Lorraine's Story

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Lorraine Erwin, 95 year old resident of Mankato, formerly of Waseca, died peacefully on Monday morning, January 15, 2018, at Laurels Peak Rehabilitation Center in Mankato.

Reviewal will be on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 4-6 pm with a rosary service beginning at 6 pm all at Starkson & Steffel Funeral & Cremation Service ~ McRaith Chapel (711 North State Street, Waseca, MN 56093). Reviewal will continue for one hour prior to the Mass at church on Saturday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 1 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Church of the Sacred Heart (111 4th St. NW, Waseca, MN 56093). Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery.

Memorials are preferred to Waseca Area Senior Center, Sacred Heart Church, Waseca American Legion or Waseca VFW.

Lorraine was born on March 31, 1922 in her familys home in Stearns County, Minnesota to Harold and Luella (Bendickson) Skaalerud. Lorraine learned at an early age that she had a gift for baking and cooking, a gift that would serve her well throughout her life. The Skaalerud kids were all very hard workers. As the oldest of eleven, Lorraine was always helping care for her younger siblings. After high school she moved to Minneapolis and worked as a nanny for an attorney and his family. Even after moving away from home Lorraine remained very close to her family especially her sister, Alice. When Alice moved to Minneapolis the sisters maintained a standing weekly movie date with each other on their one half-day off every week. Lorraine always loved to dance, so it was only fitting that she met her future husband at a dance hall in Southeast Minneapolis in 1942. She married Donald Patrick Erwin (b.1917) on April 21, 1943 in Hollister, California where he was stationed in the Navy. The couple moved back to Waseca after Don finished electrician school a couple of years later. They built their home across from Clear Lake Park in 1953. There they raised 6 children and many foster children. Indeed, a lot of friends and family passed through the doors on 8th Avenue NE over the years. After years of caring for children in her home, Lorraine began to share her talents in the kitchen by starting a private catering business, and later in the kitchen at the Southern School of Agriculture (University of Minnesota, Waseca). In 1973 Lorraine lost her husband to a heart-attack. With 5 of her 6 children still at home she continued maintaining her home while working full-time at UMW. She retired from the University in 1990. In her retirement she enjoyed traveling, spending time with family, playing Bingo with friends, going to the casino, dancing, cocktails, cooking for her friends and family, and wintering in Maui where her youngest son lived for many years. Lorraine not only loved to entertain, she was great at it! It was quite common to see her sending home leftovers and good memories with each well-fed guest.

Lorraine leaves behind a legacy of 6 children: Patrick Erwin, Donna (James) Loken, David (Cynthia) Erwin, Nancy (Kimber) Prehn, Barbara (Duane) Perkins, Stephen (Amy) Erwin; 16 grandchildren; 8 step-grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren; Lorraine is also survived by two sisters: Alice (Howard) Akensen, Caren (Clarence) Carlson; one brother, James (Chick) Skaalerud; as well as sisters-in-law: Susan Skaalerud, Judy Skaalerud, Dorothy Skaalerud; brother-in-law, Tom Greenwood; many nieces and nephews whom remember her fondly.

Lorraine was preceded in death and welcomed to heaven by her parents, Luella and Harold Skaalerud; her husband Donald P. Erwin; one granddaughter, Laysha Lorraine Erwin; daughter-in-law; Diane Erwin, four sisters: Ione (Ollie) Olson, Barbara Phelps, Julie Skaalerud, and Tudi Greenwood; three brothers: Jerome, David, Gary; nephew, James Skaalerud Jr.; nieces: Judith Miller, Carol Sorenson; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Sherman and Dorothy Erwin, Francis and Harriet Miller, Stanley and Ruth Sorenson.

The family would like to thank the staff at both Laurel's Peak in Mankato, Colony Court in Waseca and St. Croix Hospice for their loving care and support these past five years.
Published on January 16, 2018
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