Age 90, resident of Roseburg Oregon for 67 years, died August 7, 2013 at Mercy Medical Center. Mary Helena Nielsen was born March 21, 1923 on a Dairy Farm near Omaha Nebraska. Her parent’s, both from Denmark were Jens (Jim) Monk Nielsen and Astrid Marie Pedersen Nielsen. Mary attended school in Benson Nebraska and graduated from Benson High School in 1941. She worked as a Telephone Toll Operator for Ma Bell. Mary married Robert W. Kent in 1942. She traveled to several bases while Bob was in the service. In 1946 they moved to Roseburg to be near his mother Lucie White Kent Harris. They started Kent Radio Service. Mary started working at the VA Hospital in the Personnel Dept. and worked part time at the Harris Café. She had two children Jerry Kent and Janet Kent Fryback. In 1965 Mary started to work for the City of Roseburg. She worked in the sewer service billing department and retired as the City Recorder in 1988 after 24 years of service. Bob died in 1987. They enjoyed 45 years together.
In 1994 she married Neil Hart. Neil and Mary traveled to New Zealand, Spain, Rock of Gibraltar, Morocco, the Amazon, Canada and many other destinations. They attended several Jazz Festivals with the Oregon Jazz Band. Neil Died in 2003. Mary moved into Riverview Terrace in 2000 and served as chairperson and secretary of the resident council during her 13 years at Riverview Terrace. She loved to sing and dance and enjoyed going to Seven Feathers, traveling and attending community events. Mary was a charter member of Faith Lutheran Church. She was a member of the Emblem Club and the Women of the Moose. Mary volunteered with the Roseburg Community Concerts, PTA, Friendly Kitchen and the Visitor’s and Convention Center. She sang and entertained at many nursing homes. She was a 30-year member of Altrusa and a 60 year member of Beta Sigma Phi. Mary was a member of the Oregon Municipal Recorder’s Association and the Oregon Finance Officer’s Association. She was the Chamber of Commerce Roseburg “Women of the Year” in 1989. Her parents, and her Brother Harold Nielsen preceded Mary in death. She is survived by her brother Jim Nielsen (Rita), and sisters Violet Collins (Chuck) and Nancy Hill (Gill), her son Jerry Kent (Cindy), daughter Janet Fryback (Jim) and Step Daughter Leeanne Davis (Pete), 5 grand children Matt Kent (Carrie), Courtney McMaster (Steve), Emmalee Carnagey (Jeremy), Jamie Gaskill (Jeff), Jennifer Gonrowski (Ty) and 4 step grand children Travis Fryback (Mindy), Sarah Lightfoot (David), Rachel Peterson (Scott) and Tom Davis (Heather) and 15 great grandchildren. Mary will be remembered for her love of music, singing, dancing and playing BINGO!! We will all miss her feisty, fun loving personality and her love for family and friends. There will be a celebration of Life on August 25th at 2:00pm at Faith Lutheran Church. Contributions may be sent to Faith Lutheran Church. Please visit www.wilsonschapeloftherosesfh.com to leave the family fond memories and condolences.