Mary Ann Melquist | Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

July 16, 1923 - June 1, 2019

Mary Ann Melquist age 95 of Northfield, Minnesota passed away Saturday, June 1 at the Northfield Retirement Community. Mary Ann Was born on July 16, 1923 in Minneapolis, MN. to parents Ellen Nelson (Olson) and Ed Nelson. She was the 5th child. Her family moved to Wisconsin for a short time. When Mary Ann was 4 years old her mother and siblings moved in with her uncles on a farm outside of Gibbon, MN and that is where she was raised.

Mary Ann received her education through the 8th grade in a country school outside of the Gibbon area. Following her 8th grade graduation she attended Winthrop High School. She lived in Winthrop with her sister, Bea, and brother-in-law, Richard Miller working as a waitress in their café, Barn Stall. She talked about a summer job she had caring for the children of a beautician. After high School she moved to Gibbon, MN and lived in an apartment with her sister-in-law, Lavona. MaryAnn and Lavona worked in the bakery in Gibbon.

Mary Ann married Rudy Melquist on October 27, 1945 in the Swedish Lutheran Church in Gibbon. She was a type of hero we don’t honor enough. Back in WWII families did not hear what was going on in the front lines of Africa and Italy like we hear now during war times. However, Mary Ann’s faith and spirit carried through tough times in her life and made her the strong zesty woman we came to love and admire. Rudy was home only 13 days from the war prior to his wedding day. In those 13 days she planned a wedding, had 3 showers and bought a wedding gown. I would like to see a young lady nowadays pull that off. After she was married, she stayed home to raise her children. She worked years at Sears on Lake Street in Minneapolis as an auditor. Mary Ann was active in a number of organizations; DAV, DFL, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Military Order of the Purple Heart. She held the position of State President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Purple Heart. Mary Ann and Rudy spent many hours volunteering at the Veteran’s homes and hospitals spending time with the men and women who served for our freedom. Mary Ann and Rudy enjoyed many fun filled years of retirement before he passed away on December 19, 2007. Soon after his death, Mary Ann moved to Northfield Retirement Community in Northfield, MN. MaryAnn loved water exercising at the Northfield Senior Center and motivated others at the retirement center to become devoted to exercising.

She is survived by children Gary, Brent (Brenda), Paula (John) Case; grandchildren Jeramiah (Sarah), Autumn, Charlie (Jenny), Jacob (Betsy) and Alex; great grandchildren, Addison, Kaiden, Brienna, Sierrah, Caleb, Kayla, Christian, Maggie, Rachel, Cayson and Cooper.


  1. P.R. says:

    This is a beautifully written tribute to a person that does her gender proud in an era that had no sense of entitlement. Thank-you to the family for sharing her with us in this obituary. May we all aspire to Mary Ann’s values.

  2. randy and linda olson says:

    with deepest sympathy our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time . She was a very special lady and will be greatly missed.

  3. Edwina Garcia says:

    Mary Ann was a super lady, like Rudy, a true commitment to our country and our DFL community. She was fun to be with and I always counted on her friendship. Mary Ann and Rudy were a beautiful couple. My prayers to the Melquist family.
    Edwina and Joe Garcia

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