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In Memory of Rachel Terkelsen

Rachel Terkelsen, age 82, of Woodville, WI, died peacefully the morning of Monday, February 24th 2020 at her home with her family by her side. Rachel was born on August 29, 1937 in Baldwin; the daughter of Marion and Irma (Geurkink) VanDien. She was raised in Baldwin where she attended school. She would meet a charming young serviceman who she would fall in love with and later marry. On May 25, 1954, she was united in marriage to John Terkelsen at the Lutheran parsonage in Baldwin. This union would be further blessed with four children; Sheryl, Sue, Julie, and John Jr. For anyone who knew Rachel, they would come and know her life was all about faith and family. Her gentle spirit developed many friendships throughout her life. She enjoyed her time volunteering at Zion Lutheran; whether on the board or elders, to becoming the custodian as she and John cleaned the church for 13 years faithfully. Moreover, she served on the board for Norseman Manor, Woodville Planning Commission, and the Woodville Historical Society. She embodied the saying, “service above self”, but never, wanted to be in the spotlight. She saved that for John! When her children were older, she also worked for the Baldwin Area Medical Center, Parkview Nursing Home, and waitressing for local restaurants. When she wasn’t doing her civic duties, she enjoyed a quiet night reading, or tending to her vegetable and flower gardens. Rachel certainly was one who loved to get her hands dirty! She loved music; whether listing to John sing or Lawrence Welk. She had light feet and enjoyed spinning around to good old songs on the dance floor. But everything came back to spending time with family and friends. Rachel especially enjoyed playing Mexican Train with the Terkelsen family. Entertaining gave her the greatest pleasure and was always thinking of others on special occasions, as they would receive a greeting card on their special day.

Rachel will remain in the hearts of her beloved husband of 65 years, John; daughters, Sheryl (Jim) Howe of Eau Claire, Sue (Tom) Cody of Roberts, & Julie (Rich) Schultz of Deer Park; nine grandchildren, Barry (Tessa), Carrie (Bil), Alicia, Jason (Paula), Holly, Tyler (Sara), Jayna (Nate), Kyle, & Allison (Caleb); 19 great-grandchildren; siblings, Doris (Ralph) Freitag, Roger (Edee) VanDien, Roy VanDien; sisters-in-law Bernice VanDien and Marie Terkelsen; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, & friends. She is reunited in eternal life with her son, John Jr; & his fiancée, Dee Ellefson and her daughter, Jenny, who all died in a house fire; siblings Marilyn (Harold) Bol, Richard VanDien, & Eugene VanDien; brother-in-law Hanley Terkelsen, and niece Shereen Beaulieu.

A Funeral Service for Rachel will take place at 11:00 AM, Monday, March 2nd, 2020 at Zion Lutheran Church, 221 Lockwood St. Woodville, with short Visitation preceding the service from 10:00-11:00 AM. A full Visitation will be held from 2:00-5:00 PM, Sunday, March 1st, 2020 also at Zion Lutheran Church. Interment is to occur at Sunset Cemetery of Woodville. Services entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, 1010 Newton St, 715-684-3434.

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Rachel's Tribute Wall

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    • Rachel was one of the nicest and always a smile on her face. You were all blessed to have her in your life! I will be working but you all are in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this difficult time. She will be missed dearly.

    • Rachel was a wonderful lady who was loved by so many. She was an adored Aunt to Steve and I.
      You are all in our thoughts and prayers

    • She was a very special person, neighbor, and friend. One of the sweetest people. I will miss our talks. May God Bless John and the rest of the family and five you all peace. My thoughts and prayers for you all.