Mary Behr, 1929-2015

Published 9:52 am Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Funeral services for Mary E. Behr of Albert Lea, formerly of Conger, will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Conger. The Rev. Wendy Anderson will officiate. Interment will be in Conger Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Bonnerup Funeral Service in Albert Lea and one hour before the service at the church.

Mary died on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at St. John’s Lutheran Community in Albert Lea. She was 85.

Mary Elizabeth was born June 26, 1929, in Fairmont, the daughter of Charles and Kathryn (O’Connor) Newville. She graduated from Fairmont High School in 1947 and attended the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis. She married Kenneth D. Behr on Feb. 8, 1950, in Fairmont on her grandparents 51st anniversary.

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Mary worked many places, but the job she enjoyed the most was the 25 years she spent at Albert Lea Public Schools where she worked in the nurse’s office and had students work on the phones with her.

Mary gave many volunteer hours  to her church and community. She had served as president of the Ladies Aid at her church and planned the annual turkey supper for many years. She also helped and served on a community committee for the village of Conger.

Mary loved spending time knitting, sewing quilts and doing needle point. She loved to read and could not start her day without reading her paper cover to cover. She loved spending time with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mary loved to go out to eat and went whenever she got the chance.

Mary told many stories of her growing up years, of the big gardens, canning food, life through World War II, the German prisoners going by her home, her grandparents, her school years and her family life at home.

Mary is survived by her children Patty (Larry) Beck of Alden, Barb Sorensen of Albert Lea, Chris Thompson of Kensett and Mark (Janelle) Behr of Conger; grandchildren Mitchell (Pam) Jacobs of Mankato, Michael (Dawn) Jacobs of Waseca, Melissa (Ed) Wencl of Ellendale, Jennifer (Brandon) Farris of Conger, Kari Sorensen of Coon Rapids, Zeke Thompson (special friend Jessica Iverson) of Northwood, Matt (Ashley) Thompson of Northwood, Luke (Sarah) Thompson of Manly, Katie (Ryan) Maier of Belle Plaine, Krystal Behr (special friend Brian Schmidt) of Arden Hills, Kim (Dustin) Lorentzen of Alden, Kara Behr of Rochester; 19 great-grandchildren; sister, Virginia (David) Sukalski of Fairmont; brothers Bill Newville (special friend Tara Lexow) of Spicer, Jack (Rosalie) Newville of Welcome, Mike (Janice) Newville of Fairmont and Tom (Peggy) Newville of Deer River; sisters-in law Viola Johnson of Albert Lea and Sue Newville of Mankato; very special friend (just like a sister) Louise Ashleson of Albert Lea; and several nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth; her parents; sons-in-law Andrew Sorensen and Steve Thompson; grandson, Shawn Thompson; in-laws Christ and Tina Behr;  brothers Charles, Robert and Joseph Newville; sister, Margaret Katherine Newville; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Doris Newville, Orville Behr, LeRoy and Lorraine  Behr, Arthur Johnson, Leona Behr and Lois and Ray Christianson.

Memorials suggested to the American Cancer Society or the Conger Cemetery.