Mary Louise Vind Lessard, 84, of Crookston, MN, passed away Tuesday morning, April 18, 2023. Throughout Mary’s life she was determined and courageously battled many difficult health issues but always came back with “I’m fine”.
Mary Louise Vind, a middle child of 8, was born in Jackson, MN, on December 9, 1938, to the union of Hans and Katie (Baughman) Vind. She was baptized in Jackson and at the age of 6 moved with her family to Crookston where she was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church. Mary attended school in Crookston, graduating from Central High School with the Class of 1956. She was united in marriage to Walter J. “Wally” Lessard in Oklee, MN, on October 12, 1957. They made their first home in South Milwaukee, WI. In 1964 they moved to Oklee and a year later settled in Crookston. As the years passed, Mary and Wally were blessed by the births of 5 children: Kay, Joe, David, Lisa, and Bonnie. Mary loved her life’s roles as wife, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother. For many years, Mary provided childcare from her home, becoming “Grandma” to more children than she could count. Mary was instrumental in getting the Bluebird and Campfire Girl’s groups established in Crookston and was a leader of both for several years. She was later employed at the Crookston Eagles Club, Anderson Fabrics, Tri-Valley Housekeeping and the Foster Grandparent Program.
Mary was a devoted member of Trinity Lutheran Church and oversaw the Sunday School program for many years. She and Wally loved camping with their kids at Trinity Point on Maple Lake near Mentor, MN, and were even caretakers there for a few years. Sadly, Wally began experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s and needed the care provided by Pioneer Memorial Care Center in Erskine. While there Mary and Walter celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family, friends, and the Pioneer Staff. A few months later he passed away on January 6, 2008. Mary had moved to the Nimens-Espegaard Apartment complex in Crookston where she enjoyed playing cards, visiting, and having coffee with her many friends. She was a longtime member of the Eagles and American Legion Auxiliaries. Mary’s passions centered around family; keeping up with her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids, and finding time to watch the Hallmark Channel!
Mary was always ready to help anyone anytime with anything and will be remembered for her contagious laughter and smile.
Mary’s memory will forever be cherished by her 5 children and their spouses: Kay and Scott Waller, Joe and Kathy Lessard, Dave and Melanie Lessard, and Lisa and Jon Street, all of Crookston, and Bonnie and Lenny Meine of Mentor, MN; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Merna Vind, and brother-in-law, Duane Stinar, both of Crookston; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. From Wally’s family, she leaves 2 sisters-in-law, Louise Lessard of Thief River Falls, MN, and Ione Lessard of S. Milwaukee, WI; and 3 brothers-in-law, Phil Tougas and Gus Attlewell, both of S. Milwaukee, and Chuck Schear of Mentor, MN.
In addition to her beloved husband, Wally, Mary has now been reunited with her parents, Hans and Katie Vind; 4 brothers: Charles, Roger (Mary Ellen Loing), Gordon (Pat), and Tom; and 3 sisters: Charlotte Stinar, Henrietta (Elwood) Hill, and Verna (Curt) Johnson.
A memorial service celebrating Mary’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, May 19, 2023, in the Trinity Lutheran Church, Crookston with Pastor Greg Isaacson, officiating. Visitation will be at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Thursday from 5-7:00 p.m., with a prayer service and time of sharing at 7:00 p.m. and visitation will continue at the Church for one hour prior to the funeral. Both services will be live streamed by going to Mary’s obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com and clicking on the prompt to view. Burial will take place in the Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston.