About Mary Huntley

Several years before retiring there was only a small hint of interest in writing one book, not three. Beginning January 2002, retirement offered some new twists and turns for a person who enjoys being busy. To Mary’s surprise, she launched her first book in 2003 with two colleagues, recording the history of the School of Nursing where Mary earned her undergraduate degree in nursing and later taught for 30 years. In 2007, the second book entered the market. Along with her co-author, commitment to the belief is shared that laughter makes a difference for a healthful, productive, and happy life. Underlying her passions for nursing and a mirthful spirit are the friendship connections that emerged through living in Mankato, Minnesota for 22 years attending nursery school through college. Judy and Mary made their first connections in Sunday School, were confirmed together, and later lived in the same neighborhood. They rode to High School each day with Judy driving her beloved Hudson car. They traveled west across the country together by train between their sophomore and junior years in college. Those were the days. While in college, Judy introduced Mary to her husband; and yes, Judy was a bridesmaid in their wedding two years later. Mary’s and Judy’s friendship along with all the Blue Garter friends is a treasured phenomenon. Every opportunity to be together gladdens their hearts. Sharing her passions by writing about them and doing so with cherished friends brings great joy.

Mary Huntley, PhD
121 Viking Court      
Mankato, MN 56001
  • Mankato State College, Mankato, MN, B.S. degree with a major in nursing.
  • Master’s degree in Nursing, M.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Doctorate degree in Nursing, PhD, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX;
  • Dissertation Research: Laughter and Wellness as Perceived by Older Women: Grounded Theory
  • Began nursing career in 1962 working in hospitals in Mankato, Duluth, and Iowa City.
  • Taught nursing in university settings beginning 1966, retiring in December 2001, including 30 years of teaching and leadership positions at Minnesota State University, Mankato, School of Nursing. Specialty areas were behavioral health and psychosocial nursing.
  • Developed and taught an elective course on Laughter and Wellness for Nursing Practice, 1989-2001.
  • Presented research at local, state and national organizations.
  •  Author or co-author of ten published professional manuscripts and book chapters.
  • First author with Edna Thayer and Linda Beer, the history of the School of Nursing at Minnesota State University, Mankato: Celebrating the First Fifty Years—1953-2003
  • First author with Edna Thayer, the 2007 book: A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness which is now in its second printing and received the 2008 award for Best Humor Book by the national organization, Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Web site: www.mirthfulspirit.com
  • Served as volunteer on many health care and church boards. Past president of several organizations. Member of P.E.O. Sisterhood and Red Hat Society.  Member and volunteer with Betsy-Tacy Society in Mankato, MN 
  • Married 54 years to Kennes C. Huntley who is Professor Emeritus from Minnesota State University, Mankato, College of Business.
  • Parent to two adult children and have four grandchildren
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