Mary Jane Yerg

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -Mary Jane (Heine) Yerg, 86, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 21, 2013. She was surrounded by her family, both near and in the hearts of those far away. She will be deeply missed and will remain forever in our hearts.

She is survived by her children, George Yerg, Mark (Jerri) Yerg, and Suzanne Yerg (Dan Plant); her dearest best friend and sister, Joanne (John) Villforth and their children and grandchildren; and her grandchildren, Heidi (Shannon) Brown, David Yerg, Miranda and Ben Plant.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald G. Yerg.

She was born April 5, 1927, in Pittsburgh, Pa. She attended Penn State University, State College, Pa. She married Donald G. Yerg in 1948 and subsequently left for Fairbanks, Alaska, where her husband had a teaching and research position. She graduated with a BA in Biology from the University of Alaska in 1950. The couple returned to Penn State while Don Yerg earned his PhD; then off to Puerto Rico for several years to pursue academics. They finally settled in Houghton for an academic position with Michigan Tech and raised their family in and amongst the UP’s beaches, woods and ski hills.

Mary Jane was an avid traveler and took numerous solo car trips to the South West, the Rockies, Canadian Rockies, Florida beaches, Houston and Maryland to visit her sister and family. She loved opera and traveled with an opera touring company that took her to New York, Chicago, Santa Fe, and London. But, by far the two places she loved the best was Wyoming’s Grand Tetons and family trips to New Jersey’s beaches in Stone Harbor.

She moved to Minneapolis, Minn., for health reasons and to be close to her children and grandchildren. Despite years of debilitating back pain, Mary Jane managed to find joy in her life, even learning to Skype her sister to stay connected. She touched many lives and will be greatly missed. An intimate family service was held in her daughter’s home.

Cards can be sent to Dare’s Funeral Home, 805 Main St. N.W., Elk River, MN 55330 or write a note at