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Obituary: Florence F. (Butkiewicz) Meger

Florence Frances (Butkiewicz) Meger passed away shortly after midnight on January 17, 2019. She was 96 when she died.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for everything. You were an incredible woman - strong, patient and loving. You were devout in your faith and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

You loved to connect with people. You sent weekly handwritten letters to each of your children. You could talk to anyone. There wasn't a trip for groceries or a stop at the bank or any errand at all that didn't take longer than expected because you had run into old friends who wanted to chat or had made new ones waiting in line. More than one person called you their best friend.

In your 50s, after decades as a stay-at-home mom, you returned to work taking a part-time job at the University of Minnesota Forestry Center. You loved talking to the students that came through the meal line, offering advice and a kind shoulder to lean on. You made lifelong friends among the staff. You saved up your money and bought a white VW bug that you were so proud to have for yourself.

You loved to travel and took some amazing trips in your 50s, 60s and 70s - to Poland, Hungary (to visit a pen pal), Bolivia, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, to name a few. You often traveled with your sisters and your nephew Phillip. At the end of every trip you wrote about your experience and shared your stories with your children. You had a gift for creating poetic phrases. In your 60s, you were accepted into a correspondence course for writers run by Carol Bly. You enjoyed the challenge of honing and respecting your own work.

You were the most generous person we know, sharing anything you had, whenever someone was in need. As a young mom, living near the railroad tracks, train-riding vagrants knew they could knock on your door for a warm meal. Living through the depression, you knew about going without and you knew about helping. You were always resourceful. Every greeting card or piece of cardboard from a pair of pantyhose was put in the scrap-paper drawer for second use as a note or list.

Mom, you were an avid sewer and could mend anything. Your nephews brought you dozens of jeans that were barely holding together and you turned them into wearable clothes again. You made over 300 quilts and gave them to family members and friends and sometimes strangers you'd read about in the paper that needed cheering up.

But perhaps your best quality was that you never spent a day without being thankful. You always found some small piece of delight in whatever you did. We remember you making cake and pausing to appreciate the beautiful patterns the beaters left in the batter. When a rainy spring left the driveway a mess of muddy ruts, you stopped to point out a tiny waterfall formed by a rock. We remember you noticing a frozen spiderweb on a wintry walk. We remember you making dandelion wine, and we remember it exploding in the basement. We remember taking walks with you, collecting the prettiest leaves, and then ironing them between pieces of waxed paper. We remember picking wild blueberries and strawberries with you, always amazed at how fast you were compared to us.

You will be missed, but you will live on in all who knew you.


Your children

Florence is survived by her children Ann Anderson (Greg), Jan Meger, Steven Meger (Jennie), Terese Rowekamp (Mike), Ruth Meger, and Sue Meger (Joe Berens); her grandchildren Cody, Spencer, Will, Frances, Henry, Megan, Katie, Georgia and River; her great-grandchildren Ava, Briar, Bailey, Ben and Kacper; her sisters Mildred Currie, Theodora Hughes, Louise LeSavage (Richard) and Phyllis Knutson (Gayle); and her brothers Louis and Bernard Butkiewicz (Alicia). Florence was preceded in death by her beloved husband Martin of nearly 70 years, her son Martin Frances, her grandson Hunter, her sister Lorraine Serre and her brother Leander Butkiewicz.

Memorials to Wounded Knee District School, PO Box 350, Manderson, SD 57756.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet. The visitation will resume on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 9:30 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton. A Rosary Service will also be held 10 a.m. Thursday at the church. A luncheon will follow in the church social hall. See the family online guest book at http://www.nelsonfuneralcare.net.