Verna Cardwell, of Graceville, MN, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2023, surrounded by the love of her family reaching the age of 81.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, May 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Graceville, MN. Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the church with a prayer service beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. Burial will be at Graceville Consolidated Cemetery.
Verna Mae (Foley) Cardwell was born on December 28, 1941, in Graceville, MN, to William “Bill” and Marcella (Schwagerl) Foley. She was baptized on January 15, 1942, and confirmed on July 2, 1954, at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Barry, MN. Verna attended high school in Graceville and graduated in 1960.
Verna was united in marriage to Dwane “Bub” Cardwell on July 28, 1962, at St. Barnabas Church in Barry and to this union they were blessed with eight children. Verna and Bub lived along Lake Traverse while raising their young family and moving to Graceville in 1967. After moving into town, Verna traded her farming hands to caring hands and began working at the Holy Trinity Hospital as a Certified Nursing Assistant and retiring after 41 years, then found herself busy at the Divine House for 10 years.
Verna’s passion in life was nurturing others. This came in many different forms from caring and praying about everybody to the expansive meals, salads, or bars that were always served at her house, on the buses for her grandkids, and throughout the community. Verna reaped the benefits of nurturing her garden by canning and sharing the harvest, not only providing to her family but the entire community or anybody in need. Verna loved to travel and throughout their marriage, Verna and Bub would take bus trips to Branson, New Orleans, and Kentucky. She was also fortunate enough to travel to California with her sisters and the past four Christmases on the shores of Alabama watching her dolphins and patiently waiting for her favorite sounds, the Blue Angels. She often said she was a mother of eight and grandmother of 38 but in truth, she was considered a mother and grandma to many, many, more and it was difficult to leave her house without placing a puzzle piece.
Left to honor and cherish her memory are her children: Dale (Julie) Cardwell of Fargo, ND; Dennis Cardwell of Graceville, MN; Diane (Darrell) Holtz of Beardsley, MN; Doug (Meriel) Cardwell of Donnelly, MN; Donna Layman of Graceville, MN; Darin (Gretchen) Cardwell of Beardsley, MN; Donald “Charlie” (Stephanie) Cardwell of Graceville, MN; and Darcy (Victor) Nilson of Graceville, MN; 20 grandchildren: Charlie Cardwell, Dillon Cardwell, Amanda Cardwell, Tyler Cardwell, Kayla Holtz, Chad (Kelsey) Holtz, Kerri (Benjamin) Zahrbock, Brittany (Philip) Messner, Brady Cardwell, Chelsea Layman, Ashley Hoppe, Noah (Kendra) Cardwell, Caleb (Amber) Cardwell, McKenna Cardwell, Grace Cardwell, Chloe Cardwell, Teagan Cardwell, Bryce (Jamie) Nilson, Dalton (Abbie) Nilson, and Casey Nilson; 18 great-grandchildren: Ripley Holtz, Marvel Holtz, Graham Holtz, James Holtz, Tenley Zahrbock, Taeya Zahrbock, Dane Zahrbock, Jax Messner, Keegan Sweeney, Delaney Sweeney, Ryan Sweeney, Bentley Hoppe, Neveah Hoppe, Racer Raffety, Baker Cardwell, Weston Nilson, Haven Nilson, and Baby Nilson due in August; brothers and sisters: Katherine “Boug” (Kenny) Kehoe, William “Billy” (Ruth) Foley, Patricia “Trick” Kleindl, Agnes “Aggie” Schaffer, Jean Dresch, Christine “Chris” (Lee) Cadwalder, Gerald “Jerry” (Lynn) Foley, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Verna was preceded in death by her husband, Bub, of 52 years; parents, William and Marcella Foley; brother, Jackie Foley; and brothers- in-law: Greg Schaffer and Lowell Kleindl.