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Obituary: Mary Alice (Turcotte) Thompson

Mary Alice (Turcotte) Thompson, 84, passed away peacefully from complications from Alzheimer's in the early hours of Sept. 2, 2023, at Havenwood of Burnsville, surrounded by family.

Mary was born on Jan. 17, 1939, in Duluth, just one minute before her twin sister, Carol. She grew up in Carlton with her sister and three older brothers, picking blueberries in the summer and enjoying the beauty of the north.

After graduating from Carlton High School, Mary attended the University of Minnesota Duluth with her sister. In 1961, she graduated with a degree in elementary education. Mary was a proud Bulldog.

She started her teaching career in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she taught first grade. It was there that she was introduced to the love of her life, Gary Thompson. The two were married on June 13, 1964. Over the course of their nearly 60 years together, Mary and Gary traveled around the world, shared countless laughs, and created a large, loving family. Together they had four children who all inherited her unique gift of making stuff up to get a laugh.

The family moved from town to town around Minnesota. Everywhere they went, Mary made friends.

Ever the teacher, she took immense joy in running events for her 14 grandchildren, laying out the rules for Easter egg hunts and Christmas Eve festivities. In addition to spending time with her family, Mary loved gardening, painting, singing, reading, and cooking. At the heart of her interests was a love for sharing them with those that she loved most. She gathered her grandchildren together to pick raspberries from her garden and had her family sing tunes from "The Sound of Music" together by the Christmas tree.

There was not an event of her children's or grandchildren's that she and her husband would miss. She shared all her interests with her family and was happy to embrace each of their passions.

Mary came from a long tradition of using food as a language of love and was a skilled cook. She would bake cakes for her children and in-laws on their birthdays and assembled her family to make homemade lefse.

Even until her last days, Mary was the conductor of fun, asking for her kids and grandkids to perform their talents for her while she was in the hospital.

Mary is survived by her husband, Gary, of Burnsville; her four children, John (Kendra) Thompson and their five children, Jack, Maddie, Grace, Marial and Paul, Jason (Kim) Thompson and their three children, Jacob (Julia), Abigail (Sam Penders), and Joseph, Jeffery (Christine) Thompson and their three children, Belle, Adrianne, and Ben, and Jill Haas and her three children, Wyatt, Brandan and Nathan; one sister, Carol Turcotte; sister-in-law, Janice Turcotte; brother-in-law Bruce (Diane) Thompson; many nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edgar and Alma Turcotte; and her brothers, Donald, Roderick, and Edgar Turcotte. Mary always had a way of welcoming everyone in and making them feel like they belonged. Her loving heart and kind eyes will be missed by all.

The funeral in celebration of Mary's life, faith and salvation in Christ will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 13600 Technology Drive in Eden Prairie, with visitation starting at 10 a.m. A luncheon will follow the service.

Pine Knot News Sept. 8, 2023

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