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Mercedes Roos

Jan. 15, 1919-Dec. 28, 2009

L. Mercedes Roos, 90, of Hawley, died Monday, December 28, 2009 at Viking Manor Nursing Home in Ulen.

Lillian Mercedes Mickelson was born to Olga and Malkin Mickelson on January 15, 1919 in Callaway, the oldest of three siblings. She was a 1937 graduate of Waubun High School, where she was valedictorian, and of Concordia College in 1941, earning a double major in music and English. She was the Cobber homecoming queen in 1940 and a member of the concert choir for four years.

Mercedes worked in the field of education both prior to and after raising three sons. She taught English and music at Boyd and Waubun, her Alma Mater and later was an English teacher and school librarian at Lake Park for 13 years.

Mercedes' involvement in music and particularly church music had a long history, and started in her childhood, when at the age of about 10 she became organist of the Richwood Lutheran Church near Callaway. She initiated and directed the Hawley Lutheran Choir and was organist at Hawley Lutheran Church for 22 years. Later she was organist for 21 years at Eksjo Lutheran Church, where she was also choir director for many years. Additionally, she established and catalogued both the Hawley Lutheran Church library and the Eksjo Lutheran Church library.

Mercedes served in many church and community service capacities, including Bible study and women's study clubs, dean of the American Guild of Organists, president and director of Clay County Historical Society, president and officer of American Lutheran Church Women, vice president of ELCA Women, director on the Heritage Hjemkomst Museum Board and teacher of English as a second language to refugee families in Hawley.

Mercedes was married in 1942 to Norman Roos, from Hitterdal, whom she met at Concordia. His death in 2008 preceded hers.

The couple had three sons, Howard Roos of St. Louis, Mo.; Dr. Donald Roos of Northfield, Minn.; and Dr. John Roos of Burlington, Vt.; and six grandchildren, Nelson, Celeste, Daniel, Shannon, Nick, and Arri.

Visitation for Mercedes will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 8, with a 7 p.m. prayer service, at Wright Funeral Home, Hawley.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, January 9, at Hawley Lutheran Church, Hawley, with interment in Salem West Cemetery, Hitterdal.

An online guestbook and video tribute are at