Alvira Klockeman, age 100, of Fountain, peacefully passed away the morning of November 2, 2018, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester after health complications moved her away from her home and devoted son Paul last week.
Alvira Klug Klockeman was born December 6, 1917, to Barbara Binner Klug and Peter Edward Klug outside of Caledonia, Minn. Alvira was the seventh of 12 siblings. The years on the farm in Caledonia were characterized by hard work, large gardens, and a close knit family. These same characteristics would be the model for Alvira’s family of six children and husband Forrest.
Forrest and Alvira were married April 2, 1945, and after a year in Caledonia, where she worked in a variety store and he worked for a quarry and a garage, in 1947, the couple moved to Wykoff. They were there united with Forrest’s brother Bob, who helped Forrest get a job with Thompson Motors.
Ernie was born in Preston in 1949. They moved to Fountain the next year and lived on the east side of Fountain before relocating to the house adjacent to St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church. After 10 years there and the births of Barb, John, David, and Shirley the family moved to our longtime home the day before Paul was born in 1960. Alvira was able, with the incredible help of Paul and her other children, to stay at her home until just a week before her passing. For this and Paul’s amazing care we are profoundly grateful.
Life in Fountain brought Cub Scout meetings, 4-H club gatherings, Study Club, Altar Society, Senior Citizens, American Legion Auxiliary and many other adventures that revolved around family and community. Care, home-cooked meals, fresh garden produce were all hallmarks of that time. When the Kelly family, our close neighbors, suffered the unexpected loss of first their mother then later their father, Alvira stepped up and extended her loving and caring arms to our now broader family. This was emblematic of Alvira. Her loving kindness and habit of service were well known.
Alvira loved to work with her hands. Her specialty was tatting (lace making) and crochet. Her doilies were sought after priceless creations. She was very prolific working on projects to the very last days. She also was a skilled and reliable cream cheese mint provider. Every major milestone in our family was supplied lovingly with Alvira’s famous mints. She also had quite a green thumb, especially with African Violets which she carefully nursed for many years. She freely shared quilting and canned preserves with others, especially her famously delicious refrigerator strawberry jelly (and her painstakingly prepared overnight buns).
She and family spent many Sundays hosting or visiting aunts and uncles and their families with a myriad of double cousins. Family was important to all of us and felt like a natural and easy extension of our own immediate family.
In all these ways, Alvira as neighbor, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother demonstrated and reflected the love of God in which she was so secure. Saturday nights or Sunday mornings, no matter the location, always meant attending Mass. She and her sister Winnie were awarded lifetime service medallions by the Diocese of Winona for their many, many years of service to the church. Often we would look up at the church altar and admire flowers that had earlier that day graced our own large garden. It was and is an inseparable connection.
Alvira never quit. It was a trait that has left such an indelible legacy for us her family and for those who experienced her far reaching generosity. When doctors warned of her succumbing to pneumonia several years ago, she defiantly declared that she would rebound and see 100, which she did, and then some. Her indomitable spirit continues to inspire all of us to press on and enjoy each other as best we can and to be available for each other whenever the need arises. That was Alvira and those are the memories that we hold of her in our hearts.
Survivors include six children: Ernie (Dori) Klockeman of Brooklyn Park, Barb (Rollie) Tust of Winona, John (Mary) Klockeman of Dundas, David (Jennifer) Klockeman of Ft. Collins, Colo., Shirley Benedict of Winona, and Paul Klockeman of Fountain; a sister, Winifred (Winnie) Klockeman of Preston; nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Forrest, her father and mother, 10 siblings and their spouses, and a son-in-law, Billy Benedict.
A visitation will be held at Riley Funeral Home Tuesday, November 6, 2018, from 5-7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Columban’s Catholic Church in Preston at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the services. The family wishes to thank all those who played a role in adding to the beauty of the long, rich life of dear Alvira.