Cover photo for Mary E.  Buenzow's Obituary
Mary E.  Buenzow Profile Photo
1955 Mary 2021

Mary E. Buenzow

April 7, 1955 — April 17, 2021

MARY EILEEN BUENZOW, age 66 of Waseca died on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at her home following a nine year courageous fight with cancer.

Born on April 7, 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa, she was the daughter of Merlin and Marjorie (Quinn) Dunt. She attended Holy Name Catholic School in West Union before graduating from North High School in 1973. Mary went on to attend Humboldt Airline School in Minneapolis and began working for Northwest Orient Airlines. On June 5, 1976, Mary was united in marriage to Steven Buenzow. They moved to Waseca where they were blessed with 24 years of marriage and three children before their divorce in 1998. Over the years, Mary was employed at the Waseca Clinic and did home daycare before she began her career at the City of Waseca in 1987. She took pride in her role as City Clerk. She loved her job and co-workers and had many great memories of those years. She retired as City Clerk in 2018.

Mary made the most out of her short 66 years. She was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, Mom, Grandma and friend, but also earned many other nicknames and titles. When her kids were growing up, she was deeply involved in their activities and continued this with all of her grandchildren. She was a “second mom” to her children’s friends, loving them like her own. She was so proud to be from Iowa! She used to roll down the windows at the Iowa state line to “Smell the air! We’re in God’s country now.” The second oldest of seven siblings (and oldest girl), she enjoyed being a steady source of wisdom, comfort and support for them. She felt the need to protect her siblings and her Mom, even so close to her death, by never saying just how sick she was. She loved traveling back to her hometown and spending time with her family; always making sure she saw everyone during her visits. You could count on her to come to anything involving her siblings, nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, and friends; simply put- Mary showed up. She especially loved the Dunt campouts- but only if you brought your rain gear. She also loved her visits to her siblings who live out of West Union and took a few long road trips with them as well. She maintained a wonderful relationship with her Buenzow relatives; which was a true testament to how much she meant to everyone.

She had an inviting smile and caring eyes. Going anywhere in Waseca with Mary became an inside joke, as she always saw someone she knew… “She can’t know everyone…can she?!”

She loved reading (nothing too sappy), doing jigsaw puzzles (even pre-pandemic!), going to “easy listening” concerts with her daughters, traveling, gardening, antiquing, spending time with friends, baking, playing board games, most anything British, and a good drink.

She spent many wonderful years with her fiancé, Craig Smith before his death in 2019 and became very close with his family. Craig even turned her into a Packer fan! She loved their fishing trips, and has enjoyed passing down some fishing tips to her grandson. She loved the Smith family get-togethers and felt blessed to be a part of their lives.

Mary was a devout member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waseca. Her faith kept her strong through the ups and downs of life, and through her 9 year cancer fight.

Most of all she loved her time as “Grandma”. Her grandchildren were the lights of her life. She spoiled them with her time and unconditional love. She always had a warm hug and homemade treats, and wouldn’t hesitate to travel hundreds of miles to make sure she attended their important events. She only got mad once!(the kids made slime). She especially cherished when all of her children and grandchildren were in the same place together. Family was everything to Mary, just as she was everything to her family. She will be deeply missed by everyone who knew her.

She is survived by her three children, Matthew (Angella) Buenzow of Mitchell, SD, Sara (Jason) Lynch of Waseca, and Quinn Buenzow; and nine grandchildren, Morgan, Mason, Mallory, Camryn, Haydn, Amilya, Reese, Gabriel, and Simone. She is also survived by her mother, Marjorie Halverson; stepmother, Nancy Dunt; seven siblings, Jack (Sue) Dunt, Bill (Joyce) Dunt, Brian (Kathy) Dunt, Steve (Linda) Dunt, Dean (Jana) Dunt, Karen Kime, and Ron (Krista) Dunt; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Merlin Dunt; stepfather, Dale Halverson; and fiancé, Craig Smith.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waseca. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 4-7 PM at the State Street Chapel of Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services in Waseca.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary E. Buenzow, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Church of the Sacred Heart

111 4th Street N.W., Waseca, MN 56093

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