Mary Orcutt Austin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mary Jean Orcutt Austin, 89, of Albert Lea, died May 15 at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn., with many family members at her side.
Mary was born May 20, 1920 to William and Clara (Eastlee) Orcutt. She grew up on a farm near Lyle, Minn. and graduated from Lyle High School in 1937. After living and working for a time in Austin, Mary married Marion Lee Bell in 1940 and they had a daughter together before Marion was killed in action during World War II. In 1949, Mary married Amos Edward Austin at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa and the couple settled in Albert Lea, Minn., where they had three children together. For many years, Mary managed the financial business for Bailey Electric Company where her husband, Ed, was a partner. She was also a member of First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea since 1949 and served as a deacon and officer of Presbyterian women.
Mary was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and a friend to many. She was a talented cook who thoroughly enjoyed sharing her love of good food and good company. She loved visiting with friends and family, enjoyed fishing and sewing, and was an avid reader and highly skilled Bridge and Scrabble player. She also enjoyed sightseeing throughout Minnesota and beyond and was an expert at exploring the country roads of Southeast Minnesota and the towns surrounding her childhood home. Mary was full of great stories about her experiences growing up on the farm and about the people who surrounded her throughout her lifetime. She was always truly interested in others and made it a point to keep the people in her life well-connected even until the time of her death. She led a very active life and brought a sense of generosity and appreciation to everything she did and to the people she loved.
Mary is survived by her four children: Lynda Bell Little (Tom) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Noel Austin (Lori) of Albert Lea, Minn., Jan Austin Haedt (Jim) of Verona, Wis., Kimberly Austin Thompson (Mark) of Minnetonka, Minn.; her grandchildren include Matthew Little, Mary Kate Little, Nicholas Austin (Ann), Megan Austin Wingate (Jonathan), Shaun Haedt, Beth Haedt Porcaro (Dominic), Emily Thompson Soltvedt (Nolan), Matthew Thompson, Hilary Thompson, Kathleen Thompson, and one great-grandson, Lucas Porcaro. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews with whom she was close.
Mary is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward; brothers, George Orcutt (Neva), Evan Orcutt (Marion), and John Orcutt; and her sister, Helen Orcutt Murphy (Leonard).
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, May 20 at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea. The interment will be at Enterprise Cemetery in Austin following the service. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, at the Bonnerup Funeral Home in Albert Lea. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea, 308 Water Street, Albert Lea, MN 56007, or The Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.
Bonnerup Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.

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