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Mary Agnes Andersen
Age 98, Mary Agnes Andersen of Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, passed away on February 22, 2023. Preceded in death by husband, Robert; son, Brian; parents, Matthew and Katherine Zalaznik; brothers, Leo, John, Ray, Lawrence, Wilfred and sister, Margaret. Survived by daughters, Gail (John) Moore and Susan (Dave) Casper; sister, Erna Pangerl of Pine City; grandchildren Marlia Mattke, Karin Wells, Brendan Moore, Casey Sinclair, Kristen Andersen, Lauren Andersen, Keleigh Williams, Carrie Gunderson and Andy Casper; and 14 great-grandchildren. Mary was born on the family farm outside Pine City, Minnesota on December 8, 1924. She was the fifth of eight children. She loved working around the farm helping her father and four older brothers. She often shared memories of how much she enjoyed growing up in a family of eight children and assisting her parents with all the many daily and seasonal chores on a dairy farm. Mary attended rural school for the early grades. She was a good student and graduated from Pine City High School in 1941 when she was 16. After graduation she worked for a time as a switchboard operator for The Northwestern Bell Telephone Company in Pine City and later took a job in Minneapolis at Bachman's Floral business. In December of 1945, at the age of 21, she left Pine City on her own by train, traveled to Washington D.C. to acquire a passport and flew to Stockholm, Sweden where she married Robert Andersen on January 26, 1946. They were married for 61 years. The decision to marry Robert Andersen, who had also grown up on a farm in Pine City and was stationed in Stockholm, Sweden at the end of World War II, changed the course of her life. For the next 30 years, she was the wife and partner of an intelligence officer and diplomat and the mother of Gail, Brian and Susan. Over the course of those years, they had tours of duty not only in Sweden, but in Norway, the Netherlands and West Germany. This involved relocating often, each time necessitating an openness to learning new ways of doing things, becoming familiar with a new foreign language and adapting to a different culture, customs and people. She was adept at relationship building. She both attended as well as organized social events and entertained embassy personnel, foreign officers and dignitaries. In the years between assignments overseas, Mary and her family lived in Arlington, Virginia and took summer vacations to visit family and friends in Pine City. In 1978, four years after Robert's retirement from the Central Intelligence Agency, they returned to live in Pine City where they enjoyed 26 happy and fulfilling years. They moved to Boutwells Landing in June 2004. Mary spent the last 19 years of her life at Boutwells Landing, made many additional friends and enjoyed all that wonderful community had to offer. She was a remarkable woman who possessed an enduring positive attitude, an adventurous spirit, wonderful sense of humor, a willingness to meet new people and an amazing innate ability to adapt. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Mary's family is deeply grateful to the Boutwells Gables Care Center 3rd floor staff and Lakeview Hospice for the loving care she received particularly during the last months of her life. A Celebration of Life service will be held on Monday, March 13, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Bradshaw Funeral and Cremation Services, 2800 Curve Crest Boulevard, Stillwater, MN, 651-439-5511. Lunch will follow the service at the same location. There will be a brief committal ceremony at 2:00 p.m. at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Lakeview Hospice, 5803 Neal Avenue North, Oak Park Heights, MN 55082 http://www.lakeview.org or Boutwells Landing (in memory of Mary Andersen), 5600 Norwich Parkway, Oak Park Heights, MN 55082 http://www.preshomes.org .
Monday, March 13, 2023
Starts at 10:30am (Central time)
Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center (Stillwater)
Monday, March 13, 2023
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
Fort Snelling National Cemetery
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