LITTLE FALLS - Mathilda M. Girtz, 90-year-old resident of Little Falls, Minn., passed away Friday, March 20, 2009, at St. Gabriel's Hospital in Little Falls, Minn. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 27, 2009, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Little Falls, Minn., with Nicholas Landsberger officiating. Burial will take place in St. Mary's Parish Cemetery in Little Falls, Minn. Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday and from 10-11 a.m. on Friday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, Minn. Christian Mothers will pray the rosary at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel. Arrangements are with the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, Minn.
Mathilda (Preimesberger) Girtz was born on Oct. 8, 1918, in Pierz, Minn., to the late Joseph and Susan (Ross) Preimesberger. Mathilda grew up on a farm just north of Pierz where she lived with two brothers and two sisters and attended school in Pierz until the eighth grade. During her youth she and her sister Delores played guitar and sang with the country band The Texas Panhandlers. She worked on the Preimesberger family farm until she fell in love with and was married to Elmer J. Girtz on Nov. 27, 1948, after his return from military service. They resided briefly in Pierz. Mathilda and Elmer then moved to Little Falls in 1951 and lived in the home affectionately referred to as the "Green House" on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street Northeast for over 50 years. There they raised five children whom she cherished deeply. She was a full-time mom and dedicated her life to her family. Her love of music carried on through her life as she passed musical appreciation and artistic talent to her children. She bestowed on them a love of music, learning and showed an undying commitment to their well-being, also giving them the intuitive gift of knowing right from wrong that continues to provide guidance and direction in their lives today. Mathilda was the family accountant, doctor, nurse, musician, teacher and ever-present supporter of her husband and children. She was able to prepare seven-course meals for family and friends with little notice and was always around when her children needed comfort, care or encouragement. She was an expert baker of bread, Kuchen and cakes and will be fondly remembered for her Christmas cutout cookies that she made with her children and grandchildren. Mathilda loved gardening, bird watching and crafting and was even quite experienced using e-mail to correspond with people well into her 80s. She loved her grandchildren incredibly and always shared her skills and as she took care of them during countless "Grandmother Sessions." Her greatest joys were centered on her family and she was a bit sad, yet understanding, as "all of the birds left their nest" to find their place in life. She was a devoted and faithful wife for 59 years and spent the last three-and-a-half years of her life as a resident of St. Otto's Care Center in Little Falls. Mathilda and her family were particularly pleased with the great care provided by the second floor nursing staff, especially Nurse Mary. Mathilda was always involved in St. Otto's activities until her passing and will be remembered especially for all of her handwritten correspondence with her neighbors, family and friends. Her undying Christian faith, her sparkling blue eyes, wry sense of humor, wistful smile and her life of service to her family will be her greatest legacy and will always be remembered. We miss her very much.
Mathilda is survived by her sons, Robert (Marilyn), of Little Falls, Gordon (Andrea), of Shoreview, David (Susan Holley), of Sauk Rapids, Mary (Stan) Juber, of Ledyard, Conn., and Paul, of Clear Creek, Colo.; nine grandchildren, Emily (David) Crilly, Sartell, Robbie Girtz, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Christian Girtz, Minneapolis, Anne Marie Girtz, Kewlona, British Columbia, Allison (Daniel) Antoine, Milford, Iowa, Jill Girtz, Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Girtz, Sauk Rapids, and Samantha and Bethany Juber, Ledyard, Conn.; and one great-granddaughter, Elliana Mae Antoine. She is also survived by her youngest brother, Jerome, of Mesa, Ariz.
Mathilda was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Susan; infant brother, Leo; sisters, Delores and Madeline; and her brother, Simon; and her beloved husband, Elmer, on Feb. 25, 2007.
In honor of Mathilda's life and of her surviving breast cancer and heart surgery, donations to these lifesaving causes are encouraged.
Arrangements are with the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls.
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