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Floral 22

Violet "Vi" (Gesell) Backhaus

December 28, 1925 ~ September 21, 2019 (age 93)

Violet Matilda Backhaus, the daughter of John and Amelia (Hartfield) Gesell, was born on December 28, 1925, in West Miltona. She was raised on a farm and attended school in West Miltona. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

During WWII, Violet moved to Seattle at the age of 19, to work for Boeing Aircraft until after the war. After moving back to Minnesota, Violet met Arnold Backhaus. They were united in marriage on October 5, 1947. Four children were born to this union, Keith, Gale, Lee, and Jill. Violet lovingly cared for her children while Arnold worked in various fields. After her children were in school, she began to work at Fingerhut Manufacturing for 20 years, retiring in 1987.

Vi was extremely involved with her church, Zion Lutheran. She was on the Alter Guild, Evening Guild, fair booth, funeral and Gemutichkeit committees. Vi and Arnie also belonged to a card club made up of friends from church for many years. When Vi wasn’t volunteering at the church, she was gardening and tending to her beautiful gladiolas. She was also a fantastic cook, an avid Twins fan, and she enjoyed bowling.

Vi was a humble, unimposing and classy lady, whose family was extremely important to her. She was always supportive and proud of her children and grandchildren. She was a wonderful and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Violet M. Backhaus, died on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Bethany on the Lake at the age of 93 years old. She is survived by her loving children, Keith (Mary) Backhaus, Gale (Dan) Jackson, Lee (Judy) Backhaus, and Jill (Bryon) Novotny. Also surviving are her grandchildren, Erin (Seth) Robertson, Peter (Nicole) Backhaus, Melissa (Tim) Hinderschied, Angela (Brian) Penning, Craig (Angela) Jackson, Bria (Korey) Pedraza, Beau (Alex) Backhaus, Laura (James) Lyght, and Kari (Ben) Niemann; 17 great grandchildren, Logan and Charles Robertson, Colton and Aubrey Hinderschied, Courtney, Morgan, Hunter, Garrett, and Jackson Penning, Daniel, Isaiah, Kaia, Levi, and Meili Jackson, Gabbi and Beckett Pedraza and Francine Niemann; two sisters, Viola Freudenberg, Vergene (Kenny) Henning, two sisters-in-law, Norma Backhaus, and Nancy Backhaus. Vi was preceded in death by four brothers, Clarence at age two, Marvin, Sylvester, and Lawrence; three sisters, Clara, Ella, and Gertrude.

A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 11:30 AM at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria.

A visitation will take place on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 from 5-7 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home and also for one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery. Casket Bearers are Craig Jackson, Peter Backhaus, Beau Backhaus, Ben Niemann, James Lyght, and Brian Penning.

Honorary Casket Bearers are all of Vi’s grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home and Crematory in Alexandria.

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