Mary Ann Hindahl, 87, passed away Aug. 6, 2017, at her home at Luther Oaks in Bloomington. She lived a long, productive and gracious life.
Mary was born Dec. 30, 1929, in Hartsburg, to Albert Janssen and Pauline Marshall Lessen. She was the second child of six, and the oldest daughter. She was raised on the family farm and graduated from Hartsburg-Emden High School in the spring of 1947. As a girl, she took an active role in helping her mother with the management of their home and large family.
She met John Scott Hindahl, a farm boy from San Jose, at a dance in Emden, and they were married June 5, 1949. John was a Navy veteran and attended college at Millikin University in Decatur. Mary worked to help support the couple, and though she never attended college, her kids are convinced she had the intelligence, work ethic and skill to have pursued any career, from accountant to doctor to world history professor.
The couple moved to nearby Bloomington when John started his career with the then-fledgling State Farm Life Insurance Co. Through his long career, Mary served as homemaker and social hostess for the many events they held in their home, making many friends along the way.
Their first child, Susan, died just weeks prior to her expected birth date, but their strong Lutheran faith sustained them through this tragedy, and they went on to have three more strong, healthy children, Michael, Patricia "Trish" and David "Dave," from 1952 to 1957.
The family lived briefly in Berkeley, Calif., then a few years in Birmingham, Ala., where Trish and Dave were born, and then in Salem, Ore., where the kids were raised over a 16-year stay. Mary was instrumental in creating a love of music, art and education in her children, insisting that they learn to play some sort of instrument and sing in the church choir. The family were active members of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salem, where they made many lifelong friends. She also encouraged her kids to pursue sports, and always attended the sporting event, regardless of weather or other commitments. In all of her kids’ endeavors, whether they be academic, artistic or athletic, she was constantly supportive and encouraging.
In 1973, John, Mary and Dave moved back to Normal, where John finished his career as the vice president for life underwriting for State Farm. Being back in the Midwest, Mary played an active role in helping her aging mother and mother-in-law, as well as John’s disabled brother, Richard, as their health declined.
On retirement in 1989, the happy adventurous couple traveled the world, visiting China, Europe and other places around the globe. They split time between their Illinois and Florida homes, being active and social members of Bloomington and Sugarmill (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) country clubs. Wherever they went, they continued to make close friends. They both loved to golf and continued to be active in their church and golf communities, wherever they went. They would travel for two months each summer to Illinois and Washington to be near Trish and Dave and their families. Mary was a loving and involved grandmother, expressing her deep love and fondness for her grandchildren in every way she could.
Mary and John eventually moved back full-time to Luther Oaks Senior Living Facility in Bloomington, to be closer to Trish as they fulfilled their dream of growing old together. Even though their physical abilities waned as they aged, their deep love for each other only grew through the years.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband, John; son, Michael; her parents; brothers, Roy and Paul Lessen; and sister, Doris Greig.
She is survived by sisters, Carol Olson and Evelyn Armstrong; daughter, Trish (Dale) Kruse, Normal, and their sons, John, Trout Lake, Wash., and Michael, Tacoma, Wash.; and son, Dave (Robin) Hindahl, White Salmon, Wash., and their children, Aurora, Spokane, Wash., and Liam, Olympia, Wash.
Mary loved to garden, watch movies with her friends, golf, travel and socialize. Her strong Christian faith sustained her through many of life’s trials and allowed her to continue to be a cheerful, optimistic, loving person to the end. Although she struggled with scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder, she remained upbeat and positive about the life she led.
Her funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bloomington. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. The Rev. Peter Weeks will officiate. Interment will be in Allen’s Grove Township Cemetery, San Jose.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and the Scleroderma Foundation, scleroderma.org, 300 Rosewood Drive, Suite 105, Danvers, MA 01923. Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, is handling arrangements.