Audrey Jean (Allen) Sawatzke-Balgaard, age 85, of Howard Lake, passed away Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, at Ridgeview Medical Center, Waconia.
She was born Aug. 22, 1931, in Victor Township, Wright County, to Elmer and Orlue (Diers) Allen. Audrey grew up south of Howard Lake on Lake Mary in Victor Township.
When she was only 2 and 1/2 years old, her mother passed away. Audrey was raised by her father, Elmer; Aunt Alice and Grandmother Ellen.
She attended Howard Lake High School and graduated in 1949.
Audrey worked for a time at Pure Milk Creamery in Winsted.
On her 19th birthday, she married Bob Sawatzke at St. Mary’s Church of Waverly. They were married by Father Maurice Keeler.
The couple made their home on a farm in Waverly where they raised eight children. Bob passed away June 5, 1982.
Audrey married Marvin Balgaard Oct. 25, 1985. They were married by Father Martin Schalbetter, and Pastor Ralph Forde at St. Mary’s Church of Waverly. The couple made their home on Little Waverly Lake, and later moved to Howard Lake. The couple also spent 18 winters in Tucson, AZ.
Audrey had many hobbies; she enjoyed needlework, made quilts for her great-grandchildren, and enjoyed knitting and embroidering. She made baby caps for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and supported several charities, among her favorites were the Union Gospel Mission, and St. Jude’s.
Audrey was very involved with her church, St. John’s Lutheran of Howard Lake, and was a member of the Q-Q Club. She liked to play games; her favorites were bingo, pinochle, and Ups and Wipes.
The most important thing to Audrey was family. She left a legacy of positivity, and “watched her own bobber.” Audrey was an excellent Christian role model, as was her father.
She is survived by her husband, Marvin; children: Joan (Mel) Laurence of Mound, Dan (Dawn) Sawatzke of Waverly, Chris (Rich) Alverson of Osakis, Doug (Jenell) Sawatzke of Annandale, Dale (Laura) Sawatzke of Waverly, JoEllen (Joel) Fasching of Winsted, Carol (Dan) Tongen of Annandale, and Kim Griffiths of Solihull, England; 29 grandchildren; and 28 great-grandchildren.
Audrey is further survived by daughter in law; Jan Sawatzke of Buffalo; brother Wayne (Teri) Allen of Howard Lake; and sister Karen (Gerry) Diers of Howard Lake.
In addition to her first husband, Robert, she was preceded in death by her father, Elmer Allen; mother Orlue; stepmother Virginia; an infant son; son Richard Sawatzke; and sister Yvonne Hoover
A funeral service took place Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.
There was visitation Monday, Nov. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.; and continuing Tuesday, one hour prior to the service.
Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake handled the arrangements; www.swansonpeterson.com.