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Mary Lee Pichner, 70

Mary Lee Fellrath Ebeling Pichner, age 70, of rural Owatonna, formerly of Cokato, died Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, at her daughter’s home in West Salem, WI, surrounded by family.

Memorial services will take place Monday, Jan. 17 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Meriden with the Rev. Gary Rusinko officiating. Mary Lee’s ashes will be interred prior to the church service, at 9 a.m., in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Owatonna.

Visitation was Sunday, Jan. 16 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Michaelson Funeral Home in Owatonna; and will continue Monday, one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials are preferred to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church-Meriden, Owatonna Public Library, Owatonna Hospice, or donor’s choice.

Mary Lee was born in Minneapolis Aug. 15, 1940, and was adopted into the loving family of George and Florence (Rockman) Fellrath.

She graduated from Cokato High School in 1958; and then from Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 1962, with a degree in theatre arts and English education. In September of that same year, she started her teaching career at Waseca High School in Waseca.

Mary Lee taught there three years before marrying William Michael Ebeling. She took 10 years off of teaching to stay home and raise the couple’s two children, Thomas and Anne.

Mary Lee returned to teaching speech and English at Owatonna High School, where she taught for 24 years. During that time, she did her graduate work at the University of Minnesota, Mankato. Her degree was in reading.

In 1996, Mary Lee’s beloved husband of 31 years, Bill, died after a short battle with cancer.

In 2000, she married Eugene James Pichner and the couple lived on the farm in Meriden, MN. Mary Lee was truly blessed to have had two loving husbands. Her special gift, second husband Eugene Pichner, died June 6, 2009.

Church work was of the utmost importance to Mary Lee, and she taught Sunday school, Bible school, and confirmation for many years at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Meriden. She was also active in the women’s group of the church, served on the church council, and sang in the choir. She loved to study and teach the Bible, and did so through St. Paul’s circle Bible study and the adult church Bible study.

Mary Lee’s hobbies included reading, sewing, games, visiting with friends, and knitting.

Left to remember her are her beloved son, Thomas William (and Kathleen) Ebeling of Victorville, CA; her precious daughter, Anne Margaret (and Richard) Garbers of West Salem, WI; her four beautiful grandchildren, Ashlee Anne Garbers, Andrew Richard Garbers, Jaclyn Marie Ebeling, and Scott Thomas Ebeling; her bonus daughters and son (step-children), Debra (and Duane) Pichner Gehring, and Douglas Eugene (and Jeanne) Pichner; six step-grandchildren; and one great-step-granddaughter.

Mary Lee is also survived by her brother, John Fellrath of Renton, WA; several cousins; and many friends, including her special friends, Dorette Kanengieter, Jon Wilker, Sandy Dinse, Doris Gerdts, and the Dean Jones family.

In addition to her husbands, Mary Lee was preceded in death by her parents, George and Florence Fellrath.