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Betty Jean Strei

Betty Jean Strei, age 66, of New Germany, died Sunday, March 16, 2008, at her home.

She was born March 6, 1942, in New Germany, the daughter of Wilbert C. and Viola M. (Guetzkow) Schroeder. Betty was baptized March 22, 1942, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in New Germany by the Rev. Theo Rolf, and confirmed April 3, 1955, at the same church by the Rev. Henry Weseloh.

Betty attended Central High School in Norwood, graduating as class valedictorian.

She entered into marriage June 22, 1962, and was blessed with two loving daughters, Vicky and Kathy.

As a single parent, Betty was often called upon to express her patience, creative nature, and boundless love.  She opened her home to a menagerie of animals including a dog, cats, rabbits, hamsters, pheasant, chickens, raccoons and fish.

An avid reader and writer, Betty aided many friends and loved ones with projects for special occasions. She was most happy singing or participating in a local theatrical production, and had a wandering sense of adventure most often expressed by getting lost on vacation or bargain hunting with her daughters.

Her latest and greatest joy was found in the birth of her grandson. She had already begun showering him with love, laughter and presents.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbert and Viola Schroeder; and her grandparents.

She is survived by her daughters and son-in-law Vicky Strei of Chicago, Ill., and Kathy and James Thomas of Waconia; grandson Matthew Thomas; aunts and uncles Myrtle Schroeder of New Germany, Irene Schroeder of Hutchinson, Hulda Schroeder of Mound, Glenna Harris of Yakima, Wash., and Wilma and Wayne Swigert of Great Bend, Kans; and cousins, other relatives, and friends.

The funeral service was Tuesday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church in New Germany with the Rev. Allen Holthus officiating.

Casket bearers were Clinton Berge, Lonnie Venske, Ryan Venske, Harlan Weege, Brian Weege, and Wayne Muelich.

Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia.