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Mary Ann L. Korbel, 87

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Mary Ann L. Korbel, age 87, of Hudson, Wis, passed away on Feb. 16, at the Christian Community Home in Hudson.

Mary Ann Lorraine Barstad was born on March 2, 1926, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Paul Elton and Hannah Marie (nee: Johnson) Barstad. Married to George (NMN) Korbel on Dec. 15, 1945. George was affectionately known to Mary Ann as Jig. Their marriage was blessed with three children: Gwen Paulette (William) Couch, Gary Allen, and Kevin Wayne (Christine). She has seven grandchildren: Kristi (Joe) O'Connell, Scott (Misty), and Michael (Jenna) Couch, Katrina Korbel, Andrew, George and Daniel Korbel; six great-grandchildren: Brant and Sarah Couch, and Dallas, James, Katie and Maclain O'Connell.

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She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; sister, Delores Zube; and brother, Elton Barstad.

She is survived by her children; grandchildren; great- grandchildren; brothers-in-law: John (Emma), Frank (Marvel), and Ed (Ann) Korbel; sisters-in-law, Marie (nee: Korbel) Kuzmik, and Audrey Barstad; nieces; nephews; and many special friends.

Mary Ann's family moved to Downing, Wis., during the Depression. The family lived on her grandmother Anna Barstad's farm northwest of Boyceville. She met George while fishing with her father in Tiffany Township when she was 16. George then went off to fight in World War II. Her father died when she was 17 and the family moved to Boyceville where Mary Ann finished her high school years. Mary Ann finished her freshman year at the University in Eau Claire, Wis., and then moved to the Twin Cities to work as a secretary. She was united in marriage to George at Holy Trinity (Slovak) Lutheran Church near Boyceville. They moved to Tennessee, so George could finish his enlistment and then to Minneapolis, where their children were born. They moved to River Falls, Wis., in 1961. On Jan. 1, 1965, they purchased the restaurant and bowling alley in Spring Valley, Wis., which they operated until 1969, when they returned to River Falls. In 1972, George and Mary Ann purchased some land and built a home between River Falls and Roberts next to their daughter and son-in-law, where she lived until she moved to an apartment in River Falls a few years ago. While at the home near Roberts, her grandchildren would stop by almost daily on their way home from school. After moving to the apartment, she would walk to the stores in River Falls, sometimes as far as 2.5 miles, from her home on the south end to Shopko on the north, and then 2.5 miles back.

Mary Ann and George were charter members of Cross Lutheran Church in Roberts in 1973. Some years, Mary Ann made as many as 80 dozen cookies for the Annual Cookie Fair. She also loved to entertain, cook, sew, embroider, and cross stitch. Mary Ann worked for the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for 18 years. She loved working there and made many lasting friendships.

Mary Ann and George loved traveling and camping in their motorhome. They made many trips to see Kevin and his family in Idaho, as well as camping in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Mary Ann and George were active in the Wisconsin Ex-Prisoner of War Organization and American Legion Post 121 of River Falls, Wis. They were very patriotic and instilled that feeling in their family members. She had a special bond with two young men from church, Dustin Meyer and William Golden. William adopted her as his church grandma.

Mary Ann will be greatly missed by her family and friends because of her devotion and caring for and to them.

A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Cross Lutheran Church, 1246 County Rd. TT, Roberts, with a visitation held one hour prior to the service at church. Interment at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls, Wis.

Memorials preferred to the Christian Community Home, or the Women's Auxiliary of River Falls, Wis.

Services entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home. (715) 386-3725. www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com

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