Mary Jean Bradburn

mary jean bradburn

Mary Jean (Illgen) Bradburn, age 86 of Fargo, ND passed away on November 15, 2013 surrounded by her family.

Mary Jean was born in Fargo on February 13, 1927, to Clarence and Anna (Shipstead) Illgen. 

Mary Jean graduated from Fargo Central High School.

On November 14, 1946 she married Marvin Butze. They made their home in rural Glyndon where they raised their 4 children.

In October 1983 she married Neal Bradburn. They made their home in Fargo and enjoyed spending time at Cormorant and Tulaby Lake.

Mary Jean has been a member of First Lutheran Church of Fargo she was also a member of the Ladies of the Shrine Eagles where she enjoyed spending time with friends and dancing.

She loved to sing, dance and spend time with her 4 sisters, children and grandchildren and her little dog, Daisy. Her life revolved around her family and friends who she was sure to be in contact with or call every day.

Mary Jean is survived by her children, Debra McElhaney of La Jolla, CA; David Butze of Detroit Lakes, MN; Joan (James) Hebert of Fargo; John (Jennifer) Butze of Glyndon, MN; 10 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; her sister, Beverly Hamre of Hillsboro ND, and many nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Anna Illgen; her sisters, Devon (Bonnie)  Hagen;   Clarice Nordhaugen ; Delores Anderson; her close cousin Robert Cowie; and her husbands, Neal Bradburn and Marvin Butze.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Minneapolis MN
    I was so sorry to learn today of Mary Jean’s passing. I visualize her and my dad, George Nelson, chatting away now that they’re together again. Mary Jean and her family took especially good care of Dad after my mother died. He enjoyed the attention and recognition given him by the whole family. I myself was glad to have them keeping an eye out for him. I know she will be missed by so many. I’m glad I got to know her. Susan

  2. Marietta GAMary Jean was always such a beautiful and gracious lady. Her kindness will never be forgotten. She made us all feel so special when we were visiting.
    You are all in our prayers.

  3. Longmont COSorry we are not able to attend the service today. However, you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

    I (Jim) am so thankful to have been able to send some time talking with Aunt PeeWee just a few months ago. She reminded me that she was my Godmother and we spoke about some wonderful times at the farm in Glyndon, including about times when all the families would be together for the holidays.

    God Bless
    Jim and Sue

  4. Horace ndWe were neighbors when we all lived on the farm. I will always remember congregating at your home for a bottomless cup of coffee, a homemade meal or delicious treats. Mary Jean always treated everyone with a smile, a good joke and a warm welcome. She was a very special person and always putting her family first. Hers are some big shoes to walk in. I am so glad both Mary Jean, Marvin and you kyds, Debra, David, Joanie and John were part of our lives. God bless their memories.

  5. Mesa ArizonaOur deepest sympathies in the loss or your Mother, Grandmother, Sister. Mom’s are missed the most I think. They are what holds families together!! We only met Mary Jane on a few occasions, but everyone of them were happy times!! She was a wonderful person and will be missed greatly by all of you. We sending our love and prayers to Fargo!!

  6. My sincere sympathy to Mary Jean’s family.

    As a young kid, when the Borseth family lived on 14th Street North in Moorhead, the Butze family were our neighbors. Debra was the closest to my age. Many memories of Debra playing with my sister, Janice, and myself.

    Also many memories of seeing the Butze family at Tulaby Lake.

    May your many precious memories of your Mother be a source of comfort to all of you. God Bless the memory of Mary Jean Bradburn.

    In sympathy,

    Yvonne (Borseth) Erickson
    Greenbush, MN

  7. Barrow AlaskaWe are so very sorry for you loss. You are all in our thoughts at this most difficult time.
    The Campbells

  8. Moorhead MN
    The kindness and warmth Mary Jean showed me will be missed and never forgotten! She was always so caring of others. She acted as a grandma to me and I will always love her for it. May this wonderful woman rest in peace.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficutlt time. Bryan & Diane Nordhougen

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