Mary Jean “MJ” Richter died peacefully surrounded by family in St. Peter, MN on Monday, June 18, 2018, at the age of 83.
Mary Jean was born on November 4, 1934 in Faribault, MN to Henry “Doc” and Gladys (Kubat) Kucera. She graduated as valedictorian from Montgomery High School and also from Northwestern Hospital of Nursing in Minneapolis, MN with a degree in nursing. On October 15, 1955, Mary Jean married John Gerke. The couple raised three children in their hometown of St. Peter, MN. After John passed away in 1975, Mary Jean reconnected with a high school classmate, Ken Richter. They married on June 30, 1984. Following Ken’s passing in 1993, Mary Jean enjoyed life in St. Peter and Pharr, TX, with her special friend and companion of 16 years, David “Sharky” Dvorak.
Mary Jean always lived life to the fullest. She enjoyed traveling all throughout her lifetime, fishing and boating at her cabin on Lake Miltona, playing cards, reading, volunteering and participating in many social activities at her winter home in Paradise Park and watching Minnesota sports, especially the Twins. Most of all, Mary Jean loved attending her children’s and grandchildren’s activities. Mary Jean spent countless hours helping students at Gustavus Adolphus College where she was the health service nurse for over 31 years
Mary Jean leaves behind a sister, Sandra Walker of Ely, MN; her children, Steve (Julie) Gerke of Basking Ridge, NJ; Barb (Ronald Lassere) Weber of Leesburg, VA; Doug (Leslie) Gerke of Mankato, MN. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren -- John (Lynne) Gerke, Tara Gerke, Ashley (Drew) Tolzman, Mackenzie Weber, Molly Weber, Tyler Gerke and Andrew Gerke as well as two great-grandchildren, Geno Tolzman and Wells Tolzman. Mary Jean is preceded in death by her parents, husbands, longtime companion and son-in-law, Rick Weber.
A celebration of Mary Jean’s life is scheduled for 11:00 am Friday, June 22, 2018 at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Peter, MN. Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00pm at St. Peter Funeral Home on Thursday, June 21, 2018 and at Trinity Lutheran Church one hour before the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mayo Clinic Hospice. The family would like to thank all the caregivers at Pheasants Ridge Assisted Living and Mayo Clinic Hospice for their dedicated and compassionate care.