2013 Pioneer of the Year

Previous Award Recipients

Mary Vavrosky


Mary Vavrosky  is the Great-Granddaughter of Dr. William Denton Dibb, MD and Mary Jane O'Dwyer whose families settled in St. Anthony.  Dr. Dibb arrived before 1855 and Miss O'Dwyer settled there in 1858.   They were married at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic Church in St. Anthony.


Mary joined the Pioneers in 2002.  On her application she did not check the boxes on the bottom which asked which activities she was interested in helping with, but that soon changed.  She immediately joined the Board of Directors.  She has served as Portrait Project chair and the Education Chair over the years.  She has worked tiredlessly at the State Fair Log Cabin and in between she has worked in the office and at home on the membership applications and other tasks.  She has spent endless hours on the portraits, entering data from the actual portraits, organizing the records and keeping others on tasks.  Her newest endeavour has been to help others with research and also asking for help when we have applications with just names and some dates on them. She loves history and the fun of finding facts.  One of her wishes is that we get all the portraits digitized and cataloged before she dies!  


In her spare time, she also is a member and volunteer at the Bloomington Historical Society and St. Bonaventure's Catholic Church.  She graduated from. St. Joseph's Academy and with her husband, Ray, raised a family of eight children.  She has given countless hours to the Pioneers, attending meetings, helping others and keeping us all in line.  She is ruthless in her quest for more information.  She embodies the thirst for history and facts on the history of Minnesota.  We are proud to present her with the 2013 Pioneer of the Year award.  

The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

Pioneer of the Year