Mildred “Millie” Blesener, 97, of Gibbon and formerly of Tracy, died peacefully on April 18, 2018, at South View Living Center in Gibbon.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Ulm with Monsignor Douglas Grams celebrating the Mass. Visitation will be from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Ulm. Burial will take place in the St. Mary’s Calvary Cemetery in Tracy at a later date.
Mildred Susan Blesener, daughter of John and Louise Mahowald, was born on Feb. 18, 1921, in Northfield, MN. She grew up on the family farm, experiencing the Great Depression during her adolescent years. She attended country school, where her teacher had her “skip” two grades. She then attended Northfield High School and graduated at the age of 16.
After caring for various relatives and family friends following graduation, a local businessman encouraged her to become a nurse. She enrolled at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul in the Army Nurse Corps program, and graduated in three years with a degree as a registered nurse.
Mildred was united in marriage to Dominic Blesener on June 7, 1947, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Northfield. They moved to Indianapolis, Ind., where Dominic completed his chiropractic education, and Mildred worked at the VA Hospital. In 1950, they moved to Tracy, where Dominic began his chiropractic practice and where they settled and started their family.
Millie stayed home and raised their five children, and in 1967, when their youngest child started school, Mildred resumed her nursing career by working part-time at the Christian Manor Nursing Home. She worked there for 24 years, retiring in 1991. Millie won the nursing home’s “change our name” contest, with her entry of Prairie View Healthcare Center.
Millie was a 64-year active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy. Her life was defined by faith, service, and love. She was a faithful Catholic, a loving wife and mother, and a talented cook, baker, gardener, and homemaker. She volunteered at the local food shelf and the American Red Cross Bloodmobile. Millie was an astute card-player, and was a member of a number of long-standing bridge and 500 clubs in Tracy.
She was known to participate in outdoor games like “keep away” with her children, and she invented games to “drill” her kids on homework. Her other interests included traveling, completing a daily crossword puzzle, visiting with friends, and watching the Minnesota Twins. Spending time with her children and grandchildren was her greatest joy.
Mildred is lovingly remembered by children Rose Blesener (Bill Daly) of St. Cloud; Paul (Kathy) Blesener of Cottage Grove; Charlie (Kathleen) Blesener of Elk River; Joanne (Tom) McCabe of Madelia; Anita (John) Shikoski of New Ulm; 13 grandchildren: Trevor, Brenna, Bridget (fiancé Nathan Hilgart), and Kevin Daly, Kaitlyn (Jay) Melson, Ross Blesener, Lucas (Kate), Dominic (Erica), and Isaac Blesener, Patrick (Jasmin), Brian, and Matthew McCabe, and Joseph (fiancée Ella Hanson) Shikoski; 8 great-grandchildren: Hailey, Macie, Nolan, Alex, Carson, Claire, Emma, and Jack.
Mildred is survived by sisters-in-law Eileen Mahowald of Shoreview and Joan Mahowald of Cross Lake, and many nieces and nephews. Mildred was preceded in death by her husband Dominic in 1976; her parents; sister Margaret Tully; brothers Edmund, Elmer, Wilfred, Richard, and Alfred Mahowald; sisters-in-law Helen and Darlene Mahowald; brothers-in-law Arthur Tully and Anthony and Peter Blesener; niece Michelle “Misha” Mahowald and great-niece Amy Mahowald- Seigler.
Arrangements are with Minnesota Valley Funeral Home in New Ulm. You may sign the guestbook or send the family condolences online at: www.mvfh.org. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy or St. Mary’s Catholic School in Tracy.
Blessed be her memory.