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Audrey Cleary

Audrey Cleary

Audrey Cleary, 88, Bismarck, died Feb. 5, 2019, at St. Vincent Care Center, Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 519 Raymond St., Bismarck. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bismarck.

Visitation will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday at St. Vincent Care Center, and from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Annunciation Chapel at the University of Mary, where a Catholic Daughters rosary/vigil service will begin at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.

Audrey Marie Boucher Cleary was born June 1, 1930, in Menominee, Mich., the oldest of seven children, to Edmund and Laura Elizabeth (Mushynski) Boucher. She was raised and educated in Menominee, graduating from Menominee High School in 1948 and was chosen to represent the state of Michigan at the DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) Convention in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1952 with a bachelor's of science degree in nursing. From 1952 to 1955, Audrey was employed as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Milwaukee.

Audrey married Dr. Joseph Wolter Cleary June 19, 1954, in Menominee. They moved to Bismarck in 1955. They took their wedding vows seriously and shared their Christian faith and deep love for one another for 58 years until Joe died in January 2013. They held the belief of “God first, family next, then country.”

As her family grew, Audrey was involved at Cathedral School and St. Mary’s High School with many of her children’s activities. She worked as a 4-H leader, Cub Scout Leader, room mother, was a member of PRIDE parents and Music Parents. She was a volunteer driver for many student activities.

Through the 59 years that Audrey lived in Bismarck, she was involved in many church and community organizations. Early on she joined the Welcome Wagon and helped with the St. Mary’s Carnival, working the Friday night dinner for more than 33 years and supplying the bake sale with an endless supply of homemade bread and rocha. As a member of Cathedral Parish, she served on the Parish Council, the liturgy committee, sang in the choir, and helped with the church cleaning. She served on the God’s Child Board, St. Mary’s School Board and the North Dakota Catholic Education Committee. She was a charter member of Birthright, served as a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony League, the Sixth District Medical Auxiliary, the YMCA, Toastmasters, the Abused Adult Resource Center, the Mental Health Association, ARC, and the St. Vincent’s Advisory Board. In 1997, Audrey was awarded the PRIDE Award from SMCHS.

Audrey was active in Democratic politics for more than 55 years, elected to the North Dakota State House of Representatives from 1991 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2003. In those years, social justice, education, and health care were primary concerns for Audrey.

Audrey served as a volunteer coordinator with Meals on Wheels, as an active member of Golden Kiwanis, a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, and retained an active interest in the Kennedy Memorial Foundation, the League of Women Voters, God’s Child, and countless other volunteer opportunities including St. Vincent’s Care Center, where her husband Joe resided for seven years.

Many people remember Audrey for her homemade brown bread and rocha which she shared for so many years with family and friends, and many bake sales. Her commitment to social concerns in Bismarck, the state of North Dakota, the United States and throughout the world have influenced many people. A woman of inexhaustible energy, Audrey/Mom/Meme/Grandmeme will truly be missed.

Audrey is survived by her children, Patrick (Carolyn), Vail, Ariz.,, Susan (Paul) Knoll, Fargo, Barb (Chuck) Nickolay, New Prague, Minn., Paul (Julie Michels), Fridley, Minn., Bill, Omaha, Neb., Philip (Debra), Eagan, Minn., Richard (Kris), Bismarck, David (Patricia), Glen Mills, Pa., Mary (Dan) Quinlin, Iowa Falls, Iowa, Peter (Kimberly), Inver Grove, Minn., and Stephen (Liz), Anchorage, Alaska; daughter-in-law, Jane, Bismarck; 32 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by three brothers and three sisters.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; her mother and father; and one granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the God’s Child Project, the Kennedy Memorial Foundation, BACEF, and Light of Christ Catholic Schools.

Go to to share memories of Audrey and sign the online guest book.

(Eastgate/Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck)

the life of: Audrey Cleary
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