Dolores M. Jech
Published 6:01 pm Thursday, July 27, 2023
Heaven has gained another angel – it is with great sadness that we announce the death of our dear, much loved Mother, Dolores Marie Jech (aged 94 years young), who passed away peacefully at home on July 25, 2023.
Dolores Kopet was born in Lonsdale, Minnesota, and moved with the family to Austin when her father, Joe, got a job with Hormel Foods. She spent her growing up years attending the local Catholic Elementary and High School and spending summers with her Czech grandparents in Lonsdale.
From her parents and grandparents, she learned fluent Czech and also enjoyed helping Grandpa with his beekeeping. After high school, she worked with a local doctor, a greenhouse florist, and in the local drug store.
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She enjoyed dancing and was great at it. One of her evenings out with her parents at the Terp Ballroom, a young man named Rudy Jech asked her to dance, and the rest, in his own words “was history.” They never dated anyone else after this, and married on September 20th, 1953, at St Olaf Church in Austin. They lived in Austin for a few years before moving to their new home – a farm near Elkton, Minnesota where they lived and worked together for more than 60 years. She easily made the transition from “city girl” to Rudy’s right-hand partner.
They raised three daughters, Debbie, Cindy, and Patti on the farm, to whom, until the end, Dolores was devoted – and they and their partners to her. Dolores was also devoted to her four grandchildren – Lauren, Katlyn, Nick, and Sam who all have many wonderful lifelong memories of time spent with Grandma, including endless years of playing games, attending functions, baking, and hugs. She also instilled in them and us her values – the importance of love and family.
Dolores was an active long-time member of St John’s Lutheran Church in Elkton, MN, where she held many positions over the years in the women’s groups – as well as making layettes for overseas missions, quilt making and crocheting afghans for those that were lonely in nursing homes, or in need. One elderly man in a nursing home asked her “why are you doing this? You don’t even know me.” She told those closest to her “that’s all it took, I just kept going after that”.
And keep going she did – at the age of 85 years she was recognized by the Freeborn-Mower County Red Cross for her 30 years of volunteer service. Every year she would crochet 50-100 scarves to be given out to those in need over the cold Minnesota winters – along with her famous marigold seed packets. She was active in many volunteer groups including the Women’s Auxiliary at St Olaf Hospital and the Salvation Army.
She was also very active with her girls in the local and regional 4H community – and won the prestigious Plager Award – for outstanding volunteer recognition. She also chaperoned many groups at the State Fair and 4H conventions.
Dolores was an avid bowler – and until its closure in Adams, Minnesota, held the bowling club’s women’s record as highest scorer for a combined 3 game series and was quite proud of that fact.
Rudy and Dolores were passionate about fishing – whether at their cabin on Lake Mazaska in Faribault, Minnesota, or fishing the Missouri River in South Dakota for walleye, as well as in Wisconsin for salmon. Dolores was known for her smoked salmon and fish cleaning abilities.
They loved to travel – whether it be family car trips to Arizona, California, or Florida – or travelling with Jacques Seeds, cruising to Rio De Janeiro or Jamaica. They loved spending part of each winter in their beloved Hawaii on the way to visiting two of their daughters in Australia. They made many friends there over the 40 years of their Australian treks. Dolores would continue her volunteer work there, working in the hospital Red Cross canteens and crocheting afghans for raffle prizes. She also made many scarves and lap robes to be handed out through her local church there, as well as crocheting blankets for sick children at the Ronald McDonald House. Both in Minnesota and Australia, she would collect soda can tabs for this cause and brought stamps back and forth between the two countries for charity.
Dolores is preceded in death by her husband, Rudy; parents, Joseph and Camilla Kopet; brother, Milton; nieces, Patti, Elizabeth, and Teri; and nephew, Robert. Dolores is survived by her children, Debbie (Peter) Eadie, Lorn, NSW, Australia, Cindy (Peter) Lau, Merewether, NSW, Australia, Patti (Tim) Nordin, Austin, Minnesota; sister, Grace Hruby, Tucson, Arizona; and grandchildren, Lauren (Daniel), Katlyn (Morgan), Nick (Jamie) and Sam.
A special thanks to the Rochester Mayo hospice team who took tremendous care of our Mother in the last weeks of her life. Thank you also to Pastor Jackie Short who was a tremendous comfort and bright spot in our Mother’s life for the short time they knew each other.
The love and values that Dolores demonstrated throughout her life are an example of everything God holds dear – faith, family, and loving your neighbour as yourself. May God grant her a well-deserved peace for a lifetime of service. May her soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and His glory.
She lived for those she loved – and those she loved will remember her.
Services are pending for a later date. Services are prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.