Iris Westphal

IRIS LORETTA WESTPHAL, age 89 of Waseca, died on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Colony Court in Waseca.

Iris was born September 18, 1925, in rural Le Center, MN, to Benjamin and Amelia (Ehmke) Sautter.  She moved into town when she was five, attended grade school, and graduated salutatorian from McKinley High School in 1943.  After graduating, she worked for several months in the county Rationing Board Office, then took a job at E.F. Johnson Company in Waseca.  Her first day at E.F. Johnson was February 14, 1944 (Valentine’s Day), and on that date, met that man who would become her life partner, her husband Norb.  Iris and Norb were married on September 12, 1945 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waseca.  She later worked at the First National Bank of Waseca for several years.

In 1950, Iris and Norb were blessed with their first child Suzanne, and after that, Daniel, Thomas, Todd, and Jill.  Iris devoted herself to caring for her family and home.  When their nest was empty, Iris and Norb spent happy times traveling the country, including visiting their son Dan and his wife Pam in Kentucky.  Their favorite vacation spot was the North Shore of Lake Superior, which they visited often while the children were young, and later frequented for fun family get-togethers.  Iris and Norb celebrated their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries on the North Shore with their children and grandkids. 

Norb retired in 1990, and during the following year, they lived mainly in Bloomington, MN, helping care for daughter Suzanne, who was ill with cancer.  She lost her battle in December at 41.  She was a wonderful daughter, and Iris and Norb loved and missed her for the rest of their lives.

Norb became ill in 2008, and passed away September 21, at the age of 84.  They had a wonderful life together through good times and bad, and Iris always felt blessed to have had a devoted husband, loving parents and siblings, children who enriched her life with their love and respect, and seven grandchildren, of whom she was very proud.  She dearly missed Norb and looked forward to being with him again, but described her life as “happy to overflowing.”

Iris was preceded in death by Norb Westphal, her husband of 63 years; daughter Suzanne Westphal; parents Benjamin and Amelia Sautter; father-in-law and mother-in-law Arthur and Florence Westphal; brother-in-law Stanley Krenik; sister-in-law Nedra Sautter; and brother-in-law Melvin Schaetzke.

She is survived by her children Daniel and Pamela Westphal of Bowling Green, KY; Thomas and Teri Westphal of New Market, MN; Todd and Lisa Westphal of St. Peter, MN; and Jill Westphal and Vaughn Dierks of St. Paul, MN; grandchildren Kayla, Dylan, and Alexa Westphal; Benjamin, Noah, and Isaac Westphal; and Wyatt Dierks; sister Crystal Krenik of Le Center, MN; brother Dr. Robert Sautter of Mount Vernon, IA; sister-in-law Esther Schaetzke of Cannon Falls, MN; and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and dear friends. 

Visitation will be held at Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services in Waseca on Monday, February 2, 2015 from 4-7 PM and will continue on Tuesday, one hour before services at the church.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Waseca with Rev. David Baumgarn officiating.  Burial will follow at Woodville Cemetery in Waseca. 

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