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Lucille Stearns

Dec. 19, 1917-May 7, 2011

Lucille Irene Stearns, 93, a long time Ponsford-Osage area resident, was promoted into Glory on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at Essentia Health Center in Fargo, with her loved ones at her side.

Lucille was born to George and Estella (Miller) Wilkinson on December 19, 1917 in Chasely, N.D. While she was just a baby, her family traveled by covered wagon from North Dakota to northern Minnesota, where they settled on a farm near Backus.

Lucille's family was blessed with the birth of her sister Faye in 1920, but tragedy struck a short time later when her mother died in January of 1921. Lucille and her baby sister were cared for by her mother's parents. Lucille attended Backus Public Schools and graduated in the spring of 1936 as class valedictorian.

She went on to attend the Girl's Residence School in St. Paul from 1936 to 1937. She then attended Normal Teacher's Training in Walker, where she obtained her teaching certificate. While attending her teaching classes, Lucille worked as a waitress at Bob's Café in Walker for her room and board, and later at the Nickel Skillet.

Her teaching career began in 1938 when she taught at the Trankner Country School, located between Ponsford and Osage. The following year took her back to the Backus area where she taught at the Lincoln School. In 1940, she returned to the Ponsford area and taught at Boot Lake School.

On April 5, 1941, Lucille married Boyd Edward Stearns. The young couple made their home in the Ponsford-Osage area. They were blessed with three sons: Dean Everett, David Edward and Rodney Orin.

In 1946, Lucille resumed her teaching career at the Linnell Country School near Ponsford, where she taught until 1950. In 1954 she taught at the Pickerel Lake School, and in 1956 she taught at the McKarren School. In 1957 she began teaching third grade at the new Osage School, and continued teaching in that same facility until her retirement in 1983.

Her life was not free from grief. She endured the death of her husband in May 1980 after 39 years of marriage and of her son, David, who died unexpectedly in November 1997.

Lucille enjoyed traveling, and ventured from Oregon to New York City, from Alaska to Florida and the many memorable stops in between.

She loved working in her vegetable garden. She crocheted countless doilies as gifts for her friends and family members and also enjoyed working with ceramics over the years. Lucille was a masterful card player who loved to win.

She was a member of the Kozy Klan Homemakers Club, Helping Hand Community Club, Osage Widows Club, Osage Senior Citizens Club and St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Above all, Lucille devoted her life to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who she loved with all her heart.

She will be lovingly remembered by her two sons, Dean (Deb) Stearns of Park Rapids and Rod (Pat) Stearns of Ponsford; daughter-in-law, Linda Stearns of Osage; eight grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Preceding her indeat were her parents; husband, Boyd; son, David; sister, Faye; one grandchild in infancy as well as the grandparents who raised her, Harry and Ella Miller.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 13 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home and for one hour prior to services at the church Saturday.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 in Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Snellman, with the Reverend John Johannes of St. Paul's Lutheran Church officiating.

The pianist will be Lucille's great grandchild, Allison Stearns. Her great grandchildren will also sing "Shine Jesus Shine." The congregational hymns will be "The Battle Hymn of The Republic" and "Amazing Grace."

Casketbearers are grandsons Mike Stearns, Brian Stearns, Chuck Stearns and Aaron Stearns; great grandsons, Clinton Stearns and Ryan Stearns.

Honorary casketbearers are granddaughters LeAnn Kubik, Tina Schulz, Jenny Stearns and Trish Harms.

Interment will be at St Paul's Lutheran Church Cemetery near Ponsford. Following the service a luncheon will be provided by St Paul's Lutheran Church.

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