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Pawlenty stepmother, a Cottage Grove resident, dies

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's stepmother has died.

Marie V. (Dockendorf) Pawlenty, 87, was a Cottage Grove resident who married Pawlenty's father, Gene, in 1981, although they had met and dated 40 years earlier. They married after their first spouses died.

She died June 28 and was buried Monday at St. Thomas Aquinas Cemetery in St. Paul Park.

Gene Pawlenty died in 2000, after his youngest son had become a legislator.

The South Washington County Bulletin reported the future governor lived with them about four years before he was married.

In a Bulletin interview a few years ago, Marie Pawlenty said that being the stepmother to a politician and dealing with negative advertisements did not affect her because she said she knew the "real Tim."

"I don't really watch the negative stuff very thoroughly," she said. "What people said about him never bothered me because I have my own feelings."

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.