Mary Jane McGeary

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Mary Jane McGeary

October 8, 1919 • February 12, 2019

Mary Jane McGeary, 99, died Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at Scofield Place in Benson, Minnesota. Visitation was from 2-5 p.m., with a 5 p.m. Prayer Service, Sunday, February 17, 2019, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Benson.  Visitation continued  from 10-11 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., Monday, February 18, 2019, at Visitation Catholic Church in Danvers. Interment was in the Visitation Catholic Church Cemetery in Danvers. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Rice Hospice.

Mary Jane McGeary was born October 8, 1919 in Faribault, Minnesota, the daughter of Mary Ann Langseley and Peter George Banken.  Mary was baptized at Immaculate Conception Church in Faribault; shortly thereafter, the family moved to a farm north of Appleton.  Mary graduated from the Appleton High School, then continued helping her parents on the farm.  Her faith was nourished at an early age when she and her family became involved in parish life at St. Agnes Church, a rural church located only a half mile from the Banken farm.

January 24, 1940, Mary was united in marriage to Harold McGeary at Visitation Church in Danvers.  Mary and Harold raised 11 children on a farm five miles northwest of Danvers.   She was an organizer and knew how to multi-task long before the word ever became popular. Besides sewing, Mary took great pride in raising a large garden and processing its produce so the family would be well-fed and well-dressed at all times.

In 1985, Harold and Mary moved to Westwood Apartments in Benson.  From 2001-2011 Mary was employed at Westwood Manor to serve the hot catered meals that were brought to Westwood each day.  Of the many activities Mary was involved in, she probably will be best known among family and friends for her sewing.  She spent countless hours sewing for weddings, altering clothes for any occasion and patching well-worn garments to make them look like new.

Mary was a “woman of strength” whose deep faith, especially her devotion to Our Blessed Mother, was integral to who she was and all she did.  No matter what else was happening, Mass attendance and church activities were a priority.  She enjoyed being a CCD catechist at Visitation Church in Danvers for many years and was also an active member of the Altar and Rosary Society. Though not a car driver, she managed to hold leadership positions in the Society, helped clean the church, made pies and served at church dinners.

Mary had endless energy; whenever there was a need, she was there to help.  This included offering care to Harold until his death in 1999.  She delighted in family gatherings and often managed to convince everyone that any occasion was important enough to come together and celebrate.  Mary was resourceful and faced the challenges of life with the Gospel attitude “love casts out fear”. (l John 4:18)  She enjoyed: sewing, quilting, gardening, flowers, bread-making and card playing.

Mary Jane is survived by one sister, Irene (Austin) McGeary;  11 children:  Sister Kathleen McGeary, OSB., Crookston; Douglas (Pamela) McGeary, Omaha, NE; Dennis (Elaine) McGeary, Oklee; David (Patricia) McGeary of Bismarck, ND; Patrick (Cheryl) McGeary, Danvers; Thomas (Patricia) McGeary, Benson; Monica (Robert) Doyle, Clontarf; Joseph (Lois) McGeary, Danvers; MaryAnn (Richard) Doyle, Spicer; Harold McGeary, Jr. Sauk Rapids; Edward (Betty) McGeary, Sartell;  24 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and three great, great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, and five brothers:  Theodore Banken, Floris Banken, Paul Banken, Frank Banken and Raymond Banken.

Mary Jane McGeary died February 12, 2019 at Scofield Place in Benson at the age of 99 years, four months, four days.

May her memory be a blessing to everyone!

Arrangements were with Zniewski Funeral Home.

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