Maria Winifred Faust, of Homer, Minn., died Thursday, December 15, 2011, at her home. Maria waged a courageous three-month battle with an aggressive and rare form of ovarian cancer.
She was born September 21, 1959, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Charles and Helen Faust. Maria graduated from Park Center Senior High in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, attended St. Cloud State University, and graduated with a degree in Speech Communications from Winona State University in 1985.
Throughout high school and college she was a dedicated sales consultant at JB Hudson Jewelers, where she loved working with beautiful merchandise. Maria had a very loyal clientele largely based on her excellent interpersonal skills and dedication to customer service. At Hudson’s she eventually was offered a management position.
After college she became a buyer for Target Corporation where she worked for several years. She then moved to Syracuse, New York, and worked as a sales/MasterPlan manager for Dunk and Bright Furnishings. She eventually moved back to the Midwest and continued her retail career as a Cosmetics Department Manager at Dayton’s in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Her photographer brother, Chris, made frequent photo road trips to Sioux Falls and it was on one of these trips that she was introduced to a fellow photographer, Ted Haaland. They shared a keen interest in jazz music and became friends. They began courting and eventually Ted asked for Maria’s hand in marriage. They were married in St. Paul in 1993.
During college Maria developed a love for the bluff country around Winona. It was therefore only natural that she and Ted decided to settle here. In 1994, they bought the house once occupied by the Superintendent of the US Fisheries station in Homer, largely due to its view of the Mississippi river. Over the years they created a beautiful, art-filled home that served as a rural oasis for family and friends.
Maria’s dedication to the Winona/Homer area extended well beyond her appreciation of the locale. Throughout her years in Winona, she was an avid patron of the local arts scene. She volunteered at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and also at the Winona Arts Center. In 1995, Maria served as an Americorps Volunteer for the local Women’s Food and Fiber Project in SE Minnesota. This experience led to an increasing interest in local foods and the culinary arts in general. She became an active volunteer on the Local Foods Subcommittee of the Winona County EDA. Later, Maria spearheaded a newspaper column entitled “From the Seasonal Kitchen” which appeared weekly in the Winona Post. This effort, eventually in cooperation with several other local women, featured recipes and suggestions for using local foods in season. Over the years, Maria honed her culinary talents and most would agree that being served dinner at her home was not just a meal, it was an experience! She will be remembered by her friends and family as a consummate hostess.
She is survived by her husband, Ted Haaland, of Homer, Minn., mother and father, Charles and Helen Faust of St. Paul, Minn., siblings Christopher Faust, sister-in-law, Diane Rumsey and nephew, Chad Faust of St. Paul, Minn., brother, Matthew Faust, of Red Wing Minn., and sister, Lisa Faust of Portland, Oregon; and her beloved doggies, Olivia and Maggie. Maria was a tender-hearted, loving, kind and beautiful soul and she will be sorely missed by her family and many loving, kind friends along with all the creatures of nature that she so loved.
A remembrance of Maria will be held in the Great Room of Alverna Center, 1175 West Wabasha, Winona, on Saturday, January 21, at 1:30 PM. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Winona Area Humane Society or the Winona Area Hospice Services.