Gloria Graham, age 78 of Belle Plaine died on Friday, June 26, 2020 at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home. Memorial services are planned for Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church. Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 7, 4:00 ~ 8:00 p.m, Kolden Funeral Home Belle Plaine, MN. Visitation will continue at the funeral home on Wednesday morning from 9:00 a.m. ~ 10:15 a.m. We will then process to church for the 10:30 a.m. service. The services will live-streamed at ourladyoftheprairie.com. Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Belle Plaine, MN. The family has requested that EVERYONE wear masks to the wake/visitation and memorial service. Due to restrictions, no more than 50 people will be able to be in funeral home at a time.
Gloria was born April 10th 1942 to Robert & Marian Sass. She graduated from Belle Plaine High School in 1960. Lived in Belle Plaine where she grew up with her siblings Marilyn, Gerri & Cheryl. She was Baptized & Confirmed at the First Presbyterian Church in Belle Plaine. After graduation she worked at the State Bank of Belle Plaine for 1 year and then Norwest Bank in Minneapolis for 1 year. She then married Eugene Michael Newell on August 4th 1962 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Belle Plaine. They lived in Belle Plaine and she went to work for her parents in the Coast to Coast Store. A year or so later they moved to the Newell Family Farm in Faxon Twp. She then helped on the farm & continued to work for her parents. From this marriage they had 4 children –Michael James, Patrick Brian, Deborah Kay, & Noreen Ann. In 1983 she went to work for a company called Clothier Design in Belle Plaine. In 1985 she went back to work for the State Bank of Belle Plaine where she held many positions; she retired 12-31-2003. Her husband Michael Newell passed away in 1988. On 1-04-1991 she married Roger Michael Graham. They had many good years together, traveled a lot, became snowbirds in Florida for 15 ½ years. They also had a Park Model at Cozy Corners in Richmond, MN on the lake. She was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church all of her life. There she served as a Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Elder, Deacon, Worship Leader, Organist, Pianist, & Choir Director. Gloria planted & took care of the flowers, took care of shrubs, cleaned the Church whenever needed, served on many fundraiser dinners & functions. She was an excellent cook & was known for her pecan tassies, pecan pies, and her fruitcakes. She loved to entertain. It was hard for her to give that up. Her hobbies included golfing, reading, playing cards & going to many sporting events at school, dance recitals, school plays and music concerts; and most of all traveling. She enjoyed her morning coffee group, her monthly girls luncheon and the Friday night group that went out for dinner to different restaurants. She was a Viking & Twins fan and had Viking season tickets for many years. She loved playing Bridge and belonged to a number of clubs. She was also in charge of Belle Plaine Ladies Bridge players for Queen of Peace Hospital Card-O-Rama that raised money for the hospital for 35 years. She also was a volunteer for the Food Shelf, Meals on Wheels, Families Moving Forward, Card-O-Rama for hospital, and election judge.
She is survived by her husband Roger Graham, daughter Noreen Newell (Brian) Schultz, Daughter-in-laws: Melissa Newell-Olson and Dina (Robert) Jones. Step-daughters: Maureen Graham (Kerwin) Wolter, Colleen (Ross) Reichenberger, Sky Christenson, and LaDonna Graham. Grandchildren: Zachary (Jazz) Newell, Brianna Newell, Grace Olson, Lilly Olson, Mikayla (Kevin) Meek, Jack Jones, Adam Jones, Austin Jones, Tucker Schultz & Michael Schultz. Step-Grandchildren: Kyle Lamb, Kevin Lamb, Clare Lamb, Joe (Laura) St Amand, Josh St Amand, Johnny St Amand, Jacob (Haley) St Amand, Bekah St Amand, Rachel St Amand, Fritzline Reichenberger, Philippe Reichenberger, Keara Hallberg, Dana (Reed) Hardyman, Dallas John, Kasidee Bronson, Jaydee Bodman. Great- Grandchildren: McCoy Newell, Crew Newell, Braxton Newell, Bryson Newell & Lucas St Amand. Sisters; Marilyn Mueller McSweeney, Gerri (John) Hennen and Cheryl (Bill) Dreyer. Brothers-in-law & Sisters-in-law: Richard (Patricia Powers) Graham, Patricia (William) Dressen, Jean (Rodney) Trocke, Thomas (Loni) Graham, Dennis (Sharon) Graham, Sheila Patterson, Nancy Newell, Bob (Sue) Newell, and LaJune Newell. Many Nieces, Nephews, Relatives and Friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Eugene Michael Newell, Children Michael, Patrick & Deborah Newell. Parents: Robert & Marian Sass, Grandparents – Tony & Hazel Schmidt, Ed & Anna Sass. Brother-in-laws: Roger Mueller, John McSweeney, John (Jack) Newell and Tom Newell. Mother-in-law & Father-in-laws: Jack & Elizabeth Newell, Robert & Veronica Graham.
Things she will be remembered for her unending strength, a strong Faith, she was kind to everyone, she loved to cook and most of all loved her family more than anything.
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