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Marcia Ann Kuehl "Mar sea ah Ann Keel"

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Minna Radke Kuehl (1867 - 1973)

As submitted by Linda Krause

Back in 1981, my mother wrote the following about Minna (who is not MAK's g-grandmother as we had supposed). It was published in "The Moravian".

A PSALM OF A LIFE --- Mrs. Minna Radtke Kuehl (1867-1973)

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" may well have been the creed of a devout Christian and loyal Moravian of the Wisconsin Rapids area who many of us remember as Grandma Kuehl.

This also is a history of the Christmas cactus that we have enjoyed blooming in the sanctuary during the Advent Season. It was one of the two originally owned by Grandma Kuehl, who was an avid gardener and flower lover.

In the early 1950's, Mrs. Kuehl, already in her 84th year of life, moved from her old home on 13th Ave. N. into a room at her son William's residence on 2nd St. South. She gave me one of the cactus plants at that time and I placed it in the window of a Sunday School room of the then new educational building of our present Moravian Church. The plant flourished and soon sent out scores of buds. When it was in full bloom we proudly showed it to Grandma Kuehl, thinking to please her. Instead, she was disappointed, for hers had not bloomed. So we traded plants, but as soon as the second cactus found itself in the bright sunny Sunday School room, it also budded and bore a halo of beautiful blossoms, a ritual it has repeated nearly every Advent Season since.

Grandma Kuehl, at the age of 90, walked from her home to Riverview Hospital to visit me and see my new baby. Can you imagine having only three diapers for your baby? And those made of worn out shirt tails? This was told to me by that dear woman as a simple fact. Yet she raised not only her two sons but four step-children in those "good old days"; before plumbing or "Pampers".

One step-son, Henry Kuehl, became a Moravian minister serving most of his pastorate in the Eastern states. (See June-July 1980 Moravian for obituary). A step-daughter, Eleanor Kuehl Shearier, was a life-long member of the Wisconsin Rapids Moravian Church as is her daughter Fay Shearier Henriksen. Allen Bergman presently pastor of the Moravian Church in South Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is a descendant on the Radtke side of the family, from Watertown, Wisconsin.

Grandma Kuehl, a feisty, determined, courageous, German pioneer lived life as it had to be lived, not as a saint, but as a servant. Knowing her God and being known by Him.

What more fitting memorial could be given this brave soul than the joyful blooming, each Advent Season, of her Christmas cactus -- personifying the promise of everlasting life that surely she never doubted.

Thus the Psalm closes:"and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever".

Bernice Athorp
Wisconsin Rapids, Wood Co, WI

[Minna's Obit]

Come with me and take a journey back into history. Help me discover my MAK-roots, and how they shaped the person I am today... If perchance, we are related, click on Email MAK and let me know... I will be happy to include your line and share information on mine.

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Revised: --Tuesday, 30-Oct-2001 16:48:38 MST
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