A Mass of Christian Burial for Elizabeth Ann Zehnder, 67, Truman, MN will be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 10:00 am at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Blue Earth, MN with Father Peter Klein and Father Timothy Hall, Celebrants. Interment will be held at Ridgelawn Memorial Park, Truman. Elizabeth died on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at her home in rural Truman. Visitation will be held on Monday, December 19, 2016 from 5-7:00 pm with a Parish Prayer Service at 7:00 pm at Zaharia Family Funeral & Cremation Service of Truman. Visitation will continue from 9-10:00 am Tuesday at the church. Beth Zehnder passed away at her home on December 14, 2016, with the same courage, strength, and dignity that she lived her 67 years of life. Although diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, Beth chose to approach each day with unwavering optimism and delight in living each moment.
Elizabeth Ann Mikelson was born January 1, 1949 in Red Wing, Minnesota to Milo and Marcella (Friberg) Mikelson. In 1953, the Mikelson family moved to St. Peter, Minnesota. Beth graduated from St. Peter High School and attended Mankato Commercial College where she met Steven Paul Zehnder. Steve and Beth were united in marriage on December 10, 1971.
Staci joined the family in 1974, followed by Stefanie in 1977, and Paul in 1979. All were blessed throughout their lives by the unconditional love from their gentle, admittedly curious, and always kindhearted mom. Possessing an often quiet yet mighty presence, Beth taught all of us abundant lessons through her actions and compassionate treatment of others. Beth’s love for family and friends made her a safe harbor for so many.
The willingness to face life's challenges with resilience, optimism, and humor inspired all who knew Beth. She taught us to live for the beauty and simplicity of each day and to truly celebrate the joy in a close conversation, glass of wine, or game of cards. Beth loved her grandchildren and was known by them for her warmth, laughter, and amazing French toast. Her adventuresome spirit manifested in traveling, trying new restaurants, and helping Steve outside on the farm. Knowing Beth meant you were guaranteed three things: her sincerity made you feel instantly comfortable, her smile lit up her whole face and the whole room, and her love for perfume preceded her presence.
Though we cannot yet imagine our lives without her, we will continue to feel Beth’s love through the lessons she taught us, the memories she shared with us, and the qualities of her in each of us.
Elizabeth is survived by her husband, Steven Zehnder of Truman, Minnesota; mother, Marcella Mikelson of Truman, Minnesota; daughters Staci Bonin of Blue Earth, Minnesota and Stefanie (Jeff) Whitney of Rochester, Minnesota. Grandchildren: Taylor, CJ, and Tyson Bonin and Alex and Max Whitney; brothers David (Kathy) Mikelson of San Tan Valley, Arizona and Steve (Nancy) Mikelson of St. Peter, Minnesota; an uncle, numerous aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and friends.
Elizabeth was preceded in death by her son Paul, father Milo Mikelson, baby brother Mikelson, mother and father-in-law, William and Christine Zehnder, and nephews, Jeffry Beach and Bryan Timm.
In lieu of flowers, please direct donations to the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center- Research with a designation to the BEAUTY Project. http://www.mayo.edu/research/centers-programs/cancer-research/supporting-cancer-research