Delores “Dee” Gatzlaff, of Prior Lake, passed away peacefully at her home on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at the age of 85. A visitation will be held on Friday, December 11, 2015 from 3:00 – 6:00 PM with a Celebration of Life Service at 6:00 PM at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation, Prior Lake. Pastor Diana Hunstad will officiate.
On February 26, 1930 Frank and Bessie Hippen celebrated the birth of their daughter, Delores Jeanette Hippen. Delores was born and raised in the small farming community of Comfrey, MN. From a young age, she was hardworking and could be found doing chores on the family farm. This work ethic fueled her passions throughout life. As a teenager she was a cheerleader and in her young adult years she apprenticed as a dental hygienist in Comfrey.
It was in grade school that Delores had class with a boy named Harold Gatzlaff. They grew up together and eventually married on June 25, 1951. The high school sweethearts planned the wedding for a Monday to accommodate the farmers’ work schedules. When the day finally arrived it was overcast and blustery. Despite the thunderstorm that accompanied the wedding, the couple happily exchanged wedding vows. Shortly after, they started their family and were blessed with four wonderful children, Coleen, Carla, Cari and Craig. Their marriage of over 50 years was filled with love and laughter.
Harold’s career as a machinist required the family to move on many occasions. They even lived in Canada for a period of time. Eventually Harold’s employment brought the family to Savage, MN. They settled in Prior Lake where they raised their children. Family was the most important thing to Delores. She was proud of her children. She was always active in their lives; from pairing wrestling brackets, scoring gymnastics meets and helping the Prior Lake School District with ticket sales, fundraising, or concessions. Delores instilled a strong work ethic and family values in her own children as well as her children’s friends and anyone who crossed her path.
She was a compassionate woman who welcomed people into her home, especially when they needed it the most. Delores was an outgoing woman who cared for her family and her community. Delores and Harold could often be found dancing and playing bridge. It was with these friends that she had many memorable moments, such as a long trip to Germany and Switzerland. When she was not entertaining her children, their friends, and her own friends, Delores could be found in her garden. Gardening was a passion for her. It was always difficult for her when winter came because it meant waiting until Spring when she could garden again.
Delores was a spirited woman who will be deeply missed and remembered by her children; Coleen (Bruce) Thompson, Carla (Bill) Blazek, Cari (Mike) Tschida, and Craig (Leasa) Gatzlaff; grandchildren, Ben, Jake, Zach, Luke, Madison, Payton, and Chrisitian; great-granddaughter, Ellie; and sisters, Gertrude Aswegan and Grace Schriock.
Delores is preceded in death by her husband, Harold Gatzlaff, and parents, Frank and Bessie Hippen.Print Obituary & Condolences