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Mary Lou (Louise) Brinkman

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m., Friday, July 28, 2023, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Grey Eagle for Mary Lou (Louise) Brinkman who passed away peacefully July 22, surrounded by her family, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud. Interment will be in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Ward Springs. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Thursday, July 27, and 9-9:45 a.m. July 28 at the church in Grey Eagle. Christian Mothers will pray at 4 p.m. followed by parish prayers at 7 p.m. at the church July 27. Mary Louise Pierskalla was born Sept. 16, 1935, in Avon to Tony and Dorothy (Smith) Pierskalla. She grew up on the Pierskalla family farm near St. Wendel. Mary Lou graduated from Holdingford High School, then worked as a secretary in Minneapolis in the historic Metropolitan building. Mary Lou married Eugene Brinkman at St. Columbkille Catholic Church May 14, 1957. She spent most of her life being a devoted wife and homemaker. Mary Lou and Gene started their journey on a small farm south of Grey Eagle, where they welcomed their first child. Soon they moved to Mount Angel, Oregon, near Gene’s relatives. While in Oregon, the family grew, adding four more children. In 1963, they returned to Minnesota, purchasing the Brinkman family farm on Little Birch Lake. Mary Lou gave birth to seven more children in the following years. There was much to do with seldom a dull moment, and through it all Mary Lou was always a loving, caring mother. With the help of her children, Mary Lou tended a large garden, canned fruits and vegetables and made many jams and jellies. Each week she baked a dozen delicious loaves of bread. She loved to read, and most nights would read to the kids at bedtime. Mary Lou worked at Jennie-O Foods in Melrose for 10 years, then helped her daughter, Peg, with her family day care. She was a devout Catholic her entire life and was part of the Christian Mothers at St. Bernard’s Parish in Ward Springs, then at St. Joseph’s Parish in Grey Eagle. She and Gene spent their golden years at their Little Birch Lake home, next to the family farm. Mary Lou loved to spend time with her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also liked spending time with her sisters, occasionally at casinos, which she really enjoyed. Survivors include her 12 children, Patty (Kevin) O’Konek of South Haven, Danny (Renee) Brinkman of Sauk Rapids, David (Joyce) Brinkman of Grey Eagle, Darrell (Eileen) Brinkman of Little Falls, Pam (John) Schmiesing of Avon, Margaret “Peg” (Rick) Hellermann of Melrose, Marc (Julie) Brinkman of Grey Eagle, Mike (Krista) Brinkman of Sartell, Kathy (Jeff) Boos of Sauk Rapids, Marvin (Jody) Brinkman of Pequot Lakes, Karen (Glen) Middendorf of Sartell, and Mary Jean (Morgan Wilson) Brinkman of Portland, Oregon; sisters Joan Silbernick of Little Falls; Carol (Gary) Spoden of Foley, and Linda Stoermann of Avon; 38 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren; and brother-in-law Philip Kostreba of Holdingford. Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents; husband Eugene “Gene” Brinkman Nov. 15, 2015; granddaughter Jocelyn Rae Boos; one grandson; brother Howard; sisters Judy Pierskalla, Doris Kostreba and Sandra Pierskalla; and brothers-in-law Tom Silbernick and Ken Stoermann. Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Grey Eagle.

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