My Grandmother

Ardelle Joyce Witzman Stauffenecker

by

Brittany Stusynaki

 

6th Grade 1997, Tri-County School, Karlstad,Minnesota

 

Ardelle Joyce was born on August 14, 1934 at her home inBadger. Her parents were Norma and Alois. She had an older sister, Joan.

She lived in a very small house with only three rooms. It had a kitchen, a dining/living room and one bedroom. Her parents gotthe bedroom and the girls slept on a little bed in the living room. Theyhad no running water or indoor plumbing. They had to take baths in a roundwashtub.

Norma, Ardelle's mother, sewed the clothing for the family. They rarely bought clothing from the general store. It was much too expensive. Alois was a construction worker and also farmed. He spent many years workingas a mechanic for Harbert Reese, Sr.

Ardelle's first bicycle was one that she had to share withher sister, Joan. The bicycle was earned by picking rocks in the fields. Her mother and father taught her how to ride it.

Ardelle entered first grade in 1940. After spending oneday in school, she came home and told her mother she knew enough and wasn'tgoing back again. Ardelle graduated in 1952 and was the salutatarian ofher class.

When Ardelle was 10 years old, the family moved to a largerhouse in town. They still did not have running water or electricity orindoor plumbing.

Ardelle began taking piano lessons. She loved playingthe piano even though she had to walk a mile to practice. Her parents couldnot afford to buy her a piano.

Ardelle also loved to ice skate. She spent winters skatingon the river and at the school rink. She also enjoyed skiing with her sister. Their grandfather made skis for them. They did not have a television whenshe was young, but she liked to go to the movies. Movies were shown onlyon Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost 10 cents back then.

Ardelle married Gene Stauffenecker on November 7, 1953. It was a beautiful Indian summer day. After the wedding, Ardelle workedat the telephone company. She handled all the calls that came in and madesure they got where they were requested. She worked there for about nineyears. She enjoyed that job very much.

Ardelle also worked as a secretary for the Greenbush PublicSchool. Her duties included computer work, mailed letters, sorted the mail,and many other jobs. She spent five years working there.

Her next job was working for the Greenbush City Clerk'soffice. There she was in charge of making the bills for water, garbageand sewer. She then had to mail the bills, making sure the addresses werecorrect. She had to put all the information on the computer, too.

Ardelle is now working at Remedies in Greenbush. She isplanning on retiring very shortly.

Ardelle has four children, James, Lori (my mother), Joyand Mary. She has eleven grand children: Mandi, Corey, Heidi, Brittany(me), Anne, Joshua, Jessica, Megan, Larissa, and Mallory. She has two grandsons,Christopher and Hunter. She is hoping for a great granddaughter in April.d Hunter. She is hoping for a great granddaughter in April.