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Obituary for Mildred Aletta Thies

Mildred A. Thies
Mildred Aletta Thies, 89, of Caledonia, passed away peacefully at her home January 18, 2011, with her husband, Elmer at her side.
She was born September 4, 1921, on a farm west of Caledonia to Leonard and Lettie (Blinn) Albee. When she was about four years old, diseases in the farm animals forced her parents out of farming and they moved to California to work in the oil fields. They shared a house with Edgar and Edna (Blinn) Albee and their sons, Leland, Dale, and Bob, cousins who were like brothers to her and to her much loved little sister, Marge (Dean) Bush of Hermiston, Ore. Due to the Depression, Mildred and her immediate family moved and bought a farm near Twin Falls, Idaho. When just 17 years old, she and her family visited the Caledonia area to attend her Albee grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was there she met a neighbor boy, Elmer Thies, who became her husband of 68 years. After a three year, long-distance relationship (composed almost entirely of letters, since neither phone nor long distance travel were feasible), Elmer and Mildred were engaged on the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor and were married on August 9, 1942, in Twin Falls, Idaho. They left Idaho and traveled by bus and train on a tour to New York and Washington, DC; an experience fondly and often recounted. Mildred bravely left her family and everything familiar to join Elmer in farming in Minnesota. Although she was only 20, she stepped into the necessary roles of farmer's helpmate, gardener, canner, baker, cook,  housewife, and eventually mother of Linda (Steve) Hadley of Duluth, Minn., and Marlene (Rick) Hutter of Onalaska, Wis. They also experienced the heartbreak of losing an infant son. Family, both immediate and extended, have always been her joy and dedication. Four granddaughters, Heather Hadley (Brian Cariveau), Kristin Hadley (Daniel Winterer), Janelle Hutter and Hilary Hutter have been greatly loved. Mildred was a beautiful woman who exhibited faithfulness, caring, hard work, intelligence and strength throughout her 89 years. She will always be remembered as a devoted and supportive wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, and friend. In years past, Mildred taught Sunday School, and participated in Caledonia United Methodist Church activities. She also was a leader in the Portland Prairie 4-H Club, and was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. They had the opportunity to travel to all 50 states, as well as Egypt, Israel, England, Scotland, Wales, Canada, and Mexico. In recent years, she has been limited by heart disease. Special thanks are extended to neighbors, family, friends, and Gundersen Lutheran Hospice, who have been so helpful in this last year. 
Funeral services will be Saturday, January 22, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at the Caledonia United Methodist Church, 308 N. Kingston St. Rev. Mark Bengtson will officiate. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery. Friends may call at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, 518 W. Main St., Caledonia, on Friday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and also at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials are prefered. Online condolences may be sent at