Marion Louise (Mondeau) Fogarty, age 91 of Belle Plaine, passed away on Thursday, September 2, 2021 at Kingsway in Belle Plaine. A celebration of her life will be scheduled for a later date when all the family can be assembled. Kolden Funeral Home-Belle Plaine MN will handle the memorial service at some later date. See the website for details: koldenfuneralhome.com.
Marion was born in Cloquet, MN on November 6, 1929 to Milton and Mary Ellen (Maloney) Mondeau. She was the third of four children, and retained fond memories of the ‘North Country’ returning throughout her married life. She attended College of Saint Benedict, where she met a friend who took Marion home to Belle Plaine on weekends to attend dances at the popular rural ballrooms. Big Band was the sound and Lindy was the dance. It was on one of those dance floors that she met a handsome farm boy of whose Lindy she approved. He courted her ‘all the way up north’ to Cloquet. Marion’s mother affectionately dubbed him a ‘damn fool Irishman.’ On September 3, 1949 she married that very same Irishman Leo Fogarty, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Belle Plaine.
Marion, the town girl, had much to learn about being a farmer’s wife and becoming a member of the large and ever growing Fogarty clan. After a short time on the Fogarty Homestead, they set up home on their own farm in Derrynane Township, Le Sueur County, where they continued to farm for 45 years. Together they farmed, raised six children, and were active in the Minnesota Farmers Union and Democratic Farmer Labor party. Marion, ever independently minded, successfully campaigned for full inclusion and participation of farm women in the Farmers Union. She ran for State Legislature in 1990, served on numerous boards, and worked with the Women’s Consortium in St. Paul.
In retirement, Marion and Leo moved into Belle Plaine in 1994, and Leo passed away unexpectedly that same year. Marion later moved to a retirement community in Roseville where she was active serving on the board, joining book clubs, and enjoying the ‘city’ life. During her later years she enthusiastically traveled the world, taking upwards of 80 national and international tours, and delighting in bringing home toys and trinkets from her travels to entertain her guests, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was presented with Lifetime Achievement awards from both the College of St. Benedict and the DFL.
With failing health, she moved back to Belle Plaine in February 2020 residing at Kingsway. Marion was surprised and pleased to find herself back in Belle Plaine for her final phase of life and enjoyed seeing relatives and a few remaining old friends from her early days.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter Lynda Johnson, grandson Matthew Balk, sons-in-law John Balk and David Carlson, and older brother Bernard Mondeau.
Marion is survived by 5 children, Annalee Balk of Ocala, FL; Jeannie Carlson of Aberdeen, Scotland; Kevin (Mary) Fogarty of Centerville, MN; Brian (Paula) Fogarty of Valley City, ND; Christopher Fogarty of Colfax, WI; grandchildren Christopher Johnson and Jessica Taube; Faye Foote, Alexia Poppy Finley, and Jake Balk; Christopher and David Carlson; Melissa Strauch, Sara Fairbanks, and Katie Sala; Kyle, Shanley, Keely, and Aislinn Fogarty; Dillon and Drew Bode and Dempsey and Dennen Fogarty; 19 great grandchildren; sister Elizabeth Carstens, brother Thomas (Patricia) Mondeau, sister-in-law Carmen Elisa del Valle; numerous nieces and nephews.
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