Molly Volkerding

molly volkerding

Molly Volkerding, 73, entered into heaven in the early morning hours of Friday, March 14, 2014, surrounded by her loving family.

Molly Jane Mullen was born on June 3, 1940, in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She was the second child and first daughter of Kenneth John Mullen and Denise Ellen (Cosgrove) Mullen. Molly spent her early childhood years in Minneapolis, Minnesota, until her family returned to Grand Forks just before she entered second grade. Molly attended St. Mary’s Grade School and Central High School.

At the University of North Dakota, Molly received her degree in elementary education and psychology. Molly also attended St. Mary’s of Notre Dame, and Loretto Heights University. As a first grade teacher in St. Louis Park, Molly adored each and every student and loved making every day “fun.”

It was during the time that she spent teaching in Minneapolis, that she met a young dental student, and the love of her life, John Volkerding. The two were joined in holy matrimony at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Forks on December 29, 1964.

Shortly after their wedding, Molly and John made their way to Quantico, Virginia, where John served as a dentist in the Navy from 1966-1968. In 1966 they were blessed with a son, Patrick John, and in 1968, just before John completed his service, they were blessed again with a daughter, Shawn Therese. In late 1968, Molly and John moved their young family back to North Dakota, settling in Fargo. In 1974, the family became complete with the arrival of another baby girl, Jennifer Ellen.

Molly was blessed to have four darling grandchildren: Briah, Abigail, Kiffin, and Jonathan. She was the world’s best grandmother, showering each one with more love, laughter, and fun than you could imagine. Molly was never without a smile when she had her grandchildren near.

Molly also found time to devote herself to organizations such as the Junior League, her bridge club, the Next to New Sale, her pot luck groups, and more. She wrapped the world in color through her color analysis business, Color Me Beautiful. An active member of Nativity Parish, Molly truly enjoyed being a Eucharistic minister.

She is survived by her husband, John, her son Patrick (Andrea) Volkerding, her daughters Shawn (Mark) Richardson, and Jennifer (Curt) Bulthuis, and four grandchildren. She is also survived by her mother, Denise Mullen, of Fargo, her brother, Michael Mullen (Jean), of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, her sister, Margo McCulley (James), of Fargo, and some very special cousins. In addition, Molly cherished her nieces and nephews, and many grand nieces and nephews.

Molly was preceded in death by her father, Kenneth Mullen and her parents-in-law, Earl and Violet Volkerding.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. Becker Minnesota
    John and family,
    I worked with John as a dental hygienist between 1972 and 1976. These were the best years of my career and I so enjoyed being a part of the extended family of co-workers, patients, as well as Molly’s and John family and friends. There were treats from Molly, presents she helped pick out and her friendship with the staff. I was so excited to hear about the expected arrival of a new baby. Thru the the years I have had fond memories of that time and even kept “tabs” on you all. It is with deep sadness that I extend my sympathy to you, John, and all the others who loved Molly so much. She will be missed by more people than you will ever know. most sincerely, Kay Larson

  2. Woodbury MN

    Thinking of you and your family and am so very sorry for your loss. Your mom made the best poppy seed cupcakes! I can still see the sliver papers and white frosting. She was a great homeroom MOM to all of us Nativity Kids.

    Take Care,
    Amy Simons Anderson

  3. Watertown South DakotaJohn and Family,

    We are saddened to hear of Molly’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Mike and Judy Strom

  4. alpharetta gaTo Dr. Volkerding and family:

    When I was a student at Regis College I spent the entire 1959-60 academic year with Molly. I met her at a Loretto Heights mixer in Sept. 1959 and dated her until I put her on a plane to Grand Forks in May of 1960. I never saw her again but I’ve never forgotten her. She was one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known.

    I lost my wife three years ago so I know what you and your children are going through. But at least you’ve all had lifetimes with her. Not many people in this world are that fortunate.

    I’ll pray for her.

    Mike McCarthy

    I have some photos of her. If you’d like to have them I’d be glad to send them on.

    I hope that memories of your good times will help you through. Not many people

    I’ll pray for her.

  5. Faefo ND
    Our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Pam and I are in Arizona and just learned of Molly’s passing. You have been the best neighbors anyone could ever have We hope your many memories of Molly will comfort you in the days ahead. We keep you in our thoughts and prayers

  6. John, Mike, Margo and all of Molly’s family:

    We just learned this morning of Molly’s passing to join Pinky.

    What a beautiful and caring lady! She and Margo were so patient with me as we grew up in Grand Forks.

    But for some continuing health issues in our own family, we would be in Fargo tomorrow for the beautiful sendoff she is going to receive.

    God bless the Volkerding and Mullen’s families through this so very difficult time. We would ask God that she rest in peace–but there is no need to.

    Please give Denise an extra bog hug for us.

    Larry and Shirley Jahnke

  7. Grafton ND
    I enjoyed Molly very much when we went to Chimbote, Peru in 1998. She was concerned about the poor in Chimbote and wanted to support Fr. Jack Davis. She said more than one that she had wanted to go and I happened to be the one who was the priest on that trip from Nativity in Fargo. Molly also came to daily Mass when I was at Nativity so I was able to enjoy her personality quite a bit… John I give you my condolences. You were such a great couple who enjoyed each other’s company. May God bless you as you go through this challenging time.
    Fr. Tim Schroeder
    Grafton, ND

  8. Fargo ND
    To all of Molly’s family and friends we send our sympathy and prayers. Molly was a joy to know and be around and will be missed by many.

  9. West Fargo ND
    John and family-I am sorry for your loss of Molly. And I am so glad she and you came into my life-I truly enjoyed helping Molly-she was an inspiration to me!Please take care and accept my deepest sympathy. Carla

  10. Fargo ND
    Although I knew Molly was suffering from an incurable condition, I was so saddened to hear of her death.
    My heart goes out to her devoted husband John and their family.
    Although I never met her personally, I knew many things about her. She was a beautiful person inside and out. She would do anything to comfort and help out others.

    We first met John when my husband and he were young professionals in Fargo in 1974 establishing their chosen fields of expertise. John became our Fargo dentist that year. Our lives led us to divergent locations for a few years when we moved to Montana, but as soon as I returned, he was once again our dentist.

    When our daughter and family moved back to Fargo in 1998, John immediately employed her as his receptionist. Her love died tragically in a vehicle accident in 1999, shortly before their son was born on Christmas Eve of that year and needed special care. Out of the kindness of her dear heart and her love of others, Molly often took him home with her to watch after him when Michelle was working.

    I wish I had met her, but I feel I knew her.

    Arlene Gran, Fargo.

  11. Cold Spring KYMy heartfelt sympathy to you and your entire family, John. Luanna Kennelly informed me of Molly’s passing the news immediately brought to mind what a beautiful, kind-hearted person she was. I hope the many memories of sweet Molly will comfort all of you in the days ahead. Molly radiated love. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bonnie Kennelly

  12. Horace NdMolly is a wonderful lady. Very strong caring person. Thoughts and prayers are with her family. Lucky to have had her in their lives for this long.

  13. Horace NdMolly is a wonderful lady. Very strong caring person. Thoughts and prayers are with her family. Lucky to have had her in their lives for this long.

  14. My condolences and thoughts are with you as you take this time together to remember and celebrate the warmth, wonder and fun that Molly brought to all of you. Kind regards, Gary Peterson

  15. Oak Harbor WAI’ll always remember Molly as beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. She was one of the first people I met when I moved to Fargo. Her kindness, thoughtfulness and sense of fun made her an incredible woman to know. She will be missed.

  16. Lakeville Minnesota
    Jennifer I am so very sorry to hear the passing of your mom . My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family . I see where you got your looks . She was a very beautiful women .

    Hugs ….. Rubi.

  17. New Market Md.The beautiful memories of Molly and John as our neighbors at the Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Va., will be with us forever, especially the birth of our daughters, days apart. Molly’s strong Catholic Faith was such an inspiration to us, especially her devotion to Our Blessed Mother. I know she is in the Hands of Our Lord and His Mother, and may they be a great comfort to John, children and grandchildren.

  18. Newberg ORDear Volkerding’s,
    You all are in my thoughts and prayers in Molly’s death. May she have eternal peace and joy with our loving God and may her legacy of love and faith live on in all of us. I have fond memories from Nativity and also with the McCauley’s too- the Mullen’s are special people. May God give you peace and hope in the days ahead.

  19. Boise IDMolly brought sunshine into my life every week when she walked in to attend Mass with her mother and sister at Waterford. She and Margo were “the young ones”. They breathed beauty and good cheer into any room they were in. Oh, I loved that TRIO of family love! It was such a privilege to witness their devotion to one another. Molly made an imprint on my heart that I will forever cherish. Now her joyful spirit can flourish in its true home. Prayers for her swift entrance into PARADISE!

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Accessibility Tools