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Obituaries from the week of Jan. 25, 2012

Mary Donaldson, 84

Mary Catherine Donaldson, age 84, died Wednesday, January 18, 2011, at her home in Tracy, Minnesota.

Mary was born to A.W. and Hulda Kangas on February 2, 1927 in Crosby, MN, where she graduated from high school in 1945.

Mary attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where she met her husband Dick upon his return from service in World War II.  Mary and Dick were married in Crosby, MN, on June 19, 1948.

Mary enjoyed reading, gardening and crafts, especially sewing and needle crafts; enjoyed the camaraderie of music clubs, the country club, bridge clubs, supper club, study club, and discussion club; enjoyed activities such as birding, golfing and cross-country skiing; and enjoyed hosting her clubs and friends.

Mary served her church, Tracy United Methodist Church, as well as the Tracy Presbyterian Church, as organist; served her community as librarian for many years at the Tracy Public Library; and served her country as a volunteer in the Peace Corps from 1984 through 1988 in Jamaica and Barbados.

Mary lovingly supported her husband throughout his business and civic life and supported her children by creating opportunities for exploration and creativity.  Mary and Dick hosted an American Field Service foreign exchange student, Pyatat Tatsanavivat from Thailand during the 1967-68 school year and continued to serve as an AFS regional coordinator for many years.

Mary is preceded in death by her parents; and by her sister and brother in law, Ruth and Robert Bye,

She is survived by her husband, Dick of Tracy; their children and spouses, Mark (Pat) Donaldson of Knoxville, TN, Scott (Mary) Donaldson of Cincinnati, OH, and Laurel Donaldson Ulland of Minneapolis, MN; and their only grandchild, Lindsay Donaldson of Dallas, TX. 

Mary’s family wishes to acknowledge and thank all those caregivers who provided Mary support in these last few years, especially Lynda Baskerville, Gladys Hahn, Annika Sahlstrom, Denise Hatch, Janet Randall and Janet Cyr.

A celebration of Mary’s life will be held Sunday, January 22nd at 3:00 p.m. at Tracy United Methodist Church.  Memorials may be made to support the Prairie Home Hospice of Marshall, MN, and research into Alzheimer’s disease.  May her legacy live on in the way we all lead our lives.


Bernetta Olson, 95

Bernetta I. Olson, age 95, of Tracy, Minnesota died on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  Funeral Services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, January 23, 2012 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Tracy.  Burial was in the Hoiland Cemetery.  Online condolences may be placed at Almlie Family Funeral Service - Tracy, Balaton and Westbrook provided the arrangements.

Bernetta Irene Olson was born January 6, 1917 to Fred and Gertrude (Monroe) Strunk in Frankfort, SD.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended country school and high school in South Dakota.  In 1935 she moved with her family to a farm north of Slayton, MN and graduated from Slayton High School that same year.

On November 23, 1939 Bernetta married Gerhard Olson on the Olson Family farm near Garvin, MN.  They made their home on the Olson farm from 1939 to 1979.  After her husband’s death that year Bernetta moved into Tracy, MN. 

Bernetta was a house wife and mother to two children and was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Tracy, where she was active in Circle and the Ladies Aid.  She enjoyed Embroidery, crocheting, playing cards and Bingo, but especially loved spending time with her family and friends.

In January of 2004 she became a resident of Tracy Nursing Home and in December of 2007 moved to Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  On Wednesday, January 18, 2012 Bernetta died at Prairie View, surrounded by her loving family, at the age of 95.

Bernetta is survived by her one daughter, Roberta (Daryld) Brinkman of Verndale, MN; one son, Eugene “Buzzy” (Barb) Olson of Tracy, MN; six grandchildren; fifteen great grandchildren; nieces, nephews and friends.

Her parents, husband, Gerhard, one infant brother, and three sisters, Floy Derenberg, Sylvia “Babe” (Anton) Peterson, and Mattie (Blaine) Coyle all preceded her in death.