Marie Leitch, 92, of Fergus Falls died Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at Lake Region Hospital.
Marie Clara Thies was born to Peter and Mary (Goerdt) Thies on April 9, 1931 at home in Section 11, Redpath Township, Traverse County, MN. She attended country school, District #56. Following the death of her father and two poor farming seasons, her mother moved the family (and a few cows and chickens!) to Stanton Avenue in Fergus Falls. Marie worked at Woolworths downtown and graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1949. She worked as a telephone operator at the Fergus office.
Marie met Willmer Leitch at a dance at The Glass Bar by Otter Tail Lake. They were married on May 11, 1957 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. Marie and Will lived in a hot upstairs apartment in Wahpeton, ND for a short time, and she continued her work as a telephone operator there. They bought a house in Breckenridge, MN and started a family. They lived there for about 10 years, then moved back to Fergus in 1968, bought a “hobby” farm, and built a house where she resided the rest of her life.
Marie was a faithful member of Our Lady of Victory, where she helped with funerals, fish fries, and the Fall Festival. She enjoyed playing cards and solitaire and doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She believed in “everything in moderation”. She was a dedicated wife and mother who cared for and prayed for her family and loved spending time with them. For many years she worked at JCPenney’s during the Christmas season, earning a little extra for presents. Marie was very frugal; she conserved, recycled, and reused all her life, often to the chagrin of her children. (Although they did enjoy receiving homemade cookies packaged in empty Pringle cans to protect them from crumbling!) She enjoyed going to thrift stores and rummage sales and “bumming around”. She raised vegetables, berries, and apples, canning and freezing many jars and boxes. She was a wonderful cook and put breakfast, dinner, and supper on the table almost every day for 67 years. Marie could whip up a “lunch” seemingly out of thin air if someone stopped in for a visit. She had a delicate touch with pastry and made lovely pies. Her Christmas ribs and gravy and the “trifecta” of desserts that followed will never be forgotten or surpassed.
In these last years, she was robbed of her voice, but not her sense of humor or fun. Though she struggled to eat and drink, she never gave up, and her willpower was something to behold. She left an indelible example of fortitude and perseverance that will be hard to emulate.
Marie was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Mary Thies; siblings, Dolorosa (Lester) Howard, Lawrence (Ione) Thies, Irene (Wenzel) Burtzel, Laverne (Frances) Thies, Bernice (Louis) Keller, Lester (Betty) Thies; and sister-in-law, Sally Thies.
She is survived by her husband, Willmer of Fergus Falls; children, Jeffery (LeeAnn) Leitch of Lake Elmo, MN, Lucy (Larry) Weiss of New Albany, IN, Jenifer (Bob Kim) Leitch of Broomfield, CO, Lynn (Kevin) Borchardt of Rogers, MN, and Paula Leitch of Fergus Falls; three grandchildren, Brian (Janelle) Leitch, Daniel Leitch, and Andrew Borchardt; three great-grandchildren, Haley, Alivia, and Mallory; her brother Leonard Thies; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial: 11:30 am, Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Fergus Falls, with visitation starting at 10:00 am and Rosary at 11:00 am.
Officiating: Father Joe Korf and Deacon Chuck Kampa
Interment: 11:00 am, Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN
Funeral arrangements are with the Glende-Nilson Funeral Home of Fergus Falls.