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Mae E. DeFosse -- Rochester

May 5, 2019 GMT

The Celebration of Mae E. DeFosse’s life will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. Service will be officiated by Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon, in the Chapel, located on the East side of the church, along with parking. Visitation will be at noon, one hour before the service. Please stay for lunch following the service.

Mae Elizabeth DeFosse, of Rochester, died peacefully, at age 94, on April 5, 2019, in the Terrace Apartments of St. Andrew’s Village, Mahtomedi, where she was still living independently.

Mae was born June 4, 1924, at home on the family farm in Utica, to Oscar and Ida Gilbertson. When she was 12, the family moved to Rochester. It was her first experience with indoor plumbing. She went from riding her pony, Spot, to a one-room country school, to attending a massive, 3-story structure with different teachers and classrooms for each subject.


She graduated from Rochester High School, and was a lifelong resident in Rochester. She loved being a mom and housewife in the ’50s and ’60s. She also ran the Maid Rite Cafe for several years, and retired as a phlebotomist, after 20 years at Mayo Clinic.

Mae was preceded in death by her son, James DeFosse; her divorced husband, Allen “Jiggs” DeFosse; two sisters, Kathryn and Irene; and a brother, Gerhardt. She is survived by daughters, Judy Nelson (Dick), Jane Nicholson (Ben), and Joanne Ryan (Pat). She is also survived by 10 grandchildren, three step grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, eight step great-grandchildren, and one step great-great-grandchild.

Some time ago, Mae wrote: “I love my children and grandchildren. I’m very proud of them. They have made my life — loving and caring about each one of them. Kept me young at heart.”

Her motto was “Live, Laugh, and Love”

Flowers and memorials to Christ United Methodist Church, in Mae’s name.