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Mary Ann Birkeland


Mary Ann (Allmaras) Birkeland, 79, New Rockford, ND, passed away Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at her daughter’s home near Pelican Rapids, MN. Her cancer returned in a blink! With the heartbreaking news, Mary Ann’s family surrounded her with love, comfort and care until her final breath.

Mary Ann Allmaras was born January 8, 1934, in New Rockford, ND, the daughter of Louis and Ann (Clavin) Allmaras. She went to school at St. James Academy and graduated from New Rockford Central High School in 1951. She attended Wahpeton State School of Science for nursing.

On August 14, 1954, she married Myron Birkeland and they had nine children. Mary Ann was a lifetime member of St. John’s Parish where she taught CCD and belonged to St. Anne’s Circle.

Mary Ann loved her jobs and her co-workers! She worked at the New Rockford Hospital, Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd, The Frost Mill, The Dairy Queen, East Central as a teacher’s aide, Esquire, 4th Corporation and Dr. Belquist’s Dental Office.

Her #1 job was being a Mom and a Grandma! (to her own and others!) It was absolutely the highlight of her life! She went above and beyond gallivanting from activity to activity - rarely missing a beat! She loved parades, costumes, sing-alongs, holidays, making cookie/candy bouquets, baking, cooking, knitting, reading, attending sporting events, being at Lake Lida and most importantly … she loved chocolate!

Mary Ann’s “one and only? sibling was her best friend, Carol Joyce “CJ? Bass. They were known as the “bookends?. They spent countless hours together and a feisty game of Yahtzee was a given!

Mary Ann generously opened her heart and home to numerous neighborhood kids, foster children and foreign exchange students. She was a “light? in many lives and enjoyed her family to the fullest! With her immediate, extended and adopted families she shared her warmth, cheer, faith and grace ~ what a testimony to a life well lived.

There will be a huge void in the lives of her husband, Myron, New Rockford, ND and her children: Ann Guler (late Tim), Pelican Rapids, MN, Mike (Carol), Tempe, AZ, Tom, Tempe, AZ, Terry (Sherri), Bemidji, MN, Bob (Angela), Pinetop, AZ, Buffy Medalen (Scott), Minot, ND, Timmy (Penny), Perham, MN; a son-in-law, Jose Rodiles, Phoenix, AZ; and her sister, Carol Joyce Bass, Lisbon, ND.

Mary Ann provided an abundance of kindness and cuddles, humor and fun, cookies and candy, but most importantly hugs and kisses and lots of love to her 24 grandkids. Eric, Amanda, Gretchen, Nate, Brian, Kristopher, Coltlee, Jonathan, Jacque, Stephanie, Gabriela, Bryce, Marikah, Emily, Mitch, Mark, Elle, Drew, Liz, Jack, Maddie, Rachael, Timmy, Megan, Mamie, Becca, Wyatt and Baby Sophie.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents Louie and Ann Allmaras, infant daughter Susan, daughter Mary Elizabeth “Betsy? Rodiles and son-in-law Tim Guler.

Mary Ann was provided the loving care by Roger Maris Cancer Center and Hospice of the Red River Valley. Donations may be made in memory of her.

Mary Ann is now our tender angel watching and guiding us with her spiritual presence. When our paths cross again … we know she will be waiting with her beautiful smile!

PRAYER SERVICE: Sunday at 7:00 PM in St. John's Catholic Church

FUNERAL SERVICE: St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford, ND

DATE AND TIME: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM

INTERMENT: St. John's Catholic Cemetery, New Rockford, ND


Posted Condolences:

(Scroll down to send a condolence)

Name: Sonja Lee

Date: 6-12-2013

Message: I was so shocked & saddened to learn of Mary Ann's passing. We lived in the 4-plex when all(some) of you lived there,around 1960 I believe. Our kids, Jaime, Janet, Jason & Jane,were the same age as Tom, Bobby & Betsy. She was a good friend of mine & we enjoyed morning coffee get tobethers, playing bridge, etc. when we lived in New Rockford. She was a wonderful mother & great friend & will be missed by many.


Name: John C. Gaffrey

Date: June 11, 2013

Message: Last Sunday evening I listened in awe to the many memories shared by the family and friends of Mary Ann.  I came away wondering how I could have lived for so many years next door to a saint and not know it.  But then, perhaps that's just the way saints operate.  My condolences to Myron and the whole Birkeland gang on the loss of a beautiful person.


Name: Diane Jaeger

Date: June 9th

Message: Mary Ann will truly be missed by many!!  She was one great gal and I valued her as a friend.  She was always so cheerful and happy, always had a "hi" for you.  It's hard to imagine that lady is gone from us, but she won't have to suffer anymore and will be smiling and happy looking down at us. 

Diane Holth-Jaeger


Name: Don Sondrol

Date: 6-8-13

Message: So sorry for your loss Myron, my prayers are with you and may your memories give you the strength to carry on. Don Sondrol


Name: Joanne Clapper

Date: June 8, 2013

Message: So sorry to hear of Mary Ann's passing.  She was a sweetheart. 

You are in our prayers.


Name: Harvey("Pat") Taylor-Fargo ND

Date: 6-8-2013

Message: To Cousin Myron & Family: My condolences to all of You on Mary Ann's passing. Mayme Birkeland was to My Mom- Hattie (Harriet Seckinger) a 1st Cousin, I believe.


Name: Deb Hoffman

Date: 06-07-2013

Message: I am deeply saddened hearing of the loss of Mary Ann. What a kind and giving soul she was, who always had time to say hi and converse. Her smile could lighten up any room. She brought up a wonderful family with Myron and she will be deeply missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with the Birkeland family.


Name: Bernadette Whetham

Date: 6-7-13

Message: Thoughts and prayers to all of the Birkeland family.  Mary Ann was gracious and took me in occasionally and I always felt welcome.  She is resting in heaven and looking forward to time spent with those there that welcomed her.  Great memories for all of the family.  God Bless.

Bernadette Whetham


Name: Sara wick

Date: 6/6/13

Message: May you find comfort in the fond memories you have of your mom. She raised a remarkable family and was a friend to many. She will be missed.


Name: Kim Dodds-Thompson

Date: 6/6/13

Message: Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Ann's family. She was always so good to me when I spent time at her house when I visited my Grandma Dodds. She was also always so kind and helpful to my grandma. I have so many great memories at the Birkeland house and great memories from gymnastics with the Birkelands. Our hearts go out to all of you.


Name: Wayne Trudeau

Date: 6-5-2013

Message: Our heart goes out to all of Mary Ann's family. We have so many great memories of the Birkeland family and their days in New Rockford and after. Thoughts and prayers to all of you!!!!!

Wayne, Mary Trudeau and family.