Mary Miller, age 82, of Fosston, MN, passed away on Sunday, June 18th, at Lilac Homes Assisted Living in Dilworth, MN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 30th, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fosston with Father Vincent Miller presiding and Father JohnMelkies Suvakeen Concelebrating. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery Hansville, rural Fosston. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, June 29th, and for one hour prior to the Mass on Friday. All visitation will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fosston. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston. Messages of condolence may be shared and live-stream of the service viewed at www.carlinfuneral.com.
Mary Etta Klein was born to Roy and Hilda Klein on November 28, 1940. The youngest of six children, Mary spoke fondly of growing up on the farm outside of Fosston. Mary graduated from Fosston High School in 1958 and, with the encouragement of a strong family, moved to Bemidji to attend Bemidji State University and earned her English education degree.
Mary often told stories about the wonderful staff and students she worked with in her first job at Fertile High School. She may have stayed in Fertile for her teaching career if it wasn’t for meeting a handsome young man at a church picnic she went to with her family back in Fosston. Mary fell in love with James Miller and the two were married in Fosston at what was then Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church on June 18, 1966. Together they purchased land a mile north of Fosston where they planned to build their home and raise their family. Mary joined Jim on the teaching staff at Fosston High School and was quickly welcomed into the FHS family. Mary and Jim were blessed with four children, together they raised their family with faith, fun, laughter, and family values. Mary loved taking family trips, especially camping trips to Itasca where she rode her bike “old blue” on trails throughout the park, and playing countless games of Pinochle around the kitchen table. Mary and Jim purchased the Fosston Car Wash and it was a family run business providing chores and allowances for their children as well as creating a strong work ethic.
Tragically, after almost 20 years of marriage, Mary lost Jim to a car accident in April of 1986. This is when her family really came to understand Mary’s faith, strength, and fierce independence. Family was very important to Mary, and she worked constantly to hold hers together. She was once asked which child she talked to the most, and she replied, “The one that needs me the most.”
Mary continued teaching at FHS until she retired in 1996. After retiring from teaching, Mary worked in the office of St Mary’s church for several years. Continuing her education was very important to Mary, she took classes furthering her faith education through the Crookston diocese, studied her family heritage through the Sons of Norway and Daughters of the Revolution, and continued to learn about the world from her love of literature. Mary enjoyed going to plays and musicals, she instilled a love of the theater in all of her children. Mary happily filled her days visiting her children, taking care of the car wash, playing Bridge, drinking coffee with friends, and spoiling her cats.
In March of 2022, Mary moved into Lilac Assisted Living in Dilworth, MN. Though it was hard to leave Fosston, the move brought her closer to her children. After a little over a year of amazing care and support from the Lilac staff, Mary passed peacefully on June 18, 2023, fifty-seven years after marrying her love.
Left to cherish Mary’s memory are her children, Fr Vincent Miller, Veronica Miller (David VanCleave), Georgia Miller, Alicia (Larry) Laughery. Her sister Lillian (Roger) Scharenbroich. Grandson Robert (Samantha) Laughery, great grandchildren Kalli and Micheal Laughery and many nieces and nephews.
Proceeded in death, by her parents, her husband Jim, her brother Ralph, and sisters, Joyce, Lois, and Terry .
In lieu of flowers, the family requested that Masses be said in Mary’s memory.