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MORTON - Mary Ellen (Kalianoff) Suckerman, 76, of Morton, died as she lived her life surrounded by family with great dignity and courage after a strenuous and exhausting battle with cancer on Sunday, June 12, 2016, at 6:20 p.m.
She was born Aug. 19, 1939, in Bismarck, N.D., the second of four siblings to George and Jennie (Minow) Kalianoff. She married William Suckerman on June 4, 1960, in Steele, N.D. He preceded her in death on March 26, 1982, succumbing to cancer.
Surviving are her two children, Debra "Deb" (Nick) Kolember of Justin, Texas; Vernon "Vern" (Laura (Cheatham)) Suckerman of Wheaton, Ill. and four grandchildren, Andrew and Michael Kolember and William and Cullen Suckerman; her sister, Anne Iszler; two brothers, Edward (Anne) Kalianoff and Doug (Maralee) Kalianoff; and 12 nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by one brother-in-law, Byron Iszler.
Mary Ellen grew up on the family ranch outside of Steele, N.D., and graduated from Steele Public School in 1957. She was President of the North Dakota Mrs. Jaycees Organization in 1969 -1970 and served in various positions in the local chapter.
She went back to school after Bill died to get an associate's degree in computer science, while putting her two children through college. Mary Ellen worked for Foster and Gallagher and OSF St. Francis Hospital as a computer programmer.
Mary Ellen had a wonderful green thumb and was an avid gardener who loved sharing her harvest with friends and neighbors. You could be served her homemade raspberry jelly, Easter bread, pickles and Jewish bagala when visiting her. She enjoyed the theater and music. She loved the Lord, her family and spending time with her grandsons.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, 2016, at Advent Lutheran Church in Morton, with Pastor Dennis O'Brien officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2016, and from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday, both at the church. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Steele, N.D at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Mary Ellen Suckerman may be directed to UT Southwestern Medical Center, P.O. Box 910888, Dallas, TX 75391-0888 (phone 214-648-2344) or online at to support lung cancer research by Dr. David Gerber, whom she received excellent care under his direction.