Imogene Watson Symes

Published 3:49 pm Thursday, July 13, 2023

Imogene Watson Symes, 81

Imogene Watson Symes, age 81, died peacefully in her sleep on Monday, July 10, 2023, at her home in rural Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. She was born July 1, 1942, to Dillion and Edna (Oberhelman) Strait in Fairmont, Minnesota. Because she was an only child, her cousin, Patti and her close girlfriends were like sisters to her, and she stayed in close contact with them throughout the years. Imogene was a 1960 graduate of Dayton High School in Dayton, Iowa. She then went on to attend Fort Dodge Community College, where she obtained a two-year secretarial degree. Imogene was married and later divorced. The couple had two girls, Denise and Denell, and a baby boy who was stillborn in 1968. She did daycare in her home for many years when they lived in Ankeny, Iowa. Imogene cared about all her daycare kids as if they were her own. Her family moved to rural Blooming Prairie in 1975, building a new home on a farm her dad had purchased back in the 1950’s. She did many jobs including daycare, working at the nursing home, the Union Creamery, and Production Credit Association, before working at First Lutheran Church for 22 years. After retiring from the church, Imogene kept busy with three part time jobs; driving special needs kids to school, being a greeter at the local funeral home, and filling in at her previous position at the church.

Imogene loved and cared about people; her family was always top priority. She was blessed to have found a new love in her life; she and Richard were married in March of 2000. These last 23 years were some of the best years of her life. Along with Richard and his family, many new grandchildren and great grandchildren were added to her brood. She had a very special bond with her first granddaughter, Sarah, they would talk on the phone almost every day. Imogene attended many sporting events as well as plays and concerts, to show support and let them know how proud she was of all of them.

Imogene was always a snazzy dresser; she loved clothes, shoes, purses, and especially jewelry. She loved getting a pedicure and her nails done. However, she was not afraid to get her hands dirty. Imogene enjoyed painting and gardening. She once even milked cows with her daughters, so the neighbors could go on a much-needed vacation. Imogene was also a wonderful cook and baker. She would sew clothes for herself and her daughters when she was younger and enjoyed quilting when she was older. Imogene loved to drive; she had several new and new to her cars over the years, including a convertible that was one of her favorites. And then there is Katie, her faithful canine companion who she treated like her own child. Katie is also missing her dearly.

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Imogene is a true matriarch of her family and will be truly missed. No one will be able to fill her shoes, literally and figuratively, she had tiny feet. She was an amazing Mom, Grandma, and Gigi, and a friend to so many other people. She will never be forgotten.

Survivors include her husband, Richard Symes of rural Blooming Prairie, MN; children, Denise (Doug) Krell of Blooming Prairie, MN, and Denell Johnson of Cannon Falls, MN; Richard’s children, Randy (Christie) Symes of New Tripoli, PA, Mark (Kim) Symes of Blooming Prairie, MN, and Julie (Pat) Noble of Blooming Prairie, MN; grandchildren, Sarah (Adam) Lonergan, Steven (Kelly) Krell, Derek (Becca Sandness) Johnson, Brianna (Austin) McGuine, Cody Symes, Michael Radmer, Blake (Becky) Symes, Chelsey (Jim) Fleming, Marissa (Ben) Noble-Hemingway, Anna (JD Willemssen) Noble, Lucas (Emma Christianson) Noble; great grandchildren, Daniel Krell-Shaw, Amber Lonergan, Violet Lonergan, Layne Krell, Leo Krell, Raylan McGuine, Amelia Symes, Sutton Symes, Alec Wangen, and Brody Fleming, brothers-in-law, Charles (Fran) Symes of SC; sister-in-law, Donna Symes of Austin, MN; cousin, Patti Kirts of Cummings, IA; foreign exchange students, Marianne Fokkens of the Netherlands, Sigi Rasmussen of Denmark; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; baby boy Watson; grandson, Dylan Johnson; great granddaughter, Lilly McGuine; brother-in-law, David Symes; Katherine (Charles) Arment, Karen Watson Fulayter, Patti Jo Arment, and Mabel (Joe) Watson.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. Visitation will take place from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Monday, July 17, at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday. Interment will be in the Blooming Prairie City Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Dylan Johnson Scholarship Fund or the First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie. Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at