Mary K. Sterling - Red Wing

Mary Kaye Sterling, 65, of Red Wing, died Saturday, June 30, 2012.

She was born March 12, 1947, in Rochester, to Kenneth and Catherine (Sweeney) Atkinson. She was a 1965 graduate of Marian High School in Owatonna, and went on to attend O’Brien School of Cosmetology. On Dec. 2, 1967, she married Jerry Sterling and they lived in Owatonna until moving to Red Wing in 1969. Mary worked as a hair stylist from 1966-1976 and then did home daycare until 1981, when she began working in the Red Wing School District, retiring in 2002.

After retiring, she helped with her grandchildren, volunteered at the Sunshine Corner and also with the "Reading Buddies" program at the elementary schools. Mary loved spending time with her family and always tried to attend her grandchildren’s events. Mary and Jerry were also very active in the community, and wherever Jerry was, Mary was there too — be it at a high school basketball, football or baseball game or at a Legion event, she was there behind the scenes. When they had free time, they enjoyed spending time at their friend’s cabin. Jerry died unexpectedly on Sept. 29, 2011. Mary was a member of the Leo C. Peterson Legion Auxiliary and the Church of St. Joseph.

She is survived by two daughters, Sara (AJ) Voigt and Tara (Jesse) Nelson, both of Red Wing; five grandchildren, Cameron Voigt, Kyli, Sydnee, Tenley and Ramsey Nelson; her parents, Kenneth and Catherine Atkinson of Red Wing; two brothers, Leo (Nancy) Atkinson of Atlanta, Ga., and John (Sheri) Atkinson of Denver, Colo.; sisters-in-law, Kay (Jerry) Duchene and Cheri Sterling, both of Faribault; brother-in-law, Jack Thayer of Owatonna; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; sister, Trish Atkinson; brother-in-law, James Sterling and sister-in-law, Karen Thayer.

Memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 7, at the Church of St. Joseph. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, with a Rosary at 7 p.m., at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel in Red Wing, and for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials preferred to Sunnyside Elementary School Library Fund or the Sunshine Corner Scholarship Fund.

To send online condolences visit