Tricounty News

Louise Erpelding, 94

Louise Erpelding of Waite Park, formerly of Watkins, died Friday, April 15, 2011, at the St. Cloud Hospital. She was 94.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Watkins with Rev. John Brunner officiating. Burial will follow in the family plot in St. Anthony Parish Cemetery.

Louise O. Erpelding was born May 2, 1916, in Luxemburg Township, northeast of Watkins, to Dennis and Rosa (Klein) Erpelding. She was the tenth of 11 living children. Louise grew up on the family farm, attended District #50 country school in Stearns County, and graduated from St. Anthony Catholic High School in Watkins. After high school she stayed working on the family farm until spring 1941 when she went to St. Paul to work at the Miller and St. Joseph Hospitals in the dietary kitchen for $1 a day plus meals and a room.

In December 1941 the World War II defense plants opened and Louise and her sister Leona took jobs in the New Brighton Ammunition Plant at $.87 an hour where they assembled cartridges of ammunition for military anti-aircraft.

In spring 1944 Louise followed her sisters to California. Now all four Erpelding sisters were in San Francisco: Louise and Margaret worked for Wessex Electric Heater Co. assembling thermostats which had a military contract with the Navy; Leona worked at the Naval Air Station overhauling aircraft engines; and Eleanor worked for the California State Civil Services and convinced Louise to take a civil service test. Louise passed the test and was employed by the Internal Revenue Service in San Francisco for 29 years until she retired in 1978. In retirement, she enjoyed traveling with her sister Eleanor and friends. She also made many visits to family in Minnesota.

In 2000 Louise moved back to her home state of Minnesota to enjoy life at family gatherings, weddings, birthday parties, and holiday gatherings, and to renew her membership with St. Anthony Parish in Watkins. She resided at Sterling Park Commons in Waite Park where she enjoyed the activities and was an avid jigsaw puzzler. She had to reacquaint herself to Minnesota winters of cold and snow, after living 56 years in sunny California, and she truly missed not having the street cars to get "to and fro."

Louise was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Peter, Ted, Frank, Alfred, Adolph and George Erpelding and their spouses; sisters Eleanor Erpelding, Barbara Hennen, Margaret Ochs, Leona Andrew, and their spouses; and two infant sisters.

Arrangements were by Ertl Funeral Home in Watkins
Louise was the last member of the Erpelding family to pass on, survived only by many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.