Matriarch /mey-tree-ahrk/ 1. A woman who is the head of a family, or is a powerful mother figure.
Florence Esther Baertlein (nee Becker) was truly the matriarch of the Baertlein family of 7 children and an ever-growing number of grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She was patient and strong, and her love and care cast a wide circle.
Florence, aka 'Pete', was born July 16, 1933, in Menomonie, Wisconsin, to Herbert and Esther Becker. She was a country girl whose voice could be heard singing above the din of the tractor in her youth. She grew up on farms in and around Brookfield, WI, with 7 siblings, where she preferred working in the fields with her dad to doing housework. After High School she attended Beautician training and met her husband, Alan, on a blind date. They raised their young family in rural Mukwonago, WI. The family moved to Goodview, MN, in 1972, where she enjoyed her work in the Red Owl bakery and deli.
Florence was larger than life in the most simple of ways. She was warm and embracing of all and could as easily feed 70 as 7. She created traditions and held tight to them through generations; the house and garage bursting with people, food, children, noise, chaos, and love. She relished time with family and friends and played a mean game of Farkle.
Florence also cherished her freedom. When she was no longer able to drive to the lake to fish or to Red Wing for Bingo, she could be seen around Goodview in all weather driving her mobility scooter to stores and to her daughter's laundromat for coffee visits.
Florence left her earthly body on the morning of November 24, 2021, surrounded by family. She is survived by her children, Paul (Brenda), Scot (Cheryl), Keith (Sue), Barb Ryan (Brian Gohl), Gail (Greg) Lemmer, Linda Dahl (Scott Dennison); treasured grandchildren; and her sister, Marion Petrach. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alan, and beloved son, Mark.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Sunday, December 5 at Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Winona, MN, led by Funeral Celebrant, Jodi Heim. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until the time of the service. Please leave a memory of Florence and view her video tribute at www.hofffuneral.com. Hoff Celebration of Life Center is assisting the family.