Lewyelln Rebhahn Modjeski Prondzinski, of Winona, passed away on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, her 93rd birthday, at Lake Winona Manor.
Lewyelln was born February 12, 1927, in Arcadia, Wisconsin, to John J. and Mary Ann (Rohn) Rebhahn. The family lived on a farm in Meyers Valley, three miles outside of Arcadia. Lewyelln attended St. Aloysious Catholic Grade School and Arcadia High School graduating in 1945. In November 1945, the family moved to Winona. Lewyelln's first job was at J. R. Watkins, and later with Northwest Glove which became Winona Glove. She soon entered the world of retail sales as department manager at Montgomery Ward, The Diana Shop as assistant manager, and finally as manager of the Volume Merchandising Company of New York within the Winona Pamida, before moving on to Florida.
On September 23, 1947, Lewyelln married George Robert Modjeski. They had one daughter, Sandra (Sandy) Modjeski Erdman. George and Lewyelln loved to travel and grow a variety of roses as they belonged to the National, Minnesota, and Winona Rose Society, and exhibited in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Wisconsin North Shore, and Winona Rose Society shows winning ribbons at all of the shows. At the time of George's untimely death in a faulty elevator accident at the Federal Bakery in Winona on August 12, 1968, they had over 100 roses of the various varieties. With the gracious help of Dr. Clay Rohrer (head of the Winona Rose Society) and his wife Helen, Lewyelln was able to keep, winterize, and continued to grow their beautiful rose garden into the spring of 1969. That same year, Lewyelln went on to win “Queen of the Show” (highest rank) at the Winona Rose Society show, along with Sandy winning a couple of ribbons, too. With the continued help of Dr. Rohrer, Lewyelln was able to put the roses from George's garden with a memorial plaque for George, in a bed of roses on the comer of Main and Broadway by the Winona Post Office, and later in to Dr. Rohrer's garden by Lake Winona, as well some bushes to family relatives.
Lewyelln soon met Roger F. Prondzinski, Sr., of Winona, and in the fall of 1972, they moved to Clearwater Beach, Florida, where they made their home on Island Estates and married. Lewyelln and Roger worked together for the AAA St. Petersburg Motor Club, in Clearwater, for most of the twenty-six years they lived in Florida. Roger passed away in September 1998, at which time Lewyelln, with the help of her beloved daughter and family, returned to Winona.
Along with working in the AAA office Lewyelln was able, at Roger's encouragement, to escort many bus trips throughout the United States and Canada, as well as cruises to the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, England and Jamaica. Together they too, traveled to many places. All in all, Lewyelln had a beautiful life in Florida. Upon returning to Winona, Lewyelln thought the good times were over. That didn't happen. Sandy's hobby and job took her all around the tri-state area of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin writing, doing aprons and more, taking Lewyelln along. Sandy also encouraged Lewyelln to make many lovely pillows, and gift and tote bags to sell out-right and on consignment. This consignment did get Lewyelln to help at a shop named Cat-Tail in Fountain City, Wisconsin, with owner Roberta (Bobbi) Schlesselman. Lewyelln loved it all until macular degeneration set in, and she could no longer sew by 2015. Slowly her hearing became less, but Sandy didn't give up, and she kept taking Lewyelln all over doing craft shows, seeing old friends, and meeting new friends.
Every spring Lewyelln would look forward to her container garden of flowers that she placed along the sidewalk by the side entrance at her home, as well as the flower pots to George's grave site at St. Mary's Cemetery in Winona, and to Roger's grave site at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery in Lewiston.
Lewyelln was preceded in death by her parents, three baby sisters, one still-born brother, and one brother, Martin J. (Marie Justin) Rebhahn. Lewyelln is survived by her daughter, Sandy (Dale) Erdman, Winona; two grandsons: Brian Erdman and Bradley Erdman; and one great-granddaughter, Emily Erdman.
Visitation will be held from 9 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona. The Reverend Matthew Wagner will officiate. Lewyelln will be laid to rest in the spring at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery in Lewiston, MN.
Lewyelln’s family would like to extend their deepest appreciation to the staffs of Lake Winona Manor and to Winona Health Hospice, for the excellent and loving care that she received.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Lewyelln’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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