Marcella Rosalind (Friberg) Mikelson, age 101, much-loved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully the morning of May 24, 2022, at her home in Rochester, MN. Marcella was born March 26, 1921, to Swen and Amanda (Willander) Friberg in Clarkfield, Minnesota.
Marcella was the 8th of nine living children born to Swen and Amanda, noted by her full name: Marcella Rosalind Octavia Friberg. By the time of Marcella’s birth, Amanda and Swen had lost one child, John Arthur, at the age of 3 to the flu epidemic.
Marcella grew up in Clarkfield, Minnesota, attending Clarkfield Public Schools. She graduated from high school in 1938 and then attended Business Training at Clarkfield High School in 1939. Marcella served as the Secretary for the Yellow Medicine County Welfare Office for three years.
On December 25, 1943, Marcella married Sgt. Milo (Mike) L. Mikelson. As Milo experienced military training for World War II, Marcella moved with him to Staten Island, New York and to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. When Milo left for overseas duty on December 25, 1944, Marcella moved to Seattle, Washington and worked for the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Upon Milo’s homecoming from WWII, Marcella and Milo returned to Minnesota, ultimately settling in St. Peter, Minnesota with their three beloved children: Elizabeth Ann, David Milo, and Steven Mark.
Marcella worked at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter for 27 years, retiring in 1986. In 1994, Marcella and Milo moved to Mesa, Arizona, often spending summers traveling to visit their children and grandchildren in Colorado and Minnesota. Milo passed away on April 15, 2003; Marcella remained in Arizona until moving to Colorado in 2008. Through the following years, Marcella fully experienced life in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, and Arizona. Marcella lived the final year of her life with family in Rochester, MN, supported by compassionate home health aides and incredible members of her team from Mayo Clinic Hospice.
Proud to have lived during the agriculture, mechanical, and technical years, Marcella observed and experienced 101 years of inventions, energy innovations, and educational advancements. Her various interests included music, travel, reading, U.S. history, golfing, and gin rummy. Reading and travel kept Marcella mindful of the marvels of the past and infinitely curious about what is yet to come. Travel also fueled Marcella’s love for the plains and mountains, oceans and desert, forests and fields. Her youth and adult life in Minnesota inspired her love for all four seasons, and time living in Seattle, Colorado, Arizona, and Minnesota satisfied her great appreciation of eagles and hawks soaring in the currents, birds of the lakes and sea, and the tiniest of yard birds.
Marcella is survived by son David (Kathi) of San Tan Valley, Arizona, son Steven (Nancy) Mikelson of St. Peter, MN, son-in-law Steven (Zehnder) of Truman, MN; seven cherished grandchildren: Staci Bonin, Stefanie (Jeff) Whitney, Alisa (Brandon) Hoffmaster, Katie Beth (Brandon) Kauffman, Jeff (Lauren) Mikelson, Adam Mikelson and Benjamin (Courtney) Mikelson; 10 dear great-grandchildren: Tyler and Shelby Hoffmaster, Taylor (Jaron) King, CJ and Tyson Bonin, Carter, Ethan, and Christian Kauffman, Alex and Max Whitney. Already-loved by Marcella, a great-granddaughter arrives in October and a great-great granddaughter arrives in July. She is also survived by much-loved nieces and nephews and extended family.
Marcella is preceded in death by husband, Milo, an infant baby boy; daughter, Elizabeth Ann Zehnder; grandson, Paul Steven Zehnder, her parents and siblings.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 15th, 2022 at 10 AM at Augustana Lutheran Church in Clarkfield, followed by the memorial service at 11 AM. Interment to follow in Fridhem Cemetery, rural Clarkfield. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Mayo Clinic Hospice or your local PEO Chapter.
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