Obituary of Mary Margaret Bickner
Mary Margaret Bickner, 87, died surrounded by family at home on Sunday, November 25, 2018. Mary Van Dam was born in 1931 in Okabena, Minnesota, the youngest of three. She married William Bickner in 1949 and raised a large family in Heron Lake, Minnesota. She inspired in all her children a love of nature, music and politics. She was an avid gardener throughout her life. The garden was Mary’s “happy place.” Mary was a very active member of the community: she sang in the Methodist Church choir and taught Sunday school, started a 4-H chapter in high school, and then restarted a 4-H chapter when her children were old enough to participate. She was a Cub Scout den mother for many years. Mary co-founded a public library in Heron Lake. She was active in the DFL and served as a delegate to the state convention. She was invited to the White House following President Carter’s inauguration. Mary and Bill moved to Stillwater in 1983, where she continued to be active in politics and served many years as an election judge. Mary had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. She became a charter member of Sweet Adeline’s Vallee de Croix, and continued to sing with the chorus for over 30 years.
She is survived by her husband William; sons Bill, Bob, John, Ken and Ed; daughters Patricia and Carole (Sauers); and grandchildren Aaron, Merit, Ginny, and Faith Bickner, Iris and Guthrie Linder, and Rayna, Riley and Ryan Sauers. She was preceded in death by her brother John Van Dam, sister Gene Post, and her son Steve.
A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at the United Methodist Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 1, with a social hour following.