Minnie was born Nov. 6, 1911 in a log home in Bozeman, Mont. to William and Grace (Siebenza) Weidenaar. Because she was the oldest of ten children, she was always her dad’s “right hand.” Minnie could “hitch up” the horses at such a young age that she had to stand on a box to do it. Before she was 10 years old Minnie could drive horses to do everything needed in the field, from plowing to harvest. When she was 6 years old they traveled by train to Parkersburg, Iowa, and her dad rode in the box car with the horses. At 12 years old, the family moved to Owatonna, Minn. and from there to Pease, Minn. On March 28, 1934 Minnie was united in marriage to Dick Folkema at her parent’s home in Long Siding, Minn. To this union six children were born. Dick and Minnie moved a few different times before settling on a farm in Brunswick Township that they owned for about 60 years. In between they moved to Minneapolis where Minnie worked as a wire bender at Parkers Products for three years and then as a fry cook at the Flour Exchange cafeteria for another three years. Then they moved back to Mora where Minnie was a fry cook for five years at Dibbo’s. They eventually settled back on the farm and built a new home. It was at this time they started doing janitorial work for the Kanabec State Bank (17 years) and Mora City Hall (12 years). They lived there 19 years when Dick passed away in August 1990. Minnie continued to live there another 6 years, during which time she survived esophageal cancer, before moving into town in 1996.
Minnie was in her glory when she could embroider dishtowels and pillowcases for the kids and grandkids. Sometimes, she would have fun hiding cash gifts in those dishtowels. She enjoyed picking strawberries, gardening, patching clothes, canning, cooking/baking, loved farming and animals. She just loved hard, fast work.
She was full of love for her family, friends and everyone. Minnie was always there for her family. She always had an “open door” policy and time for coffee. No one ever left her home hungry and, if you did, it was your own fault.
Minnie is survived by son John (Kathy) Folkema of Braham; daughters Grace (Larry) Kleven of Eden Prairie, Elsie (Ronnie) Johnson of Maple Grove, and Donna (Jim) Spangberg of Savage; former daughter in-law Dorothy Jean Folkema; 12 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren. Also surviving is brother Elkie Weidenaar, sisters Anna Osterdyk, Grace Lundeen and Jenny Hanson, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Minnie is preceded in death by husband Dick Folkema, son William and a stillborn son; parents William and Grace Weidenaar, sisters Bertha Bahlman, Hattie Akkerman, Lucy Weidenaar, Lena Stenstrom; brother Johnny Weidenaar. May the Lord Bless her memory.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 23 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Mora with Rev. Duane Fowler officiating. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Mora and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Music is provided by Becky Fladebo, Rev. Bob DeYoung, Rev. Duane and Robbie Fowler. Pallbearers are Joanne Nelson, Joyce Keller, Jerome Folkema, Jimmy Folkema, Joey Folkema, Jill Folkema, Jeff Folkema, Scott Spangberg, Julie Dunn, Sherry Ernster, Shelly Dahl and Andrea Croaston. Interment is in Oakwood Cemetery in Mora. Arrangements were handled by Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home of Mora.