Veronica “Connie” Michelich of Keewatin, died Sept. 5, 2013, at the Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center of Hibbing.
She was born Dec. 25, 1922 in Keewatin, to Peter and Mary (Stajduhar) Michelich, immigrants from Croatia. She was baptized Jan. 8, 1923, was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Keewatin and St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Little Falls. Connie was also a member of the Daughters of Isabella. Connie graduated from R.L. Downing High School in 1940, Hibbing Junior College in 1942 with an associate of arts degree and the University of Minnesota in 1944, with a bachelor’s degree in library science. She continued her graduate studies at the U of M, St. Cloud State, Denver University, and Chicago University. After attaining her bachelor’s degree, Connie was employed by Crosby High School from 1944 to 1947 as the librarian and English teacher. In 1947, she was offered the position of Library Coordinator in Little Falls, which she held until her retirement in 1988. In 1975, she was selected Teacher of the Year. During those 41 years she was instrumental in planning several libraries and designed libraries in three new school buildings in the district. Connie moved with the times from libraries dealing with books and magazines to computers and visual media. One of her greatest joys as librarian and adviser to the Library Club was encouraging her students to discover the adventures of reading and fostering the love of books. She was an avid supporter of the Little Falls Flyers and regularly attended sporting events to cheer on her students. While living in Little Falls, her civic involvement included being a member of the Carnegie Library Board, the Little Falls Education Association, the Minnesota Education Association, a Life Member of the NEA, being chosen chair of the Central Division of Minnesota School Librarians and membership in the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority. After retirement, Connie returned to her family home in Keewatin to enjoy time with her sisters and friends in the community. She continued to enjoy reading the latest novels, re-reading her favorite book, Jane Eyre, knitting and traveling the U.S. She was on the Keewatin Library Board, a member of the Keewatin Senior Citizens, and a diligent worker with the Keewatin Centennial Committee. Faith, family and her students were always foremost in Connie’s thoughts.
The Michelich family greatly appreciates the outstanding care provided by the staff at Guardian Angels and Dr. Jon Rudberg. The family also wishes to thank Father Gabriel Waweru, the deacons and the Befrienders of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church for lovingly caring for Connie’s spiritual needs.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Peter G. Michelich, and sisters, Mary, Anne and Sophie Michelich.
Connie is survived by her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Michelich, New Hope; niece, Elizabeth (Curtis) Gjengdahl, North St. Paul; nephews, Louis (Rosalie) Michelich, Plymouth, John (Joanna)Michelich, Sierra Vista, Ariz., Robert (Virginia) Michelich, Atlanta, Ga., and Anthony (Victoria) Michelich, Rochester. She is also survived by 10 great nephews and nieces, Lynette (Ross) Phernetton, Julie (Jasyn) Rousselow, Brian Michelich, Charles (Suzanne) Michelich, Peter (Brynn) Michelich, Susan (Joe) Peter, James (Cady) Michelich, Kristina Gjengdahl, Rev. Nels Gjengdahl and Karin Gjengdahl; many great-great nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral services for Connie were held Monday, Sept. 9, at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Hibbing, with the Rev. Fr. Nels Gjengdahl celebrating the Mass of Christian Burial. Interment was in the Maple Hill Cemetery of Hibbing. Memorials are preferred to the Keewatin Senior Citizens, the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Befrienders, or the Daughters of Isabella in association with St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls.