She was born Oct. 26, 1929 in Grand Forks, N.D. to Robert and Mabel (Walgreen) Ljungren. She grew up in Sebeka, Minn., attending grade school and graduating from Sebeka High School in 1947. After high school Mary attended Bemidji State University for two years where she earned her degree in Elementary Education. She taught at a country school for one year.
On July 16, 1950 she was united in marriage to Dwight Niles in Sebeka. The couple lived in Deer River for a couple of years before moving to Cambridge in 1952. Mary was a substitute teacher at Cambridge Elementary School and also worked as a secretary at Cambridge Lutheran Church for a number of years. Mary and Dwight raised their two daughters in Cambridge. After retirement, they sold their home and purchased a mobile home in Pine Village and also Arizona, spending summers in Cambridge and winters in Apache Junction from 1992 to 2001. After Dwight passed away in 2001, Mary sold the home in Arizona and remained in Pine Village. The past six years Mary lived at Carsten’s Harbor/Haven House, which she enjoyed.
Mary was very active in the Cambridge American Legion Auxiliary, serving as president. She also served as the president at the state level in 1982. She was a longtime member of the Cambridge Lutheran Church. She bowled league for many years, enjoyed baking, sewing, and making crafts. Mary loved to laugh and have fun; she thoroughly enjoyed spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Dwight, granddaughter Amanda Hugget, brothers LeRoy and Vernon Ljungren. Mary is survived by her daughters Marilyn Solberg of Cambridge, Pat and husband Dave Hugget of Elk River, seven grandchildren Amy (Brian) Guyre of Brooklyn Park, Chris Rice (Kim) of Cambridge, Matt (Cindy) Rice of Golden Valley, Dan Hugget of St. Cloud, Eric Solberg, Kjersti Solberg and Hans Solberg all of Cambridge, seven great grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, January 12, 2012 at the Cambridge Lutheran Church with Rev. David Everett officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Mary Falk, accompanied by Mary Kay O’Neill will provide the special music. Honorary pallbearers will be the grandchildren Amy Guyer, Chris Rice, Matt Rice, Dan Hugget, Eric Solberg, Kjersti Solberg, and Hans Solberg. Interment will be in the Cambridge Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.