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Elaine Mary Wanzek

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“Thank you, Mrs. Wanzek, for the gift of loving to read that you shared with us during 4th grade in Kiester. Listening to you read the Little House...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Darin Passer - Albert Lea, MN

“I had the honor of being a teacher with Elaine when I too taught at Kiester High School from 1970 - 1982. She was a JOY! Always positive and...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Yvonne Cory - Easton, MN

“Our sympathy to your family. What wonderful childhood memories I have of living next door to your parents. Our parents remained life-long friends....Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Sharon Wayn - Albert Lea, MN

“My sympathy to her family and friends. ”
4 of 7 | Posted by: Mary L Nehring Nehring - Wells, MN

“I had the privilege of teaching with Elaine at Kiester. She was a wonderful mentor.Rest is peace....fly, fly with the angels! ”
5 of 7 | Posted by: Jeff Miller - Mankato, MN

“To the Wanzek families....We are thinking of you during this sad time. Please know you are in our hearts and thoughts as this time. ”
6 of 7 | Posted by: Bob and Laurie Weisser - WI

“My deepest sympathy in the loss of Elaine. Hugs, prayers, thoughts to all family and friends. ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Brian Wanzek - Palm Springs, CA


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Elaine Mary (Kalis) Wanzek, age 92, of Inver Grove Heights, formerly of Wells, MN, died Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at Inver Glen Assisted Living in Inver Grover Heights, MN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held MONDAY, JULY 29, 2019 AT 10:30 Am at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Wells, MN with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in St. Casimir Catholic Cemetery in Wells. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells is entrusted with arrangements.

Elaine Mary (Kalis) Wanzek was born April 10, 1927, in Walters, MN, the daughter of Joseph and Loretta (Horn) Kalis. She graduated from Kiester High School in 1945. Following high school, Elaine attended Mankato Teacher's College where she received her teaching certificate. Walnut Grove Township hired her following graduation and she taught grades 1-8 in a one-room country schoolhouse prior to her marriage.
Elaine married Norbert Wanzek June 15, 1949. After their children were born and the youngest was in kindergarten, Elaine started teaching at St. Casimir's in Wells. She taught sixth grade from 1965-1970. During this timeframe, she received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Minnesota State Mankato by taking night and summer session classes for several years. In 1970, she began teaching for the Kiester School District. She retired from teaching in 1991.

In her free time, Elaine enjoyed baking bread, cooking, sewing, bus travel vacations and socializing with friends. Elaine and Norbert were lifetime members of St. Casimir's parish and rosary society and lived their faith on a daily basis.
Following Norbert's passing, in 2010 Elaine moved to Hidden Creek in Albert Lea, MN. In 2016, she moved to Inver Glen in Inver Grove Heights where she resided until her death.

Elaine is survived by her daughters, Beth Wanzek (John Smeby) of Bloomington, MN, Pat (Al) Hanzal of St. Paul, MN, Lenore Sweers of Mankato, MN, and daughter-in-law Deanna Wanzek of Redwood Falls, MN. Grandchildren: Nathan (Kelly) Wanzek, Elizabeth (Bill) DesLaurier, Meghan Levine (Dr. Mike), Lauren Riley (Tim), Ted Sweers, Laura Hanzal; great-grandchildren: Baxter and Weston Wanzek, Cora and Freddie DesLaurier and Nora Levine; sister-in-law: Violet Kalis of Albert Lea, and many nieces, nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Norbert, son Fred Wanzek, grandson Chad Wanzek, brothers: Henry Kalis and Francis Kalis; sister-in-law: Betty Kalis.