug. If that’s not unique, I don’t know what is.”
Mari spent a year at WWU, two quarters at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, and is completing her third year at WSU.
In her letter nominating her mother for WSU Mom, she wrote a seven-verse poem. One verse read: “I am Who I Am
Because of My Mom
I Thank Her to This Day.
She Loved Me Then,
She Loves Me Now,
In Her Very Special Way.”

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