Grace A. Wolitarsky, age 84 of Beulah, ND, formerly of Turtle Lake, ND, died June 28, 2012 at the Knife River Care Center in Beulah in the comforting presence of her youngest daughter, Barbara Heringer.
Funeral Services will be held 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, July 3rd at the Turtle Lake Baptist Church with Pastor Bill Oliver officiating. Burial will follow in the Turtle Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM to 12 Noon Monday at the Knife River Care Center in Beulah. Visitation will continue from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Monday at Goetz Funeral Chapel in Turtle Lake.
Grace A. Barbie was born July 16, 1927 in Bismarck, ND to Niklos “Nick” & Lydia (Bauer) Barbie. She attended public schools in Bismarck and graduated as Salutatorian of the Bismarck High School Class of 1945. Grace began her teaching career in Turtle Lake, ND in the fall of 1949 after graduating from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. During her first year of teaching, she met and fell in love with Vernon R. “Bud” Wolitarsky, a young local farmer. They were married at Bismarck Baptist Church on August 6, 1950. They made their home on the Wolitarsky family farm, two miles southeast of Turtle Lake, in the spring of 1951. There on the farm they raised their four children, Karen, LeAnn, Mark, & Barbara.
Grace taught English and directed vocal music at Mercer High School from 1959 to 1972. She later worked a short-time for the Bossert, McCutchan, Curean, & Schmidt Law Firm and as a bookkeeper at Equity Lumber. In 1971, Bud and Grace were awarded the South McLean Soil Conservation Award for soil, wetlands, and wildlife conservation practices. In September 1993, they moved from the farm into Turtle Lake.
Grace & Vernon “Bud” were active members of the Turtle Lake Baptist Church where she served many years as a pianist, soloist, and directed many small groups and choirs. After her husband’s death in 1997, Grace (who suffered from Parkinson’s disease since the 1970’s) moved to Beulah, ND. She became a resident of the Knife River Care Center in the spring of 1999. She was an active member of the care center community, sharing daily devotionals on the intercom, and proudly serving as President of the Resident Council for a time. She would often be found playing the piano, singing familiar hymns and songs in the chapel, and telling her jokes to willing listeners.
Grace is survived by her four children, Karen (Randy) Forsberg of Fountain Hills, AZ, LeAnn (Dr. Larry) Elmer of Milan, MI, Mark (Berinda) Wolitarsky of Everett, WA, & Barbara (Lester) Heringer of Beulah, ND; Six granddaughters, five grandsons, and one great-grandson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband (Vernon “Bud”), siblings (Caroline, John, Natalie, Irma, Otto, Don, Alice, & Nicky).