Marla Fay Wacker was born on December 2, 1941, in Rhinebeck, NY to Lewis and Lois Wacker.
Sadly, Marla passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2023. She was recovering from a massive stroke (2014) and recently diagnosed with cancer (2023).
Marla graduated at the top of class of 1959 from the Rhinebeck Central High School in Rhinebeck, NY. She went on to graduate again at the top of class from State University of New York at Oneonta to graduate in 1963 with her bachelor degree in Elementary Education. On August 5, 1962, Marla Wacker joined in matrimony with George C. Mastin Jr. of Hyde Park/Rhinebeck, NY. Marla pursued her education and received her master’s degree from Saint Rose College in Albany, NY in 1987. Marla continued her education with graduate classes at State University of Albany. She went on to earn her Doctorate of Education from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND in 1992.
Marla worked as an elementary grade schoolteacher in the Arlington, NY school district. She then moved on to a career teaching K-12 in the Saugerties Central School district until retiring in 1990. Marla also taught adjunct for Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, NY for many years.
In 1992, Marla moved to Mankato, Minnesota to continue her lifelong love for teaching individuals and became an Early Childhood Mathematics Methodology Professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato until her retirement in 2010.
In 1993, Marla was nominated and received the Distinguished Alumna Award at the State University of New York at Oneonta. Marla has authored many publications on Children’s Mathematical Learning and Research and given hundreds of workshops on Mathematics and Storigami.
Marla has been a twenty plus year member and President of the Mankato Branch of the American Association of University Women. She has been a member of the Northern Rocky Mountain Research Educational Association, New York State Teachers Union, Minnesota Mathematical Association, Retired Education Association for Mathematics, and much more.
Marla’s hobbies were her family, love for animals, children and traveling.
She was especially close with her daughter, Mary, her BFF. Best Friend. Always My Mother, Forever My Friend. This was one of their favorite sayings.
Marla is survived by her husband, George, and daughter, Mary. Many friends and acquaintances will miss Marla’s great spirit and smile. She will be missed by all.
Memorial service will be held at 4pm, Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at Mankato Mortuary (1001 N. Riverfront Drive, Mankato, MN 56001) with a visitation continuing until 7pm. Please share a memory of Marla with her family, view her video tribute, and watch the service livestreamed at www.mankatomortuary.com.
The family prefers memorials be directed to Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society (BENCHS) at www.benchs.org/monetary