Cover photo for Mary Lou Saari's Obituary
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1942 Mary Lou Saari 2023

Mary Lou Saari

August 29, 1942 — October 6, 2023

Pine City

Mary Lou (Thieman) Saari, age 81, of Pine City passed away peacefully on Friday, October 6, 2023 at the Sandstone Health Care Center in Sandstone with her husband and sons by her side due to heart and kidney failure.

Mary Lou Haug was born August 29, 1942 to Robert and Lucille (Jewel) Haug in Pokegama Township, Minnesota. She was born while her father was in the service during WWII and then spent her early life moving with her parents to many locations driven by Robert's jobs as a boiler inspector and equipment maintenance supervisor. Lucille would always find a job in retail wherever Robert's jobs took them. This included a period in Puerto Rico when Mary was in her early teens. When she returned to the U.S. at the age of 16, she met and fell in love with Charles Thieman, they were married on September 20, 1958. Together they had 3 boys; Steven in 1959, a son who passed away at birth in 1961, and Brian in 1968. The family lived in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis but eventually returned to Pine City. Charles died in August of 1975 and Mary moved around as her jobs took her in support of her family. This included waitress, retail, insurance sales and store management.

On December 28, 1993, Mary married Albert Saari and started a new chapter in her life. Mary and Al lived in the Pine City area for several years and then moved to a lakeshore home on Ann Lake north of Ogilvie. In 2010, when the time was right, they moved back to Pine City to their current home on Westchester Drive. Albert is the youngest of 10 children and he had 5 children with his first wife. This gave Mary the chance to enjoy a large family that she always wanted to have but could not. She always treasured family gatherings for any reason.

Mary liked going to auctions with Al and looking for treasures amongst the junk. This gave them a chance to get out of the house and socialize with friends. Al and Mary have several collections that they have gathered over the years. Mary loved her cats, Mike and Molly. They were her greatest comfort in her declining years. She loved sitting in her recliner with them on her lap.

On December 6, 2022, Mary became a resident of Sandstone Healthcare Center due to her health issues. On September 23, 2023, she entered hospice care with St. Croix Hospice. The family wishes to thank all the staff of both organizations for the very caring hands and hearts that made the end of her journey as peaceful as possible.

Mary is survived by her husband Albert Saari of Pine City. The combined families of her and Albert: Steve (Joan) Thieman of Pine City along with their children: Nathan (Jenny) Thieman, Melissa Thieman and Brice (BobbieJo) Thieman; Brian (Beth) Thieman of Sauk Rapids; Gayle (Dave) Kofoed of Owatonna along with their children: Carrie (Tony) Renchin, Keith (Michelle) Brogren and Mike (Amanda) Brogren; Susan Scott of Big Lake; Peggi (Joseph) Kunze of Pine City along with their children: Steve (Colleen) Kunze, Stacey (Chris) Kram, Tammy (Craig) Bohlke and Kimberly (Robert) Gruenes; Craig (Kathy) Saari of Pine City along with their children: Chelsy (Dylon) Lindman, Chad Saari and Kate (Jake) Cornelius; Terri Mount of Huntington, West Virginia along with her children: Amanda (Nathanael) Webb, Erica (Johnny) Branham and Beau Johnson; 35 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents; parents Robert and Lucille Haug; first husband Charles Thieman; infant son; great-grandson Weston Koch; step-son-in-law Michael Scott; step-great-great-grandson Eli Webb; aunts and uncles; other extended family.

Funeral services for Mary: 2 PM; Friday, October 20, 2023 with a time for family and friends to gather one hour prior to the service all at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City.  Following the service a reception for family and friends will be held at the Rock Creek Community Center in Rock Creek.

Arrangements are entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City ~ Swanson Chapel

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 20, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, October 20, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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