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Margaret Marie Gartner, 85, a lifelong Park Rapids, area resident, peacefully entered Heaven's Gate Saturday, June 7, 2014 at her home with her loved ones at her side.

Margaret was born Dec. 13, 1928 at her parent's farm in Arago Township north of Park Rapids. She attended the Arago Country School near her home through the eighth grade.

She was united in marriage to Richard Andrew Gartner Sept. 23, 1947 at St. Mary's Catholic Church at Two Inlets. This union was blessed with two sons, David Richard and Roy Dean. Margaret devoted her life to making a warm and loving home for her husband and sons.

She was a wonderful cook and baker who will be long remembered for her delicious chicken noodle soup, and made from scratch cinnamon rolls, apple strudel and blueberry pies. Her kitchen talents and hospitality were well known by the many who would stop by to visit and not be allowed to leave until enjoying the bounty of her cooking and baking.

In addition, Margaret would work right alongside her husband in caring for the livestock, or working long hard days in the fields. Each growing season, she was given the job of cultivating corn which she performed with meticulous precision.

She was also active in the community as a member of the Park Rapids Eagles Club where she had served as president of the Eagles Auxiliary. She and Richard were often asked to prepare many wedding, anniversary and birthday dinners. She was an active member of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church where she served as one of the funeral lunch coordinators. She was also one of the founding members of the Arago Friendly Homemakers Club. She served as a State Fire Warden for 54 years.

In their younger years, she and Richard spent many winter weekends snowmobiling with family and friends and were instrumental in developing many of the Two Inlets area snowmobile trails.

When her boys were small, she also helped get the 4-H program established for the neighborhood children to participate in. In her spare time, Margaret loved feeding and watching the birds. Above all, Margaret dedicated her life to her husband, her sons and her grandchildren who she loved with all her heart.

Margaret will be lovingly remembered by her son, David (Cheryl) Gartner of Park Rapids; three grandchildren, Kenneth (Tammy) Gartner, Christina Gartner and Scott Gartner all of Park Rapids; two step-grandchildren, Michael (Michelle) Harlow of Grand Forks, N.D. and Jerid Harlow of Park Rapids; 10 great-grandchildren; brother, Jimmy Long of Park Rapids; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Margaret had endured the heartbreak of her son, Roy's death in a tragic car accident in 1979; and her husband, Richard's death in 2005; as well as the death of her parents, Floyd and Lena (Short) Long; her two brothers, Harold "Buster" Long and Leonard Long and losing her great grandson, Ethan Luke.

Funeral Mass of Christian Burial: 11 a.m. Friday, June 13 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids with Father Tom Friedl officiating. The Alleluia Choir will lead the mass music. Joy Horejsi will be the organist.

Active casket bearers: her nephews: Terry Long, Kevin Long, Steven Long, Ray Gartner, Nick Gartner and friend, Mike Carroll.

Honorary casket bearers: friends, Ivan and Joyce Dorschner, Shawn and Michelle Mahowald and Dave and Jean Happke.

Interment: will be made in the family plot at the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Two Inlets.

Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids, and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

A luncheon will be hosted by the church following the funeral service.

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