Cover photo for Mary Opsahl's Obituary
Mary Opsahl Profile Photo
1941 Mary 2016

Mary Opsahl

January 27, 1941 — July 27, 2016

Mary (Chauncy) Opsahl, 75, passed away at her home in Two Harbors MN on July 27, 2016.

She was born in Duluth MN January 27, 1941.

Preceded in death by parents Morris and Eileen Opsahl and brothers William and Dennis, she attended parochial school and then high school at Duluth Stanford Hall Boarding School, before traveling east to Bradford Women’s College in Haverhill, Massachusetts.  Her studies continued at Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, the University of Paris-Sorbonne France, Hazelden Graduate School-Center City MN, and the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, culminating in degrees in Art/Art History and a Masters in Public Health. Chauncy was a scholar, purposeful in life-long research and knowledge by attending post-graduate studies in the areas of Kinesiology, Pharmacology, Addiction, Anatomy, Aging, and Women’s Health, in addition to taking advanced Training for Pilates Instruction at Body Harmonics in Toronto, Ontario where she focused on new programs for seniors.

In the 1960’s she held the Curatorial and Publications position with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, contributing to numerous exhibits.  She was an activist for women’s rights in the 70’s, and opened doors for alcoholic women in recovery in the 80’s (with emphasis on gender equality in treatment).  After completing the coursework at Hazelden she counseled patients with addiction in Council Bluffs IA.  Chauncy involved herself in animal rights by pet adoption and campaign activity with the Twin Cities Animal Humane Society, with her beloved companion, Charlie, the AHS poster dog in 2011.  She led a Pilates for Seniors Program at Lester UMC in Duluth.  She had a passion for art, fine fashion, and music, and was a serious gardener; creating vast meticulously maintained flower beds adjoining an extensive trail system she devised to provide enjoyment for the wonder of the outdoors, the woods, and its’ wildlife.  Chauncy found great joy in her garden and grounds and loved to share the beauty with friends.

She will be missed by all who knew her for her gracious, lively, and educated input on every conversation.

Chauncy is survived by her life-long partner Alexander Nazarenko.

Memorial Gathering:  Celebration of Life on Friday, August 26th @ 4PM at Chauncys’ Garden, 928 Eliason Road, Two Harbors.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Opsahl, please visit our flower store.


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