Mary Ellen Trapanese, 74, of Red Wing, died Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on February 3, 1948, in Morris, IL, to Elvin and Thelma (Flesner) Behrens. She graduated from Morris High School in 1966, attended Waldorf College and graduated in 1970 from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She came to Red Wing following graduation to teach. Shortly after moving to Red Wing she met Frank Trapanese. They were married on January 2nd, 1973 at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing. She taught 4th grade at Jefferson Elementary and Burnside Elementary, retiring after 38 years. In retirement Mary volunteered many hours at the CARE Clinic and the Red Wing Area Food Shelf where she served on the Board of Directors. She was voracious reader and lifelong learner. Mary’s passion for teaching carried through after her retirement not only with her grandchildren, but with neighborhood kids whom she tutored in reading and math. From early in her life faith, family and friends were of greatest importance to Mary which she displayed through her relentlessly optimism, courage, warmth and openness to others. She would not hesitate to share an authentic “I love you” with a good friend. Mary enjoyed nature. She loved flowers, plants and planting, watching animals and birds, and being outdoors, often with a good book. Her favorite place was her sister’s cabin on Big Sugarbush Lake where she made her best memories of time spent with her family, reading, talking to her sister and being in nature. She was an active member of United Lutheran Church. She looked forward to spending March of each year with Frank in Palm Desert, CA where her sister and family also wintered.
Mary is survived by her loving husband of 49 years, Frank; two children, Sarah Somrock of Savage and Andrew (Erin) Trapanese of Denver, CO; four grandchildren, Sawyer, Sylas and Sidney Somrock and Mary Annabelle Trapanese; one sister, Joyce (George) Wallman of Fargo, ND; one brother, Jim (Linda) Behrens of Aurora, IL; nieces and nephews, Marc Wallman, Beth Zimmerman, Kari Lewis and Katie Martinez along with James Williams of Hopkins, a friend of the family. She was preceded in death by her parents.
A celebration of life for Mary will be 11 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2022, at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing with Reverend Justin Boeding officiating. Burial will be at the Burnside Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel and at the church for one hour prior to the service. Memorials are preferred to United Lutheran Church, CARE Clinic or the Red Wing Area Food Shelf.