A Mass of Christian Burial for Marge will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 16, 2021 at St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Brainerd. Family and friends are invited to gather one hour prior to Mass and to stay for a luncheon to follow. Interment will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd.
Marjorie (Kletschka) Peterson passed away at the age of 92 on July 11, 2021.
Marge, mom, grandma, great grandma, mawka. We could fill the newspaper with sweet memories of grandma from the way she would to cut chives with a scissors from her garden for homemade soup, to the way she would spontaneously dance The Charleston in her silly way. She chopped wood, tubed behind a boat, and walked daily well into her 80’s. Many strong memories and words come to mind in thinking of grandma.
Physical Strength—Grandma was the epitome of physical strength even with her small stature and petite frame. I remember hearing stories of an Olympic trainer approaching her parents, Herbert and Emma, with a request to train their young Marge in swimming. She may have been approached due to her ability to swim across Lake Hubert from her family home and back, or due to her ability to climb the rope in gym class with ease and speed.
Speed—Our yearly family trips to Lake Itaska included many hikes with our grandma leading the way trail upon trail—with us trailing behind. The nickname “torture lady” was mumbled by a few family members as we viewed nature with great speed. She was speedy even as she recovered from an injury a few years ago; the nursing staff taped a sign to her walker as a reminder to “slow down.” She enjoyed walking with a purpose and experiencing nature.
Mother Nature—As a child, she worked alongside her parents and her three siblings to maintain the lake home and three rental cabins on Lake Hubert in Nisswa, MN. Caring for the lawn and outside work in her childhood carried over into adulthood. She often preferred outdoor work, while grandpa enjoyed inside work; the pair washed and dried dishes together as a team after supper. Grandma volunteered as den leader for her son, James Jr.’s, Cub Scout troop. She taught the boys outdoor skills and served as a strong, female role model for the scouts, her son James Jr., and daughters, Deborah and Tamara.
Hard Working—Grandma worked extremely hard in many avenues in her life. She worked as an admissions coordinator for 20 years at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Brainerd, MN and also volunteered to provide communion for patients in the hospital. Grandma served as an election officer and leader in Crow Wing County and was also involved in her church group at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Brainerd, MN.
Inner Strength—Grandma held several titles within her life in the workforce and personally—including the role as a stay-at-home mother. Grandma also served as the silent partner in assisting grandpa with his work for 35 years until his retirement in 1986. The behind-the-scenes work included assistance in typing letters, organizing paperwork, and creating invites to the principal's treat jar. If any of you were so lucky to have received this invite during your elementary school years in Brainerd, MN, please know grandma and grandpa provided this opportunity to you as a team.
As grandpa’s health began to decline within the last years of his life, grandma served as his caregiver until he passed away comfortably in their home. Grandma couldn’t have accomplished this magnitude of service physically without her love of mowing, walking, and chopping, or mentally without her inner strength. Thank you for your selflessness and time, dear grandma.
The stories of grandma’s strength will continue to flow beyond this page for those who have survived her including her sister, Barbara Kletscha of Golden Valley, MN; her son, James Jr. of Baxter, MN; two daughters Deborah (Mike) Shea and Tamara (Dennis) Holland of Sartell, MN; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 63 years, James Sr.; parents Emma and Herbert Kletschka; sister Virginia Ross; and brother Harold Kletschka.
Our family would like to thank the Good Samaritan Society staff in Brainerd, MN and the Country Manor hospice staff in Sartell, MN in caring for Marge with kindness and tenderness. Memorials preferred to Good Samaritan Society.
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