Obituary of Mary M. Gjermo
Mary Margaret Gjermo, age 75, of Cambridge, WI passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, surrounded by her family at the Cleveland Clinic I.C.U. in Cleveland, Ohio after a prolonged recovery and complications following surgery. She was born in Madison, Wisconsin on Nov. 07, 1948, the only child of Lloyd and Margarette (Gunderson) Gjermo. Mary had a daughter, Amy, from her first marriage. In 1982 she met the love of her life, Theodore L. Kumbier, and they married in 1992.
Mary enjoyed an idyllic childhood in the country with many pets, woods to explore, and even a rural schoolhouse in which to play and have slumber parties.
She graduated from Cambridge High School in 1966, attended St. Olaf Collage for two years, and graduated from Mundelein College in 1971 with a B.A. in Psychology. She then received an M.A.L.S. degree in Library Science from Rosary College (now Dominican) in 1974 and later an M.S. in Family Studies from the University of Kentucky. She worked as an audiovisual librarian at North Central College in Naperville, IL, was a reference librarian at Lexington, KY Public Library, and worked for the office of Experiential Learning. She was the Director of the Cambridge, WI Community Library, was the Circulation and Reader's Advisory Supervisor at the La Crosse WI Public Library, and was a cataloger at UW Stout in Menomonie, WI. Failing health caused her to end her library career in 1990 in Libertyville, IL where she had been the Outreach Services Coordinator of the Cook Memorial Library District.
Mary then began a second career on a part-time basis as a family therapist. She did two years of post-master's study in counseling at UW Stout and in 1993 completed an intensive one-year training program with the Family Therapy Training Center of Madison. WI. She was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She worked at Family Service in Madison from 1992, starting as a post-master's intern and continuing as a volunteer and then as a staff member until 2008. From 2005-2020 she was also employed at the Cambridge, WI Counseling Clinic, and she also had a home-based private practice.
She was formerly a member of the board of the Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and served on the Dane County Victim Outreach Committee.
Mary was active in her community serving on the boards of the Cambridge Community Library and the Koshkonong Prairie Historical Society. She was a past president of the Friends of the Cambridge Community Library and was a co-founder of its evening book club. She was also a member of the Cambridge Historic School Foundation, the Cambridge Foundation, the First Unitarian Society, Grace Lutheran Church, and was the Chairperson of the Cambridge Veteran's Memorial Committee. Mary was a member of several Norwegian-American Lags and was a past secretary of the Gilderhus Clan, a pioneer family with roots in the Koshkonong prairie since 1839. Mary was the driving force behind the building of a new library in Cambridge, which broke ground in 2015. The new library building had been a dream of Mary's since the 1980s when she was the director there, and she was happy to have lived long enough to see it completed. She was the editor and project manager of the book "We Remember so You Won't Forget: Stories of Cambridge and Deerfield Veterans" published in May 2017.
Mary enjoyed international travel, beginning with a six-country choir tour of Europe when she was 17. She lived in Bergamo, Italy for a year when she was 24. In mid-life she traveled to Chile and the Czech Republic. She also enjoyed two trips to Norway and had the rare opportunity to visit all of her ancestral homesteads. In 2019, she took a 12-day river cruise of the capitals of the Baltic Sea.
Mary enjoyed books, theater, dogs, boating, weekends at the cottage near Minocqua, and spending time with family and friends. She had many lifelong friends. One of her friends, Christine Albert, gave her the extraordinary gift of a kidney in 2007.
Mary is survived by her husband, Ted Kumbier, and her daughter, Amy Wallace (Lance Millard). She also has foster sisters Nancy Nettum and Irene. Mary was preceded in death by her parents.
A Visitation will take place on Thursday November 30,2023 from 4:00-6:00PM at the Nitardy Funeral Home 208 Park St. Cambridge, WI. The Service will be on Friday December 1, 2023 at 11:00AM at the Grace Lutheran Church 501 Skogen Road Cambridge, WI. Friends may meet with the family at the church from 10:00AM until the time of service on Friday. Burial to follow at Hauge Cemetery Deerfield, WI.
Those wishing to give memorials may do so to K.P.H.S. or The American Diabetes Association.
Nitardy Funeral Home is serving the family.
To view the service live. Please click the following link :
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Gjermo, please visit Tribute Store