Mary Kruse Thompson


Mary Kruse Thompson, age 88, passed away on November 16, 2019. Born to Cy and Ramona Kruse on October 22, 1931, Mary grew up in Saint Peter, Minnesota, reading books on the library steps, practicing piano during recess, and always finding beauty in the world around her.

Mary graduated with a BS in English and an MA in Art from the University of Minnesota. She taught art education,  art history, and technique classes at Gustavus Adolphus College, University of Minnesota Morris, Willmar Community College, and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she served on the faculty for seven years. Throughout her lifetime, Mary attended art workshops and studied the works of master painters and interior designers.

As a professional artist, Mary’s paintings were featured in juried art shows in Edina, MN, Palatine, IL, New Orleans, LA, and SoHo/New York City, NY. Her colorful pastels earned her a juried membership in the Degas Pastel Society. She also had solo art exhibitions at Gustavus Adolphus College, University of Hawaii Manoa, Albert Lea, MN, Granite Falls, MN, and in Willmar, MN, where she was the featured artist of the 2002 festival, Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee! 

Always very active in supporting the art community, Mary served on the Worthington Public Arts Commission, the Kandiyohi County Art Association, and co-chaired Gallery 401 in Willmar. She was the Fine Arts Chairman at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, and the Special Events Chairman for the Minneapolis Symphony Association.

Mary lived in Edina, Willmar, and Spicer, MN. Then, she and her beloved poodle, Paulie (a retired show dog) moved to Danbury, CT, and Worthington, MN, to live near family.

Mary is survived by her three children; Mary Luke (Jeff) of Worthington, MN, Peter Hiniker of Roseville, MN, and Juli Burk (Gene) of San Francisco, CA, and her ten grandchildren; Elizabeth, Katherine, Julia, Faith, Peter, Tony, Jake, Kate, Emily and William. She is also survived by her brother, Cy Kruse (Nancy) of Outing, MN. She was preceded in death by husband Dr. Russell Thompson.

A family graveside memorial will be held with internment in Emily, Minnesota. Memorials may be sent to Hospice Cottage, Inc., PO Box 203, Worthington, MN, 56187.

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