Iris Faehnrich, 97Iris Angela Faehnrich, 97, died November 24, 2011 at Knute Nelson home.
Iris Angela Faehnrich, 97, died November 24, 2011 at Knute Nelson home.
Iris was born January 20, 1914 at Wyndmere, ND, the fifth of 12 children born to Louis and Ruth Faehnrich. When she was 12 the family moved to the Alexandria area where she graduated from 8th grade in Nelson and high school in Alexandria in 1931.
In 1933 Iris and four of her siblings were baptized, confirmed and became members of First Lutheran Church in Alexandria. Her deep faith was an integral part of her life.
After high school she worked at J.C. Penney and then became a bookkeeper at the Chevrolet garage. In June of 1944 she entered the Navy where she served as a Wave, stationed at the Naval Air Base near Memphis, TN. After her discharge in 1946 she worked at Flying Cloud and at a Pontiac dealership in Minneapolis.
She moved to New Orleans in 1951, to work as a bookkeeper for a Dodge dealership, and was transferred to San Antonio in 1956, where she worked until her retirement in 1980. She moved back to Alexandria in 1992 to be closer to most of her family. She lived at Kenwood Apartments until she decided she needed assisted living. She lived at Windmill Pond until she thought she needed additional care and moved to Clearwater Estates. When Clearwater could no longer provide the care she needed, she moved to Knute Nelson.
Iris loved life and her work as a bookkeeper. She said she loved figures so much she could work 24 hours a day if her body could take it. Always up for a challenge, she learned to play bridge after she returned to Alexandria – and became a pretty good player – and she became an avid bingo player the last few years. An independent and decisive woman, she made all of her living and care decisions, including the decision that she should no longer drive.
She was devoted to her family. During the years she lived in the South, she came “home” for two weeks every August and spent a day or two with each family located in Minnesota. One brother, and for a time one sister, lived in Washington. The nieces and nephews (and their parents) turned out in full force to meet the train bringing her to Alexandria each year. Her arrival was cause for a family reunion where relatives from North Dakota and sometimes Washington, California or Canada joined the festivities. She was fun, lively, optimistic, a classy lady, a character and an inspiration to her nieces and nephews. She was affectionately called “Pinky” and loved the color.
Iris was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Ruth Faehnrich; brothers, Richard, Malcolm “Mix,” William and Maurice; sisters, Dulce Lommen, Pauline Schultz, Mavis Mullen, Charmaine Westad, Sylvia Sveback; 10 brothers- and sisters-in-law and nine nieces and nephews and spouses.
She is survived by two sisters, Alice Hanson of Henning and Doris Haag of Staples; one sister-in-law, Shirley Faehnrich of Alexandria; 33 nieces and nephews; spouses of nieces and nephews and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held November 29 at First Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Greg Billberg officiating. Music was provided by organist Randy Morken. Military honors were provided by Alexandria American Legion Post 87, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 936, and the Minnesota National Honor Guard. Interment was at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Almora. Casket bearers were Rick Faehnrich, Guy Lommen, Jerry Hanson, Dan Hanson, Dennis Stadsvold, Clark Hoffman and Warren Olson.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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