Stephanie Jean Jakel, 94, of Gilbert, MN, died peacefully on Friday, February 21, 2020 at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, MN.
Stephanie was born to Valentine and Margaret (Jerse) Kochar on August 9, 1925, in Chisholm, MN. She graduated from Chisholm High School in 1943 and held jobs at the State of MN, Income Tax Division, in St. Paul, and the Cluett Peabody shirt factory in Chisholm before marrying.
On June 6, 1953, she married Ludwig Jakel. They started their family of three daughters and built their family home in Gilbert that she cherished. In 1972, Ludwig coaxed her onto a plane for a trip to Slovenia, where she treasured meeting her family there. While she was married, she worked for a while at Gibson’s in Virginia.
After becoming a young widow at 49, she continued raising her daughters. She started working for the school district as a cook, in the principal’s office and later as a teacher’s aide until her retirement at age 68. She loved tending to her flower gardens, canning fruit and her homegrown vegetables, baking her homemade pies and bread and potica. Stephanie cherished time spent visiting with friends and family. In her retirement, she enjoyed taking more trips, doing search-a-word puzzles and helping with her daughter’s candy business. Through it all, she always loved her sweets! We will miss her saying, “I just need a little something to finish my coffee with.”
Stephanie was preceded in death by her parents; husband Ludwig; sisters Margaret Kotnik and Mildred Palumbo.
She is survived by three daughters, Jeanne of Blaine, MN, Linda (Don Ehler) Niemi of Chanhassen, MN, and Connie (Paul) Groe of Eden Prairie, MN; four grandchildren, Amber Niemi (Dan Schoon), Kenton (Lisa) Niemi, Jared Niemi, and Austin Groe; great-grandchildren Kayla Niemi and Isaiah Niemi, sister Rose (Ronald) Tolonen of Chisholm, MN; numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral Mass will be 10:00 am Friday, February 28, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert with Fr. Michael Garry celebrating. A visitation will be one hour prior to the mass at the church. Interment will be in the Gilbert Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.