Mary Jane Simonson, 88

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mary Jane Simonson, 88, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, at Comforcare Good Samaritan Society.



Mary Jane Carlson was born Dec. 16, 1927, to Charles and Dora (Forst) Carlson in Ironwood, Michigan. She graduated from Ironwood High School in 1945. That same year Mary enrolled with the Cadet Nursing Program at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, graduating as a registered nurse in 1948. Mary began her career working at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin, Minnesota. In 1949, she married Arne Simonson at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Austin. During their marriage they were graced with four children. The couple later divorced.

Mary spent many years working as an RN at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin, the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Methodist Hospital in Rochester. Mary became a certified gerontological nurse, working as the Director of Nursing at Prairie Manor in Blooming Prairie and as a nurse coordinator at Meadow Manor in Grand Meadow, Minnesota. Mary loved life, including fishing, traveling up north, gardening, bowling, and watching her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. She loved to bake, crochet, knit, work crossword puzzles, and read. She also enjoyed working at church and was involved in Bible study and worship. Despite recurring health issues, Mary lived life to the fullest. She was a tough cookie to the end. Her appreciation for family time, her faith, and the beauty of nature never left her. She met life’s challenges with unbelievable strength, calm, and fortitude. She never complained of pain, but loved company and to share her time.

Email newsletter signup

Mary is survived by her four children: Matthew Simonson of Austin, David (Connie) Simonson of Austin, Jane (Jerry) Macken of Rochester, and Sue (Myron) Haug of Winona; nine grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers: Jon (Doris) Carlson of Ironwood, Michigan, and Robert Carlson of Lake Wales, Florida; many nieces and nephews; and Kari Prigge of Byron, whom she thought of as one of her daughters.

She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Dora Carlson; her brothers: Ray, Willard, Gilbert, and George; and her sister, Dorothy.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin with the Rev. Gerald Giese officiating. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016, at Worlein Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be directed to St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Comforcare Good Samaritan Society, or Mayo Clinic Cancer Research. Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at