Naomi Winkelmann, age 77, of Fosston, MN, passed away on Sunday, November 14th, at Queen’s Medical Center in O’ahu, Hawaii. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 17th, at Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Fosston with the Rev. Mark Richardson officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Free Lutheran Cemetery, Fosston. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, November 16th, at Calvary Free Lutheran Church. Family will also greet friends for one hour prior to the service on Friday, December 17th, at the church. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston and messages of condolence may be shared at www.carlinfuneral.com.
Naomi Karen Winkelmann was born May 18, 1944 in Warren, MN to Arnold and Alyce (Horgen) Rokke. The family resided on a farm about 8 miles west of Newfolden, MN, and was the third of five children. Some of the memories that she loved to share from growing up included walking to school; bible camp at Lake Bronson; being a catcher for her baseball-playing brother, John; playing trumpet and tuba (at 5’3”); singing in the school choir and small groups; and taking the train to watch a Twins game at the old Met Stadium; and many more. This is also when her love of flowers, reading, and Norwegian treats grew! She graduated from Newfolden High School in 1962 and attended the University of Minnesota to be a medical laboratory assistant. After college, she moved to Crookston, MN for work and there she became best friends with a young lady, who just happened to have a quiet and handsome cousin named Dennis. While they didn’t hit it off at first, they became friends over the course of a few years, eventually started dating, and after four months, got married at Bethania Lutheran Church in Newfolden on October 19, 1974. After they were married, Dennis and Naomi moved to their farm three miles north of Fosston, MN, where they resided for the rest of their marriage. Naomi worked in the Bagley lab for awhile, then in Fosston until her retirement in 2017. She was affectionately known as “bloodsucker” or “vampire” for all the times that she drew specimens from patients, but she was mostly known and remembered for her kind and calming demeanor to everyone. She loved to work with patients of all ages, and often enjoyed the challenges of her job. Most of all, the relationships that she formed with coworkers and patients were the most important. This also carried beyond the hospital setting in relationships with family, church friends, and others.
Naomi and Dennis became members of Calvary Free Lutheran Church in Fosston, where they faithfully served and attended weekly Bible studies and church services. Over the years, Naomi used her gifts of music and crafting to be apart of Calvary’s adult choir and praise team, as well creating various sanctuary decorations and banners. Along with the great enjoyment she had as a member of the praise team, Naomi also helped design and sew quilts for all the church’s graduating seniors. Naomi would ask seniors what colors they would like in their quilt, and because she took this very seriously, would sometimes search for months for “just the right colors”. The relationships that Naomi made with people of all ages in the church was a testament to her caring and loving heart for people. Whether it was at church, at work, with friends, with extended family, or with her husband, Dennis, and two daughters, Katrin and Dulcie, she always wanted a person to feel comfortable and know she was listening to them! How she treated others was evidence of the authentic faith and belief that she had in her Lord Savior, Jesus Christ, and never took for granted the gift of eternal life, even when life on this earth for her was full of struggles.
In the last few years, Naomi had dealt with incredible medical issues. Even when there were times that the doctors doubted she could survive, the Lord had a plan for her life. She became a caretaker for her husband after he was diagnosed with dementia and took over the household responsibilities. She would be the first to tell you she felt inadequate to meet the tasks, but that God would give her the daily strength she needed even when she was weary.
Naomi is survived by her daughters, Katrin and Dulcie Winkelmann. Sister Marilyn (Dennis) Gray and brother John (Denise) Rokke. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and extended family. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dennis; parents, Arnold and Alyce Rokke, sisters Marjorie Rokke and Anita Duske; and brother-in-law, Adrian Duske; and father and mother-in-law, Isidor and Dorothy Winkelmann.