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Judie M. Kuenzel, 53

Judie Maurene Kuenzel, age 53, of Mayer, died Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at the Auburn Home in Waconia.

She was born July 31, 1962, in Waconia, the daughter of James L. and June M. (Goetz) Hilgers. Judie was baptized Aug. 12, 1962, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waconia; and was confirmed in the faith in April of 1975 at the same church, by Fr. Kauer.

After graduating from Waconia High School, Judie studied cosmetology.

She was united in marriage with Steven Kuenzel Sept. 3, 1983, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, with Fr. Siebenaler as officiant. This union was blessed with three daughters; Abby, Megan, and Steph.

After working as a hairstylist for over 25 years, Judie began what she called her “dream job” by becoming a medical transportation specialist for Waters Edge Transportation. Her caring and loving personality was a comfort to those she cared for while traveling to and from medical appointments. Judie always lit up the place when she arrived to pick up an individual for transport.

She enjoyed sitting on the deck, watching and listening to the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Judie loved having bonfires with her husband, Steve, as they attempted to solve the world’s problems. She also enjoyed walks, bike rides, baking, and gardening, and had a green thumb with household plants.

Judie had served on various church boards and was always willing to lend a hand when needed. She seemed to have a knack of always ending up with a child on her lap during church services.

Judie began a battle with cancer in January of 2015, and throughout all of her chemo and radiation, she continued to show her love and concern for others, regardless how lousy she was feeling.

She will be remembered for her willingness to sacrifice her comfort for the needs of others. Judie was patient, and always supportive of her family, especially her daughters.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joe and Hattie Hilgers, and Rueben and Verna Goetz; father James Hilgers; and father-in-law Dennis Kuenzel.

Judie is survived by her loving family: husband Steve Kuenzel of Mayer; daughters Abby (Mike) Sultvedt of Brooklyn Park, Megan (Peter) Arneson of Mayer, and Steph (fiancé Zach Gramstad) of Spring Lake Park; mother June Hilgers of Waconia; brothers and sister Joel Hilgers of New Germany, Jill (Tony) Widmer of Norwood Young America, Jason Hilgers (special friend: Nicole Colley) of Lake Havasu, AZ, and Justin (Kristin) Hilgers of Waconia; mother-in-law Sylvia Kuenzel of Norwood Young America; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Don and Sue Ellwanger of Eagle Bend, Tom and Shirley Kuenzel of Buffalo, Phil and Malinda Kuenzel of Plato, and Cambria Hilgers of Lake Havasu, AZ; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

Judie’s funeral service took place Thursday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Mayer with the Revs. Lucas Woodford and Adam Gless officiating. Interment was in the church cemetery.

There was visitation Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia, with a 7:30 p.m. prayer service; and continued Thursday at the church, one hour prior to the service.

Serving as casket bearers were Joel Hilgers, Jason Hilgers, Justin Hilgers, Mike Sultvedt, Peter Arneson, and Zach Gramstad.

The Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia handled the arrangements.

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