SPIRIT LAKE - A memorial visitation for Wilma Mae "Bates" Dreeszen, 79, who passed away on Monday, No. 18, 2013, will be held Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, from 2-5 p.m. at the Schuchert Funeral Home in Spirit Lake. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake. Burial will be at Lakeview Cemetery in Spirit Lake.
Wilma Mae (Bates) Dreeszen was born Sept. 14, 1934, to Lela (McKiernan) and Lester Bates on a farm in Excelsior township west of Milford.
Five years later, her sister, Ruby Louise, was born. And a few years after that, the family moved to Spencer. Wilma graduated from Spencer High School in 1952.
She met Duane Dreeszen at the roller rink in Arnolds Park, where she worked renting skates. Duane grew to be quite a skater, as he spent many hours there . . . for obvious reasons.
They married on Christmas Day 1952, in the Congregational Church in Spencer. Duane hitch-hiked home from Ft Leonard Wood, Mo., just in time for the service.
They lived in apartments in a couple places while Duane was in the service before moving to the farm in Spirit Lake permanently.
Together, they raised four sons and two daughters and operated a busy dairy farm for many years.
Wilma embraced the life of a farmer's wife. She loved gardening and flowers. It was a full-time job doing chores and keeping six kids fed and clothed. She was active as a 4-H leader for many years. She was dedicated to her church and participated in church Circle for many years. She could even quote her confirmation verse to us . . . Romans 5:1. She was happy to volunteer for many different activities with the Women's group there. She belonged to Garden Club and Friendship Club. She was a killer bridge player and didn't ever turn down the chance to play cards especially after she moved to Wel-Life Assisted Living. Her friends called her Willie. Wilma was a talented seamstress, and could knit, crochet and embroider beautifully. She created her own tradition by making hooded baby towels for all babies born in the neighborhood as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She and Duane played 500 with the neighborhood routinely. She also enjoyed bowling, and she and Duane saw a lot of the US as they traveled together to bowling tournaments each year. In recent years, she was a regular member of the Breakfast Club and also traveled with a core of girlfriends from the class of '52. She spent many years on the Resident Advocate Board of Hilltop Care Center and volunteered there frequently.
She is survived by her children, David (and Nancy) of Spirit Lake, Daniel (and Robbin) of Spirit Lake, Linda (and Dean) Eckard of Hanover, Minn., Donald (and Roxi) of Spirit Lake, Dr. Lisa Dreeszen (and Dr. Craig Baker) of Estherville and Dean (and Diane) of Spirit Lake; her sister, Ruby (and Art) Caskey of Riverview, Fla.; 15 grandchildren, Brian, Abbie Jo, Kate, Boomer, Danielle, Adam, Jake, Jessica, Nathan, Kayla, Derek, Abby Rae, Shannon, Ryan and Brianna; seven great-grandchildren, Rachel, Christine, Ava, Conner, Owen, Maggie, and Lily; as well as many cousins; and nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Lela and Lester; and her husband, Duane.
Wilma loved all her kids whole-heartedly and they were happy to take the back seat as the grandkids and great-grandkids arrived. It was routine for her to have extra kids around of all ages all the time.
She continues to teach us through her unwavering faith in her Lord and her belief that her life was everything God had planned for her. We'll miss her smile, her wit and her quiet strength.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Wilma's name to Joyful Journeys or the American Legion.