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Mary L. Townsley

Mary L. Townsley, age 66, of Lyle, Minnesota, passed away Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, Saint Mary’s Campus.

Mary L. Townsley
Mary L. Townsley

Mary Lillian Lawson was born on Feb. 23, 1957, to Howard and Betty (Shaw) Lawson at Olmsted County Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. She graduated from Stewartville High School in 1975, and following high school she attended nursing school. Mary met Greg through his sister Tammy, while she was working in Rochester at St. Mary’s; their first date was out at Billotti’s and it was love at first sight. Soon after, on Sept. 19, 1981, Mary and Greg Townsley were married in Charles City, Iowa. They were blessed with three beautiful daughters. She worked in a daycare and was a nurse’s aide in a nursing home. Mary also worked at Hormel Foods for 19 years in production. Mary was her own nurse for the last five years, which included administering her own dialysis from home. She was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran in Lyle, Minnesota. Mary was well known for her cooking and baking; she hosted and prepared all the food for family gatherings and holidays. Mary never wrote down any of her recipes and her family will miss all her wonderful home cooked meals. She loved to watch her shows; she also loved animals, especially her late dog Molly and current puppy Mazie. She enjoyed filling her patio with flowers in the spring. Mary will be missed by all that knew and loved her.

Mary is survived by her husband, Greg Townsley of Lyle; three daughters, Tanya (Jeffrey) Jensen of Austin, Ashley (Jeff) Higgins of Lyle, and Nikki (Mikey) Buringrud of St. Ansgar, Iowa; two grandsons, Liam Higgins, and Wendell Buringrud; brothers, Les Lawson of Racine, Mike (Donna) Lawson of Racine, and Danny (Mary) Lawson of Byron; sisters-in-law, Tammy Townsley of Charles City, Iowa, and Pam (Ken) Boge of Orchard, Iowa; and brother-in-law, Mike Sloan of Rochester. She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Betty Lawson; sister, Linda Sloan; sister-in-law, Sylvia Lawson; and brother-in-law, Curtis Townsley.

A memorial service for Mary will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at Our Saviors Lutheran in Lyle. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Following the service at the church there will be a Celebration of Life at the Lyle Legion – Post 105. Interment will take place at a later date. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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