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Grace R. Besek

August 1, 1914 ~ October 15, 2018 (age 104)


Grace R. Besek, age 104, of Winona, passed away on Monday, October 15, 2018, at St. Anne Extended Healthcare.

She was born on August 1, 1914, in Arcadia, WI, to Peter and Victoria (Sonsalla) Urbick.  Grace was united in marriage with Albert Besek on November 21, 1933, in Arcadia, and he preceded her in death in 1964.

Grace was employed for many years with the Winona Knitting Mills, until her retirement in 1980.  She was a member of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, and of the Polish Museum where she enjoyed volunteering and attending events.

Grace began driving in 1966, at the age of 52, and was able to do so until she was 92.  In 1972, at the age of 58, she took her first plane ride to Alaska; and at age 70, she went on an overseas trip to Europe.  She will be remembered for her love of sewing, crocheting, and for the many quilts that she made.  Grace was an excellent homemaker who loved to cook and bake, and her date-filled cookies were a family favorite.  She will be deeply missed by all those who loved her.

Grace is lovingly survived by her children: Jannette (Robert) Theisen, Arcadia, WI; Lee (Sherrie) Besek, Winona; and Darlene (Jerry) Czarnowski, Owatonna, MN; grandchildren: Sara, Patrick, Andrew, Matthew, Jeff, Jenny, Casey, Kate, and Michael; 15 great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings: Lambert, Edward, Leon, Violet, Bernadine, Josephine, and Esther.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12:30 PM on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Winona.  The Reverend Robert Stamschror and the Reverend James Berning will concelebrate.  Grace will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery.  Visitation will be held in the Commons of St. Mary’s Church on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, from 11:30 AM until the time of the Mass.

Pallbearers will be Grace’s grandsons.

It is respectfully requested that memorials be directed to the Polish Museum or to St. Anne Extended Healthcare.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Grace’s family at


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