Marion Blanche (Greenwood) Dessert

October 23, 1919 ~ March 13, 2018 (age 98)

Marion Dessert, 98, of Bemidji, MN died Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at GoldPine Home, Bemidji.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 19, 2018 at St. Philip’s Catholic Church with Fr. Rick Lambert officiating. Family will greet friends for 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Time of Sharing will be 2-4 p.m. with storytelling at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, March 18, 2018 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Bemidji. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji.

Marion Blanche Greenwood was born October 23, 1919 in East Grand Forks, MN to William and Cora (Fontaine) Greenwood. Marion’s formal education began at Sacred Heart Boarding School in East Grand Forks, which she attended for two years. She was then educated by the nuns at Mount St. Benedict’s in Crookston from the third through twelfth grade, graduating high school in 1937. Marion worked at the Douglas Lodge in Itasca State Park, where she met her future husband, Ed Dessert. They were married May 15, 1943 in Bemidji. After Ed finished the University of North Dakota Law School, they moved to Bemidji for his work and to be close to family and friends. Marion loved celebrating holidays and especially loved sharing those celebrations with others. She decorated her yard with flags for the fourth of July, delighted children with her annual candy throw, and provided unlimited seating for viewing the fireworks launched over Lake Bemidji. Around 300 trick or treaters rang her doorbell each Halloween, knowing that 615 Lake Blvd would have some of the best treats in town. In the 1980s, Marion and her sister Jean initiated the tradition of lining Lake Blvd with luminaries each Christmas Eve, a tradition that continues to this day, joyfully viewed by many on their way home from evening church services.  In the early 1970s Marion was honored as Bemidji’s first Woman of the Year. Many affectionately referred to her as the Queen of Lake Blvd, where she lived for 58 years. Each summer Marion and her sisters, Jean and Pat, traveled the counties of Northwestern Minnesota in her light blue Cadillac, eager to discover and occasionally purchase treasures at auctions and garage sales. Fortunately for them, most of their travel routes provided an opportunity to stop by a casino on their way back to Bemidji. Marion enjoyed laughter, sharing her time with family and friends, and most of all she loved seeing others having a good time. She felt the key to a long happy life is having many friends. In her later years, she moved to GoldPine, which over time became her home. There she hosted visitors as regularly, generously, and joyfully as she had on Lake Blvd.

She is survived by daughter, Nancy Dessert of St. Paul, MN; son, Bill (Cathy) Dessert of Vadnais Heights; 2 grandchildren, Alex and Elliot and 2 sisters, Jean Grissom of San Lorenzo, CA and Patricia (J. Robert) Brouse of Bemidji.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Cora Greenwood; husband, Edward Dessert; 3 brothers, Buck Greenwood, Jerome Greenwood and Bennett Greenwood.

A memorial fund is being established in Marion’s name for the purpose of benefiting the City of Bemidji, a place that she loved and was proud to be a part of.

Online guestbook at

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