Mary Tiedeman

Mary Louise Tiedeman of Walker passed away Wednesday evening, Jan. 8, 2020, with her loving family at her side. For the past 11 years, Mary has been heroically battling triple-negative breast cancer.

A funeral mass will be held Jan. 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Walker. Visitation will be held Jan. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service to follow. There will also be visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held at a later date in Crookston at Calvary Cemetery.

Mary was born the oldest of seven children to Bray and Sylvia Mercil on May 4, 1949, in Crookston. She attended Cathedral Elementary School and graduated high school from Mount Saint Benedict Academy in 1967. She earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota Crookston, and is a graduate of the Minnesota School of Banking. Mary also holds a certification in Non-Profit Management from the University of Saint Thomas as well as a Human Resource Certification from the University of North Dakota. Mary was also chosen to represent Crookston at the Blandin Leadership conference. Her extensive background allowed her many opportunities to serve both her church and civic communities in Crookston and around the country.

While in Crookston, Mary worked at the Otto Bremer Bank for 27 years as an operations officer. She served on the Northwest Minnesota Improvement Board of the University of Minnesota for 20 years. She also served on the U of M Housing Authority Board, the Cathedral School Board and chaired the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Guild. She co-owned the Hair Company for 21 years.

Mary loved to sing and was active in the adult choirs at the Cathedral and at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Walker.

Mary also served as consultant for the following foundations: INFOCON, serving 11 schools with technology training and grant writing; Mount Saint Benedict Foundation, Crookston; Ruvelson Foundation, Minneapolis; and the Diocese of Tulsa, Okla. She also served on the Finance Team of the Magnificat Central Service Team located in New Orleans, where she assisted in setting up their planned giving program and various other giving vehicles.

On April 14, 1969, Mary was united in matrimony to Gordon Tiedeman at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. They moved to Norfolk, Va., for the next four years while Gordy served in the Navy aboard the USS America in Vietnam and spent the balance of his tour running the orthopedic clinic at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Upon his honorable discharge, they returned to Crookston to raise their children.

In 2007 they moved to Walker on Leech Lake to permanently reside. She is a current member of St. Agnes Parish.

“Be strong and courageous: Do not be afraid or terrified because the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.

This was one of Mary’s favorite verses from the Bible. The things that were most special to her were her devotion to Jesus, family and all the “angels”  God put into her life to guide her on her journey home.

Mary is survived by Gordy, her husband of 50 years; her son Chris (Angel) of Blaine; daughter Kari (Wade) Demarais of Crookston; siblings, Cathy Miller of Devils Lake, N.D., Steven Mercil (Christine) of Lake Geneva, Wis., Michael (Anne) Mercil of Columbus, Ohio, Rick (Rosa) Mercil of Grand Forks, N.D., Emily Mercil of Minneapolis, and Maggie Mercil of Minneapolis; four step-siblings, Greg (Marge) Mercil  of Mentor, Mary (Craig) Govig of Laporte, Tom (Bernie) Mercil of Vancouver, Wash., and Paul Mercil of Wilmar; step-mother Willa Mae Mercil of Crookston; brother-in-law Dick Tiedeman of Walker; grandchildren Jackson, Cody and Peyton of Crookston; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; in-laws George and Helen Tiedeman; and sister-in-law Michelle Tiedeman; as well as aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MN ADOPT ( or to the Walker Area Pregnancy Center (

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Dennis Funeral Home and Midwest Cremation Association in Walker, Minn.


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