Marcella Sawyer, of Mora, died on Friday, September 3, 2010 at the Villa Health Care Center. She was 81 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICE will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 1 PM at Emmanuel Baptist Church of Mora with Rev. Vic Elfstrum and Clyde Dalbey presiding.
VISITATION will be on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 from 4-7PM at Emmanuel Baptist Church of Mora and will be one hour prior to service at the chuch on Wednesday.
BURIAL will be at Fish Lake Cemetery of Mora.
Marcella Sawyer was born January 1, 1929 in Fairmont Minnesota to Emil and Ella (Sothman) Wohlenhaus. Her mother died right after she was born, so Marcella never knew her birth mother. For the next 9 months, Marcella was cared for by her mother’s sister, Aunt Martha Knoke, as well as Aunt Dolly, another of Ella’s sisters. Her father married Alice Karas in September of 1929, and Marcella joined her family at that time, including sisters Nellie, Gerry and Marjorie. Della and Tom were born to Emil and Alice in the next few years which completed the family. Marcella attended school in rural Ormsby MN, and at the age of 12, moved to rural Braham MN. She attended Grass Lake school before the family moved to rural Mora area. She completed school through the 9th grade, then was kept at home to help with the family farm. At a very young age, music was a large part of her upbringing which continued throughout her life.
Marcella accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 12, and was later baptized in the Snake River near Brunswick, MN. At the age of 16, Marcella had her first date with Glen at a football game in Mora, and the two were an instant match! This date was arranged by Glen’s sister Charlotte (Strelow). They were married the following year on June 30, 1946. They lived on Spring Brook Hill southeast of Mora until the fall of 1949 before moving to Swea City, Iowa. By this time, the young couple had two children, Charlene born in August of 1947, and Donn born in April of 1949. They moved to rural Braham area in February of 1950, then moved to a house in Brunswick in the spring of 1953. Mark was born in May of 1953, then a few years later, David was born in June of 1956.
In the early spring of 1957, Glen and Marcella purchased a farm east of Brunswick from Fred Wahlstrom. In February of 1959, Karin was born to the growing family, then in August of 1960, Robert was the last and sixth child born to Marcella and Glen. The farm continued to grow with the number of milking cows increasing through the 1960’s and 1970’s. In the mid 1980’s, Robert and his wife Janet purchased the farm, and Glen and Marcella built a new home on some farm land just west of the old farm house. They lived there until November of 2006 when they moved to the Park Forest Estates apartment in Mora. Marcella’s health continued to decline despite great care from Glen. In December of 2007, Marcella was placed in the Cambridge nursing home. In January of 2008, Marcella was moved to the Villa Health Care Center in Mora and was a resident there until her death on September 3, 2010.
As a young woman, Marcella was a very busy housewife who cared for her children while helping many other local families that needed a baby sitter or by providing meals for a needy family. She also took pride in taking care of many grand-children who all loved to be at Grandma’s house. Despite multiple spine surgeries, she kept her deep faith and maintained her positive attitude through it all. She also was very proud to have completed her GED in the later years. Marcella spent endless hours baking, canning, caring for their vegetable and flower gardens, she was part of the Brunswick School ladies group, she led many local Bible studies as well as heading up the Mora Christians Women’s Club for some years. She taught Sunday School for most of her adult life at the Fish Lake Chapel, Brunswick Baptist Church and Emmanuel Baptist Church in Mora, and was a member of Emmanuel Baptist at the time of her death.
Marcella also worked at various other jobs besides the many family and church things that she was part of, such as Ward Secretary at the Mora Clinic and Kanabec Hospital. In later years she was the Coordinator for the Youth Volunteer Program called Candy Stripers at the hospital, then operated and owned Cella’s Doll Hospital and Clinic out of their home from the 1980’s to 2005.
Marcella was preceded in death by her mother Ella and father Emil Wohlenhaus, step mother Alice, sisters Nellie Flohrs and Gerry Dworshak, and brother Tom Wohlenhaus. She is survived by her husband of 64 years Glen, children Charlene and (Phil) Evenson of Prescott Valley, Arizona, Donn Sawyer of Mora, Mark Sawyer of Bemidji, Dave and (Jill) Sawyer of Mora, Karin and (Lars) Polson of Millville, MN, Bob and (Janet) Sawyer of Stromsburg, Nebraska, extended family Lyning and Joyce Peterson of Harris, Minnesota, sisters Marjorie Russell of Portland, Oregon and Della and (Uyrel) Bicking of Brazil, Indiana, brothers in law Leroy Flohrs of Truman, Minnesota and George Dworshak of New Mexico, sisters in law Ilene Wohlenhaus of Mora and Charlotte and (Wilbert) Strelow of Cambridge, 20 Grandchildren, 19 Great-Grandchildren, many cousins, nieces and nephews, and many close friends.