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Mary Lee Petersen, 54, a lifetime Park Rapids resident who brought a special joy to all who knew and loved her, was safely ushered into the arms of Jesus surrounded by her loved ones early Tuesday morning October 15, 2013, while a resident at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Park Rapids.

Mary was born Feb. 24, 1959, in Park Rapids, the ninth child who blessed the marriage of Wayne and Margaret (Wyffels) Petersen. She attended Nevis and Park Rapids Public Schools, graduating from Park Rapids High School with the class of 1977.

Following her graduation, Mary continued living at home with her mom and dad, filling their home with much joy and happiness. She loved to keep busy working with crafts and on her homemade loom made many scarves that she would give as gifts to her family and friends.

She moved in with her brother, James and sister-in-law, Jeanette in 1989 and in 1990, she went to live with her sister, Shirley and her family.

In 1997, she became a resident of Heartland Homes where she enjoyed being a member of the Heartland family until October 2012.

She enjoyed her special work at the DAC, where she worked on many types of crafts over the years. She also enjoyed working for many years as a dishwasher for the Park Rapids schools.

Mary loved attending summer camp at Northern Pines Bible Camp and she participated in the Special Olympics for many years. She was steadfast in collecting pop-tops for the Ronald McDonald House and was proud of her vast ink pen collection. She had a profound love for music and especially enjoyed working out to Richard Simmons musical exercise videos. She was very proud to have seen Richard Simmons perform live in Fargo and had received his picture with "To My Sweet Mary Lee" written on it. Mary also enjoyed listening to the music of Kenny Rogers. She enjoyed dancing, biking, bowling, basketball and spending her holidays with family and also loved to attend family reunions as well.

Above all, Mary enriched the lives of all who knew her, touching their hearts with a profound sense of tenderness.

Mary will be lovingly remembered by her seven siblings, Larry (Donna) Petersen, of Stacey, Carol (Marty) Thiede of Park Rapids, James (Jeanette) Petersen of Park Rapids, Shirley Bruce (Tim Greenwood) of Park Rapids, Tom (Pam) Petersen of Farmington, Bob (Debby) Petersen of East Jordan, Mich. and Kathy Petersen (Terry Connell), of Park Rapids; many nieces and nephews who loved her dearly; as well as her Heartland Home Family and many other friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and one sister, Helen Branstner.

Visitation: 5-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids.

Funeral service: 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Faithbridge Church, Park Rapids.

Casket bearers: Troy Bruce, Conrad Bruce, Thomas Bruce, Terry Connell, Bobby Bruce and Matthew Bruce.

Honorary casket bearers: clients and staff of Heartland Homes and the Hubbard County DAC.

Interment: in the Petersen family plot at the Greenwood Cemetery of Park Rapids.

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