The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 19, 2013

Odie Mielke

—      Odie Mielke

    Odie Mielke, 85, formerly of Nicollet died peacefully on Saturday, August 17, 2013, at the Monarch Meadows in North Mankato surrounded by her family.  Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nicollet with burial in the Norseland Lutheran Cemetery in Norseland.  Visitation will be  4  7 p.m. Tuesday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home in Nicollet and on Wednesday for one hour prior to the time of service at the church.  To sign the guest book or to leave an online condolence for the family go to

    Odie is survived by daughters, Roxane Brinatte of Nicollet, Patrice (Bruce) Zutter of Prior Lake; sons, David Mielke of Hopkins, Kevin (Karen) Mielke of Statesville, North Carolina, and Bruce (Nancy) Mielke of Forest City, Iowa; 13 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren; a sister, Lois Muenchow of Hopkins, a sister-in-law, Irene Knutson of New Ulm; and by many, nieces, nephews, and cousins.    She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Donald Donnie Mielke on May 1, 1981; and by brothers, Earl Knutson, and Morris Knutson in infancy.

    Odie Rubie Knutson, was born on August 19, 1927 in New Ulm to Elmer and Frances (Ginkel) Knutson.  She graduated from Nicollet High School in the class of 1944. After graduation Odie attended a one year training program in New Ulm receiving her teachers certification in 1945.  Odie began her teaching career teaching in rural schools in Iberia and the Brighten School District 1281.  When country schools closed their doors, Odie began teaching at the Nicollet Public Schools.  There she taught for twenty eight years retiring in 1990.  A few years after joining the Nicollet Public School staff it was mandated that a four year degree was required to be a teacher.  She then attended  and graduated from Mankato State University in 1973 with a degree in teaching.  This she did by taking night classes at the school .  On June 8, 1947 she was united in marriage to Donald Mielke at the Norseland Lutheran Church in Norseland.   Odie was a member of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Nicollet where she was involved in the Ladies Guild.  She was a charter member and a lifetime member of the Nicollet American Legion Auxiliary where she had held many offices over the years.  Odie was an active volunteer in Nicollet belonging to many organizations.  She also spent time as a senior driver for people around Nicollet, she served on the Nicollet County Cancer Society Board, was a blood coordinator for the American Red Cross for ten years coordinating three blood drives a year.  In 1997 Odie received the governers award for acts of kindness and was the recipient of the WCCO Good Neighbor Award.

    Odie loved to serve, volunteer, travel, and listen to country and inspirational music.


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