Herald Journal-Enterprise Dispatch Obituaries

Mary J. Smetana

Mary J. Smetana, age 65, of Mayer, died Friday, June 23, 2006 at St. Mary’s Senior Living Center in Winsted.

She was born Nov. 22, 1940 in Pipestone, the daughter of Eugene and Helen (Johnson) Minnehan. She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith.

Mary graduated from Pipestone High School in 1958.

She married Richard F. “Dick” Smetana Nov. 27, 1965 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hopkins.

Over the years, Mary was employed by Harmon Glass and Apogee Enterprises, finally becoming a homemaker in 1971, when she and Dick bought a farm near Mayer.

Her love of writing was always evident, whether it was writing simple journal entries or her later career as a staff writer at the Carver County News.

Mary had a love for gardening, sewing, quilting, and traveling, and enjoyed spending winters in Texas. She continued to travel on her own after Dick passed away in 1999. She enjoyed visiting with friends and participating in the social activities in the park where they resided when in Texas.

Mary endured a difficult battle with cancer in 1995, but survived and thrived. She spent the following years enjoying family and friends, especially her granddaughters.

She was again diagnosed with cancer in 2004, and even with a less positive diagnosis, she forged ahead enduring numerous chemotherapy treatments.

Mary will be remembered for the love she gave, the caring she showed, her enjoyment of life, and the strength she showed to all. She was a loving wife, mother, grandma, and friend.

Mary is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Sandy and Greg Miller of New Germany, and Suzi and Mike Poppler of Mayer; granddaughters Madeline Miller, Natalie Poppler, and Melanie Miller; brothers and sister-in-law John Minnehan of St. Louis Park, and Bill and Debbie Minnehan of Watertown; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bill and Carol Smetana of Eden Prairie; special friend Mike O’Brien of Watertown; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

In addition to her husband, Richard, Mary was preceded in death by a grandson, Justin Poppler; her parents, Eugene and Helen Minnehan; and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Joseph and Helen Smetana.

Funeral services were Monday, June 26 at 2 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown with the Rev. Frank Wampach officiating. Interment was in Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery in Watertown.

Casket bearers were Mary’s nieces and nephews, Ryan Minnehan, Katie Minnehan, Matthew Minnehan, Billy Smetana, Lisa Stutz, Connie McHale, Steve McHale, and Sherrie Smetana.

Arrangements were by the Johnson Funeral Home of Waconia.

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