Evelyn C. Guentzel, 83
Published 4:19 pm Friday, September 30, 2022
Evelyn Carol Guentzel, 83, passed away peacefully on September 20 in Sartell, Minnesota. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, she was preceded in death by her parents, Victor and Alice Nelson; daughter, Jo; siblings, Virginia Day, Janet Soltau, Meredith Nelson, and Marcia Proulx. She is survived by her loving husband, Richard Guentzel, Sartell, MN; daughters, Melanie Guentzel (Dan Schlagel), St. Cloud MN, and Heather (Scott) Frank, Los Angeles, CA; grandchildren, Henrik and Annika; brother, John Nelson; many nieces and nephews and friends old and new.
Evelyn was born July 2, 1939, and grew up in Northeast Minneapolis, graduating from Edison High School. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in English and History from St. Cloud State University, becoming the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree. She later earned a master’s and a specialist degree in Education from Minnesota State Mankato.
Evelyn began her teaching career in Pine City, MN and went on to teach in Mound, MN; Lincoln, NE; and Rochester, MN before moving to Austin, MN. She spent 30 years in Austin teaching at the Boy’s Ranch, Austin High School, and Ellis Middle School. She concluded her career as the Principal at Glenville-Emmons High School where she enjoyed putting her leadership skills to good use.
Reading was a favorite pastime. Evelyn read everything, enjoying fiction, non-fiction, history, and current events. She loved her book groups and discussing what she was reading with others. Engaging students in reading was a true passion. She spent many years in leadership roles with the Minnesota Reading Association and organizing community events to promote reading. She regularly participated in the International Reading Association. Evelyn was also a fierce advocate for women’s rights. She was a lifetime member of the American Association of University Women and a leader in her local Austin branch for many years. Evelyn was also an active member of the DFL party, including serving as the Mower County DFL Chair.
Evelyn and Richard had a long life together, married in 1965, they celebrated 57 years together on August 7. They built a life together after meeting as teachers in Mound, MN. They lived in Lincoln Nebraska while Richard was in graduate school. Evelyn taught at Lincoln High and they enjoyed Saturday afternoons watching the Huskers play football. They spent most of their lives together in Austin, Minnesota. Evelyn loved to entertain and hosted many dinner parties for friends and family. She also loved music, singing in the St. Olaf church choir and the Northwestern Singers. Most recently, they lived in Sartell, Minnesota and Evelyn was getting to know people through her book group, playing Scrabble and going to coffee.
Evelyn was endlessly curious and a life-long learner. She loved travelling and she and Richard traveled throughout the United States and internationally, spending time in the Caribbean, Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico, the Middle East, and New Zealand. Richard and Evelyn spent many winters in Central Florida and in Sun City, Arizona enjoying the sunshine. One of her favorite places was the cabin on “Big Winnie” where she and Richard spent 30 years of summer and fall months fishing and enjoying nature and good friends.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, October 8, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin, Minnesota; 10am visitation, 11am memorial service with interment at Oakwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Association of University Women, Minnesota State Mankato, St. Cloud State University or St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.