February 14, 1937 - March 3, 2024


attachment-Mary Ann Olene

Mary Ann Olene, age 87 of Princeton, MN, passed away peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning, March 3, 2024, at Birchwood Care Center in Forest Lake. Funeral Services will be held 11:00 AM on Monday, March 11, 2024, at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home in Princeton with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Paul Brown will officiate, and burial will be in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Princeton.

Mary Ann (Walker) Olene was born Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1937, in Princeton, the only child of Benjamin Owen Walker and Grace May (Gerth) Walker. She lived in Princeton most of her life, growing up on the north side. Mary Ann was heavily involved in the arts in school and loved singing in the school choir. In 1940, at the age of three years, her mother, Grace, entered her picture in a children’s photograph contest with the Photo Craft Studio of Minneapolis. She placed 43rd out of almost 20,000 entries submitted from Minnesota and 15 surrounding states. She was awarded a genuine ivory miniature of her picture, complete with a gold frame.

She graduated from Princeton High School, class of 1955, and continued to learn as she attended nursing school. She married Dennis Evan Olene on October 28, 1961. Her nurturing nature found its true calling as she became an amazing mother and homemaker, renowned for her generosity and the warm welcome she extended to all. Mary Ann's home was one where friends, family, and even the occasional appliance repair person, never left hungry.

Her work history extended beyond the walls of her home and into the heart of her community, where she played the piano for her church, bringing joy and music to many. Mary Ann's dedication to her faith and community was evident in every note she played and every smile she shared.

Creativity was the essence of Mary Ann's being. She was an artist in every sense of the word, with talents that spanned crocheting, knitting, macramé, ceramics, and flower arranging. Her home was a constantly evolving canvas that reflected an “artsy and craftsy” nature, decorated meticulously for every season and holiday. Her selfless and creative spirit was evident in the way she lived her life, putting others before herself.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her father, Ben; mother, Grace; stepfather, Herman B. Lund; and her husband, Dennis. She is survived by her daughter, Kelly (Mike); son, Scott; stepdaughter, Linda (Lance); grandchildren, Mike Jr. (Molly), Jessica (Russell), Laura, Darcy, Melissa, and Lance Cody; several great-grandchildren; and her dear friend, Jeanette, whose companionship and laughter were a constant source of joy in her life.

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