Mary Ella Bendtsen, 95

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Mary Ella (Emery) Bendtsen, 95. passed away on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020.

Mary Ella Bendtsen, 95

She was born on Nov 9, 1924, in Austin, Minnesota, to James and Margaret (Gorman) Emery.  She attended Whittier, Queen of Angels and St. Augustine High School, graduating in 1943. In school, she played violin in the orchestra and enjoyed academics and participating in drama. She took a job at The Capretz Insurance Agency. There, she worked with Marcine Bendtsen, who introduced Mary to her brother, Myles. She married Myles Bendtsen on April 3, 1948, at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Austin. With gentle tutoring from her mother-in-law, Mary immediately started learning the ropes of country life, how to help run a farm and feed a family. She and Myles had 10 children and for the remainder of their working years they farmed in Rose Creek, Minnesota. Mary also worked making custom draperies and held positions with Southland Elementary School and the City of Rose Creek.

A lover of music and an active member of the community, Mary volunteered in numerous capacities, including as a 4-H leader, where she taught kids to sew. She was especially active at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Rose Creek, where she sang in the choir and worked on numerous committees and projects over her 70 years as a member.

Email newsletter signup

Above all, Mary took great joy in her family: six daughters, four sons, 31 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Kathy Larson, Rose Creek, Randy (Diane) Bendtsen, Austin, Brad (Lorrie) Bendtsen, Peoria, Illinois, Denise (Tom) Lewison, Rose Creek, Alane Bendtsen (Steve Searl) Owatonna, Minnesota, Les Bendtsen (Rick Buchholz), Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary (Ross) Johnson, Rochester, Minnesota, Melanie (Brian) Worrall, Huron, South Dakota, and Dean (Renae) Bendtsen, Rose Creek; her loving sister, Jannette (Emery) Belden, Austin; a large and wonderful collection of in-laws, nieces and nephews; and her cards- and Rummikub-playing ladies in Rose Creek and Adams, Minnesota, who were a great source of friendship, laughter and love. Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Myles; sister, Margaret (“Babe”) Emery; daughter, Janel Gleason; grandson, Scott Bendtsen, and son-in-law, Jim Newstrom.

Special thanks to the staff of Mayo Health Systems in Austin, whose expertise, skill and kindness made her last days comfortable and her farewell a gentle one. The ICU team went above and beyond, taking questions from a dozen family members with grace, empathy and patience, and we are among their biggest fans. Thanks also to Mary’s granddaughter, Kara (Gleason) Mould, M.D., who offered her family loving reassurance during Mary’s last days.

Friends may visit from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at Mayer Funeral Home. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Rose Creek, with a reviewal beginning at 10 a.m.  Interment will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Peter’s or the donor’s choice. Condolences may be left online at