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Mary Jane Crook

Oct 16, 2015


Mary Jane Crook , passed away unexpectedly on August 27, 2015 at her home in Oglethorpe, Georgia.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, Rugby North Dakota with Wallace Fretland officiating and Carl Weimer, Jr, Coleen Jelsing, and Jane Ekren providing music.

She was born in Rugby, North Dakota, on June 15, 1951, to Verna Crook Vanorny and the late William Crook. She was preceded in death by her partner of 33 years, Diana Dunten. Mary Jane is survived by her mother, brothers Tim (Terry) Crook of Boulder, Colorado, Tom Crook of Rugby North Dakota, and a sister Kathleen (Jay Adams) Crook of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a niece Kate and nephew, John and an uncle, Darrell Houser, Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Mary Jane received her B.A. in 1972 and an M.A. in 1975, both from the University of North Dakota. She earned a second Masters degree from the University of Minnesota in 1976.

A natural athlete, actress and musician, she was active in track, theater and choir in high school. She was a shining star of the theater department at the University of North Dakota.

She had an active career in social work, specializing in working with the elderly and patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. She was employed by Good Health Care and by Senior Lifestyle Corporation as well as several other organizations for the elderly. She also worked with addiction and alcoholism patients, and was employed by Recovery Centers of America. Mary Jane started many AA and Al-Anon groups.

She was a life-long member of the Lutheran Church, and when she moved to Oglethorpe in 2007, she and Diana joined the Mt. Zion-St. Luke Lutheran Church where she was an active volunteer.

After she retired, she continued working with the elderly on a volunteer basis, visiting and entertaining at nursing homes throughout Macon County. She was active in the Middle Georgia Democratic Women and was a member of the Macon County Historical Society.

Although new to Macon County, Mary Jane was much loved in the community, and she will be missed by her many friends. A memorial service was held on Saturday, September 12 at Mt. Zion-St. Luke Lutheran Church in Oglethorpe, Georgia.

She will be memorialized on the Crook lot at Persilla Watts Cemetery in Rugby.

Arrangements by Niewoehner Funeral Home – Rugby.

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