Irene Lundquist, 95On February 19, 2013, God came to take Irene Caroline Lundquist home.
On February 19, 2013, God came to take Irene Caroline Lundquist home.
Irene was born August 16, 1917 to Leonard and Julia Runge. She graduated from Alexandria High School about the same time that World War II erupted. Irene and her daughter, Carolyn, moved to Rockford, Illinois, so she could work at the National Lock Company, where she worked manufacturing ammunition for our troops.
On May 26, 1945, she was united in marriage to Rufus Lundquist and moved onto the farm where she lived and worked for 68 years, until she passed away at the age of 95 years.
Two of Irene’s loves were flowers and gardening, where she got the nickname of “Hoey.” She started planting flowers around the foundation of the house and when there was no more room there, she started planting around the yard (you can imagine a large farm yard). People would drive for miles just to get a tour of her hundreds of beautiful flowers, all of which she knew the names of, each and every one.
Irene took classes from Federated Garden Clubs and earned a lifetime license for judging flowers from the Minnesota Horticultural Society. She had been judging, showing, doing flower arranging, and giving demonstrations and seminars for many years. She was even invited to give a seminar in Canada where avid master gardeners came from as far away as 560 miles. The attending gardeners had so many questions that all her sessions went longer than expected.
Irene has been a faithful member of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club of Clarissa since 1967. She had served in several positions, both board and committee. Irene was also a lifetime member of the Minnesota Horticultural Society. Members of the Hoe and Hope cannot recall Irene ever missing a meeting and she even related a time when her husband, Rufus, said if he hid her shoes, she’d just go to the meetings barefooted.
Quilting is another way in which Irene used color and texture to beautify her surroundings. Although she has made all varieties of quilts, it is evident that her love of flowers shines through as her quilts generally have a theme of either flowers or birds. Most of her quilts are all hand-stitched and appliquéd. She loved showing her quilts to anyone who wanted to see them. She was especially gratified that her granddaughter, Trista, is also a quilter and is doing very well.
Gardening and quilting were important to Irene, but her passion was dolls. She has two glass doll cupboards that house 199 dolls, and there are many more dolls around the house, including those in the three bedrooms upstairs. She has all the dolls her daughter had when she was a little girl, as well as those her granddaughters played with. She made a lot of the dolls herself, as well as their clothing. Irene has china, porcelain, composition, vinyl, celluloid, cloth, apple head, walnut head and corn husk dolls.
Irene did not collect dolls for the investment. She said, “They are either of great sentimental value or they enhance what I already have, but mostly because I like them.” She even had dolls from all over the country, sent to her from friends.
Lest we forget, Irene was the first person who had the idea to form Rose City Threshers Association. She was on the first board of directors, the first secretary and a lifelong member. She was active in this association until about two years ago.
Irene has one daughter, Carolyn (Jimmie) Doraska of Alexandria; four grandchildren, Sheila, Bill, Brad and Trista (Kelly); four great-grandsons; one step-great-granddaughter; and on March 3, 2004, welcomed her first great-granddaughter.
Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Rufus, in 1999; one sister, Hazel Rounds; brothers, Vernon Runge and Clifford Runge; and her mother and father.
A funeral service was held Saturday, February 23 at Rose City Evangelical Free Church in Rose City with Chaplain Dave Greaven officiating. Music was provided by organist, Eileen Doble; soloists, Elsie Gustafson and Jackie Wilken; and guitarist, Chaplain Dave Greaven.
Interment was at Rose City Evangelical Free Church Cemetery. Casket bearers were Irene’s great-grandchildren, Aaron Doraksa, Adam Doraska, Nathan Nordhausen, Shawn Martin, Grace Doraska and Hailey Rostad. Honorary casket bearers were Kelly Nordhausen, LeighRa Twa, Kathy Viereck and Ken Viereck.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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