Mary Lee


Mary E. (Nelson) Lee quietly departed this life on February 6, 2024. She died at the age of 88 and was a resident of Bismarck, North Dakota for 61 years.  The Celebration of Life, for Mary Lee, will be on February 19, 2024, at 11:00 AM at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bismarck.  The service will be livestreamed on the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Facebook page.

She was born into the loving family of Iver and Annie Nelson on August 19, 1935, and welcomed by three siblings, Adrian, Francis, and Leland. Her family farmed near Renner, South Dakota, where she grew up  and was affectionately known to all, as Little Mary.

She is survived by her two Children:  Kari (Stan) Schultz and Lance Lee (Marie Metzgar); Grand Children: Nicholas Schultz (Parish Mechling), Dillon Lee (Liz Reid), Brayden and Dominik Metzger, Arianna Marie Lee, Yolanda Two Bears, Erald (Brandi) Gjoni; Great-Grandchildren: Ethan, Anna, Julia, and Elijah Perez, Jacob and Eden Gjoni, and all the wonderful people she loved, who called her Grandma!

Mary was preceded in Death by her Child, Montgomery Keith Lee; Grandchild: Landon Lind; Parents: Iver and Annie Nelson; her Siblings:  Adrian (Olga) Nelson, Francis (Vern) Rogers, Leland (Bernice) Nelson.

Mary was employed by the ND Supreme Court Administrator’s Office for many years, prior to retiring in 1997. Mary was a steadfast member of the Bismarck Republican Women and the Federation of Republican Women, working and coordinating  events, parades, rallies, and conventions. In 2016, Mary became a recipient of “Elephants Celebrated,” and was honored at the State Republican Convention. Mary was honored to be chosen to cast an Electoral Vote for the State of North Dakota In the Presidential Election of 2012. As a lifelong supporter of the Republican Party, she became a committed member of the Hoeven Gubernatorial Campaigns of 2000, 2004, and 2008, and then the United States Senate Campaign in 2010.

For those of you who knew her, you know she was a hardworking organizer, she knew how to get things done, she openly shared her wisdom and experience with those who needed it, and  she was a fierce mother and friend. Mary’s life will be cherished by her family and friends. Her influence, her wisdom, and her love will remain part of our lives forever!

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Rest in Peace Mary

Deepest sympathy to Mary’s family. She will be missed by all who knew her. I had the honor of working with her at the Supreme Court. She was a force to reckon with but always had time to mentor and teach you a thing or two. She was the epitome of class. A beautiful woman inside and out. May she rest in peace.

Mary was considered “little sister” by the three Brekke girls who were first cousins. A great friend to them in early life and cherished cousin always. Special because the Nelson’s were the only other children from the original Brekke line.

I got to see Mary at many family reunions—always a warm and happy encounter. Knew her parents and sibling’s well and always appreciated being part of the extended family.

Blessings to the family, and rest in Peace Cousin Mary!

Vance Valerio and family.
Omaha, NE

We lost a dear friend.. we would talk often and every time she’d ask about her boy friend Howard. I was fortunate to be in a group of “sisters”. Had a lot of laughs, fun dinners and lots of memories. Mary was a gracious lady.