Lillian Ruth (Gardner) CaskeyApril 17, 1924 ~ December 20, 2017 (age 93)
Lillian Caskey, age 93 of Glenwood, died Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at the Glacial Ridge Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, December 27th at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 pm with Parish Prayers and a Rosary at 7 pm on Tuesday, December 26th at the Hoplin-Hitchcock funeral home in Glenwood. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Glenwood. Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood.
Lillian Ruth (Gardner) Caskey, daughter of William and Emma (Hodek) Gardner, was born on April 17, 1924, at the family home near Park River, ND. She attended country school in Park River, where she learned to speak English, then in Bagley, MN, after her family relocated there in 1932. Lillian was salutatorian of her graduating class at Bagley High School in 1942. Following graduation, she worked for Midland Co-op in Bagley, and then transferred to Midland Co-op in Minneapolis, where she worked in the accounting department until 1946.
Once the “war years” ended, she returned to Bagley where she clerked and did accounting at Olson’s Grocery. Lillian met John Caskey at a dance in Shevlin, MN. They were united in marriage on October 15, 1949, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bagley. They started married life on a farm near Shevlin, where Lillian was busy with all the work that comes with farm life, plus working part-time at Olson’s Grocery and caring for her growing family. John and Lillian were blessed with five children, Michael, Nancy, John, Theresa, and Kevin.
In September of 1964, the family moved to Glenwood, MN, where they had purchased the Hardware Hank store, operating the business as a team. Lillian took charge of the accounting and worked sales as well. Throughout her life Lillian participated in many church activities. She was a parish council member, Eucharistic minister, CCD leader, attended daily Mass, Marriage Encounter and Renew groups, missions groups, and a multitude of committees. She was a powerful link in the church prayer chain. She found time to be a part of community groups as well, serving on the Pope Co. Extension Board, Hospital Auxiliary, American Legion Auxiliary, 4-H Leader and belonged to the “Friendly Get-Together Birthday Club”, which she enjoyed for many years.
Lillian traveled with her husband throughout the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Pilgrimages were made to Guadalupe and Medjugorje. Wherever she was, Lillian loved meeting people and had a special gift of connecting with others with a positive and generous spirit. She found good in everyone and daily tried to live her Catholic faith. At home, Lillian tended her vegetable and flower gardens, was a great baker of kolaches, lefse, and treats which her family always looked forward to, especially at those wonderful Christmas gatherings. She made sure friends and family were welcome in her home and at her table. Her husband often referred to her as “Grandma Goodness”, which is truly how her grandchildren thought of her. Lillian often said the greatest joy of her life was to be with her wonderful family and visiting with friends. Her joyful spirit will be missed by all who knew her.
Lillian is survived by her children, Michael (Carrie) Caskey, Holland, MN, Nancy (Dennis) Wells, Aberdeen SD, John L. Caskey, St. Cloud, MN, Theresa Roberg, Glenwood, MN, and Kevin (Susan) Caskey, Medina, MN; 13 grandchildren, Irene (Brad), Jason, Kelly (Jarid) Kyle (Sarah), Laura (Josh), Katherine (Justin), Merete (John), Benjamin (Mary), Jenna (Jimmy), Daniel (Megan), Claire, Emily, and Christian, 18 great-grandchildren; a brother, Herman (Emily) Gardner of Bagley, MN; a sister, Edna (Larry) Kliner, of Bagley, MN; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John; parents, William and Emma; siblings, Lloyd Gardner, Betty Gardner and Minnie Landmark; an infant grandson, Justin Caskey; and a Goddaughter, Amy Anderson.