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Edna Warman, 88

Edna Carmella Warman, age 88, of Somerset, Wisconsin, died peacefully surrounded by her loving family at The Gathering in Stillwater, Minn., on Sept. 25.

She was born on June 21, 1925, near Canton, Minnesota to Ida and Henry Vickerman.

Edna grew up on a farm in the Big Woods area of Southeastern Minnesota. She attended country schools as a child, skipped the 8th grade and graduated from Mabel High School at the age of 16 in 1942. She worked for a year as a live-in housekeeper and as a secretary at the high school office. The high school principal recognized her potential and arranged for her to move to Minneapolis to attend the College of Commerce. Following graduation, she was hired by Dr. Dvorak where she provided both secretarial and basic medical assistance. During this time, she lived in a boarding house for girls near Lake Calhoun. She formed dear friendships with her housemates with whom she enjoyed many fun times. They attended social events together near their home and they enjoyed taking trips 'to the lake' in northern Minnesota.

Howard and Edna met at the Prom Ballroom in St. Paul, in the summer of 1948. They were married on May 28, 1949, at Prospect Park Methodist Church in Minneapolis. They lived in a small house next to Howard's parents home in Oak Park Heights. Edna quit her job and became a master cook, baker, seamstress, needle-worker, gardener, home accountant and hostess. Most importantly, she mastered the art of mothering. She gave birth to five children while living in Oak Park Heights: Ronald, Nancy, Thomas, Mary and Jeffrey.

In 1960, the family moved to a 240-acre farm near Somerset, Wis. Edna became the consummate "Farm Wife". She helped renovate the century old farmhouse while simultaneously keeping an eye on her five mischievous children and assisting in all the farm responsibilities. Howard worked for the telephone company in St. Paul at the time, so Edna could often be found in the barn, the field, the garden, or the coopwhen she wasn't busy in the kitchen. Her cooking became a favorite of the neighbors on oat-thrashing days when she would typically offer a feast of roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, bread, jelly and several pie choices -all home-made, of course.

In the summer of 1966, Jeanne, their youngest child, was born. Within 10 days of her birth, the barn caught fire and burned to the ground. Edna sent all of the children, including the newborn, to a neighbor's home to ensure their safety and so she could help herd the milking cows 2 miles down the road to Howard's cousins farm. Undoubtedly, all who helped were well-fed that day. The barn was eventually rebuilt and Edna's life on the farm returned to busy days of cooking, cleaning, washing, feeding, milking, herding, haying, gardening, and, of course, child-rearing. Having a new baby in the mix didn't slow her down one bit. She enlisted the help of the older children even though she often had to intervene to ensure they didnt teach Jeanne the alphabet backwards, mixed up colors, or leave her locked in her room all day.

Howard and Edna were active members of Christ Lutheran Church. Edna served on the council as well as an officer of the women's groupseveral times over. Her baked goods became the hot commodity at church dinners and bake sales. She was famous for bringing extra pies and keeping them in her car trunk for family and friends she knew would be in attendance. She and her dear friend, Sharon Ammerman, planned and organized many of the dinners over the years. They would both watch for sales and stock-pile hams in their own freezers to ensure the most effective use of the church's funds. They also spent numerous hours visiting ailing church members or 'the elderly' as Edna would say, even though many of them were younger than her. Her hands helped create an immeasurable number of beautiful quilts during weekly meetings with the ladies of the church. She led by example as a faithful and hard-working servant of the Lord.

As her children grew, Edna supported them every step along the way. She taught them in Sunday and Vacation Bible School classes, helped lead their scouting troops and 4-H clubs, provided treats whenever needed and often fixed their mistakes on projects for the County Fair. She attended numerous sporting events, band and choir concerts, and theater productions. She was a member of the Somerset Board of Education from 1977-1980. She could be a fierce protector when she felt her children had been wronged. Even as adults, her children always felt Edna's support and knew she would be there for them no matter the need.

When most of the kids were out of school, Edna went back to work, first as a secretary for a local attorney and then as deputy clerk for the Village of Somerset. She and then clerk, Elaine Anderson, became fast friends. They worked together for 15 years but their friendship lasted for the rest of her life. At the age of 70, she took a job working for the U.S. Censusmuch to the angst of her children who worried about her traipsing all over the county by herself. She just laughed and bravely drove down long, untended driveways to track down anyone who was on her list. Usually, she would return home with stories of the interesting people she had met and with whom she had shared a cup of coffee and an afternoon of conversation.

When their son, Tom, took on most of the farming, Edna and Howard took to the road. They spent many winters in Florida with Howard's brothers and their wives. All three couples traveled together to Hawaii, South Carolina, the Northeast, Oregon, and the West Coast. Of course, Edna was often in charge of the cooking on these trips.

Edna's most treasured role was that of "Grandma". With the births of each of her 13 beloved grandchildren, Edna's capacity for loving seemed to grow tenfold. When the great-grandchildren entered her world, she was even more thrilled. She and Howard attended every birthday party, dance recital, concert, sporting event, wedding and graduation possible. Her grandchildren knew she would have a stash of their favorite cookies at all times and her biscuits and pickles were on the menu for many of their graduation parties.

Edna took on every struggle with grace and a sense of humor. Even when faced with terminal cancer, she remained positive and hopeful. She continued to care for her family even as they were caring for her. Her devotion to Howard was never more apparent as in her last days when she made every effort to ensure his comfort. She will always be remembered as a strong, loving, faith-filled and self-less provider for her family, friends and the church.

Edna was preceded in death by parents, Ida and Henry Vickerman; siblings, Minerva Gerard, Verna Hart, Beulah Hermanson, Merland Vickerman, and Ivan Vickerman; and son, Ronald Warman.

She is survived by husband, Howard Warman; children, Nancy Irvin (Danny), Thomas Warman, Mary Lubahn (John), Jeff Warman, and Jeanne Germain (Ted); beloved grandchildren, Amy, Tiffany, Jason, Jonah (Heidi), Cody, William (Dawn), Daniel (Chelsea), Kathryn, Cory (Lisa), Alysha, Alex, Holly and Gavin; most beloved great-grandchildren, Gage, Ezra, Bella, Carter and Allison; siblings, Irma Wangen (Jim) and Arlis Vickerman; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Christ Lutheran Church in Somerset, Wisconsin with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at the church. Memorials preferred to The Gathering at Boutwells Landing in Stillwater, MN or the Women of Christ Lutheran Church.

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