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October 21, 1931 ~ March 23, 2017 (age 85)

Mary Ann (Betzler) Kentala of Silver Bay, died Thursday, March 23, 2017 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth.

She was born October 21, 1931 to Joseph and Edith (Peterson) Betzler in Two Harbors.  She was the fifth of seven children and grew up on the “Betzler Farm” which is now the Silver Bay Golf Course.  Mary met the love of her life Eugene, when he would come to Peterson’s Store to pick up fuel for the Finland AF Base as it was being constructed.  They were married October 13, 1951 in Two Harbors. 

Eugene and Mary enjoyed many adventures traveling around the United States and the world, while Eugene was deployed with the USAF.  They had five daughters during this period, Jean, Jo, Julie, June and Janey.  The family eventually settled in Silver Bay following Eugene’s retirement from the military. Mary was a member of Sychar Lutheran Church, Bay Area Historical Society, and a former member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary.  She enjoyed reading, gardening, watching wildlife especially the hummingbirds, sitting by the lake and listening to the waves.  Mary was a quiet, caring mother and grandmother who enjoyed watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eugene; siblings, Joseph, John, Jacob, and Rosie (Handgartner) Nicklason; infant grandson, Matthew Ehlers; and great-grandson, Jakob Talus.

She is survived by her five daughters, Jean (John) Ehlers, Jo (William) Jones, Julie Jensen, June (David) Talus, and Janey (Dale) Knaffla; sisters, Jenny (Al) Lopez and Karen “Mae” Rautio, sisters-in-law, Mary “J.B.” Betzler; Jeanette Garcia; and Violet Theile; 18 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Graveside Service will be in Sawtooth Mountain Cemetery 11 AM Saturday April 29, 2017, a Celebration of Life will follow at 12 Noon at the Silver Bay Golf Course and Country Club. 

 Service Information

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