Fern Lenz

FAIRMONT – Funeral services for Fern Lenz, 82, of Fairmont, Minn., will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at United Methodist Church in Fairmont. Burial will be following the service in Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery, Fairmont.

Fern, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother died Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, with a time to share special memories at 6 p.m., at Lakeview Funeral Home in Fairmont. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the time of services Saturday at the church. Lakeview Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Fairmont is assisting the family with arrangements.

Fern M. (Skillings) Lenz was born Nov. 17, 1931, in Poplar, Minn., the daughter of Lyle and Nellie L. (Rothwell) Skillings. She received her education in Walker, Minn. Following her education, Fern was united in marriage to Richard Dietz in Winnebago, Minn. The couple was blessed with seven children. On Aug. 28, 1967, Fern was united in marriage to Sylvan “Steve” Lenz in Sioux Falls, S.D., and welcomed two more children into her life. Together, the family made their home in Fairmont and East Chain before returning to Fairmont in 1983. Fern was dearly loved by all who knew her. She valued hard work and family, which was reflected by how she lived. Many will remember Fern from her 45-plus years waitressing and cooking for the American Legion Post 36 in Fairmont. She loved cooking, canning and baking for friends and family, even as her family grew to over 50 members. She sewed beautifully, creating precious baptismal gowns, dance costumes, decorative crafts, and providing alterations for many throughout the community. Fern loved fishing with her siblings and playing rounds of cards with family. Fern will be greatly missed.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Cheryl (Veryl) Champine, Truman, Minn., Sam (Jim) Frisch, Fairmont, Minn., Donna (Dick) Hoffman, Fairmont, Minn., Cindy Mathison, Belvidere, Ill., Doreen (Peter) Holte, North Branch, Minn., Mike (Cheryl) Dietz, Fairmont, Minn., LeAnn (Ralph) Riegel, University Place, Wash., and Bonnie (Dennis) Gilliam, Fairmont, Minn.; grandchildren, Jon (Bobbi), Jay (Melissa), and Jacques Champine, Jamie (Dave) Meyer, and Curtis White, Kari (Jason) Buntjer, Scott (Kathy) Becker, Kimberly (Tony) Ambrogio, Kelly, and Kyle Mathison, Abe, Adam, and Eli Holte, Stacy (Joe) McAleavy, Chris (Shelly) and Craig (Catherine) Dietz, Katie (Mark) Hanson, Heather (Ryan) Cox, Heidi Riegel, and Amanda Finley; great-grandchildren, Chase and Sienna Champine, Georgia and Harper Champine, Blake, Reece, and Alayna Buntjer, Bella, Luke, and Brayden Diverdi, Brayden and Sophia Becker, Anthony and Adam Ambrogio, Dillon and Taylor Eicholtz, Carter and Levi Hanson and two more on the way; two brothers, Richard (Pat) Skillings of Evansdale, Iowa, and Bob (Marylin) Skillings of Vergas, Minn.; one sister-in-law, Caroline Colby of Elgin, Ill.; two brothers-in-law, Lester (Elaine) Lenz of Fairmont, Minn., and Warren (Carol) Lenz of Branson, Mo.; as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Fern was preceded in death by her parents, Lyle and Nellie Skillings; husband, Sylvan “Steve” Lenz; an infant son, Ricky Lyle Dietz; a sister and best friend, Rosie Nolte; as well as numerous in-laws.

In honor of Fern’s love of cooking, the family requests memorials be given in Fern’s name to the Salvation Army Food Shelf or to Heaven’s Pantry.