Mary Ellen (Roche) Wadden, 95, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2020, surrounded by her family at Carondelet Village in St. Paul. She lived for 50 years in Winona, where she raised a family of six children with her beloved husband of 63 years, Dr. James Vincent Wadden, a dentist.
Mary is survived by her children, Patrick (Marlena Marallo) of Saugerties, N.Y., Theresa (Mark Molner) Wadden of Bend, Ore., Paul (Mee Hey Chang) of Tokyo, Japan, John (Kristin Dean) of Denver, Colo., Cathie (George) Puzak of Minneapolis, Mary (Robert) Basch of St. Paul; and 12 grandchildren, Noah, Keenan, Scott, Elena, Maryann, Melissa, Vince, Eric, Kari, Will, John, and Ellen.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Vince; brothers, Joseph and Paul Roche; and sister, Margaret Ollman.
Mary was born to Margaret (Henry) and Joseph Roche in Robbinsdale, Minn., on November 11, 1924. She attended Robbinsdale High School and St. Catherine University (BS nutrition), and received her training as a dietician at Harvard’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
While an instructor of dietetics at the College of St. Teresa from 1947-51, she met a returning war veteran, Vince Wadden, then completing pre-dental studies at St. Mary’s University. They were married in 1951 and settled in Winona.
Mary was devoted to her family, church, and community. She lived with grace, a constant example of kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness to those around her. Blending love with her professional training, she was an amazing cook, bringing joy and artistry to family gatherings. Mary was deeply involved in the Winona community, actively contributing to St. Mary’s Parish, Cotter High School, St. Anne’s Hospice, and the Winona Dental Society Auxiliary. The daughter of a mayor, she was keenly interested in public affairs. Forged by her childhood during the Great Depression, she applied her sharp mind to living resourcefully and independently.
She resided at Carondelet Village in her final years with former teachers and classmates from St. Catherine, and felt that her life had truly come full circle. She made new friends and participated fully in her new community. In her last days, she shared love and wisdom with her children and grandchildren.
A brief outdoor service will be held on Wednesday, August 26, at 12 p.m., at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Winona.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Sisters of St. Joseph at Carondelet Village in St. Paul or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Services are entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home. Words of sympathy and remembrance may be left at http://www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.