Mary Gustafson, age 84, of Ortonville, MN, passed away on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at her home.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, December 6, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville, MN. Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 5, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the church followed by a prayer service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Rev. Denise Fossen will officiate the service and burial will take place at Mound Cemetery in Ortonville.
The service will be livestreamed and recorded and will be available at the bottom of this page.
Mary Elizabeth (Lomen) Gustafson was born on June 19, 1937, in Fosston, MN, to Gjermund and Julia (Rude) Lomen. She grew up on the family farm and helped with tending to the cows, calves, sheep, and pigs. Mary enjoyed showing the livestock in 4-H and also submitted sewing entries for her 4-H projects. She attended school in Fosston and graduated from Fosston High School with the Class of 1955. Following graduation, Mary attended the nursing program in Crookston, MN, and earned her license in Practical Nursing. She worked as a nurse in Fosston and in Crookston.
While having some fun roller-skating, Mary met Vernon “Gus” Gustafson. She kept in touch with him through writing letters until he returned from the Service. On January 30, 1960, Mary and Gus were united in marriage in Fosston, MN. Together, they were blessed with four children: Lynne, Lori, Lisa, and Chad.
In 1961, the family moved to Ortonville, MN. Mary worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Ortonville Hospital for about six years. She later took time off to raise her family. When her children were old enough to attend school, she went to work at the 7-Up Company and owned the Sears store in Ortonville for several years. After she retired, she worked at the cheese factory, as a paraprofessional at the school, and as a cashier at the grocery store.
Always a busy woman, Mary always had children in her home; whether it was her children, friends of her children, grandchildren, or friends of her grandchildren; she loved every minute of it! She was an active member of First English Lutheran Church, Women’s Circle, as a Sunday School teacher, and served on the church boards. Mary was also a member of the Ortonville VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary and the Clinton American Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary. She was very involved in 4-H, both as a member and leader. Mary was also very active in the Ortonville community serving on the City Council, Police Commission Board, and the School Board.
Mary enjoyed walking and having coffee with her friends. Her family was very important to her and she loved spending as much time as she could with them, especially her grandchildren.
Left to cherish Mary’s memory are her daughters: Lynne (Keith) Giese of Ortonville, MN; and Lori (Steve) Strei of Odessa, MN; her son, Chad (Carol) Gustafson of New London, MN; six grandchildren: Kyle (Courtney) Giese, Nick Giese (Danica Maus), Andy (Jena) Strei, Shelby (Austin) Schoon, Courtney (TJ) Ridley, and Alyssa (Mike) Nimmo; five great-grandchildren: Arlie Giese, Louie Schoon, Penelope Giese, Baby Ridley, and Baby Nimmo; son-in-law, Rick Hoftiezer; sister-in-law, Ginger Lomen; brother-in-law, Norman Haug; good friends: John Zuki and Edison Haukos; special coffee buddy, Rick Anderson; along with many nieces, nephews, other family members, and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon “Gus” in 1984; daughter, Lisa in 2020; her parents; and siblings: John Lomen and Sharon Haug.