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Mary Maher-Lehmann

September 5, 2020 | 13 comments

Mary Maher-Lehmann, age 68, of Houston Minnesota, passed away peacefully on September 2, 2020, at Gunderson Health Systems in La Crosse, Wisconsin, following a short and unexpected illness.

Mary was born February 27, 1952, in La Crosse, WI, to Glen and Evelyn Maher. She attended Blessed Sacrament Elementary School, and graduated from Aquinas High School (1970) in La Crosse before earning her degree in medical technology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Mary met Brian Lehmann, the love of her life, and they married on October 7, 1979. Brian and Mary welcomed their beloved daughter Talia in 1981, and Mary remained incredibly proud of Talia for the rest of her days. 

Mary worked in various hospitals and medical settings as a medical technologist until she pursued her passion for photography. She opened Lens Work Photography in the late 1980’s, and she loved to help people document their happy life occasions as a professional photographer until her retirement. Mary was a wonderful cook and baker, she enjoyed being able to feed guests delicious meals, and her fabulous cheesecakes were widely known and much appreciated. 

Mary and Brian enjoyed traveling, and they did so often when their health still allowed for it. Mary gave her powerful love to many beloved animals and pets in her lifetime, enjoyed collecting, and was known for her porcelain miniature dog and china collections. Mary loved art of all kinds but was especially proud of her husband’s artwork and prints. Reading, gardening, and being in nature also brought her joy. She dearly loved her home, and looking out at the beautiful view of nearby bluffs brought immense pleasure to her every day. Mary had close and devoted friendships from the many facets of her life, and her absence will leave a hole in the lives of numerous treasured friends and family members. 

While her health in recent years limited some activities, she never wavered from her favorite passion: being a loving mother and wife. She relished sharing and bragging about Talia, and being a fierce and caring advocate for her husband of almost 41 years. Mary was never afraid to speak her mind or share her opinions and advice, and remained her own, authentic self to the end. She was often described as a force of nature, and her love, devotion, and true radiance were a beacon to all who knew and loved her. 

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; her dear sister Kitty (Terry) Wojohn; Tommy Maher; mother-in-law Audra Lehmann; and her brother-in-law Kent Yeager. She is survived by her husband Brian and daughter Talia; siblings Mike Maher, Tim Maher, David Maher, Patricia VanderVelde, and Don (Geri) Maher; siblings-in-law Joellen Yeager, Mark (Karen) Lehmann, Lynda Holtz, Barbara Nash, and Grant (Laurie) Lehmann; father-in-law Robert Lehmann; and many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family members, and cherished friends. 

Per Mary’s wishes, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, when people are able to share happy memories and stories. In lieu of flowers, memorials suggested to: the United Way, www.unitedway.org; the Lyme Disease Association Inc, www.lymediseaseassociation.org; or Joe Biden/ the Biden-Harris campaign, at www.joebiden.com.       



  1. Deb Marston

    Thinking of you, Talia, during this terribly sad time. The quote you chose is so true. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person. ❤️



      Thank you for the writing and information on this sad occasion.
      I will always remember and treasure the good times with you, Mary and Brian.


  2. Dennis Johnson

    So very sorry for your loss. Mary sure sounded like a great lady. Big hugs to y’all.

    • David Lehmann

      So sorry to hear the news of Mary passing. Celebrate her life and you will always have the wonderful memories that live in your head and heart forever. God will embrace her and the love she had for all others.

  3. Gail Christine Meyer

    Pat, So sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. Your old friend from Mayo, Gail Meyer (Storlie).

  4. Doreen Auger

    Brian and Talia……sending prayers and hugs to you. I always appreciated Mary’s directness. I always enjoyed my visits with her and working with her on several weddings. She was not always understood but her caring heart was always available.

  5. Delette Lemon

    Sam and I send our condolences Talia. From our conversations, I know for a fact that your Mom was an amazing woman. Thinking of you and sending you a hug. Take care.

    • Sammie Gavin

      I didn’t know Mary as well as others did, but I just want to say how much of a joy it was to have her come into the bakery where I worked a few years ago. She had such a passion for everything and it was so inspiring to listen to her talk about her plans for the week. You could see the love she had for life, her family, and everything else. Anytime I saw Mary’s order on the schedule I knew I’d have a wonderful short visit from her when I’d help load her stuff in her car. I’m so sad to see her go and I extend my deepest condolences to her friends and family.

  6. Susan and Pete Peterson

    We are so sorry, Brian and Talia, to hear of Mary’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. David Kujawski

    Very sorry to learn of this. I remember her as “El Cid The Bull”, as she was truly a bulldog in chasing her goals. My condolences to her many loved ones.

    David Kujawski
    Aquinas Class of 70

  8. Janice Neal

    Sorry to hear of your loss, may the love and caring from family and friends bring you comfort.
    Keeping you in prayer.

  9. Kelly Phillips

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Mary Ann (Schaefer) Affeldt

    My sympathies to Mary/Cyd’s family; she left this planet too soon. I knew her from grade school (Blessed Sacrament) and high school. I remember sitting on her porch on 19th St. Reading her obituary made me think of her mom and dad too.

    She always liked to have fun, was kind, and shared her opinions. By training, she was a med tech like my mother. When my mom passed away 3 years ago, she wrote me a very heartfelt note, which I still reread.

    She was One of a Kind! How fortunate we all are that she passed through our lives.


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