Elvira “Vera” Augusta (Beknowski) Fruetel, age 91, of Winsted, formerly of Lester Prairie, passed away Monday, May 15, 2017, at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted.
She was born May 12, 1926, in Carver County, the daughter of Ewald and Augusta (Klaustermeier) Benkowski. Vera was baptized as an infant May 23, 1926, by the Rev. Herman Am End at Zion Lutheran Church in Benton Township, Cologne; and was confirmed in her faith as a youth March 17, 1940, by the Rev. Stahlke at St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.
Vera received her education in Lester Prairie, graduating with the class of 1944.
Vera was united in marriage to Virgil Fruetel Nov. 24, 1945, by the Rev. R. A. Ritz at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. Vera and Virgil made their home on a farm in Lester Prairie, and their marriage was blessed with five children, Mary Lou, Cheryl, Diane, Michael, and Jerry.
Vera and Virgil shared over 47 years of marriage, until Virgil passed away March 27, 1993.
In addition to being a loving wife, mother, and homemaker, Vera worked with Virgil in every aspect of the farm. She also worked at Green Giant in Glencoe, and did house cleaning for other families.
An active member at Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie, Vera served on the Women’s Guild, being the president for many years, and was a Sunday school teacher.
She enjoyed quilting, sewing, cooking, canning, baking (known for her bread), fishing, gardening, and playing cards. Staying in touch with others was very important to Vera, and she loved visiting with her friends and family, always having time for each.
She is survived by her daughters, Mary Lou Fruetel of Hutchinson, Cheryl Martin and her husband, Gene, of Belle Plaine, and Diane Hoen and her husband, Herbert, of Lester Prairie; grandchildren Richard Martin and his wife, Jill, of Belle Plaine, Troy Hoen and his fiancée, Lindy, of Lester Prairie, Tina Arenson and her husband, Eric, of Buffalo, Tricia Hoen of Lester Prairie, Vanessa Betker and her husband, Kris, of Hutchinson, Jeffrey Fruetel, and Angela Zellmann, both of Lester Prairie; and great-grandchildren Nevaeh Dolsen, Ava Betker, Ellie, Ethan, and Emma Martin, and Stephen Arenson.
Vera is further survived by a sister, Lillian Dammann of Lester Prairie; step sister Arlaine Schiebe of Elk River; sister-in-law Sonja Fruetel of Cosmos; brothers-in-law Ed LaMott of Silver Lake, Orlin Graupmann of Glencoe, and Ralph Fruetel of Silt, CO; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.
In addition to her husband, Virgil, Vera was preceded in death by her parents, Ewald and Augusta Benkowski; father and mother-in-law, Edward and Stella Fruetel; step father August Kruschke; sons Jerry Fruetel, and Michael Fruetel; a granddaughter, Baby Girl Hoen; sisters Dorothy LaMott, and Ella Graupmann; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Wilmer Dammann, Mildred and Harold Feltmann, Elmer and Rosella Fruetel, Gilbert and Rosie Fruetel, Leslie and Helen Fruetel, Howard “Pat” and Elaine Fruetel, Marcella Fruetel, Wilferd and Phyllis Fruetel, Leonard Fruetel, and Elaine Fruetel.
She was also preceded in death by step family, Ervin Kruschke, Germaine and Elvin Beaudry, Marvin and Lydia Kruschke, Gilbert and Ethel Kruschke, and Loren Schiebe.
Vera’s funeral service took place Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. at Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie, followed by interment at the Lester Prairie City Cemetery. Pastor Al Fiene officiated, the organist was Alice Nowak, and soloist Tom Fruetel sang “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Congregational hymns were “How Great Thou Art,” “Abide With Me,” and “Doxology.”
Honorary casket bearers were Tina Arenson, Angela Zellmann, and Vera’s great-grandchildren.
Casket bearers were Troy Hoen, Richard Martin, Jeffrey Fruetel, Tricia Hoen, Vanessa Betker, and Donald Klaustermeier.
There was visitation at the church Friday, May 19 from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 10 to 1045 a.m.
Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel of Lester Prairie. Online obituaries and guest book are available at www.mcbridechapel.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.