Jewell MendenhallNovember 16, 1923 ~ November 2, 2017 (age 93)
Jewell (Anderson) Mendenhall, age 93, of Walker, MN passed away on November 2, 2017 in Bemidji, MN.
Jewell was cherished and adored by all who were lucky enough to know her. She was an extraordinary woman, a force of nature, who exuded a passion for living and loving. She had a sparkle, quick wit, youthful zest even into her 9th decade, and boundless energy for loving and nourishing her village of family and friends. She was an exceptionally creative and talented woman: musician, choral director, teacher, author, illustrator, poet, painter, seamstress, and baker of the best blueberry and raspberry pies in the world from wild berries she picked in the deep woods - and she used her gifts to bring joy, beauty, inspiration, and love to others.
Jewell was born in Becker, MN on November 16, 1923. Her family moved to Walker as a child, where she grew up. She was a graduate of Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota, where she met her husband, Ralph. Jewell was a vocal music and English teacher at Portland Jr. High School in Bloomington, MN from 1965 to 1980. A passionate and creative teacher, Jewell was a fifty-year member and MN state music director of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a society of key women educators whose mission is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.
Jewell was a Walker girl, through and through, she and Ralph retired to their Leech Lake home in 1980. She loved all that the life in northern MN life gave her - nature, the lake, and a closely-knit community of valued friends. Jewell was a great believer in telling one’s story. In the photo, above, Jewell is holding the book she wrote and illustrated, “Once Upon a Farm”, about her childhood and growing up on a farm in northern MN. It is not only her story, but a story about what life was like for people back in the 1920‘s and 30‘s before the modern age, and about the intense need families and neighbors had for each other.
Jewell was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, colleague, and friend to all that knew her. She was preceded in death by her parents, Pearl and Harry Anderson, brother Harlan, sister-in-law Sue Anderson, and husband, Ralph. She is survived by her daughters Judy and Jill (Bernie) Anderson; sons Jeff (Ghazala) and Jack (Rita), grandchildren Nikolas, Christian, Annie, Heidi, Kate, Sasha, Lisa, Andrea, great-grandchildren Jack, Claire, Nadia, Zahra, and Miles, and nephews Harlan and Roger.
A memorial service for Jewell will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Walker, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service, at 4:00 p.m. Pastor Matthew McWater will officiate the service.
Jewell’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com
Jewell was a passionate believer in education. She was a fifty-year member of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, whose mission is to promote professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education. A scholarship fund for women entering the field of education will be established in Jewell's name. Memorials may be brought to the service or sent to
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With gratitude and appreciation -