In loving memory of

Mary Jo Fossum
March 18, 1944 - April 27, 2022

Mary Jo Fossum, 78, of Stewartville and Mesa, AZ, passed away peacefully at her daughter's home on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Mary Jo was born March 18, 1944 in Williston, ND to Elvin and Helen (Halldorson) Anderson. After graduating from high school, Mary Jo went on to obtain her Bachelors in Education from Valley City State University. On July 7, 1968, she married Bryce G. Fossum in North Dakota and then they moved to Rochester, where they would spend the next 30 years until they retired to Mesa, AZ. Mary Jo began her career as a first grade teacher and then took a break from teaching when her two daughters were born. Mary Jo did return to substitute teaching before finally going to work at IBM. Mary Jo enjoyed camping, traveling, playing cards with friends and watching Hallmark movies. Above all, she loved spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren. Mary Jo was a very giving and non-judgmental woman. Everyone that met Mary Jo, loved her. She was always putting others first.

Mary Jo is survived by her two daughters, Brenda (Lawrence) Harper of Mesa, AZ and Beth (James) Deppa of Stewartville, MN; twelve grandchildren, Justin, Ryan, Dillon, Garrett and Alyssa Harper, Cody and Caleb Milburn, Faith Daniel, Zachary, Daniel, Micah and Dante Deppa; two great-grandchildren, Joseph and Evelyn Harper and sister, Valorie (Reinhardt) Brunsch. Mary Jo was preceded in death by her husband, Bryce; sister, Lavonne Smith and by her parents.

Local visitation will be held 4:00-7:00 PM, Monday, May 2, 2022 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester.

Funeral services and burial will be held in Mesa, AZ, and will be conducted by Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery. On May 9, 2022, a funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM, with visitation held one hour prior to the service; burial will be at 3:00 PM with a reception to follow at 3:30 PM. The visitation, service, burial, and reception will take place at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, 2900 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85207.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Fossum family. To share a special memory or condolence, please visit


Lori Nicholas wrote on May 1, 2022:

"Dear Brenda and Beth, so sorry for the loss of your mom. I always looked forward to seeing Aunt Mary Jo, Uncle Bryce and both of you. Our prayers are with you. Lori (Taylor) and Ernie Nicholas "

Bernice OGroske wrote on May 1, 2022:

"May comfort and peace be yours today and always. With deepest sympathy at this time of loss. We had many good times with your Mom and Dad. Take care. Bernice OGroske"

DON SCHUTT wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"I am grateful for the life of Mary Jo. We she was my cousin. Our mother?s were sister?s and we were both the firstborn. However, the distance between us, the gap between North Dakota and California was one our parents rarely crossed when we were young. We got to be together many times as adults. We connected mostly for weddings and funerals. May she rest in peace and hope through Christ our Lord."

EMALOU ANDERSON KING wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"So sorry for your loss. Mary Jo and I were classmates, Class of 62 at Williston High School. We were shower buddies in Junior high in Phy Ed in the 1950?s at The very old spooky WHS. We giggled a lot and we were both shy and modest. Fun to visit at reunions. She will be missed and Remembered. We were both Anderson?s but not related- our parents were friends. I liked their house. And share memories of Brownies. God bless you."

JIM AND LINDA IRGENS wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"So sorry to hear of Mary Jo?s passing she was a great person. We where classmates and friends. I knew her parents well and they where great friends to my parents. She will be missed by all family and friends. Our hearts and prayers go out to all."

PEG (MESSLER)SMITH wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"So sorry for your loss. Mary Jo and I were in Sunday School together from age 3 and up. And, of course, she was a member of the ever famous whs class of '62. She was such a sweet person. I know you will miss her."

JULIE (HANSON) HASTINGS wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"Sending my sympathy in your loss.. Mary Jo and I were in Sunday School and also confirmed together. We were also classmates and graduated in 1962. She was a kind and sweet person. I'm sure she will be missed by all who knew her."

LISA KRAPF wrote on Apr 29, 2022:

"What a wonderful person, mom, grandmother! She made me laugh and I was so inspired by her and her positive spirit. Sending much love and peace to everyone. ??"