Mary Lou Thoreson peacefully went home to the Lord, with her family by her side, on November 15 in Fargo, ND following a courageous 35-year battle with multiple sclerosis. She was born on April 3, 1931, at the family farm in rural Oriska, ND to Garold and Esther Schroeder. She was active in many organizations including basketball at Noltemeir High School. After graduation, she attended Valley City State College. On September 10, 1949, she was wed to Donald Thoreson at Salem United Methodist Church – a union that lasted 72 years. They made their home in several small communities in North Dakota and Minnesota but settled in Crookston, Minnesota for 32 years. Mary Lou was lovingly devoted to her family but found time to be very involved in the community; choir at Wesley United Methodist Church, Sweet Adelines, PEO, hospital volunteering, Mrs. Jaycees, Lake Agassiz Study Club, Dance Club, volleyball at Union Lake, and she and Don were founding members of the Pampered in Pink group of friends. From 1986 to 2015, the love of travel prompted them to spend the winters in Tucson, AZ, and summers at Union Lake and eventually at Lake Lizzie near Pelican Rapids. Detroit Lakes then became their permanent home. They moved to Pioneer House in Fargo, ND just one week ago. The number of homes and moves provided Mary Lou ample opportunity to enjoy two of her greatest joys, decorating her houses and making new friends, which she corresponded with regularly.
Mary Lou is survived by her devoted husband, Donald, and four children: Gail (Herb) Hasz, Joan Saucedo, Pam (Aleta Wegner) Thoreson, and Jay (Kelly) Thoreson. Her grandchildren are Hilary (Paul), Ted (Kari), Scott, Jacob (Nicole), Joshua (Taylor), Zachary, and Nathaniel (Rachel). Great-grandchildren are Ellie, Owen, Isaiah, Emma, Noah, Liam, Claire, Graham, Lincoln, and Abbie. The extended family includes Anne Schroeder, Don (Pat) Malec, Duane (Mary Lou) Thoreson, Lowell (Audrey) Thoreson, and many dear cousins, nephews, and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Norman (Sena) and Charles Schroeder, and sons-in-law, Mark Kierstead and j Saucedo.
A funeral celebrating and honoring her life will be held at the Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church on Sunday, November 21 with a 1:00 pm visitation and 2:00 pm service.
A special thank you to all the individuals that provided loving care from Tender Hearts, Ecumen, Hospice of the Red River Valley, and the Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church. Memorials can be made to one of these supportive organizations.