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Obituary: Mina Bartels

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Mina Marie Bartels, age 73 died Aug. 29 2008, at her home in Meadowbrook Township near Leader, Minn., with her children at her side.

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM, Wednesday, September 3rd at Lyon County First Presbyterian church, with Rev. Paul Fischer and Rev. Jim Johnson officiating. Burial will be at the church Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, September 2nd from 4 - 8 PM, with the family present from 6 - 8 PM at Jurrens Funeral Home of George.

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Mina Marie Bartels died Aug. 29 2008, at her home in Meadowbrook Township near Leader, Minn., with her children at her side.

Mina was born on Aug. 5, 1935 to Irvin Harm and Minnie Marie (Geerdes) Willemssen on the family's farm in Wheeler Township, one mile south of George in Lyon County, Iowa. She was baptized on Oct. 20, 1935, in Lyon County First Presbyterian Church, rural George, and later confirmed in her family's church.

She grew up on her parents' farm and in the community of George, Iowa. She entered George (Iowa) Public Schools in September 1940 and graduated with the "Class of 1953" at George High School. During high school, she managed the George H.S. Blue Jays girls' basketball team and was a flag drill team member of Blue Jays Marching Band.

Following graduation, Mina worked as a secretary at the House of Reinhardt in Sioux Falls, S.D., then spent several months caring for her aunt Caroline (Geerdes) Anderson in Beverly Hills, Calif., and then at Jennings Drug Store in George, Iowa.

She married Elmer Louis Bartels on April 19, 1955 at the Lyon County First Presbyterian Church in rural George, Iowa. They moved to West Fargo, N.D., where she was a housewife. In March 1961, the family moved to George, Iowa and in October, 1963, to Olympia, Wash., while Elmer served in the U.S. Army.

They moved to Richfield, Minn., in May 1964, where Mina was a mother, a housewife and a Girl Scout assistant leader. She was a life member of the Richfield (Minn.) VFW Post #5555.

In June 1975, Mina and Elmer moved to Leader, Minn., where they purchased and operated Elmer's Country Store. She served as the postmaster of the Leader Post Office for a decade.

In October, 1986, Mina and Elmer moved to rural Kasson, Minn., and she worked in production at Images in Kasson.

On May 10, 1996, Mina and Elmer retired and moved to their 10-acre home site in Meadowbrook Township, two miles south of Leader, Minn. In 2001, Mina, Elmer and other family members traveled for a three-week visit to Ostfreisland, Germany, the birthplace of her Willemssen, Geerdes, Greenfield and Roben ancestors and Elmer's Bartels and Thiele ancestors. During this Germany trip, they visited paternal Bartels cousins still living in Germany.

Mina and Elmer's marriage of 48 years and 167 days ended with his death at home on Oct. 3, 2003. Mina loved Elmer, her children and grandchildren and her extended Willemssen and Bartels families. She loved to tend her flowers, her garden and feed her birds, especially her hummingbirds and her two cardinals.

She lived 73 years and 24 days and died after a 15-month battle with acute leukemia.

She is survived by her three children: Carla (Robert) McKimmy of rural Motley, Minn., Cinda (Kelly) Boldan of Willmar, Minn., and Craig (Susan) Bartels of rural Staples, Minn.; four grandchildren: Michelle (Ryan) Pletz of Maple Grove, Minn., Anthony Boldan of Salt Lake City, Utah, Carrie Martin of Rogers, Minn., and Matthew Martin of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; two step-grandchildren: Heather (Eric) Martin of Sartell, Minn., and Heidi (Doug) Tulenchik of rural Pequot Lakes, Minn., two great grand children: Lamont and Madeline Pletz of Maple Grove, Minn.; four step-great grandchildren: Jacob and Sean Martin of Sartell, Minn.; and Zackery and Irvin Tulenchik of rural Pequot Lakes, Minn.; one brother, Orville (Wanda) Willemssen of Hull, Iowa, one sister-in-law Gertrude Willemssen of Lismore, Minn.; nine Bartels in-laws, and numerous Willemssen and Bartels nieces and nephews and related family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Bartels; her parents, Irvin and Minnie Willemssen; one brother, Charles Willemssen, and one step-grandson Elliot Magilke.

A complete obituary and online registry will be available at www.jurrensfuneralhome.com.

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