Elaine Eleanor Fruetel, age 89, of Lester Prairie, died Tuesday, July 12, 2011, surrounded by family, at Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care.
She was born April 11, 1922, in Glencoe, the daughter of Maurice and Ethel (Dibb) Howe. The family resided in Glencoe, and Elaine graduated from Glencoe High School in 1940.
While in school, Elaine worked at Lindy’s Café, which was owned by her uncle, and after graduation, she was employed at the McLeod County courthouse.
Elaine was united in marriage to Howard “Pat” Fruetel Oct. 18, 1942, by Pastor Bunge at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ parsonage in Plato. The couple was blessed with three children, Beverly, Susan, and Richard.
The family made their home on area farms, where Pat worked, and in 1948, moved to Lester Prairie. Pat and Elaine shared 29 years of marriage, until Pat passed away suddenly as the result of a car accident Sept. 2, 1972.
In addition to being a homemaker and mom, Elaine held employment at Schwartz Mfg. in Lester Prairie, Fingerhut in Gaylord, and Lester’s Inc. in Lester Prairie, where she received an award for 15 years of employment upon her retirement in 1982. Elaine also served on the Lester Prairie School board and for eight years, and was treasurer of the Senior Citizens Club.
Elaine was an active member of Prairie Community UCC Church, where she taught Sunday school, took part in Women’s Guild, Bible study, served on the church council for several terms, and faithfully did the church’s bookkeeping from 1973-1993.
She enjoyed gardening, playing cards, baking, fishing, and going “up north” with family and friends. Elaine traveled to many places in the US and in 1989, went to Switzerland, where she was able to find her ancestors’ grave sites.
Elaine looked forward to the annual Dibb cousin reunion and Fruetel family gatherings, and cherished the time spent with her family, finding special joy in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
When Elaine needed assistance with her daily care, she became a resident of Grand Meadows in May 2010, and then Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care in January 2011.
Elaine is survived by her children, Beverly Schirmer and her husband, Ronald, of Bloomington, Susan Fruetel of Edina, and Richard Fruetel and his wife, Patricia, of Plato; grandchildren, Jody Thelen and her husband, Bryan, of Eden Prairie, Jill Schnieder and her husband, Adam, of Eagan, Jeff Locy and his wife, Amber, of Litchfield, Neal Locy of Mankato, and Joe Locy Jr. of Isanti; and great-grandchildren Marissa Thelen, Addison Schnieder, Josh Locy, and Ashley Locy.
She is further survived by her siblings, Wayne Howe of Shakopee, and Vivian Grimm of Glencoe; brothers and sisters-in-law, Mildred Feltmann of Norwood Young America, Helen Fruetel of Anoka, Vera Fruetel of Lester Prairie, Marcella Fruetel of Glencoe, Wilferd Fruetel and his wife, Phyllis, of St. Louis Park, Lenard Fruetel and his wife, Sonja, of Cosmos, and Ralph Fruetel and his wife, Elaine, of Rifle, CO; as well as nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
In addition to her husband, Howard “Pat” Fruetel, Elaine was preceded in death by her parents, Maurice and Ethel Howe; father-in-law and mother-in-law Edward and Stella Fruetel; sister Carol Lindstrand; and brothers and sisters-in-law Harold Feltmann, Elmer and Rosella Fruetel, Gilbert and Rosy Fruetel, Leslie Fruetel, Virgil Fruetel, Esther Howe, and Floyd Grimm.
The funeral service took place Monday, July 18, at 11 a.m. at Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie, with interment in the Lester Prairie City Cemetery. Pastor William Baldwin officiated at the service. Music was provided by organist Marie Eischens; and soloists Marvin Westermann, who sang “Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere;” and Rolf Engstrom, who sang “The Lord’s Prayer.” Congregational hymns were “Softly And Tenderly,” “In The Garden,” and “How Great Thou Art.”
Casket bearers were Ronald Schirmer, Bryan Thelen, Adam Schneider, Jeff Locy, Neal Locy, and Joe Locy Jr.
Arrangements were by the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel of Lester Prairie. Online obituaries and guest book available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.