Verla Mae Olesen, 84, St. Cloud
January 19, 1938 - January 20, 2022
Verla Mae Olesen, age 84, St. Benedict’s Senior Community in St. Cloud, Minnesota, died January 20, 2022 surrounded by love from her family.
Due to Covid 19 no service will be held in St. Cloud. A memorial service will be held in Verla’s hometown in Iowa this summer.
Verla was born January 19, 1938, in West Union, Iowa, to John and Emma Boettcher. On October 19, 1957 she married Robert E. Olesen at Trinity Lutheran church in Hawkeye, Iowa. They first lived in Hawkeye, while Robert completed college, then moved to Ames, IA, where Robert attended graduate school, then next to Stevens Point, WI, for Robert’s first faculty position. In 1965 they settled in St. Cloud.
Having established a home in St. Cloud, Verla worked as a clerk at many stores: Piggly Wiggly, Carl’s Market, and Shepherd’s Jewelry. She finished her career as the very popular pharmacy clerk at the Wal Mart which was on 33rd Avenue South in St. Cloud. When out and about, she was often stopped by her devoted customers because of the kindness and care she showed everyone she served.
After Robert’s death in 1995, she converted to Catholicism with her dear friends Dave and Gerry Hall as her sponsors. She found a great deal of solace in her faith, which helped her with her grief. Verla was passionately focused on the upkeep of her home and yard. The lawn was impeccable, the windows shined, the flowers and bushes were beautifully tended, and the interior of her home immaculate. Each room was spotless without anything ever being out of place.
In 2013 the progress of her dementia began to impact her ability to live on her own. Originally, she was able to live in an apartment at St. Benedict’s Senior community. After two years, as the disease progressed, she moved to Summit Place at St. Benedict’s where she and her friend were able to walk the floors and beautiful grounds. Once concerns grew about her wandering, she moved to Northwoods memory care floor where she helped clean, assisted other residents to the concern of the staff, and could fold a napkin and with her finger put in a crease that looked like it had been steam-ironed. The family wishes to express their eternal gratitude to the nurses, staff, and doctors who so lovingly cared for her during her dementia journey and often sat with her and held her hand in the last days.
Survivors include her children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren: Michael and Margaret Olesen and their children and grandchildren: Gretchen and Joe Middour (Isaac and Ada Mae) and Emma and Scott Heinen (Michael Joseph) and Christi Olesen Rema and her children and grandchildren; Kelly Jo and Kurtis Walvatne (Brendan, Hunter, and Karly Jo), Katie Rema and Vinnie Hackman (Shadow, Willow, and Roman), and Alexis Berquist; her sister Irma Jo Boess, brother-in-law/sister-in-law Rodney and Kathleen Olesen, and sister-in-law Sylvia Olesen. As well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Robert on January 4, 1995; father and mother-in-law Ed and Opal Olesen; infant sister, Alice Boettcher; brothers/sisters-in-law, Fred and Pauline Boettcher and George and Darlene Boettcher; brother-in-law, George Boess, Jr., infant sister-in-law, Mary Olesen; and brothers-in-law, Norton Olesen and Clifford Olesen.
Sympathy cards can be sent to Benson funeral home, who will forward them to the family. Memorials in Verla’s honor to the St. Cloud Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or the March of Dimes would be appreciated.