Mary J. Bries

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Mary Jean Bries, 72, of Elkader, died peacefully on Sunday, Aug 4, 2019. As was her wish, she passed away in her own home surrounded by her children.

Funeral services were held on Aug. 10, at St. Joseph’s Church in Garnavillo.

Mary was born Dec 14, 1946, to Peter and Marie Langel Berns in Guttenberg. She was joined in marriage to Charles Bries on Feb 17, 1968, (25 years and a day after her parents were wed) at St. Joseph’s.

Mary was a 1965 graduate of Garnavillo H.S. and attended Mount St. Clare College in Clinton, graduating with her Associate of Arts degree in 1967. Possessed of an entrepreneurial spirit, Mary first opened a fabric store on Cedar Street in Elkader, later purchasing a building on Main Street to create the "Elkader Mini Mall" which included Bries’ Fabric and Fashion. Although health issues eventually forced her into retirement, her love of people led her to help children with special needs and lend her creative talents to Esser’s Clothing Store in Guttenberg.

In her spare time, Mary enjoyed dancing with Charlie at Lakeside, sewing/crafts, reading, playing cards/games, and talking about her children and grandchildren. Mary was an amazing woman who had the ability to make friends with ease. She impacted and brought joy to more people than we’ll ever know.

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