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MaryLu R. Bird

MaryLu R. Bird

Mary Luella Rose (Peters) Bird, 72, was granted her angel wings and went home to be with her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at home in Menomonie surrounded by the love of her family.

She was born on October 15, 1944 to Edward and Bertha (Reller) Peters in St. Paul, MN.  She grew up in South Minneapolis near Lake Nokomis. She attended Resurrection Catholic School and graduated from St. Benedict’s High School in St. Joseph, MN in 1962.  She attended Viterbo University, University of Minnesota and graduated from San Jose State College in San Jose, CA in 1968. 

In 1967, she entered the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  In her 27 years of service as a nun, she influenced thousands of children by teaching in Watts and Compton, CA, and coordinating the building of the Sacred Heart Retreat Center in Santa Ana, CA (which services hundreds of children a week) and The Sacred Heart Retreat Camp for families in the mountains at Big Bear Lake, CA. 

In her humble way, Mary Lu laid tile, did woodworking and painted buildings alongside the volunteers that she had assembled.  In her early years, she taught at juvenile detention facilities, and worked with the poorest of the poor helping to gather food and supplies for families.  She learned glass making at the feet of the renowned ecclesiastical artist, Isabel Pizek, who said that Mary Lu had talent that was God-given and inspirational. 

In 1996, she moved to Menomonie and started working for the Parish at St. Joseph Catholic Church.  She was the Director of Religious Education where she taught children and adults.   She was instrumental in the planning of the Fall Festival, Tuesday’s Table and other fund raising activities at St. Joe’s.  She retired in 2010. 

On April 10, 1999, she was united in marriage to William (Bill) Bird of Menomonie.  With this union she gained an instant family of children and grandchildren.  In later years she became a special Nana to 2 more grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  

Over the years, Mary Lu accomplished many things.  She was an avid traveler finding “great deals” - nothing would stop her!  Doing so, she was able to visit all 50 states, cruise the Caribbean and the Panama Canal, and visit many European Countries including the Vatican and Holy Land. 

She had a love for her stained glass!  She designed and installed the glass panels at the chapels at The Neighbors of Dunn County.  She also made “Wine Lights” that glow in many homes of family and friends; made a front door window for her home, and made stepping stones that were sold at local craft fairs.  Mary Lu had a love for gardening and her flowers.  She also loved designing and arranging floral bouquets for weddings of grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  She loved doing pottery and painting and had a kiln in the garage.  She enjoyed sewing and knitting; making baby blankets, mittens, quilts and sweaters. 

Mary Lu is survived by her husband and best friend, Bill.  Children, Fred and Laurel Bird, Menomonie; Jim and Susan Bird, Bloomington, MN; Kim and Karl Dicks, Menomonie; Kathie and Mark Metzger, Menomonie; Mike and Jodi Bird, Menomonie.    Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.  Becca and Jeremy Goebel, Carter, Zachary and Anthony; Beth and Paul McRae;  Sarah and Josh Weltzin, Mary and Frederick; Jacob and Sara Bird;  Daniel and Kelly Bird; Anna and Bryan Bergh; Angel Bird; Matthew Bird; Tina and Rich Pastor; Stacey and Andy Evans, Elliana and Barrett; Brian and Jenny Metzger, Kaiden; Dawn Metzger (Steve Mann); Mackenzie Bird; Tucker Bird.  Special granddaughter Deanna Pierzina (Adam Beach). 

Also survived by brothers and sisters: Rod and Marilynn Peters, Waconia, MN; Gerry and Richard Bloomgren, Newberry Park, CA; Ken and Sharon Peters, Rosemount, MN; Gil and Christal Peters, Rosemount, MN; Phyllis and Dennis Hoeben, Union, KY; John and Kim Peters, Colorado Springs, CO; JoAnn and Dale Berends, Glenwood City, WI; John Daly, New Brighton, MN.   She is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews, friends and extended family.

 She is preceded in death by her parents, Mother-in-law Anna Bird, son-in-law Randy Larson, brother in-law Melvin Bird, sister in-law Kaye Bird

Funeral Mass will be Monday, September 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Menomonie.  Visitation will be 9 a.m. until the time of service.  Burial will be at a later date at Teegarden Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the St. Joseph School Endowment Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation of Dunn County or to Camp Gray Scholarship Fund, a religious training camp in Reedsburg, WI, run by Mary Lu’s nephew, Jeff.


  1. Erv and Vi Knoblach

    To the Peters and Bird Family,

    So sorry to hear of MaryLu's passing. I knew that she devoted her life to helping many people, but after reading her obituary, was even more impressed with her accomplishments and gifts in making lives better for others. She was indeed a servant of God here on earth. As a child, I always looked forward to playing with MaryLu when the families would get together, as she was close to my age...many fun memories. With the sadness of her death, there is indeed comfort in knowing that she and her parents are now in the loving arms of Our Lord, where we all aspire to be one day. God bless all of you and may he comfort you in the days ahead. Take care!

  2. Lorraine Provo

    So sorry to here about Mary Lu's passing. She was an inspiration to all of us. She is now with her maker, God Bless to All.

    Lorraine Peters Provo ~~

  3. Tom and Anita LeC;eir

    We are so sorry you have lost your loved one. Prayers are being said for you all.

  4. Terry Ingram

    My heartfelt prayers for Bill, family, friends, and Mary Lu's friends in religious life. Mary Lu was one of the first sisters I met before deciding to become a nun. She was welcoming with a warm zeal for Our Lord. It is evident by the pregnant obituary paragraphs blossoming with Mary Lu's life of service and talents. Thank you Mary Lu for being one of Gods shinning rays of light and love.

  5. Kerry Hastert

    She was a mentor to me in Community. Loved her humanness. She was down to earth and very loving, present. She will be missed‼️❤️

  6. Marlene LeBlanc

    All my love to Mary Lu's family. God bless you all. I am so grateful to have known her and thank God for her wonderful life!

  7. Theresa McMorrow Jordan

    Mary Lu had a strong positive influence on the development of my servant creative heart...I was a young religious and was inspired by her generosity to grow and give my talents in whole-hearted service of The Lord and the people He assigned me to....Her amazing Leadership and hard work has stayed with me my whole life! I cherish the memories and the gift she was in my life. And I am jealous that she is now with The Lord...may you find a way to let us all know...like Joshua did when he was sent ahead to take a look at The Promised Land....that it is just as He promised it would be

  8. Karen Monaco

    I met Mary Lu in the early 90's when she was a nun with the Sacred Heart Sisters....attended a women's retreat in Big Bear, Ca. with our dear friend, Shelli Imfeld, and since then we have been very close friends. In fact I am the godmother of her first born son. Mary Lu gave a very inspiring, holy retreat and I worked with her in different projects. She was an amazing, hard working woman! God Bless you, Mary Lu!

  9. Linda Krumrie Lambrecht

    Our deepest sympathy to Bill & family. Mary Lu was a beautiful woman that touched our lives in a very special way. We will miss her.
    Love, Harry daughter Linda & Gary

  10. Tom and Kate Dunbar

    Mary Lu and I have been friends for 50 years and in the last three years we bonded over the needs that arise out of cancer. What a blessing it was to be with her and Bill. Travelling together was the most fun-she is truly with Jesus in heaven. We miss her, but will be reunited in time.

  11. Pam McGriff

    All my love to all of you. Thank you for loving Mary Lu. I do too. May you be filled with peace.

  12. Chloe McCabe

    She was a good sister and friend!

  13. Mike and Debbie Bloomgren

    We loved Mary Lu's spunk and zest for life. She truly relished God's creation in every living thing. We are so thankful that she made the trip to Meagan and Moses's wedding. She gave us the opportunity to say good-bye in person and tell her how much we loved her. Thanks for your witness Mary Lu. We love you and will miss you. ❤️

  14. Msgr. Robert Howard

    I was privileged to have known MaryLu since the mid 90's. I also witnessed her marriage to Bill and had the honor of a number of visits over the years! I have celebrated Mass for the repose of her soul and will continue to remember her, Bill, and the rest of her family in my prayers!

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