The headline on Mary Fenlason's obituary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune said it all: "Mary Ann Fenlason dug into Edina history." When I first started as director of the Edina Historical Society, Mary handled the membership database and mailings for our organization. She and fellow charter member Donna Skagerberg kept the files up to date -- often because they personally knew many of our then 200 or so members. "They're in Florida for the winter" or "she moved to a condo" Mary would say, updating the address without needing a notice from members. Both she and Donna would write personal notes on membership renewal notices.
From our inception in 1969, Mary and her husband Jim were involved, both having served as president for several terms. Even after her health kept her from coming in weekly, Mary helped -- she was always someone I could call for as a "primary source" of Edina history. But beyond her work, Mary was simply a fun person to be around. We will miss her.
Mary designated the Edina Historical Society and her church, Normandale Lutheran, for memorials. For a full obituary, see Minneapolis Star Tribune March 31, 2009 issue.
Photo: Mary Westerberg Fenlason on her first day of school circa 1937.
We see and hear a lot of cool stuff at the museum. People give us interesting photos and objects. Visitors tell us fun stories. We often find something so great in the collection that we put it on display so everyone can comment, learn and remember. We started this blog as a way to include our online visitors in the fun.