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Odilia Roers, 83

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Odilia "Odie" Catherine Roers, 83, died March 10, 2014 at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria.

Odilia was born in Millerville Township on April 30, 1930 to Joseph and Barbara (Hockert) Bitzan. She grew up on her parents farm near Millerville. Odilia was baptized and confirmed at Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville and attended the parochial school there through the 8th grade. She then attended Brandon High School, graduating in 1948.

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Odie was united in marriage to Philip Roers on June 7, 1949 in Millerville. To this union 10 children were born. They farmed for nearly 40 years on their farm north of Garfield near Chippewa Lake and raised their family on that farm. Odie was an expert homemaker, keeping an organized household, rearing the children, and tending a large garden, canning and freezing the bounty each year.

She was a wonderful cook, making delicious meat and potato dinners for her family on a daily basis. She baked about 10 loaves of bread each week as well as many batches of cookies and other baked goods. The children would often come home from school to some freshly-baked treat. To the grandchildren, Grandma Odie was known for her root beer floats and other special treats.

Through the years, Odilia belonged to many organizations. As a young lady she was a member and president of the St. Rose Sodality at Seven Dolors parish. She was active in the Christian Mothers Society all her life at both Millerville and St. Marys in Alexandria and then later, the Daughters of Isabella and Catholic Aid Association at St. Marys as well. In 1964, she became a charter member of the newly organized American Legion Auxiliary in Millerville.

Odie and Phil retired from the farm in 1987 and moved to Alexandria. In their retirement years they took many bus trips around the U.S. with Utopia Tours, even to Alaska. They also enjoyed card playing and casino trips with friends and relatives.

Odie volunteered for many years in the coffee shops at both Knute Nelson and Bethany Home. She also had some fun times with her Red Hatters group in Alexandria.

Odie was a good piano player, playing polkas, waltzes and hymns mostly "by ear." Grandchildren always requested her to play "The Birdie Dance." Even as a resident in Windmill Ponds, she would frequently play the piano in the dining room for the enjoyment of others.

She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Philip; and seven children, Catherine (Alan) Hansen, Gregory (Mary) Roers, Lorean (Dan) Crandall, Kevin (Ellen) Roers, Carol (George) Hammond, Joyce (Doug) Roden, David (Jennifer) Roers; 25 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren; son-in-law, Lyle Femrite; three brothers, Nick Bitzan, Cletus Bitzan and Clem Bitzan; numerous in-laws and nieces and nephews.

Odilia was preceded in death by her parents; and her children, Ronald Roers in 1967, Susan Roers Ranney in 1984, and Barbara Roers Femrite in 1997; baby grandson, Ryan Hammond; and brother, Arnold Bitzan.

A funeral Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, March 14 at St. Marys Catholic Church in Alexandria. Burial was at Seven Dolors Cemetery in Millerville.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.

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