Mary Luella “Mary Lue” Huntsman was born August 4, 1938 in Los Angeles, California to John “Burr” and Ida Mae (Campbell) Funk. When she was an infant her family moved to the Black Hills in South Dakota. They lived in a few different communities before settling in Rapid City, South Dakota. In 1956, Mary Lue graduated from Cathedral High School. She then attended Black Hills Teacher’s College where she earned her degree in Business Administration. Initially, she used her degree as a bookkeeper with Commonwealth Investments out of Rapid City. While at school, she had met the love of her life, Larry Huntsman. The two were married on January 28, 1961 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Canyon Lake, South Dakota. The couple made their first home in Witten, South Dakota. Commonwealth Investments decided to open a branch in nearby Winner, South Dakota where they immediately offered Mary Lue a full time position. Following a couple years in Witten, the young couple decided to head out for the first of many travel adventures. They made the move to the island of Guam with their baby boy, Wesley. Both Mary Lue and Larry worked as educators on the island. Mary Lue taught courses in math and business at the local junior high school. Their second son, Alan, was born in Guam. The young family enjoyed their years there and took advantage of travel opportunities, including visits to Hong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines. In 1966, they moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. Mary Lue gained employment as a bookkeeper with Everett Lumber Company while Larry pursued his master’s degree at Colorado State. When Larry graduated, the family moved to Alliance, Nebraska for a few years where Mary Lue taught business classes at Alliance High School. In 1970, they moved to Colton, South Dakota for Larry’s work. During their years in Colton, she was a substitute teacher and also worked with an insurance company in Sioux Falls. In 1974, Mary Lue commuted from Colton and began her career at Pipestone Area Vocational School in Pipestone, Minnesota where she taught accounting and business courses. In 1976, the family moved to Jasper, Minnesota and put down their roots, at least for the school months. They continued their love of travel until Larry’s health declined in the 2000’s. One of Mary Lue’s proudest moments was being selected by student senates throughout the state as instructor of the year for Minnesota Technical Colleges in 1997. She retired from teaching in 2001 after more than 27 years with what is now known as Minnesota West – Pipestone Campus.
Mary Lue was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jasper where she was a member of CCW. She was a former member of the Jasper Lions Club. Another one of Mary Lue’s passions was photography. She loved documenting their family’s travels and the lives of her children and grandchildren on film. When asked the question of where was her favorite place to travel from the many countries and states she had visited over the years, her quick reply with a smile and eyes gleaming was “wherever my kids and grandkids are.” She was extremely proud of her grandchildren and loved the years where she was able to spend extended periods of time in the summer months with them.
Mary Lue is survived by her son, Alan and Grace Huntsman and children Jasmine and Elaina of Taunton, Massachusetts; grandchildren Aaryn Huntsman of Denver, Colorado, Matthew (Jessica) Huntsman of Rapid City, South Dakota, Jessa Huntsman of Rapid City, South Dakota, Christopher (Alissa Marks) Huntsman and their children, Emma Caroline and Theodore Wesley of Boston, Massachusetts; former daughters-in-law, Carole Ann Kane Huntsman and Jenny Schneider O'Neill Huntsman; and other Family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Huntsman; son, Wesley Huntsman; and parents, John “Burr” and Ida Mae Funk.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to:
Jasper City Fire Department
221 West 1st Street
Jasper, MN 56144