HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries


Alice L. Etnier

Alice L. Etnier, age 100, of Watertown died Monday, Nov. 13, 2006 at the Elim Home in Watertown.

She was born March 21, 1906 to Albert and Emma (Wetzel) Steindorf in St. Cloud.

Alice attended school in St. Cloud, and also in Charlo, Mont., where her parents moved when she was 10 years old. Later, she returned to St. Cloud, where she lived with her brother, Fred, and his wife, Lena.

Alice worked for Northwestern Bell as a telephone operator until she married Ray Etnier Sept. 12, 1934, in St. Cloud. They moved to Nisswa, Minn. in 1938, where Ray owned and operated a garage/service station.

During World War II, they lived in Deephaven, Minn., while Ray worked in a defense plant “for the duration.”

They moved to Watertown in 1944. Ray owned and operated a garage/service station there, and also served as mayor of Watertown from 1967 to 1974.

Alice was a “stay at home” mom; and much of her life she was a helper in her husband’s business, “Ray’s Garage.”

Alice and Ray celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1984.

Although she quit school after the eighth grade, as was the norm for girls at that time, her two sons and five grandchildren all went on to complete university studies and post graduate degrees.

She was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church, where she was a faithful member of a circle, and also belonged to the quilters group. It gave her great pleasure to recycle fabric scraps into a quilt for someone in need, and she continued tying quilts at Westwood Place when she was in her 90s.

Alice was a recycler before the word was invented. She co-chaired a rag drive in the 1960s, in which donations of rags went to St. Paul for use in manufacturing fine paper.

At Trinity Lutheran Church, she was honored to be chosen as Santa Lucia for the annual Lucia Festival in 1990.

As her friends quit driving, she drove them to circle and to church. Kindness and graciousness were shown to all she met.

Alice is survived by two sons: Donald and Jan of Eau Claire, Wis., and David and Elizabeth of Knoxville, Tenn.; five grandchildren: Carl Etnier and Diana Chace of Montpelier, Vt., Jennifer Etnier and Paige Wagner of Greensboro, N.C., Shelley Etnier and David Farnum of Indianapolis, Ind., Lynn Etnier of Walworth, Wisc., and Michael Etnier of Bellingham, Wash.; one great-granddaughter, Payton Wagner of Greensboro, N.C.; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Alice was preceded in death by her husband in 1988; five brothers: Fred, Henry, Eric, Reinhard, and Arthur; and four sisters: Meta Rumsey, Eleanor Fisher, Emma Penney, and Clara Penney.

A memorial service will take place at Trinity Lutheran Church in June of 2007.

Arrangements are by the Iten’s Watertown Funeral Home.

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