Cover photo for Mary Ress's Obituary
Mary Ress Profile Photo
1933 Mary 2022

Mary Ress

January 11, 1933 — September 3, 2022

Mary Amelia Ress beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend to many peacefully passed away near dawn on the morning of Saturday, September 3, 2022 at the Waters on Mayowood in Rochester surrounded by her loving children. She was 89 years old. Born on January 11, 1933 to Ralph and Grace Parker in Canton, Illinois she moved with her family while still a young girl to south Minneapolis where she was raised in the Cooper neighborhood. In her youth she was an accomplished theatrical dancer making her own costumes and appearing on stage. She attended Minnehaha Academy High School graduating in 1950. On August 18, 1956 she married Ronald Lenberg Ress and became a homemaker and mother living at first in St. Louis Park MN, then briefly in Fargo ND before finally settling in Rochester MN in 1962 where her husband Ron began his long and very successful career at the Mayo Clinic. Here they raised 5 children together and lived for the next 60 years. Family and friends always came first for Mary and she took great joy in the company of her children, 11 grandchildren and finally 10 great-grandchildren. She had a legion of close friends, belonged to several clubs, was a volunteer for a variety of community organizations and a member of the First Presbyterian Church. She also served for 13 years as a docent and tour guide at the Mayowood home of Dr. Charlie and Edith Mayo, a job she loved dearly. She had a very active, curious mind and was a voracious reader taking numerous college and extension courses that piqued her interest. She also enjoyed both the visual and aural arts and attended countless art exhibitions, theatrical presentations, films, and music concerts of all kinds during her life. In particular she had a profound love of musicals in her younger years and wore out more than a few vinyl soundtrack albums through repeated listening. However travel was among her greatest passions that saw her visit all 50 states, most of Canada, China, Japan and many other nations on every continent except for Antarctica. All of these early trips she planned for the family by herself and they were often long odysseys ranging thousands of miles driven mostly in the old Ford station wagon. These journeys covered a profusion of historic sites, churches, museums, national parks, major cities, small towns and wonders of nature which are now an indelible part of family legend and left her children with a myriad of cherished memories as well as contributing to their broader understanding of the world. During her travels she collected such an abundance of local crafts and cultural artifacts that her home became a wondrous museum that never failed to elicit both curiosity and conversation. When she and husband Ron were not traveling they could be found at their secluded cottage appropriately named "Loon Acres" on Lake Washburn near Outing, Minnesota entertaining both family and friends and listening to the calls of the loons. Mary faced her final challenge in the same spirit she had lived her entire life, with tremendous courage, grace and even joy. She was a true original, a perfect lady, a dedicated loving mother and wife and an excellent role model who is terribly missed by all those that loved and knew her. Mary is survived by her children: Ronald E. Ress (Chisako) of Rochester/Tokyo; David Ress (Denise Glarner) of Elgin; Cindy McLagan of Roseville; Thomas Ress (Lisa) of River Falls, Wisconsin; and Sarah Hughes (Dave Link) of Rochester; grandchildren: Corey Ress (Rachel); Tyler Ress (Kiana); Paul McLagan; Grace McLagan (Jordan McLean); Kaitlyn Dalchow (Luke); Ronald L. Ress (Bridget); Emily Gammell (Josh); Samantha Schutz; Matthew Hughes (Bailey); Aaron Ress; and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Ron; brothers Louis Parker and John Parker; and grandson Andrew Ress. The family would like to thank all of Mary's close friends and relatives who visited, called or sent cards during her final days as it was a great comfort to her and she truly enjoyed your presence. We would also like to thank the nurses, doctors and caregivers at the Mayo Clinic, Methodist and St. Mary's Hospitals as well as The Waters on Mayowood who showed her such remarkable care and compassion. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home, 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester Minnesota. Lunch will be served as a part of the Celebration. Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes is honored to be serving the Ress family; to share a special memory or condolence, please visit
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 20, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

5421 Royal Pl NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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