Mary Dunn, 72, of Eden, passed away Friday, June 23, 2023, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
Visitation will be on Thursday, June 29th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eden, SD. and will close with a Rosary Service at 7:00 p.m. A time of fellowship and refreshments will follow Mary's Wake Service. A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, June 30th at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eden SD. Burial will follow at St. Michael's Cemetery.
Mary Lea Jensen was born to Elmer and Pauline (Schleich) Jensen on August 10, 1950 in Bemidji, MN. She grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from Sioux Falls Lincoln High school in 1968. Mary continued her education at Dakota State College and graduated in 1971 with a degree in Elementary Education. She met the love of her life, Michael Dunn, and they were united in marriage on August 14th, 1971. Mike and Mary were blessed with four sons.
In 1971, they moved to Eden and worked for Roslyn School District. Mary taught elementary school and Jr. High for 39 years. As a teacher in a small town, her role came along with a number of other duties. She was an extremely proud cheerleading advisor for the 2001 Spirit of Six winning squad.
She was deeply passionate about community and serving others. Mary served as Mayor of Eden from 1995-2023. She would work tirelessly to ensure that Eden’s needs were met and took pride of the cleanliness and prosperity of the businesses for a town their size.
Mary was appointed by the Governor’s office to the Fort Sisseton Commission and served from 2007-2020. She also served as a board member to the Northern State University Fort Sisseton Playhouse.
Mary played a key role in the economic development of northeast South Dakota. She was one of the founding members of CARE (Community Advancement for Roslyn and Eden). She was also a board member for GLAD (Glacial Lakes Development), Day County Economic Development and the Marshall County Relay for Life. In addition, Mary was a member of the Marshall County Historical Society, Eden Lions Club, Sacred Heart Church and Altar Society, and Catholic Order of Foresters.
Mary enjoyed scrapbooking, arts and crafts, and loved to make everyone she knew a personalized card. She also had the unusual hobby of collecting doorknobs. Mary was most passionate about her grandchildren whom she was very proud of and loved dearly. She was always excited to spend time with them as her eyes would light up when they’d walk in the room.
She is survived by her husband, Michael Dunn, her four sons - Curtis (Kristen) Dunn, Kevin (Kristin) Dunn, Mark (Abigail) Dunn, Paul (Cary) Dunn and 10 grandchildren. Sisters Donna (Tom) Neville, Joan (Steve) Schultz, Jean (Bill) Schoenfelder, Barb (Ron) Kokenge, Dianne Forseth and Cheryl Jensen. Mary was preceded in death by her parents Elmer and Pauline Jensen and brother-in-law, Michael Forseth.