March 7, 2017
Mary Jane Frenzel, 95, passed away peacefully March 7, 2017 at Boutwells Landing Care Center in Stillwater, MN. Mary Jane was born to John Thomas and Violet Fern (Leffingwell) McMahon on August 3, 1921 in Fairmont, MN, where she spent her childhood. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education, and taught physical education in Buhl, MN and at the Convent of the Visitation School in St. Paul.
On June 17, 1946, she married the love of her life, Richard Lee Frenzel, at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in St. Paul. She and Dick enjoyed 50 years of marriage until Dick’s passing in 1997. They lived in St. Paul for 14 years and later in Portland, OR and Stillwater before moving to Afton, MN in 1966. In 1968 she joined the family business and worked as an accountant for the next 20 years. In 1988 she and Dick retired and split their time between homes in West St. Paul and Seminole, FL. Mary Jane was a member of the Church of the Assumption in St. Paul. She was a member and treasurer of Tri Delta Sorority and was to receive her Diamond Circle award (75 years) in Spring 2017. Mary Jane was one of the first women to achieve membership in the University of Minnesota’s M club. She was an active member of the St. Paul Athletic Club’s Splash Club, where she served as ladies’ swimming chairman. She also served as treasurer of the St. Paul College Club and was instrumental in updating and refurbishing the governor's mansion on Summit Ave. in St. Paul in the 1960s.
While her daughters were growing up, Mary Jane was a Girl Scout troop leader. In retirement, she filled many volunteer positions, including serving as a board member and on the grounds committee of the Realife Cooperative of West St. Paul, and volunteering weekly at SCORE.
Mary Jane was most proud of her five daughters and enjoyed the company of her family and friends. She traveled the world, visiting six continents. She enjoyed playing bridge, working jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, solitaire, knitting, crocheting, and needlepoint, and was an avid reader (often carrying a suitcase of heavy books when she traveled). Mary Jane loved gardening and bird watching. She cherished the wilderness and nature, camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters with family and friends. Mary Jane is survived by daughters Susan (Joseph) Kacheroski, Mary Jo (Eric) Duncan, Catherine (James) Gutfleisch, Patricia Greenwood, Nancy (Darrel) Kloeckner, ten grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Mary Jane was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 50 years, Dick, sister Valerie Viesselman, and brother, Bill McMahon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Church of the Assumption, 51 W. 7th St., St. Paul. Visitation at church one hour prior to Mass. Interment will be held at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights.
Memorials preferred to Lakeview Hospice, 1715 Tower Dr. W., Stillwater, MN 55082 or the Church of the Assumption, 51 7th St. W., St Paul, MN 55102.
The family wishes to thank the compassionate staff at Inver Glen Senior Living, Boutwells Landing Care Center, and Lakeview Hospice for their loving care.