Obituary | Mavis Woodard of Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Mavis (Fontaine, Larson) Woodard, 93, of Grand Forks, ND passed away November 28, 2022, at Valley Senior Living on Columbia.

Mavis was born September 18, 1929, in Dahlen, ND, daughter of Isadore Fontaine & Frieda (Kelly) Fontaine. She was the middle child of seventeen children and grew up attending Nelson County Schools in Lakota, ND.

The Fontaines relocated to a farm along the Turtle River near the Middle Grove Lutheran Church where Mavis met and married Ordean Larson. They spent the next fifty years on the Larson family farm where they raised four children: David Larson, Peter (Jane) Larson, Eva (Rick) Branvold, and Ella (Gary) Bekkerus. Mavis is also survived by siblings; Keith (Sandra) Fontaine, Hope (Dwaine) Lembke, and Nancy (Allan) Slominski, 7 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Mavis cherished being a member of the Middle Grove Church, especially helping with Sunday School and Bible School.  She taught friends and family to appreciate the world through gardening, flowers, birds, and special pets. Her love of people through her work in hospitality was celebrated when the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau named her the Hospitality Person of the Year in 1994. She always had a story or joke to share!

In retirement, Mavis moved to Grand Forks and enjoyed raising flowers in her townhome gardens. While shopping at the nearby Hugo’s Grocery, she reconnected with an old co-worker, future polka dance partner and husband, Owen Woodard. As a widow and widower having lost their spouses four years earlier, they found great joy in marriage in the fall of 2008 and being together until Owen’s passing five years later.

Mavis is also preceded in death by father Isadore; mother Frieda; beloved grandson Ezra; husband Ordean; and 13 siblings: Florence Olson, Fern Harrison, Douglas Fontaine, Delmar Fontaine, Frances Ackerman, Stanley Fontaine, Hazel Gunderson, Bonnie Roch, Isadore Jr. (Ginger) Fontaine, Stillborn baby brother, Glenn Fontaine, Gloria Fontaine, and Joann Davis.

Visitation will be held Friday, December 2, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Free Lutheran Church, Grand Forks. Visitation will continue 1 hour prior to the start of the memorial service held Saturday, December 3, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Middle Grove Church, Rural Manvel.