Mary Claire Meysenburg

August 30, 1945January 2, 2019
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Age 73, of Maplewood, passed away on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. She is preceded in death by infant son, Joel; parents, Raymond and Claire Schroeder of Omaha, NE; sister, JoAnn Goodland, and brother-in-law, Chuck Goodland, of Omaha, NE. Mary will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by husband of 49 years, Victor; children, Claire (Steve) Smith of Polk City, IA, Tony (Sarah) of Mpls, MN, Peter (Amanda Morgan) of New York, NY; grandchildren, Odin, Isla, and Ada Claire; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Mary was born in Omaha, NE, but grew up in Audubon, IA, where she played basketball (center), and was a drum majorette and cheer leader. She graduated from Audubon High School in 1963. She attended St. Mary’s College in Omaha, NE, where she earned her B.A. in History and English.

She met Victor Meysenburg at a party thrown by the Lasalle Club, a Catholic singles group in Omaha in August of 1968. They married on June 7th, 1969 in Omaha.

While the kids were growing up, Mary spent time as the director of religious education at Guardian Angels Church in MN. She did the same at Good Shepherd Church in Lenexa, KS, when the family was transferred there for Vic’s work. When the family transferred back to MN in 1989, Mary returned to Guardian Angels for a few years, and in 1996, Mary joined the teaching staff at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood. She loved the staff and spoke often of her friendships there. She talked fondly about the students that she had in her classes, many of whom she maintained relationships with long after graduation. After she retired from the school she continued to sub for teachers so she could see old friends and former students. She was an avid reader and Book Club lover. She was always talking about the next book to read and the people that she tremendously enjoyed there. She could talk books.

She was a deep believer in social justice and lifting up the poor, and in retirement she volunteered at the Christian Cupboard and Second Harvest Heartland. She loved to travel with Vic, and the two of them made fantastic trips over the years: Alaska, Cancun, Ireland, Arizona, Maine and New England, and Florida were some notable destinations. But her favorite was driving across country together visiting friends and family.

She was crazy about her kids and grandkids. Baking, shopping, going to see movies, and just spending good quality one-on-one time were some of her favorite things to do with them.

She was busy right up until the moment that she left us. She wrote her annual Christmas letter the day before and she and Vic addressed and sealed half of the envelopes the morning of the day she passed away.

Mass of Christian Burial Friday, Jan. 11th 10 AM with visitation one hour prior at Guardian Angels Catholic Church 8260 4th St N, Oakdale. Evening Visitation Thursday, Jan. 10th 6-8 PM at Wulff Funeral Home 1485 White Bear Ave, St. Paul. Interment Guardian Angels Cemetery.

Memorials preferred to Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf and Guardian Angels Parish.

Christmas Letter:

Did you see on Facebook that the Christmas letter is disappearing like Sears, CDs, and landlines? Well, I am here to tell you that I am not going to let this tradition go down without a fight. Furthermore, I have decided that after Christmas day is the right time for me to send it. Today is the first day I have had in many months when I have time to relax, reminisce, reflect, recover, re-evaluate, resolve, and reunite. So, with 42 years of these letters under my belt, I invite you to put your feet up, grab your favorite beverage, and join me in my seven Rs.


We got our year off to a rousing start by celebrating Vic’s 80th birthday in January. We were so pleased to see all the folks who braved the cold to wish him well, wish him many more, and put a constant smile on his face – sister Julianne Hardy, a raft of nieces and nephews, good friends, old work mates, our children, and the grands. We lit all 80 candles on the cake, watched as Vic blew them all out, and then watched in horror as they all relit and the smoke wafted through the air toward the smoke detectors. In a mad dash to the exit, with cake in hand, good friend Becky continued to blow them out as Steve yelled, “Throw it in the snowbank”, Claire could be heard pleading “Don’t throw it in the snow!” and Tony, Peter and Amanda howled with laughter. Claire prevailed, the cake was delicious, and Vic loved every minute of the entire weekend. All 7 Rs happened. February was filled with all the annual doctor visits, lab tests, exams, and “draw the clock and remember the three words” quiz to see if we still function properly. We passed. Whew! The bathroom remodel finally ended and we began planning a grand tour of the southeastern U.S. We intended visits to historic sites, natural wonders, cities great and small on our way to Florida. Then it rained and rained and rained! We had to leave two days late, take a completely different route, detour around the swollen Ohio River and the raging Mississippi River, and sit in 90 degree humidity in an hour traffic jam on the last day of driving. This was setting up to NOT be a great winter get away. No Rs. Just Grrrs. Well, on March 1st we arrived in Cape Coral, FL to a lovely house with a covered lanai and a heated pool. Ahhh and sigh! The clouds parted and vacation began. We spent the month checking off our bucket list. Twins Spring Training games. Check. The Everglades. Check. Dinner with friends. Check. Check. Check. Fresh seafood. Check. Check. Check. Relaxing and reading. Lots of checks! And best of all, vacation time, at long last, with Richard (Vic’s bro) and Barbara. We relaxed, we swam, we visited Sanibel Island, we saw birds and fish and alligators, we ate out, we talked and laughed and planned future trips. Barbara and I found time for all of those seven Rs. Then we headed to Baltimore and the most brutal days of driving we have ever experienced. Bumper to bumper speed limit driving, two major stoppages for accidents (total of four hours) and two similar traffic jams at the rest stops after each stoppage! It was comical to see so many people racing to the restrooms, laughing, sharing tales, and helping one another determine who was the most desperate and needed to move to the head of the line!. (I am so glad we live in the Midwest where a thirty minute commute is considered rough and you find rest stops every hour!) We arrived as Vic’s brother, Jim, was planning a wonderful prayer service and eulogy for his Eva and we were so taken by the stories he told of her amazing life. Dinner with his sons and their families was a vegan delight as were the book talks and grandchildren antics. Had to hurry back home for commitments, so quickly enjoyed the scenery in MD, PA, OH, IN, IL. Then Wisconsin reminded us that we were indeed getting close to home – snow and cold. End of vacation. Thud. Time for many Rs with family, strangers, the two of us. With May we had a huge snow storm, but as spring and June drifted into consciousness, we finally got to spend time with the grands. The Rs were in full bloom as we celebrated Isla’s first double digit birthday with a day at MOA. Lunch at the Rainforest Café was such fun as we saw our “little” granddaughter’s delight watching the life size animated gorillas, lions, snakes, and chimps. Then it was choosing what to get for her American Girl doll, and shopping for a no longer little girl outfit. On June 7 our grandson Odin joined the teenage ranks and with his busy sports schedule we have yet to have a day for lunch and shopping to commemorate this important birthday. More Rs. And our 49th wedding anniversary. All the Rs all that day.

Summer brought more boat club time on the St. Croix, Forest Lake, Lake Waconia, and Duluth Harbor. Great friends, great food, much laughter, and so much time for the Rs. As the community food shelf took up residence in a brand new bigger building on our parish campus, we jumped in with both feet (all four actually). What a joy to meet new people, volunteers and customers alike, who are becoming a brand new community for us. Creating times for future Rs. The huge news of the summer came from Claire and Steve who relocated to Des Moines (from Phoenix – go figure!) and made the Smiths and Meysenburgs so happy. (Glad to have them close, but a winter vacation in Des Moines is not quite the same as Phoenix. I am finding that as much as I spend time on AZ Rs, they are not warming my feet . . .) August always brings a flurry of birthdays – Ada Claire, Tony, and me. Ada, now 6, chose McDonalds and Penneys for her day with me (Grandpa was fishing with Tony and Peter). I really love these one on one times and they are always over too soon. We celebrated Tony’s birthday in grand fashion with Pete and Amanda, Claire and Steve, and Tony, Sarah and the grands at the McConnell/Jensen lake cabin for a weekend. We all hit the Rs hard with so many laughs and stories. I threw in a 55th class reunion and my birthday and the RS were flying all over the place. September, October, and November were hard, though I will cherish time with Barbara, Claire, Ann, Beth, and Richard; the nearness of Claire, Tony, and Vic; respite allowed by book club mates, food shelf folk, books and Vic. Need to skip to December when we were gifted with tickets to join Ada Claire venturing to the North Pole on the Polar Express. It was such a relief to join in the magic of Santa and preparations for Christmas. We were on a BNSF train so Vic got all the details from the conductor and the engineer. He and I enjoyed the whole experience as much as all the little ones. It was time to slow down and appreciate all that is alive and joyous and good in our world. Christmas at Claire and Steve’s new home was perfect with intermittent gifting, baking, snacking, movie-ing, playing, churching, jigsaw puzzling, relaxing and capping it all off with facetime with Pete and Amanda who are still in Australia (to see the Great Barrier Reef before it ceases to exist ). Well, all in all, I see it was a year that afforded me much time to relax, reminisce, reflect, recover, re-evaluate, resolve, and reunite. You are so much a part of our R time. Thank you for the Christmas greetings you have shared with us in person, by USPO, and via social media. I love seeing the new style greetings picturing you and your loved ones. So, take more time to step back and as I closed our 1976 letter: May the peace, joy, and faith of the holiday season be with you all and may the New Year be filled with


Mary and Vic


  • Evening Visitation Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Visitation Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, January 11, 2019

Mary Claire Meysenburg

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sheryl Gamble

January 15, 2019

I so enjoyed volunteering with Mary at the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS). She was such a joy to volunteer with; always with a smile and so willing to help out in any way. I will truly miss laughing and chatting with her between providing intake for the people we serve at the CCEFS.

Francis Franck

January 5, 2019

Sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. My memories of Mary are from school in Audubon. Mary was always so full of fun and energy, and so ready to laugh. I am sure Mary blessed many who knew her. It is such a comfort to know she has a relationship with our Lord. While many will miss her is it not comforting to know her Spirit rests with our Lord. Shalom. Francis Franck

David and Sandy Mork

January 5, 2019

We were devastated by the news about Mary and wish we could be there to encircle you with love. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time. So many memories of happy times with your family comfort us and we hope they will give you strength to get through this. Sending hugs and blessings to the family.
Sandy and David Mork

Don and Diane Birkel

January 5, 2019

Our love and prayers go out to you at this time of shock and sadness! I will never forget how much we enjoyed time with you and Mary. She will remain in our hearts forever as a wonderful friend- great conversationalist - and just a fun person to spend time with - she will be missed by so many - including us! God Bless you all as life goes on without her presence - her love for you will follow you always and the memories even more precious through the years.