Mary Laura Magelssen, 94, of Park Rapids, died Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at the Cornerstone Nursing Center in Bagley.
Mary Laura (Bickle) Magelssen was born March 17, 1920 to James E. and Myrtie (Krake) Bickle in Walker. She spent her younger years in St. Louis Park and Backus. When her family moved to Backus while she was in high school, Mary remained in the Twin Cities to finish her schooling. She lived with a family and worked for her room and board. She graduated from West High School in Minneapolis in 1938.
Mary then worked as the secretary in the Backus High School where she met Millard Magelssen who was the principal. There was a ten-year age difference between Mill and Mary, so out of respect for her reputation, Mill asked the Superintendent of Schools for permission to date her. He heartily approved.
Mary married H. Millard Magelssen June 7, 1942 in Walker. Married life began with Mill going off to serve in the South Pacific. He returned two years later to a grateful wife and met his son Millard for the first time. The family settled in McIntosh for two years before moving to Park Rapids where they made their home since 1948. Six children were born to Mary and Mill. Mill died in 1966 leaving a young widow with three children still at home.
Mary worked as a secretary for the Park Rapids High School Superintendent in the 50s and later for the high school librarian retiring in 1987.
There is joy and comfort in knowing that on March 25, 2014, Mary's faith became sight as she entered into the very presence of Jesus and now knows in reality the truth of John 14:1-2, "Do not let you heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you."
Being a committed Christian she served the Lord in many capacities at Calvary Lutheran in Park Rapids. Mary visited the sick, volunteered with Big Sisters, the food shelf and served on the Greenwood Cemetery Board as a way to live her faith in the community.
Her unbridled enthusi-asm during Twins and Vi-kings games was a delight to anyone who watched a game with her. Her home-made bread and caramel rolls were epic. Mary had a unique wit and love for fun and parties. Handmade cards, two-dollar bills, and specially decorated birthday cakes are favorite family memories.
Mary's long and vibrant life had many challenges and joy filled expectations. She placed a high value on her family and many friends. She was faithful to her Lord, active in her church, loyal to her friends and committed to her family. All will be left with many happy memories. She was a favorite aunt and her grandchildren were transfixed by the many stories she told them.
Mary is survived by her six children, Millard (Cheryl) of Brier, Wash., Dave (Diana) of Surprise, Ariz., Paul (Sheryl) of Fosston, Muff (Dave) Hallan of Bagley, Lowell (Debbie) of Forest Lake and Maia (Jeff) Glader of Littleton, Colo.; 14 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Mill; her parents; sister and brother-in-law Vivian (Ed) Cyrus; and brother and sister-in-law Roy (Doris) Bickle.
Funeral service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids.
Visitation: 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 28 at Cease Family Funeral Home Chapel in Park Rapids, also for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids are handling the arrangements. Friends may leave online condolences at ceasefuner-alhome.com.