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Mary King

Sept. 14, 1925-April 3, 2008

Mary B. King, 82, of Detroit Lakes, died Thursday, April 3, 2008 at Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes.

Mary Bee Stutzman was descended from a long line of Stutzmans in America. Her ancestors arrived in Philadelphia from Switzerland in 1727. Her great grandfather was among the first to buy railroad land after the Civil War in Milford, Neb. He later filed for homestead land in Chappell, Neb., 300 miles further west.

Mary was born on Sept. 14, 1925 in a farmhouse near Wood River, Neb. She spoke German (Pennsylvania Dutch) until she learned to speak English in country school. As a teenager, she rode a horse moving cattle to pasture. Her father was a big lover of horses.

In the spring of 1944, Mary's family moved to Minnesota to farm near Cotton Lake. On Feb. 3, 1946, she married Willman I. King, a handsome soldier just returned from Germany and World War II. He died in December 1980.

Mary and Willman spent their married life together on a farm nine miles east of Detroit Lakes, where they raised nine children, eight of whom survive.

In 1971, Mary graduated as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) from Detroit Lakes Vocational School. She worked at St. Mary's Hospital in the newborn nursery until her retirement in 1990. During her retirement, Mary served two years in Washington, D.C., at the International Guest House, a Mennonite Church Outreach Hostel. Mary had a strong Christian faith and loved and served her Lord.

Mary loved to walk and was known around town as the "walker lady." From all her years in the newborn nursery at St. Mary's, she was familiar to many families that had babies there. She saw most of her grandchildren born there.

Mary loved to travel, but was always most happy when she could return home. She loved her big family and they loved and admired her for all she accomplished, in a life of challenges overcome. Her cheerful demeanor to the end of her days will never be forgotten.

Mary will be remembered and missed by her eight children, Joseph (Carol) King of Hayward, Calif., John (Diane) King of Frazee, Del King of Anchorage, Alaska, Rollie (LuAnn) King of Frazee, Thomas (Sharon) King of Frazee, Rena (Burl) Buhr of Detroit Lakes, Marcella (Li) Kuan of Corpus Christi, Texas and Michelle (Stephen) Nordmark of Detroit Lakes; daughter-in-law, Evie King of Frazee; 24 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and one brother, Rudy Stutzman of Fargo.

Preceding Mary in death were her husband Willman; one stillborn daughter; and her son, Mark.

Funeral services were held Monday, April 7 at First Baptist Church in Detroit Lakes. Interment was in Lake Region Mennonite Cemetery.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes has been assisting the family. Online registration is available at