Maureen E. Greden, age 71, of Faribault, MN, passed away Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at the Reflections Care Suites in Northfield, MN.
Maureen Elaine Quinnell was born on August 22, 1945 in Farmington, MN to LeRoy and Dolores (Warmington) Quinnell. She proudly attended District 74 country school in rural Faribault until the family "moved to town" where they had their first home with running water. She grew up surrounded by family, including her sister LaVonne (Bonnie) and many aunts and cousins. In high school, Maureen swooned over Elvis and The Beatles and took her first job in the healthcare field, working in the kitchen at District One Hospital.
Maureen graduated from Faribault High School in 1963 and attended nursing school at Miller Hospital in St. Paul (LPN, 1964). After graduation she worked in St. Paul, rooming with several nurse friends and taking full advantage of urban living. In October 1965, she married Eugene Greden and their children, Peter, Leah and Mark, soon filled their home. She resumed work at District One Hospital, this time as a nurse.
The family moved to Northfield in 1976, and in the 1980s Maureen returned to school to earn her RN degree. Shortly thereafter she made a transition from hospital nursing to long-term care, starting with a position in Red Wing before moving to Three Links Care Center in Northfield in 1989. During her tenure as Director of Nurses from 1991 to 2010, Maureen hired nearly 1000 employees, an accomplishment that left a positive imprint on our region's healthcare workers that continues to this day. At her retirement, and during the final weeks of her life, many people shared stories about the significant role that Maureen's support, sage advice, and positive role modeling played in their lives. She was witty and fun to work with and always saw the greater good in people. She was like a second mother to many and nurtured both careers and the women pursuing them. After retirement, Maureen couldn't stay away from the healthcare scene, volunteering for both the District One Hospital Gift Shop and Faribault Hospice.
A caregiver in both her professional and personal life, Maureen supported her family, friends, neighbors, and community, in ways big and small, every day. She believed in second chances and in supporting those whose needs exceeded her own. She was a good listener and, with her expressive face, was not shy about sharing how she felt about what she was hearing. She will be remembered for her open-door policy, both at home and at work, and for her love of strays, both animal and human. Such care and love she had shared throughout her life came circling back to her in her final weeks, in deeply moving and beautiful ways.
Inherently pragmatic and fond of quirky expressions, Maureen exhibited just the right combination of sweet and snark. She loved music and attended many live shows; some favorites included The Rolling Stones and many artists who played the Minnesota Zoo's concert series, especially Jerry Jeff Walker. She liked to travel and particularly relished the trips she made to Norway, where she connected with relatives and ancestral landmarks, and Alaska, a destination she had been dreaming about since reading the letters her grandfather wrote to her as a child. During that trip, she was excited to ride the railroad that he helped build.
Though she enjoyed travel, Maureen also delighted in coming home to a backyard bonfire. She was a connoisseur of white cake with white frosting and an expert snacker who will be remembered for her craving of popcorn, potato chips, and beer. Maureen cherished the ordinary, loved reading and poetry, and showed less concern about the cleanliness of her house than the well-being of those who entered it.
Maureen's days were significantly brightened by the presence of her dear sweet granddaughters, Kayla (15), Ava (6), and Brook (3), with whom she shared a love of sweets, many popcorn parties, silly faces, and powerful memories. She was the ultimate Nana to them, not only providing child care but relishing in their unique and beautiful personalities, spoiling them in ways that only a grandmother can.
Maureen is survived by her husband of 51 years, Gene; sons Peter and Mark (Tammy) of Faribault; daughter Leah Greden Mathews (Brian) of Candler, NC; granddaughters Kayla, Ava and Brook; and sister Bonnie of Farmington.
The best way to celebrate Maureen's life is through living your own, supporting your community, and serving as a positive role model for others. Memorials are suggested to Faribault Area Hospice Foundation.
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of St. Dominic, 104 Linden St. N., Northfield. Interment will be at the Highview Christiana Lutheran Cemetery in Farmington, MN.
Memorial visitation will be at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory in Faribault on Friday, April 28th from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Highview Christiana Lutheran Cemetery
APR 29. 10:30 AM
Church of St. Dominic
104 Linden St. N.
Northfield, MN, US, 55021