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Dorothy "Jean" Folkema left this life in Jesus' care on October 29, 2023, from her home in Braham, Minnesota, surrounded by family. She was 92 years of age.
Dorothy, known to most as "Jean", was born on August 11, 1931, to Donald and Viola (Epple) Prestidge, in Buffalo, Minnesota. Jean was the 2nd of 9 siblings. Her family moved from Buffalo to a farm in Isanti County, where times were very tough, but they appreciated everything they had, and she gained her love of farming. She attended Maple Ridge Country School, and graduated from Braham High School, where she learned to love sports of every kind, basketball being her favorite, despite the height challenge. After High School, she went to college in North Dakota, earning a teaching degree, and taught country school. She then moved back to the family farm with her sister, Muriel, and got a job at Nelson's Variety Store in Mora, Minnesota. At the Variety Store she met John Folkema, and they married in October of 1955, starting a life of farming in the Coin area. To this union seven children were born.
Farming, gardening, raising children was her hard life, but she loved it; milking cows, fieldwork and everything else the farm needed. No one worked harder. Rest and sleeping were not in the cards, many nights only 3 to 4 hours of sleep as there was work to be done. She never understood the concept of taking vacation from a job, and believed her children were slacking if they would partake in that. She would sit up at night after chores sewing clothes or preparing food for the next day. She canned, baked, and cooked for her family and extended family. There was always homemade bread and goodies of all kinds. She would drop everything to visit with people, and her home was always full of company dropping in for tea/coffee and treats. People of all ages would stay to enjoy her cooking. When she woke up in the morning, she would always check the living room couch to see who popped in during the night and was waiting there for breakfast. She and the community ladies would bake and cook for every event at Immanuel Lutheran Church, her only outing from the farm, and she loved the relationships she built there. Jean even fit in a few days of substitute teaching at Coin School. She loved music and taught herself to play piano and accordion. She would gather her children around the piano to sing gospel, and at Christmas time all the traditional Christmas music. She was very active in 4-H with her children and taught them to show cattle every summer at the county fair and loved directing their little skits for "Share the Fun" competition. Her absolute enjoyment was sports and she loved watching her children and grandchildren play sports of all kinds. She cheered and bragged at watching their achievements. She taught her children to play softball and baseball, with that becoming her ultimate favorite. No one was a bigger fan of the MN Twins, and in her later years never missed a Twins, Vikings, or Timberwolves game. She loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and extended family without reservation. She also felt Blessed to have had two extra young men, Gary and Mitchell Steiner join the family as young teens. She loved the time around the table with all the laughter and would many times laugh so hard she could hardly breathe. Her Faith was very important to her, making sure her children were in church and were confirmed in the Christian faith. She enjoyed her visits from Pastor Nathan and Val, always reminding Pastor he needed to sing to her. A couple weeks prior to her passing, she advised family that God was coming for her soon. Before she departed from this life, she reminded her family to love everyone and questioned their faith, to ensure everyone would be meeting her in Heaven.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents, sister, Janice Fignar, brother Dennis Prestidge, son-in-law Rollin Nelson; brothers-in-law, Will Johnson, Willis Lyght, and Al Dorow.
She is survived by her children, Joanne Nelson, Joyce (Rick) Keller, Jerome (Denise), Jim (Penny), Joey (Stefanie), Jill, and Jeff; grandchildren, Cullen, Dan (Shana), Jamie, Kelly (Jeff), Leanna, Angie (Casey), Brent (Kinsey), Mike (Jess), Ashley, Dalton (Jenna), Grace, Bella, Noah, and Allie; siblings, Donna Dorow, Ruth Koepke, Muriel Lyght, David Prestidge, Irene Johnson, and Carol (Marlin) Bakken; sister-in-law Mary Prestidge; as well as many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 4, 2023 at the First Lutheran Church in Rush City with Pastor Nathan Baker-Trinity presiding.
Memorial Visitation will be held 2 hours prior to the service at the church, beginning at 11:00am.