Mary Frances Aaselund, beloved wife, loving mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend, passed away peacefully in her Redmond home on September 28, 2021, at the age of 72. For over a decade Mary fought ovarian cancer with grace, dignity, and optimism. Her cheerful courage in the face of each new health obstacle filled everyone around her—from friends and family to doctors, nurses, technicians, and medical residents—with awe and inspiration.
Born to Eugene and Lucille Polito on October 18, 1948, in Los Angeles, CA, Mary was Gene and Lucy’s third child of nine and their first daughter. As the eldest daughter, Mary took on the role of “second mom,” lovingly and patiently caring for her many younger siblings.
An exceptional student, after graduating from Louisville High School in Woodland Hills, CA, Mary left home to begin college at UCLA, majoring in bacteriology. In her senior year, at age 21, she met Steve Aaselund. The two quickly became best friends and the love of each other’s life.
After graduation and marriage, Mary and Steve eventually relocated to the Seattle area. Together Mary and Steve shared over 50 incredible years of marriage, raised three children, and loved six grandchildren, all while working alongside one another operating their successful 35-year interior design business, Heritage Gallery. Mary was recognized for her excellence in interior design and awarded the Major Achievement in Market Excellence Award (MAME).
A devout Catholic, Mary’s faith in God was unwavering as she attended daily mass, prayed the rosary, and participated in bible studies. She spent much of her final years giving her time and design talents to her community, working with Catholic Community Services to design and develop The New Bethlehem Project Women’s Shelter. She also supported other women battling cancer, and hoped one day to act as an advocate for cancer patients, having learned the system inside and out first-hand. Whether furnishing a homeless shelter or designing a new rectory for her parish, Mary enjoyed putting her unique, personal touches on anything she could, and always put the needs of others before herself.
Mary also enjoyed following the stock market (as her Italian grandmother, Nana, had taught her to do), as well as talking politics, taking long walks along the lake with Steve, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Mary is survived by her husband Steve Aaselund (Redmond, WA); son and daughter-in-law Christian and Amy Aaselund (Bellevue, WA); daughter Gina Aaselund (Sarasota, FL); daughter and son-in-law Lindsay and Doug Kang (Brentwood, CA); grandchildren Mason Aaselund (23), Cameron Aaselund (16), Audrey Aaselund (11), Isabella Kang (10), Giada Kang (8), and Eliana Kang (3).
Mary’s celebration of life will be held at 11 am on Friday, October 8th, 2021 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Kirkland, WA. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in honor of Mary to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance or Catholic Community Services.
A live streaming of Mary’s funeral can be seen at the link below: