Mary Lou Smith, 67Mary Louise Smith, 67, died June 27, 2012.
Mary Louise Smith, 67, died June 27, 2012.
Mary Lou was born September 24, 1944 in Alexandria, the daughter of Morris and Lillian (Gunderson) Samuelson. She graduated from Hoffman High School in 1962 and continued her education at the University of Minnesota Morris, graduating with honors in 1966 with degrees in education and music. She received her Master Degree in Special Studies from St. Cloud State University in 2003.
Mary Lou met the love of her life, Craig Smith, in the fall of 1964 during a statistics class at college in Morris. They were united in marriage on June 24, 1967, at Solem Lutheran Church. They moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, where Craig was stationed in the Army and Mary Lou taught school at North Pole Elementary School. They soon moved to Arizona for a short time and then to Morris, Minnesota, in 1969. They moved to Hopkins in 1972 and Mary Lou taught in St. Louis Park.
In October 1977, Mary Lou and Craig moved to Alexandria. Mary Lou began working at Alexandria Technical College where she taught general education classes including composition, job seeking, and technical writing. Mary Lou loved teaching and she was personally invested in each and every student she taught. Mary Lou was currently teaching her 34th year at Alexandria Technical and Community College.
Mary Lou was a 4-H leader with the Lucky Star 4-H club for many years and exhibited several items in the local and state fairs. She was actively involved at First Lutheran Church, serving as pianist for the Chancel Choir for more than 20 years. She was an avid shopper and loved to shop with her daughters. Mary Lou enjoyed traveling to many educational conventions over the years and also her trips to Norway, Sweden and Denmark with her husband Craig. Her trips camping and fishing with her family were always special to her.
Mary Lou was a loving and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. She always attended her daughters’ and grandchildren’s special events in their lives. She liked to show her love through food. Mary Lou was an excellent cook and took pride in making favorite dishes for each of her family members. Through her involvement in teaching, church and 4-H, she taught her daughters leadership qualities they have utilized in their own lives as mothers and community members. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her.
In October of 2011, Mary Lou had a mild stroke as a result of an undiagnosed hole in her heart. On June 27, 2012, Mary Lou underwent a procedure to repair the hole. During the surgery she had a severe rupture of the aorta, which the doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester were unable to repair.
She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Craig Smith of Alexandria; daughters, Michelle (Aki) Rova of Plymouth, Christine (Bradley) La Fore of Minneapolis, and Cherie (Matthew) O’Brien of Coon Rapids; grandchildren, Severina Hein, Ethan La Fore, and Liam O’Brien; brother, Duane (Darlene) Samuelson of Kensington; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A funeral service was held Monday, July 2 at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Greg Billberg officiating. Interment was at Solem Lutheran Cemetery near Kensington. Casket bearers were Bradley La Fore, Aki Rova, Matthew O’Brien, Wayne Lee, Dick Baysinger and Paul Spilseth. Honorary casket bearers were Mary Lou’s grandchildren, Severina Hein, Ethan La Fore and Liam O’Brien.
The family has requested memorials to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation, First Lutheran Radio Broadcast Ministry, or the Solem Lutheran Cemetery Fund.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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