Wilma Olson Anderson Seewald

She was born on August 15th, 1920 in Amery, Wisconsin to Olive (Nelson) Olson and August William Olson.  August, better known as Bill, was in WW I.  He died of "spinal tuberculosis" when my mother was three years old.

My grandmother, Olive, remarried a man named Gustavus Aldophus Hendrickson (known as Gus) a few years later, and my mother gained all sorts of step brothers and sisters.

Mom went to school in Dresser and Osceola, and graduated in 1938.  The picture on the left is her high school graduation picture.

After graduation, she went to "NORMAL SCHOOL".  Funny name.  She became a country school teacher for a couple years.

She met my dad, Kenneth, when he picked up milk for the creamery at her home near Dresser, Wisconsin.

Mom loved many things but her family was always first and foremost.  She was a loving and nurturing mother, always putting her family before anything else.

She was a natural teacher, and continued that role at home when her children were born.  She said in her “Grandparent’s Book” that one of the things she was proudest of in her life was that all of her children graduated with a gold rope around their shoulders, signifying at least a “B” average.

She was an avid reader of romance stories, and loved flowers with a passion. She always had beautiful gardens until the last few years.  She could identify pretty much any flower blooming, wild or tame.

 She collected dolls of all shapes and sorts and had a very large collection in her apartment until her move to the nursing home.

 Her memory for people and dates was amazing.  She never forgot a birthday or an anniversary, and always sent a card.

 She had suffered from asthma for most of her life which limited her in some ways, but she enjoyed traveling to various parts of the country either by plane or car.

She had a stubborn streak.  If she wanted something, she would probably figure out, by sheer will, how to get it. 

She never wanted to “bother” anybody if she thought it might inconvenience them, but at the same time, she felt people should kind of just be aware of what she needed and figure it out.  It was one of her little quirks.

 She was very proud of the fact that she never had to wear glasses.

 On May 24th, 1989, she went into respiratory arrest several times during a severe asthma attack.  Due to the heroism of Dale Dobesh, her son-in-law, who gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation until the ambulance came, she gained another 20 years, ironically to that exact date.  After that incident, she never left a conversation on the phone without telling her kids that she loved them.

She married Art Seewald in 1974, and moved to St. Peter until his death in 1989. 

Some of my most vivid memories of my mother include:

-Being very small, perhaps four, and being at my grandmother Olive's house just before Christmas.  My sister, Linda and I both had chest colds, and we were given “mustard plasters” on our chests….and they got very hot on the skin.  I remember sitting on my mother’s lap in a rocking chair, and I can remember her singing, “Up on the housetop reindeer pause, out jumps good old Santa Claus….”

 -Having terrible earaches as a child, and having my mother put hot olive oil in my ear, and rock me in the rocking chair in the middle of the night.  I’m sure now they were ear infections, but we seldom went to the doctor unless it was really serious.

 -How she was always there when I needed her.  One advantage of a stay-at-home Mom.  If you got hurt, didn’t feel good, needed a snack, she was always there.  From her vantage, she probably would have liked to have gotten away periodically! 

 -How she was often in the kitchen at Blakeley where we grew up, standing by the gas stove, cooking something.  I remember homemade brown bread, homemade doughnuts.  I remember when we first tried to make pizza.  We took some Bisquick, made some dough, spread it thin on a cookie sheet, put Campbell’s Tomato Soup on it for sauce, and little chunks of hamburger as the topping. I think we used shredded parmesan for a little cheese covering.  And that was it.  It was delicious!

 -I remember her beautiful handwriting, and how, when I was in the fourth or fifth grade, she tried to teach me to write some letters in cursive so they were legible.  She had that beautiful handwriting until the arthritis gnarled her hands and fingers, weakened them, and took that away.

-So many small memories.

As Abraham Lincoln once said, "All that I am or I hope to be, I owe to my angel mother".

This is how her children felt about her.  We will miss her.

Mom died on May 24, 2009.  




Some knew her as Wilma,

But we knew her as "Mom",

And we will miss her every day

                         Now that she is gone.