Velma Arlene Wolff, age 83, of Orono, died Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, at the Presbyterian Homes on Lake Minnetonka in Spring Park.
She was born Nov. 26, 1932, in Independence Township, Hennepin County, the daughter of Ferdinand and Lillian (Hahn) Gast. Velma was baptized and confirmed at Lyndale Lutheran Church in Maple Plain.
She was united in marriage with Robert L. Wolff Sept. 23, 1955, at Lyndale Lutheran Church.
Velma had a great love for teaching children and was the lead special education teacher for the Watertown-Mayer School District for over 30 years. She continued to substitute teach after retirement, giving her over 50 years spent with children. Velma had also taught piano lessons for many years.
She enjoyed square dancing and attending many state and national dance conventions. Velma organized the Gillespie Singers, a group that entertained in many senior care facilities in the area.
She was a faithful member of Lyndale Lutheran Church, where she was a long-time church organist.
Velma enjoyed music, teaching, and helping others. She especially cherished the time spent with her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ferdinand and Lillian Gast; infant brother Gordon Gast; brother and sister-in-law Lyle and Marilyn Gast; sister and brother-in-law Glena and Henry Arnold; brother-in-law Garrell Wolff; and sister-in-law Deloris “Dee Dee” Wolff.
Velma is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Robert Wolff of Orono; son and daughter-in-law Rodney and Holly Wolff of Minnetonka Beach; daughter and son-in-law Laurel and John Ballard of Ft. Worth, TX; grandchildren Mitchell Wolff, Madalyn Wolff, Amanda Ballard and special friend Silas Marshall, and Chelsea Ballard; sister Arlette Wolff of St. Croix Falls, WI; brother-in-law Perry Wolff of Truth or Consequences, NM; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
A memorial service took place Friday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. at Lyndale Lutheran Church in Maple Plain, with the Rev. Dave Solberg as officiant. Interment was in the Lewis Cemetery in Maple Plain.
There was a gathering of family and friends Thursday, Oct. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church, continuing Friday one hour prior to the service.
Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; www.johnsonfh.com.