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Published June 04, 2013, 12:00 AM

Anna E. Gaffrey

Anna E. Gaffrey, age 94, of New Rockford, ND, passed away June 1, 2013, at Sanford Health in Fargo, ND.

Anna Eva Marhula was born June 20, 1918, to Frank and Mary (Jamelka) Marhula on their homestead south of Roosevelt, MN, near the Lake of the Woods. Anna was the 3rd of eight children. She spent her early years on the homestead, but moved to Roosevelt when in the 3rd grade. Growing up in the twenties and thirties, she was very much involved in family affairs. She was a virtual encyclopedia of childhood stories and loved to reminisce on life in the old days, including sewing, ironing, cooking, washing clothes, scrubbing floors, washing/drying dishes, feeding the animals, milking cows, making cottage cheese, churning butter, separating, bottling and delivering cream, butter and milk (8 cents/quart) to the neighbors, planting, hoeing and harvesting the garden, carrying wood, canning fruits and vegetables, wandering through the woods picking wild berries which the family used for jams, jellies, pies and wine. Anna also helped her mother can chickens and make homemade noodles and chicken soup for the family and for neighbors with an illness in the family. At age 16, Anna moved to Crookston, MN, where she was initially employed as a housekeeper for a local realtor. Several months later she worked a special evening event in a local drug store and her work ethic so impressed the owner that he immediately hired her full time. Her new job (6 days and 60 hours/week for $40.00 per month and tips of from 3 to 5 cents) consisted of ordering product, stocking shelves, and managing both the soda fountain and the check-out.

Anna E. Gaffrey

Anna E. Gaffrey, age 94, of New Rockford, ND, passed away June 1, 2013, at Sanford Health in Fargo, ND.

Anna Eva Marhula was born June 20, 1918, to Frank and Mary (Jamelka) Marhula on their homestead south of Roosevelt, MN, near the Lake of the Woods. Anna was the 3rd of eight children. She spent her early years on the homestead, but moved to Roosevelt when in the 3rd grade. Growing up in the twenties and thirties, she was very much involved in family affairs. She was a virtual encyclopedia of childhood stories and loved to reminisce on life in the old days, including sewing, ironing, cooking, washing clothes, scrubbing floors, washing/drying dishes, feeding the animals, milking cows, making cottage cheese, churning butter, separating, bottling and delivering cream, butter and milk (8 cents/quart) to the neighbors, planting, hoeing and harvesting the garden, carrying wood, canning fruits and vegetables, wandering through the woods picking wild berries which the family used for jams, jellies, pies and wine. Anna also helped her mother can chickens and make homemade noodles and chicken soup for the family and for neighbors with an illness in the family. At age 16, Anna moved to Crookston, MN, where she was initially employed as a housekeeper for a local realtor. Several months later she worked a special evening event in a local drug store and her work ethic so impressed the owner that he immediately hired her full time. Her new job (6 days and 60 hours/week for $40.00 per month and tips of from 3 to 5 cents) consisted of ordering product, stocking shelves, and managing both the soda fountain and the check-out.

Anna met her future husband, Joseph A. Gaffrey, a UND engineering student, on a blind date to the Engineers' Ball. Their Crookston wedding plans were interrupted when Joe was called to active military service in early 1942, and stationed in Bloomfield, NJ, where they were married on May 21, 1942. Joe's assignment as an engineer with the signal corps made nomads of the couple who moved five times in their first year of marriage. After Joe's discharge from the military in 1946, the couple moved to New Rockford, ND where they raised a brood of 10 children from a livelihood in the grocery business. In addition to her homemaking activities, Anna was active in her church circle and in the Legion Auxiliary. She was also an avid antique collector and guru, and a generous, life-long supporter of her community.

She is survived by nine children, Virginia (Bob Murphy) Gaffrey-Murphy, Roseville, MN, John, Fargo, Rod (Mary June), Deadwood, SD, Bob (Joyce), Cando, ND, Joy (Maurice) McCormick, Fargo, Richard, Fargo, Mary (Frank Knier) Gaffrey-Knier, Fargo, Gerard, Grand Forks, ND and JoAnn (fiancée Scott Edinger) Gaffrey, New Rockford; 18 grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; dozens of nieces and nephews; two "adopted" farm kids, Bernadette Clancy formerly of Bordulac, ND and Marty Schwartzbauer formerly of Fessenden, ND; two "adopted" foreign exchange students, Mart Schenker from Switzerland and Waldimer "Bachi" Barnetzky from Uruguay; two brothers, Adolph, Baudette, MN, and Stanley, San Francisco, CA.

Anna was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Mary Marhula: two brothers, Ernest and Rudolph; three sisters, Sylvia Mercil, Lydia Dirkx and Emma Sneed; her husband, Joseph, who died on January 11, 1983 and one son, Kevin, who died on May 2, 2003.

Anna requested that memorials be sent to the donor's favorite charity or to either the New Rockford Fire Department or the New Rockford Ambulance Service, zip 58356.

Visitation: Wednesday 9AM - 5PM in Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford, ND

Prayer Service: Wednesday 7PM in St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford

Funeral: St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford, Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Interment: St. John's Catholic Cemetery, New Rockford

On-line condolences may be sent at www.EvansFuneralHomeND.com

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