The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker


April 23, 2013

Mary Dettman

— Mary Dettman, age 88, of Butterfield, died on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at Pathstone Living Center in Mankato. Funeral Services will be 10:30am, Friday, April  26, 2013, at First

Lutheran Church in Butterfield with Rev. Lowell Asplund officiating. Visitation will be Thursday at Sturm Funeral Home in St. James from 4pm to 7pm and at the church one hour before services on Friday. Burial will be at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Stewart, MN. You may send the family condolences online at Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in St. James.

 Mary Lee (Brown) Dettman was born to Charles Edward Brown and Luvenia Brown on October 10, 1924, on a farm in North Carolina. She graduated from Sunbury High School and attended City College of Norfolk, Virginia. While attending college in Norfolk and working at the military PX, Mary met a sailor, Harold Dettman, and the two married on March 3, 1944. Mary moved to Stewart, MN, Harold's hometown, and enchanted Harold's family with her southern accent and gentle ways. Most remember Mary for her beautiful crochet creations, whether they were afghans and tablecloths or murals of the Lord's Prayer and Last Supper or the edgings on all the pillowcases. Her afghans took several first place awards at local county fairs. She raised a huge garden and canned fruits and vegetables, made jams and baked incredible desserts for her family and friends. Mary was active in the church, serving on the church council and active in women's circle.  Mary was an voracious reader. She enjoyed Shakespeare as much as Ayn Rand or Diana Gabaldon. Being a homemaker was Mary's first priority for many years, and in the late 1970's worked outside the home at Sherr-Tomico, Downs Foods and the Good Samaritan Home in Mt. Lake. She enjoyed meeting new people and her independence and satisfaction of bringing home a paycheck.  Mary and Harold spent their later years traveling to different parts of the country to attend Harold's WWII Navy reunions. They made many new friends along their adventures. Family and faith were Mary's top priorities in her life.  A devastating event occurred on October 12, 2005, when a drunk driver struck Mary and changed her life and family forever. However, she continued to live and teach her firm beliefs of love, kindness and forgiveness. Her iron will has been a miracle and inspiration to all she touched. Her last years of her life were extended due to her wonderful caregivers who appreciated her kindness and sense of humor. Her absence leaves an empty void in many hearts.

 Mary is survived by daughter, Lynn Spanton and husband Milt of Ham Lake, daughter Lori Dettman and spouse Dixie Browning of Baltimore, MD, daughter Beth Bock and husband Carl Bock; granddaughter Billie Kathryn Bock and grandson Conan Dettman Bock of North Mankato, brother William Brown and spouse, Chris of Eure, NC, brother Frank Brown and spouse, Janie of North Carolina, sister Marie Brown of North Carolina, and sister in law, Eugenia Keenan of Glencoe, MN.

 She is preceded in death by daughter Kathryn Lee Dettman, parents Charles and Luvenia Brown, sister Helen Pritchard, grandson Cooper Bock, and husband Harold Dettman. We will miss our Mary.

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Mankato Mayo Hospice or donor's preference.


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