Friday, May 07, 2010

. . .and grape walnut salad.


The EchoPress ran this lovely Clara Bartos obit this week. The Rolfsruds grew up a few miles from the Bartos farm near Alexandria. They attended one-room country school with her children.
Clara Katherine (Klimek) Bartos, 90, died Monday, April 26, 2010 at Knute Nelson Home in Alexandria, surrounded by family and friends.
Clara was born November 9, 1919, in Evansville Township, Douglas County to Joseph and Mary (Loeffler) Klimek, the fourth of five children. She attended country school District #32, and graduated from Brandon High School. Clara and her brothers joined 4-H Club. Their leader was none other than “Dad” Erickson, founder of 4-H Clubs of America.
Clara was married to John Bartos on October 16, 1939 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Brandon. The couple lived on a farm in Hudson Township for 43 years before they moved to a house near Highway 29, south of Alexandria.
She is survived by her five children, LuAnn Schrader of Easton, Duane (Barb) Bartos of Roberts, WI, Lorlee Bartos of Dallas, TX, Mary Jo Bartos of Minnetonka, Steve (Doreen) Bartos of rural Alexandria; six grandchildren, Tim Bartos of New Richmond, WI, Tammy (Kent) Bruesewitz of Hammond, WI, Chris Bartos of Baldwin, WI, Bil (Terri) Schrader of Easton, Lyn (Jeff) Thompson of St. Paul, Chuck Schrader of Duluth, GA; four great-granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Mackenzie Bruesewitz, Carol Schrader, Elsie Thompson; Jim (Thelma) Klimek of Evansville, sister-in-law, Rosella (Howard) Oeltjen of Glenwood; numerous nieces and nephews.
Clara was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1993; son-in-law, Richard Schrader in 1993; three siblings, Johanna Pehan, Katherine Czech and Philip Klimek.
We remember Mom as a great cook who came from a family of great cooks. She loved red velvet cake, cucumber cream cheese open face sandwiches, and grape walnut salad. She loved Harvard beets and even convinced the kitchen at Windmill Ponds to serve Harvard beets while she lived there. Her potato salad was out of this world and her coleslaw dressing recipe was exceptional served on cabbage that was precisely chopped. I remember as I was growing up the wonderful breads, buns and sweet rolls that came from her kitchen. She received many ribbons on her baked goods at the county fair.
Clara was an exceptional seamstress and “patcher.” There were many of Dad’s overalls that survived for years because of patch upon patch. She loved making quilts. All of the kids and grandkids had quilts and throws she had pieced together. I remember little Stevie standing next to the wash line, thumb in mouth, fingering the corner of his blanket when Mother washed his blanket. Mom was an active member of her Homemaker’s Extension Club for many, many years. She was active in the Forada Senior Citizens and Clara and John were named Douglas County Outstanding Senior Citizens in 1986.
She composed witty poems and humorous writings for many occasions throughout the years. She dressed up for Halloween. Who can forget when Mother dressed up as Monica Lewinsky with lamp shades in the right places? She had so much fun with the blue sweater with hula dancers on it. She made a small bra to cover the exposed parts.
Her penmanship was distinctive, neat and legible to the end. Her voice and laugh were distinctive. I remember when Rosemary married Earl, she said, “That laugh!” She loved to play cards… Clara was a kazoo player “extraordinaire,” and belonged to the “Jolly Jokers” kazoo group that entertained in many places. On your birthday she would call you on the phone and play Happy Birthday on her kazoo.
Mother was very direct. You knew exactly where she stood on all issues or situations. She wrote many letters to the editor that expressed her opinion on all political issues. Clara took her Catholic religion very seriously. She prayed for everyone, you included. Two years ago when Lyn and Jeff got married at Lutsen, Mom was listening on Lorlee’s cell phone and praying the rosary. Last Sunday she told her granddaughter, Lyn, this prayer must be included in her obituary: “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us, and the whole world.”
Rest in peace, Mom.
A parish prayer service was held on Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Fred Fink officiating.
Pallbearers were Chris Bartos, Timothy Bartos, Charles Schrader, William Schrader, Lynnae Schrader and Tamara Bruesewitz. Entombment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.

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