Mary Lorene Exoo

NEW ULM – Mary Lorene Exoo, 78, of New Ulm died Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at the Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 19, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Nicollet with Father Ardolf officiating.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at Minnesota Valley Funeral Home NORTH CHAPEL in New Ulm and continuing for one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. To leave an online condolence or sign the guestbook for her family go to

Mary is survived by her husband, Henk Exoo of New Ulm; sisters, Caroline Janssen of Winona, Beverly (John) Herriot of Albuquerque, N.M.; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Daniel Fritz; and sister, Irene Rybicki.

Mary Lorene Fritz was born in Adrian, Minnesota, on Dec. 14, 1935 to Leo and Eva (Johnson) Fritz. Mary graduated from St. Adrian High School and then from the College of St. Teresa. She was a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Rochester for ten years before leaving to continue teaching in various schools out of state. On May 29, 1969 she was united in marriage to Henk Exoo at St. Adrian Church in Adrian.

Before moving to New Ulm in 1991, Mary taught in several schools around Minnesota, earning the teacher of the year award for multiple years in Adrian. In New Ulm, Mary worked in early childhood education. In her earlier years, she loved playing tennis and cross-country skiing. She loved to read and enjoyed sharing children’s books and songs, was an adventurous cook, and enjoyed spending time with others and going on adventures. Mary was an accomplished artist and taught yoga in community education classes.

Mary and Henk were active in Rendezvous across the state reenacting fur trade and Native American encampments. They also enjoyed traveling to Mexico to study the language and culture. Mary was active in community affairs in New Ulm and especially loved her role with the Narren. She was a member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Nicollet and the CCD, faith formation classes for children. Mary had a great sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. She was sweet, kind, loving, and wise, a wonderful friend, sister, and wife who will be dearly missed.

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