Betty Walsh of Alexandria, passed away on Monday afternoon, June 6, 2011, at the Knute-Nelson Memorial Home in Alexandria, MN,
the day after her 85th birthday.
Betty Eleanor Olson was born on June 5, 1926 in rural Alexandria, MN to Henry and Helen (Jahnke) Olson. She grew up in the Alexandria area, being raised in LaGrande Township. On October 27, 1947 she married James Walsh at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria. They farmed near Forada in Hudson Township. For several winters Betty lived in St. Paul when Jim worked at the Armour Packing Plant. In 1956 they moved to their beloved farm in Orange Township. Here they raised their five children and lived out their life together. They dairy-farmed and also raised hogs and chickens. After twenty-five years, they sold their milk cows but continued grain farming. They shared a great passion for farming and life in the country.
Besides her love for country-living and working in the garden or tending the lawn and flowers, Betty also enjoyed baking and sewing. She made the best homemade whole wheat bread, chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon rolls as her family can attest. She also did beautiful needlework projects, especially crochet, to share with family and friends. She loved country music and always had chocolate chip cookies in the ice cream bucket for her children and grandchildren. She was a kind, hard-working wife and mother who will be dearly missed by her family, neighbors and friends. Betty was a life-long member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Betty is survived by her husband of 63 years, James Walsh of Alexandria; children: Shirley (Stephen) Etheridge of Wayzata, Ronald (Debra) Walsh, Elaine (Bob) Wilken, Ken (Becky) Walsh, all of Alexandria, Robert (Mary Jo) Walsh of Osakis; 18 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; siblings: Ralph (Lillian) Olson of Brandon, LaVonne Zemek of Tacoma, WA, Donna (Arnie) Revering of Long Prairie, Kenneth 'Skip' Olson of Monticello; many nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death are her parents, an infant son, Richard Walsh, sisters, Alice Spaulding and Elsie Vickerman and a brother, Duane Olson.
Funeral services were held on Friday, June 10 at 2 pm at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alexandria with Fr. Steve Binsfeld officiating. Entombment followed the service at St. Mary's Cemetery in Alexandria, MN. Pallbearers were grandsons, Ryan Etheridge, Patrick Walsh, William Walsh, Lee Wilken, Dustin Walsh and Robert Walsh, Jr.. Honorary pallbearers were her grandchildren, Tara Etheridge, Elizabeth Walsh, Kristie Tollefson, Andrew Wilken, Emily Wolf, AJ, Cassandra, Wesley and Martin Walsh, Jason Colton, Jamie Pfeffer, Charity Kuperus and her great grandchildren, Parker and Kate Tollefson, Oliver Wilken, Anna and Marcus Wolf, Saphira, Jack, Jet and Seren Walsh, Skye and Sierra Colton, Grant, Dillion, Averi and Mason Hutton, and Logan Pfeffer.