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Mary Jean Overend Obituary

Overend, Mary Jean 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, July 21, 2013, at her daughter Kathy's home on Sugar Lake, Cohasset, Minnesota after a courageous battle with the devastating disease PSP. She left this world for her new destination on one of the most beautiful days of the year. She was born on March 30, 1928 in Crookston, MN to Howard and Marguerite Potts Clapp. She grew up and graduated from high school in Hallock, MN. She then received a degree in Medical Technology and worked in private medical practices in the Twin Cities. Mary Jean married Thomas F. Overend on August 21, 1948. They first lived in Minneapolis, then in the fall of 1960, they moved to their beloved permanent homestead at 4379 Dart Avenue in St. Louis Park. She raised 4 children with Tom, and they had a grand time living in a quiet neighborhood with close friends who shared many experiences raising their families. Mary Jean was a woman who loved to learn and she cherished the opportunity to attend college. She was an avid student and began her lifelong higher education by attending Augsburg College from the late 60's until she achieved her Bachelor's degree in 1977. She began working at the U of MN Hospitals as a medical technologist in the Special Hematology Laboratory and continued there until she retired in 1996. She attended the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota on a Regent's scholarship and earned her MBA in 1986; this award was her crowning academic achievement. She worked harder for this distinction than any other individual in our memory. Mary Jean cared for all of her family as a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother throughout her long life. In particular, she cherished her lively marriage to Tom, and cared deeply for him in the warmth of their home, including his long battle with lymphoma until his death in 1996. Mary Jean and Tom hosted a large number of Foreign Exchange students over the years and helped these individuals gain an appreciation of our culture as Mary Jean & Tom learned of theirs. She was a great baker and had a delightful sense of humor. She could be a holy terror in her kitchen, she felt housework was definitely an overrated pastime, and she favored a large and heavy purse. Mary Jean took great pride in her community work. She participated in NORC, "Helping seniors to age in place", volunteered to support women at Wayside House, was a member of the St. Louis Park Communications and Technology Board, serving on the Diversity Committee and she adored the children she read with at Susan Lindgren Elementary School. Mary Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Overend; parents, Howard and Marguerite Clapp; brother, Robert Clapp and sister, Geraldine Fredrickson. Mary Jean is survived by her sister, Mildred Jansen of Minneapolis; son and daughter-in-law, Michael (Lucy Grina) of Two Harbors; daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen (Thomas Peltier) of Cohasset; daughter and son- in-law, Mary Elizabeth (Brian Fortmeyer) of St. Louis Park, and son and daughter-in-law, Timothy (Lynn) Grand Forks, ND; grandchildren, Grace Overend, Thomas Overend, Nicholas Fortmeyer, Noah Fortmeyer, Hanna Fortmeyer, Samantha Overend, Megan Overend and Chase Overend. Her family would like to say a special thanks to caregivers Deb Grooms (her favorite daughter!), Stacey, and Mary Lou, who all helped make Mary Jean so comfortable during her ordeal. She also leaves behind her faithful kitty, Irish, who was with her to the very end. She touched many lives and taught her family the importance of unconditional love and of lifelong learning. Memorials can be made to Heifer International at www.heifer.org. Family can be contacted at moverend@frontiernet.net. "Godspeed Mary Jean, thanks for the memories, you were dearly loved, and you will be greatly missed!"
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.
Read Full Obituary for Mary Overend
Published online on August 1, 2013 courtesy of Star Tribune.

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