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Glenora Marie Tietjen, 86, passed away at the N.C. Little Memorial Hospice house in Edina, Minnesota, on October 23, 2018. The cause of death was nephrotic syndrome and congestive-heart disease. When she died, she was surrounded by her family, all of whom miss her dearly.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 29, 2018, at 11AM at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville with Pastor Dennis O’Neill officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services on Monday and interment will take place in Mound Cemetery.
Glenora was born October 9, 1932, in Morris, Minnesota, and she lived in the Morris area for the first five years of her life. Her parents, Ole Steen (1904-81) and Mabel (Robertson) Steen (1912-2000), moved to Ortonville when Glenora was five years old. She lived in Ortonville the remaining eighty-one years of her life. In Ortonville, Glenora’s father Ole worked for the WPA and later had his own garbage business for many years. He also owned a mobile service station in Ortonville. Glenora’s mother, Mabel worked as a cook in local restaurants or cafes. Glenora said that though their family did not have much money growing up, Mabel always made sure they ate well. Ole and Mabel were both members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Ortonville. Glenora’s confirmation was at Trinity Lutheran and she was a devoted member of the church all of her adult life, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, attending Sarah Circle, and helping with meals and the work involved with funerals, through Helping Hands.
Glenora graduated from Ortonville High School in 1950. She enjoyed her high-school years. Her favorite subjects were music and math. She was a good roller skater in her youth, spending many Sunday evenings at the Sioux Historic Pavilion. Beginning at the age of fourteen and throughout high school she worked many part-time jobs: she was the first car-hop at Bill’s Drive-In (where Dairy Queen is located now); she was a waitress at Eagle Café and at Gowan’s Café; and, she worked the counter at the Nu Bakery and Coffee Shop on Main Street. After graduating from high school, Glenora worked for a short while as a checkout clerk at the National Tea grocery store and then as a bookkeeper in the “back room” at Northwestern State Bank, doing the general books and handling payroll. Later, she worked as a teller at Tri-County State Bank for many years, until late 1958.
In 1953, Glenora married Leroy Schlicht (b. 1931), whom she had started dating in high school. After military service, Leroy worked as a foreman for the Cold Spring Granite Company in Ortonville. He died in March 1962 in an accident at the quarry. After his death, Glenora returned to work part-time at Tri-County State Bank, where she met Morris Tietjen, a customer at the bank. Morris had been a country-school teacher but had recently moved to Ortonville to take a teaching job. Later, Morris would become elementary principal of the school. Glenora and Morris were married in 1964. Several years later, they had a house built north of town, by the golf course, and this is where they lived for the past fifty years, raising their children there.
Glenora was a devoted wife and mother. She always had others’ interests at heart. She had the same kind and gentle personality of her father, Ole, and she loved the company of other people. She had many friends throughout her life. When someone became her good friend, that person remained her friend for life, and to her dying days she kept in touch with them and kept those people in her thoughts and prayers. The happiness and lives of her immediate family were always her focus. If any family member was unhappy in some way, she was unhappy. If her family was happy, she was happy. There was no separation between her own emotions and happiness and the well-being of her family. The death of Morris and Glenora’s son, David, in 1990 had a devastating effect.
Glenora had an extraordinary memory, something at which everyone in her family and among her friends marveled. She had an always-accurate recall of events and dates and names of people. One reason for this may have been her personality. She was shy and often did not talk in a room full of people; she was content to listen and observe. She was a close observer of other people, as many quiet and shy people are. With Glenora’s focus often on others, it may not be surprising that she had a keen memory of names and important events in other people’s lives.
Like her mother, Glenora was a good seamstress and an excellent cook, canner, and baker. She had a life-long love of music. She enjoyed many hymns and found them comforting. In addition to singing in the choir at church, she served for a time as the choir director. She enjoyed live music, too, particularly piano and particularly if the piano was being played by a family member. Glenora also loved to read, which was often what she did in the evening. She read fiction exclusively—sometimes classic literature but usually more popular and less famous works. She just liked “a good story,” as she would often put it (which was the same description she often used for movies and television shows that she liked). She enjoyed novels about American pioneer life and the lives of Amish people, in particular. The stories of immigrants struggling to make new lives under harsh conditions, the tragedies of living without modern advances, the struggles with loneliness, the strength of family, and the importance of religion and community—all these features of the stories confirmed her belief in the essential goodness of people and appealed to her sympathy for those who faced up to and overcame great adversities in life.
In the last several years of her life, when travel outside the house became more difficult, Glenora used an iPhone to text and talk to people, including by video-telephony, and in that sense she was modern in her communications and connections to the world. She was pleased with her ability to use the smartphone, and glad all of her friends and family were at her fingertips, so to speak. But Glenora was born and raised, of course, in a day before smartphones and even before television, when face-to-face conversation was a larger part of life, and generally a form of entertainment. All of her life she enjoyed conversation with friends and family, perhaps more than any other activity. And she was skilled at conversation, being a good listener. She sometimes would recall her youth, the customary Saturday night on Main Street in Ortonville, when the farmers would “go to town,” as they called it. Her parents would park their car on Main Street, along with everyone else, and mill about, talking with and watching people. That, Glenora would say, was great entertainment.
Glenora was a skilled card player, and a game of cards was further opportunity for conversation. She particularly enjoyed card games with her grandchildren, providing an opportunity, as it did, for laughter and conversation with the children. In fact, in her hospital bed, she played a game of cards with two of her grandchildren just three days before she passed away, and, though she was struggling physically, her smile never left her face during the game. Glenora and Morris enjoyed some travel in their retirement years, including a cruise to Alaska, trips to California to visit her brother Jim and his family, and a trip to the east coast, to see New York and Washington, DC. But mainly, the last years of her life centered—as all of her adult life did—around her life with Morris and her children and grandchildren.
Glenora was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband, and her son, David. She is survived by her husband Morris and three children: Thomas (Aileen) Tietjen from Chanhassen, MN; Randall (Susan) Tietjen from Edina, MN; and Mary (Jay) Tietjen from Eden Prairie, MN. She is also survived by seven grandchildren—Eric, Sara, Arielle, Clara, Annalisa, Benjamin, and Sophia—three brothers, Jimmy (“Jim”), Douglas (“Bud”), and Robert (“Bob”), and a host of other relatives and friends.