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Mary K. Cline

Funeral services for Mary Cline of Morris, will be held Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. Father John Caskey and Deacon Stan Hennen will be officiating. Visitation will be held Tuesday from 5 to 8 pm, with a rosary service at 7:00 and a prayer service at 7:30, at Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, and for one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Morris.

Mary Kathleen Benson Cline was born on January 16, 1946 in the Swift County Hospital in Benson, Minnesota to the late Ben Oscar and Antoinette Willhelmina (Waters) Benson. Mary was the seventh out of eight children and the first one born in a hospital. She received the holy sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation in the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Benson. It was also here that she attended parochial school, followed by Benson High School.

On February 8, 1964, Mary was united in the sacrament of Matrimony to Ronald Ashley Cline of Alberta at the Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. Morris became home to this union, and five children were born - Troy, Rhonda, Chad, Kirby & Craig.

As a wife and mother, Mary had a full-time job managing a household and raising kids. She always said her greatest accomplishment was her family. It certainly was an adventure!

Like her namesake mare, which means "womb," Mary was a vessel for God birthing children and so much more! In 1969, her pioneer spirit assisted Darlene Olen in opening the newly-founded Head Start program - preschool education for low-income youth. She held numerous offices and positions, her favorite being a teacher's aide. Mary never liked to be far from the real action! In 1980 she was one of the founding members of the Morris High School Sports Booster Club to raise funds to pay for sports programs scheduled to be cut. To this day the Head Start Program and Sports Booster Club are still going strong.

"Service with a smile!" was one of her mottos, and you knew your day was a little brighter when you saw her brilliant smile lighting your way. Her great sense of humor and contagious laugh made even the biggest problem seem manageable. Mary's vocations were all in the area of service to humanity. In addition to teaching and caring for young children, she was a waitress at Red Dot, Don's, Shell and Holiday cafes. In 1980 she went to work for Morris Commercial Printing and Stationers as a secretary, receptionist, purchasing agent, and retail sales manager. In 1993 she pursued the field of nursing, completing her training at Alexandria Vocational School. She was employed at the Villa of St. Francis Nursing Home and the Stevens Community Medical Center, primarily as a nursing assistant. Mary served in this capacity until her health failed and she could no longer pursue a career.

Her boundless enthusiasm and desire to contribute created many volunteer and leadership opportunities during her 61 years of life. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, Religious Education Teacher, DAC Bible Study Teacher, and a member of the following organizations: Assumption Guild, Christian Mothers, Daughters of Isabella, American Legion and VFW Auxiliaries. She served through the Assumption Catholic Church where she was commissioned as a lay minister, presiding over scripture communion services. As a hospice volunteer, Mary's compassion for those making their transition and their families was unparalleled.

The thing in life that gave Mary the most pleasure was being in relationship with people. She loved to gather with her friends around the kitchen table, or to have the family come home for the Memorial Day Fish Fry. Grammy loved spending time with her grandchildren and being entertained by their latest escapades! During her final years, one could find Mary in her chair listening to music, writing in her notebooks, talking/counseling on the telephone, meditating on the Bible, listening to birds sing, knitting scarves or hand-stitching quilts, pillows, or towels. She was always working on the next round of Christmas gifts!

Mary passed away on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at the Stevens Community Medical Center in Morris, MN, having lived to reach the age of 61 years.

Mary's life is celebrated and lives through her family and all of the countless souls that she touched during her journey on Earth. Mary is survived by her husband Ron Cline of Morris; one daughter -- Rhonda (Todd) Blatti of Eden Prairie, MN; four sons - Troy (Marti) Cline of Piperton, TN; Chad Cline of Watertown, SD; Kirby (special friend Inga) Cline of Loveland, CO; Craig (special friend Kari) Cline of Fargo, ND; seven grandchildren and one step-grandchild -- Tyler, Ashton, Josh, and Jasmine (Kirby), Thomas (Chad), Austin and Luke (Rhonda), Hannah (Troy); one sister -- Barb Riley of Morris; four brothers - Benhard (Irene) Benson of Marshall, MN; Dennis (Jean) Benson of Las Vegas, NV; Randy (Ronda) Benson and Rodney (Marti) Benson, all from Benson, MN; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, one brother - Freddy, one sister - Allouise Hess.

And now, Mary Kathleen Benson Cline is lifted up by angels...given wings to fly! Well done, good and faithful servant, well done!

Serving as Honorary Pallbearers for the service are All Family Members and Those Who Called Mary "Friend". Linda Hodgson will serve as pianist for the service, with Ken Hodgson serving as song leader and soloist. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.