Mary Zenk, 1967-2017

Published 12:04 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

A memorial service and celebration of life for Mary Kaye Zenk of Albert Lea will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 30 at Zion Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Stohlmann will officiate. Interment will be at Lakewood Cemetery in Albert Lea. Mary’s family and friends are also invited to a visitation prior to the service at the church between 1 and 2 p.m. on Saturday. Online condolences are welcome at

Mary Zenk

Following an acute illness, Mary passed away at age 49 on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017 in hospice care at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester with her family by her side. Mary was born Nov. 17, 1967, the beloved daughter of Cecile (Holmen) Zenk and “Chuck” Harland Zenk of Albert Lea, and sister to David. She attended school in Albert Lea, where she made many life-long friendships and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1986.

She went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and graduated with studies in marketing and communications. Mary was active in the Alpha XI Delta sorority her four years in college and made many good friends there. Following college she returned to her beloved hometown of Albert Lea to work with her father at Zenk, Read, Trygstad and Associates for more than 20 years.

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Mary was a kind and generous person who adored her family and friends and her animals. She had a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. Throughout her life, Mary loved to create art and had a beautiful sense of style. She had a talent for decorating and gardening, and a flair for crafting holiday displays. Halloween was her favorite holiday, and her elaborate festive displays covering the entire house were astonishing. She also told the best spooky ghost stories.

 Caring for animals was one of Mary’s greatest passions. Over the years, several pugs and a variety of rescue cats were her treasured companions. Her cherished quarter horse, Hustler Malone, was her mainstay for 27 years, and she enjoyed showing him in 4-H and Sunset Saddle Club competitions. She taught him how to give kisses, which he gave to her every time she did chores.

Mary is survived by her brother, David Zenk, of Arlington, Massachusetts; sister-in-law, Julia Potter; and niece Eliza Zenk; as well as many extended family members and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents Harland Zenk and Cecile (Holmen) Zenk; and her grandparents.

Memorials are welcome at Zion Lutheran Church, 924 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007; and the Freeborn County Humane Society, P.O. Box 423, Albert Lea, MN 56007.