Muriel NJ. Deschenes

January 15, 1931 ~ February 23, 2021 (age 90)


Muriel N. J. Deschenes

Muriel, age 90, passed away on February 23, 2021. She was born on January 15, 1931 to Maynard and Ethel (Syverson) Haugan at her grandma Netta Syverson’s farm in Orrock, MN.  She attended country school in Orrock for grades 1 - 8.  In May 1949 she graduated from Big Lake High School. After high school she got a job at the Sherburne County Extension office.  Later she worked at the ASC office working with corn storage loans for farmers which is where she met Leo. Muriel was married to Leo Lawrence Deschenes on Thursday, September 27, 1951 by Father Joseph Trobec at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church.  Before their marriage, she took instruction and entered the Catholic faith.  Leo was in the Army so after their marriage they moved to Fort Eustis, VA, where he was stationed. They returned home to the Elk River area in April of 1953, and purchased a small home where they lived until January of 1957.  At that time, they purchased an 80 acre farm in the Nowthen area where they spent the next 50 plus years. Retirement age made it possible for them to spend winters in AZ and summers in SD. In 2011 they returned to the Elk River area and lived at Guardian Angels by the Lake.  One of the most important things to Leo was that Muriel could be home to be a housewife and mother.  They both worked very hard to make it possible for her to do that. She had a large garden and put up most of the fruits and vegetables her family would need.  She also had a strawberry and a raspberry patch.


Muriel bought herself a Singer Featherweight sewing machine and taught herself how to sew.  She made almost all the clothes for herself and all 8 daughters. She loved to sew and made flannel nighties or pajamas every year for the girls for Christmas as well as baby doll and Barbie doll clothes.Up until 6 months before her death, she was busy making quilts for the great grandbabies.  There are about 18 baby quilts waiting for the next great-grandchildren.  Muriel took a small lesson on cake decorating and became very good at it.  She baked and decorated many cakes for a variety of celebrations in the area.  Brides would come to the house, sit at the kitchen table and work with her to design their own cake.  Her wedding cakes were second to none.   Muriel was a very crafty person enjoying knitting, crocheting, quilt making, card making, tatting and ceramic painting.  No matter what the craft… she seemed to excel at it. She taught her daughters many of her craft interests. Her fingers were never idle. Muriel was involved with Young Homemakers, Christian Women’s at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and was the service unit manager for the Elk River Girl Scouts.  Muriel drove a school bus for the Dickenson Bus Co. for many years.  She loved taking sports charters and field trip groups.  In 1982 she took a group of girl scouts to the TN World’s Fair. The family members have many memories of camping, swimming at Twin Lakes, popcorn on Saturday nights, visiting family relatives and friends on Sunday afternoons. The family remembers trips to the east coast, Arkansas, the Split Rock Lighthouse, Fort William and Port Arthur in Canada. Leo invested in oil wells so the family made a trip to see them. Muriel was preceded in death by her husband, Leo, of 65 years, and her parents. Leo and Muriel are survived by 8 daughters:  Connie (Gerald) Gelle of Stanchfield; Peggy (Kermit) Bode of Zimmerman; MaryLee (Leon) Barthel of Monticello; Jean (John) Bakos of Elk River; Patricia (Denny) Reding of St. Paul Park; Sherri (Bob) Jones of Isanti; Sandy (Tim) Civilla of Coon Rapids; and Julie (Chuck) Pruett of Princeton.  26 Grandchildren: Gina (Rob) Grams; Sara (Chad) Skoog; Benjamin (Jessica) Gelle; Ryan (Amy) Gelle; Angela (Rob) Anderson; Anthony (Dre) Barthel; Adrianne (David) Drebert; Terrence (Sarah) Barthel; Breonna (Nolan) Bachman; Natalie (Troy) Abbott; Chuck (Renee) Bakos; Jen (Nate) Kremer; Marcia (Charlie) Crosbie; Andrew (Dez) Reding; Madeline and Isabelle Reding; Amy (Peter) Grover; Casie (Nick) Christianson; David VanAuken; Michael (Kira) VanAuken; Ana (Al) Sjolseth; Lars (Danie) Powell; Emily (Nick) Larson; Caleb (Rachael) Seelhoff; Justine and Holly Seelhoff and 47 great grandchildren.  Sister Edith Sunnarborg, brother Curtis (Gladys) Haugan and many loving friends and relatives. 

Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, February 27, 2021 10:30 AM St. Andrews Catholic Church 566 4th St. NW Elk River, MN. Live streamed at .Visitation 9- 10 AM Dare’s Funeral Home 805 Main St. NW Elk River, MN Interment Hope Lutheran Cemetery, Orrock, MN. Arr. Dare’s Funeral Home 763-441-1212



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February 27, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Dares Funeral Services

Mass of Christian Burial
February 27, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Andrew Catholic Church (Fourth St. NW, Elk River)

Video is available for this event

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