Mary Ann Biggins, age 66, of Isanti died on March 4, 2009 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, March 14th at Strike Funeral Home – Isanti Chapel. A visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service.
Mary Ann Biggins was born September 11, 1942, the seventh of nine children, to Roy and Fern Hiljus. She was born in rural Isanti County during a tornado that swept through the county. She grew up and attended school in the Isanti-Cambridge School District.
As a young girl Mary Ann attended Elim Baptist Church in Isanti. She spent time at Trout Lake Camp and enjoyed any church function she attended. She went on to become a member of Elim and sang in the church choir. Later as a young mother she brought her children to Sunday School and church every Sunday.
Mary Ann married Bill Biggins on December 31, 1959. They started their married life living in an apartment in Ben Coolers apartment building by the railroad tracks in downtown Isanti. As their family grew they moved out to the Bud Wick farm where they lived for 3 years. In 1968 they built their dream home located north of Isanti across the street from the Biggins homestead. This is where they raised their four children and still lived for 41 years.
Mary Ann was fortunate enough to be able to be a stay at home mother that devoted her time and attention to taking care of her family and new home. She thoroughly loved family and friends and cherished any time spent with them. She had a servant’s heart, so her days were spent helping her mother-in-law, Hilda Biggins with weekly grocery shopping, cleaning and later in life helping family with her care in her battle with terminal cancer. She also took the time to help her own mother and brothers with household chores and trips to the Isanti Laundromat to do their laundry.
Mary Ann and Bill were known for their huge gardens. She would spend hours weeding newly sprouted vegetables with a spoon and tending to the many other rows of potatoes and corn. In the fall they spent their days picking, canning and freezing vegetables. They also would take vegetables to all of their family and friends who wanted or needed them.
Mary Ann loved the outdoors. As a family they would hunt, fish, ride bike, go on picnics by the river and a regular routine of walking the tracks to Isanti for a visit with her mother and brothers. She never let the winter stop the activities. She would then take the kids ice skating, sliding and ice fishing. She was always on the go with the four kids in tow. She would go out early in the morning while her son BJ was in school and walk his traplines, checking to see if he had any mink, fox or raccoons. Then on his return from school she would tell him what and where he could find his catch for the day.
Mary Ann and Bill were an example of if you saw one the other was never far away and not far away from them were their four children. They spent their time together snowmobiling, boating, fishing, camping in their bus and later spending time at their cabin on Lake Minewawa by McGregor.
Mary Ann was a wonderful Grandma/Great-Grandma and Aunt. She took the time to spend hours entertaining the young ones with dress up and make up time. The girls would wear her clothes and high heels and make up while the boys were busy playing their fly swatter guitars to country music. She would take them all to swing for hours. Throughout a time span of 25 years there is a picture of each of them on the swing. When everyone was tired or busy they knew Grandma was good for a few more swings.
There is no replacement for the void she will leave in our lives and time just may not be able to heal this pain, but the memories of what a remarkable wife, mother and woman she was can make us proud. She never spoke an unkind word about anyone. She was a true living testament of Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Something we can all take from her and utilize in our lives from today on.
Besides her parents she was preceded in death by 2 brothers, Duane and Richard. Mary Ann is survived by her husband, Bill of Isanti; 4 children, Pam (Rick) Thorson of Bemidji, Tamara Johnson of Minneapolis, Melissa Biggins of Isanti, B.J. (Deanne) Biggins of Isanti; 8 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 1 sister, Yvonne Lambrecht of Sartell; 5 brothers, Dean Hiljus of Mora, Donald Hiljus of North Branch, Raymond (Bonnie) Hiljus of Cambridge, Roger (Joanie) Hiljus of Cambridge, Gerald Hiljus of Minneapolis; and by many other relatives and friends.