Middle River – 74,Gloria Rybakowski, passed away on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at Life Care Roseau Manor in Roseau, surrounded by her loving family.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at First Lutheran Church in Middle River with Reverend Mark Mathews and Reverend Amber Bergeron Officiating. Burial will be held in the First Lutheran Cemetery at Middle River.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday 5 to 8 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, and also one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church.
Gloria Pearl Westman was born to Julia (Haugen) and Elvin Westman on January 2, 1942, on the Westman homestead located west of Newfolden. She attended West Valley Country School until its closure in 1952, when she transferred to the Newfolden Community School, where she graduated in 1960.
Gloria was baptized in the Lutheran faith as an infant at their home by Pastor Myhrer. As a young woman, she was confirmed at the Evangelical Free Church in Newfolden, Minnesota.
In September of 1960, Gloria became a mother for a first time, giving birth to a daughter, Cindy. Gloria and Cindy resided on the family farm with her parents where she helped out at home, especially later when her mother became ill.
On September 14, 1968, Gloria was united in marriage to Raymond F Rybakowski at the home of Rev. Val Hauck in Thief River Falls. Ray and Gloria made their home northeast of Middle River where they raised cattle and farmed grain. To this union, two sons, Rick and Calvin, were born. Ray passed away on February 13, 1998. Gloria remained living in their home until September of 2016, when she entered the Sanford Hospital. She spent the final month of her life at the LifeCare Roseau Manor, where she was a favorite despite her limitations. She was well loved and cared for with a lot of humor and kindness.
Gloria was famous for her home-baked bread and” having the best buns around.” She was an avid gardener and she loved raising chickens, geese, and ducks. She loved talking on the phone with her sisters on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day. She was a wonderful grandmother and great-grandmother and she took a lot of joy in hearing about their activities. She loved to tease and be silly with them. Gloria seemed like an introvert and described herself as a hermit, but once you got to know her, she would surprise you with the things she would say and do. Gloria enjoyed traveling to wrestling events. In her later years, she enjoyed doing word and number searches and watching television, especially Westerns and shows about law enforcement. Her razor-sharp wits and quick come-backs will be sorely missed at family gatherings.
Gloria is survived by: a daughter, Cindy (George) Rybakowski, of Middle River, two sons; Richard (Naomi) Rybakowski, of Badger, and Calvin Rybakowski, of Middle River; seven grandchildren Mandy (Ty) Mittelsteadt, Matthew (Donna) Rybakowski, Adam Rybakowski, Amber (Jon) Bergeron, Madison Rybakowski, Deanna Rybakowski, Paige Rybakowski: 10 great-grandchildren Joshua Adelman, MacKenzie Lubitz, Faith, Hope and Austin Rybakowski, Blake and Brody Rybakowski, Kyden Kruger, Julia and Andrew Bergeron; two step- daughters Marlo Rae Hemp and Jeanette (Edward) Pulczinski and several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren and step-great-great-grandchildren; siblings Eldor Westman of Strandquist, Glen (Karen) Westman of Zimmerman, Dale (Verna) Westman of Rochester, WA, Julieann (Garner) Erickson of Middle River, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins; three godchildren Myles, Maria and Debby.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister Arlene Johnson, brother Myles Westman, brothers-in-law Jack, Frank, Galen, Jim, and sisters-in-law Agnes, Isabelle, Pete, Irene.
Family condolences may be sent to www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.