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Brad Laabs: My mom was amazing, but she couldn't survive COVID-19

She loved to bowl and follow the Twins. She listened to rock and the blues. She loved family time and fishing: She got so hooked, she bought her own boat

About 20 months ago I wrote an article about how precious shared memories of fishing with family and friends are after losing one of my brothers (Bruce).

I am reminded of that again as my other brother (Bill), my three sisters (Gail, Terry, Lynn) and I lost our mother on Wednesday, Dec. 2 (also my oldest sister Gail’s birthday).

Rose was an amazing mom. She lived to be 95 years old and could not survive COVID-19. She was very active until she was 90. She loved to bowl and follow the Twins. She listened to rock and the blues. She loved family time and fishing.

She did not develop an interest in fishing until she started going with one of her sons that loved to fish (me!). She showed interest, because that is what good parents do. They participate and show encouragement for their kids’ passions.

She got hooked on fishing, and so did my brothers and sisters (and spouses), some more than others, but all liked the fellowship of time shared with this great outdoor activity.


She got so hooked, she bought her own boat so she would have it available for family fishing trips, and to get my brother Bruce to take her out, as they lived five hours from here, but close to Lake Pepin and the Mississippi. She didn’t have to wait for me to be available to take her. She was in her 50s at the time.

The joy of sharing time in the boat also got passed to many of the grandchildren. When that boat got to be too much for her as she got to her 70s, it became my sons Jake and Josh’s first boat as teenagers.

This shared family time will continue. There are other great family time experiences and traditions that make great memories for other family members, but for me, the fishing adventures (and misadventures) are some of the richest.

An example I can share is when my wife Mary was pregnant with our oldest son Jake, and my sister Gail was pregnant with her oldest daughter Shayna, they couldn’t wait for Rose, my brother in-law John (Gail’s husband) and I to get back from fishing in my boat to get their turn, so they just drove off with the other boat and went fishing.

They were both far enough along they may have had to deliver the babies in the boat for each other! What a sight that was at the landing as these two ladies refused help from a couple of guys at the ramp, as they knew what they were doing.

As John and I questioned their sanity, Rose confirmed there were no worries, they knew what they were doing. It is just proof I am not the only fishing addict in the family! My mother Rose will be missed, but I am grateful for having her as a mother and all the memories she has left with us.

(Laabs owns Brad Laabs Guide Service in Detroit Lakes)


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