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Marjorie (Marge) Harelson (nee Posey), 76, passed away February 24th, 2021 surrounded by family, after complications from heart surgery. Marge was preceded in death by her husband and best friend Jim, parents Robert and Bessie, and siblings Bill, Martha and John. She is survived by her children Scott (Janet), Mark (Kerstin) and Anna (Greg), grandchildren Brianna (Matthew), Elisabeth, Nicholaus, Micheal, Calvin, Katie (Chris), Conner and Joshua (Hae Kyung) along with three great grandchildren and other family members.
Marge was born on August 17th, 1944 in Mora, MN. She graduated from Mora High School in 1962 as salutatorian of her class. She then went on to obtain a bookkeeping/business degree at Pine County Vo-Tech. After moving to the “big city” of Minneapolis, she met Jim and they were married on November 4th, 1967. In 1971, they moved away from the Twin Cities and bought their first home on Coon Lake Beach to raise their three children. After 13 years, the family moved into Forest Lake.
Marge began her career working in the finance billing department at multiple auto dealerships in the Twin Cities area. Then from the late-1970s through the mid-1990s, Marge partnered with Jim to create the ICU Professional Driving School where she was a driving instructor. This led her to become known in the Forest Lake business community as “Mrs. ICU”. After selling the driving school, Marge followed Jim into a new field, Property Management, where she became a maintenance tech, working at a couple motels before moving on to apartment complexes.
An artist from a young age, Marge was mostly self-taught. She shared her passion for painting by teaching, using her self-titled “Keep It Simple Sunshine” technique. Then with a larger scale canvas in mind, she painted a couple of scenic murals on garage doors in Forest Lake and Mora. In 1993, Marge was asked to paint a mural for the Forest Lake Centennial. She researched and designed the mural commemorating 100 years of Forest Lake history. This was her largest mural at 17-foot-high x 135-foot-long that was painted on the side of a local grocery store building with the help of many volunteers. After retiring, she and Jim became “snow birds”. Traveling to the South and Southwest USA, she taught classes at the RV parks and painted more murals in Concan, TX and Biloxi, MS.
Marge also shared in Jim’s love of baseball. Jim coached a traveling baseball team from the Forest Lake area over a decade with Marge by his side, engaging parents and family of their teams throughout the years.
A Celebration of Life Open House will be held Saturday June 26th, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at the Forest Lake American Legion.
Marge will be interred at Fort Snelling Cemetery alongside Jim in a private ceremony. Arrangements by Mattson Funeral Home & Cremation Service, (651)464-3556. www.mattsonfuneralhome.com
In Marge’s honor, the family requests donations be made to the Forest Lake Athletic Association (FLAA) in lieu of flowers. The donations will be used toward scholarships for traveling baseball.
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