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Elaine Mary Stenzel

May 5, 1935 April 8, 2017
Elaine Mary Stenzel
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Obituary for Elaine Mary Stenzel

Heron Lake, MN

Elaine Mary Brady Stenzel was born on May 5, 1935 in her family’s home outside of Fulda Minnesota, the daughter of James and Agnes (Reinart) Brady. She graduated from Fulda High School in 1953. Elaine’s mother died in 1952 during her senior year. After high school Elaine cared for her five younger brothers and sister until she married the love her life, Donald Stenzel on June 4, 1958 at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Fulda. Elaine and Don built a beautiful farm and life together in rural Heron Lake where they lived together for over 55 years. Elaine continued to live on the farm after Don passed away in October 2013. Elaine passed away at Sanford Hospital in Worthington on April 8, 2017 after a month long battle with pneumonia at the age of 81 years, 11 months and 3 days.
Elaine was preceded in death by her mother and father, brothers James Brady, Patrick Brady and sister Kathleen Lien, grandson Benjamin P. Hesemann and her husband, Donald Stenzel .
Elaine is survived by her siblings Dorothy Van Brocklin, Leo (Linda) Brady and John (Patricia) Brady; her five children, Donald (Rhonda) Stenzel, Mary (Dale) Hesemann, David (Angela) Stenzel, Diane (Dale) Henke and Jan Stenzel; her fifteen grandchildren, Jenny (Ryan) Larson, Mike (Hannah) Stenzel, Matt (Kelli) Stenzel, Andrew (Kelly) Hesemann, Alyssa (Jeff) Taplett, Amanda (Kyle) Loudenslager, Arianna Hesemann, Kara (Brad) Leiferman, Nathan Stenzel, Kraig Stenzel, Kevin Brayer, Halle Stenzel, Mikayla Henke, Micah Henke and Jonathan Henke; and three great grandchildren Benjamin D. Hesemann, Aubrey Leiferman, Ellary Stenzel and Avery Taplett.
Elaine lived a rich life of love and service. She loved her husband and children with deep commitment and emotional warmth. She relished the partnership she had with Don in marriage, in the farming operation and in raising children. She continued to serve and care for her children until her last day, always encouraging and praying for them. A great source of joy for her was found in being a grandmother. She shared special relationships and created sweet memories with each of her grandchildren.
Elaine was active in teaching religious education, CCW and international missions at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Heron Lake where she was a member for 59 years. Elaine and Don received the Bishop’s Medal in 2007 for their dedication and service to their parish and community. In 2011 Elaine and Don were presented with the Outstanding Senior Citizen Award of Jackson County. Elaine and Don helped many couples improve their relationships by presenting talks and serving in other ways at Marriage Encounter Weekends for 37 years. Through this they witnessed many changed lives and enjoyed long-lasting friendships.
Elaine was always concerned about those less fortunate than herself and being a good steward of resources. She combined those two passions in many ways to change the world around her. She has helped keep several thousand people warm by leading a sewing group at Sacred Heart Church that has made approximately 250 quilts per year for over 30 years. She collected, washed and sorted clothing and household items for the homeless and needy for over 30 years. She was one of the first people to welcome Hispanic immigrants into the community by providing them with clothes and household items when they first arrived. She led the charge in collecting “ditty bags” which included personal hygiene items for the homeless or people in crisis. She continued being active in these endeavors right up until the time she became sick last month. She did not let the challenges that Rheumatoid Arthritis presented in her hands and feet keep her from doing what she could. She often said, “I can still do just about everything, it just takes me a little longer than it used to.” She was an extremely generous woman who used time, talents and treasures to show people God’s love.
Elaine will be deeply missed and long remembered. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, with a prayer service at 7:00 pm, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Heron Lake and a second visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at 10:30 am, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Heron Lake with Father Patrick Arens officiating. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Heron Lake.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Sacred Heart Foundation or Marriage Encounter.
Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

11

Apr

5:00 PM 4/11/2017 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 4/11/2017 7:00:00 PM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church

321 9th St
Heron Lake, MN 56137

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
321 9th St Heron Lake 56137 MN
United States

Visitation

Wednesday

12

Apr

9:30 AM 4/12/2017 9:30:00 AM - 10:30 AM 4/12/2017 10:30:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church

321 9th St
Heron Lake, MN 56137

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
321 9th St Heron Lake 56137 MN
United States

Service

Wednesday

12

Apr

10:30 AM 4/12/2017 10:30:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church

321 9th St
Heron Lake, MN 56137

Sacred Heart Catholic Church
321 9th St Heron Lake 56137 MN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Sacred Heart Heron Lake Final Resting Place

920th St
Heron Lake, MN 56137

920th St Heron Lake 56137 MN
United States
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