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Mary June Fornell, 78, of Colfax passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 06, 2014. Mary was diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1984 and fought it courageously for the next 30 years.

She was born June 16, 1936 in rural Colfax, Chippewa County.  One of eleven siblings, she was the tenth child of Marshall and Bessie Peterson.  She attended Fraizer Elementary School and was a great help on the family dairy farm.  Mary had fond memories of this time in her life as she and her siblings played instruments and sang together even while doing chores.  At the age of 14, Mary moved to Eau Claire to attend Central High School and lived with an older sister, helping with child care. After graduation in 1954 she moved to Minneapolis where she did office work for several years.

On July 27, 1957, Mary married Dennis Fornell at the Gospel Tabernacle in Eau Claire.    She then became a wonderful mother, staying at home to raise her three children.  Later, she returned to work and was employed for many years at the Hallmark Store in London Mall.

She enjoyed an active life traveling to visit relatives across the USA, loved playing games, was musical and played the piano.  She took great pleasure in the companionship of her sisters, brothers and all extended family.  She was also a willing volunteer at her church. In 1993 she moved back to her rural community near Colfax to enjoy her remaining years.

Mary was an exceptionally pleasant and kind person; she will be dearly missed by her family and friends, including her devoted husband, of 57 years, Dennis, who tenderly cared for her during her illness. Her children, Rhonda (Joel) Palser of Chesapeake, VA, Carole (Jay) Johnson of Wenatchee, WA, and Bryan (Ruth) Fornell of Alpharetta, GA; her grandchildren, Jordan Palser and Dana (Dr. Matthew) Backens, Lauren, Allison, Jennifer, Benjamin and Nathan Johnson, and Austin and Emma Fornell; along with three great-grandchildren, Isaiah, Mercy and Lena Backens; her sisters, Lois Lewis, Eunice Gorton, Shirley (Marshall) Hanson and Faye (Douglas) Erbeck; a special friend, Junette Ziegler, who visited her often during those declining years; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; five brothers, Harvey, Donald, Jerry, Edward, Neil; and one sister, Betty Moen.

The Funeral Service was at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 8, 2014, at Sampson Funeral Home in Colfax with a visitation one hour prior to the service at the chapel. Rev. Joel Palser will be officiating. Internment took place at the Lower Running Valley Cemetary. Following the internment, family and friends gathered at the Fornell home for refreshments and fellowship.

The family wishes to thank the great staff at the Pioneer Nursing Home for the exceptional care they gave Mary over the last few months. They are just super!

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