Claudette Ann Guennigsmann, age 64, of Silver Lake, passed away peacefully at home Thursday, Oct. 22, after a 17-month battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family at the time of her death.
Claudette was born June 26, 1945, in Hutchinson, the daughter of Fred and Agnes (Chmielewski) Dolezal. She was baptized in Hutchinson.
She lived with her family on a farm in Hutchinson Township before moving to Silver Lake.
Claudette attended St. Adalbert’s Catholic School, and graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1963, an honor student. She received her typing certification from IBM in 1964.
Claudette was joined in holy marriage to Ralph Guennigsmann Jan. 29, 1972, at St. Adalbert Church in Silver Lake. God blessed their marriage with five children.
Claudette was formerly employed as the lead medical records secretary at St. Mary’s Home in Winsted, a loving caretaker at Trillium Homes in Winsted, composition and layout specialist at the Silver Lake Leader, and served as the church secretary at Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake.
She enjoyed going to garage sales, shopping with her grandchildren, and loved small animals. She especially loved timber wolves and the bald eagle.
Claudette also enjoyed gardening, baking, art, scrapbooking, taking pictures, and traveling. She loved to watch Fox and CNN News, “American Idol,” and high school football.
She was very patriotic, and enjoyed being the owner/operator of her own “grandma’s taxi service.” Most of all, Claudette loved spending time with her family.
A faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake, Claudette was a member of CCW, and also served as the historian for the Silver Lake Woman’s Club. She was a volunteer for a variety of church activities, and prepared the church bulletin for many years.
Claudette donated to various causes, and also did volunteer work for McLeod County, Holy Family vacation Bible school, Sharing and Caring Hands, and the Knights of Columbus free throw contest.
Claudette and Ralph were awarded the Knights of Columbus “Family of the Month” award several times throughout the years. In addition, they received the Diocesan Distinguished Service Award from Archbishop Raymond Lucker for their tireless work at St. Adalbert’s Parish.
Claudette will always be remembered for her love of family, church, community, and animals.
She is survived by her husband, Ralph; children Lisa Blazinski (Ross Horstmann), Corinne (Nolan) Johnson, Steve (Jody Rickert) Guennigsmann, all of Silver Lake, Becky (Kevin) Penaz of St. Cloud, and Amy (Chris) Penaz of Silver Lake; grandchildren Candice Blazinski, Rachel Blazinski and Kara Blazinski; Heather Johnson, Heidi Johnson, Michael Johnson; Jacob Penaz, Jordan Penaz, Mitchell Penaz, Emma Guennigsmann, and a grandson due in November; a sister, Charlotte (Robert) Hanson of Hutchinson; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Claudette was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Agnes Dolezal; a brother, Doug Dolezal; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Frank and Margaret Guennigsmann; sister and brothers-in-law, Luella, Joan, Leona, Verdella, Albert, Leonard, Raymond, David, and Bill; and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass took place Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake 11 a.m., with interment at Holy Family Cemetery.
Visitation was Monday, Oct. 26 at the Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake from 4 to 8 p.m., with a CCW rosary recited at 7 p.m., and a parish prayer service at 7:30 p.m.
The Maresh Funeral Home in Silver Lake served the family.