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Nan E. Holmberg Grethen 1919-2013

April 25, 2013
Emmetsburg News

MALLARD -- Nan E. Holmberg Grethen was born March 22, 1919 in Malmberg, Sweden to Lars and Emma (Silow) Holmberg. When Nan was three years old her family came to the United States by ship. The family spent the first two weeks on Ellis Island under quarantine due to the illness of one of Nan's sisters. Once released from Ellis Island, Nan's family moved to Ruthven to begin farming. Nan received her education there and graduated from high school as valedictorian of her class.

Nan was joined in marriage to Walter Grethen on April 17, 1952. Nan and Walt farmed on the Plover corner of Highway 4 until retirement. They enjoyed traveling to Europe and to Sweden to see the house where Nan was born. They loved their trip to Alaska with their RV group and looked forward to their annual journey to Arizona where they wintered for 31 years.

The couple made many trips to visit their children and grandchildren. Nan was the ultimate wife and mother, lovingly taking care of Walt and her children. She enjoyed sewing, knitting blankets for others and cooking. She taught all of her children to make Swedish pancakes. Nan's final years were lived out at the Emmetsburg Care Center in Emmetsburg where she received loving and kind care. Nan, 94, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

Survivors include Nan's husband of 61 years, Walter; five children: Judy (Ken) Dillon of White Bear Lake, MN; Pam (Gerry) Rolle of San Jose, CA; Mary (Larry) Grebe of Bremen, IN; Kay Perry of Hope, ID; and Pat Grethen of Carmel, IN; 12 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; and brother Henry (Lillian) Holmberg of Dayton, WA.

Nan was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Leo Loomis and Mervin Iler; son, Mike Iler; sisters, Helga Murray, Thea Gustin and Linea McFarland; and brothers Rusty Holmberg and Sigvard Holmberg.

Services were Monday, April 22, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mallard. The Harris Funeral Home in Mallard was in charge of arrangements.

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