Mary Ann Dixen, 90, Albert Lea

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Longtime resident of Albert Lea, Mary Ann Dixen, 90, died on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. She had attended St. Olaf College and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, later returning to college at Mankato State University for her teaching credential in elementary education. She was a fourth grade teacher in Albert Lea for 20 years, retiring in 1985.

Mary Ann Dixen

Mary Ann Dixen

Mary Ann recognized the importance of education and continued that interest after retirement. She was instrumental in establishing the Albert Lea Area Schools science fair for students in grades 3 to 6 to promote interest in science, as well as serving as a judge for the students’ projects. As a former teacher she brought a valuable perspective to the school board as a board member from 1986 to 1995 – including serving as chairwoman.

She appreciated the people and sense of community in Albert Lea, and became involved in the Big Island Rendezvous & Festival — honored in 1997 as volunteer of the year. She participated in Kiwanis, becoming the first female president of the Noon Kiwanis from 1995 to 1996.

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The arts were also important to Mary Ann and she became involved in the Albert Lea Art Center, serving on the board and as president. She was particularly honored when she was asked to represent the Albert Lea Art Center in the Independence Day parade on their float in 2010, at the age of 87.

Mary Ann’s Christian faith was always at the center of her life. She attended a weekly Bible study group, and as a member of the Grace Lutheran Church she participated in a variety of activities, including Grace Lutheran Women, serving as president in 1989 and 1997; in more recent times she enjoyed the Grace Lutheran seniors’ luncheons.

Traveling was a passion for Mary Ann and after retirement she was able to experience a variety of cultures and the history of countries from Germany, Russia, Greece, Scotland, England to Kenya and Egypt where she rode a camel at the age of 78.

Mary Ann was a highly active member of the community, but she was also consistently dedicated to and supportive of her family. She is survived by her three daughters, Marie (husband Gary Lenzmeier), Patricia and Jean; as well as three grandchildren, Wendy (Jake Markham), Paul Lenzmeier (Danielle) and Cindy (Eric Fahland); and eight great-grandchildren, Liz, Trevor, Ryan, Emily, Joshua, Alicia, Justin and Abbie.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 35 years “Dix.”

A celebration of life for Mary Ann will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church, 918 Garfield Ave., Albert Lea.

The family can be reached through her daughter, Jean Dixen, 1349 Balboa Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010.