BRISTOL- Mary Sletten 87, of Bristol died on Sunday, July 2, 2006 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen. Her funeral will be at 2:00 P.M. Friday, July 7, 2006 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Bristol, Rev. Laura Overbo officiating. Burial will be in the Bristol Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to services on Friday. Fiksdal Funeral Service of Webster is in charge of the arrangements. Mary Louise Gaspar was born on Saturday, May 17, 1919 to John and Louise Gaspar in Gilroy, California. She attended Rucker Elementary School, High School and then San Jose University. She was active in work on their ranch and vineyard. Mary was named Miss Portugal at the Worlds Fair in San Francisco, she was of Portuguese decent and visited there several times. Mary applied for a job at Slettens Department Store in Gilroy and was hired by the owner, Walter Sletten. She was an excellent salesperson and could converse in Spanish as well as English. She was a fast learner and Walter taught her to be the bookkeeper and buyer. On October 16, 1950 she married Jerry Sletten at Carson City, Nevada. They became a team and owned and operated stores in California and Washington, finally settleing in Goldendale, Washington in 1959. The couple retired in the late 1980’s and came to visit family in South Dakota, liking the area, they bought a home and began dividing their time between Bristol and Goldendale. Mary was an avid yard person and sports fan. When her favorite team was playing she would become glued to the television or radio, she was especially fond of the Seattle Sea Hawks and the Minnesota Twins. She also enjoyed travel and she loved people, never having a bad word about anyone. She was always willing to help people in need and offer kind words. She was a member of the Goldendale American Legion Auxiliary and the Octavo Study Club in Bristol as well as other organizations. Mary died of a heart attack on Sunday, July 2, 2006 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, South Dakota at the age of 87 years, 1 month and 16 days. She is survived and greatly missed by her husband Gerald “Jerry” Sletten of Bristol, SD and a host of relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Gerald.
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