Mary J. Thoe

Mary Joan (Decker) Thoe passed away at her “home-away-from-home” in Burlington, Wash. on Jan. 6, 2018 surrounded by her family.

Mary was born in Saint Benedict, Iowa, on Oct. 20, 1933, and grew up in Clear Lake. She was the fourth of five sisters.

  After high school, she worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Richard Calhoun, DDS, where she met Don Thoe, who was a patient. After a whirlwind romance for two weeks, Don left for Alaska and sent for her a month later, where they married and resided in Skagway since 1952.

Mary was just 18 years old when she headed north and started her life in Alaska. Mary developed a lifelong friendship of 65 years with Joyce Burnham and made many other friends along the way. Before Mary left Skagway for medical reasons in 2015, Kathy O’Daniel was a big part of Mary’s life.  We all want to thank Kathy for the devotion she showed during those years. Mary loved Skagway, missed her home and longed to return.

Mary worked for Kirmse’s, the Red Onion and Richter’s during the busy tourist summers.

She enjoyed her coffee friends and family, was a wicked card player, liked her crossword puzzles and was a voracious reader. Mary was a beloved mother, grandmother and friend who had the respect of all who knew her.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Don Thoe, who passed away in 2011; and by her parents, Sylvester Decker and Theresa Matz Decker, sisters, Dorothy, Shirley and Maxine.

Mary is survived by her daughter, Billie (Doug); and sons, Brad (Courtnay) and Shane (Lisa); her sister, Fran Berneman; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

To her coffee friends….Mary said she won’t be able to make it today.

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