Evelyn Mrachek, 103, of Williston, formerly of Alexander, passed away at Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home on Friday morning, Nov. 3, 2017.
Evelyn Mary Novak was born April 11, 1914, in Yellowstone County near Tauton, Minn., to Anton and Agnes Novak. She was the eldest of eight children.
In 1917, the family moved to North Dakota on immigrant railroad cars. While on their way, the train was stalled in a blizzard for a few days. They were running short on food, so the railroad employees cooked the eggs they had as freight on the steam engine of the train so the passengers would have something to eat.
Evelyn grew up on a farm along Highway 200 northwest of Alexander. She attended grade school in Charbonneau and graduated from Alexander High School in 1933. Evelyn made buns and sold them for a penny a piece at Farmers Union Functions to buy graduation rings for herself and her sister Irene when they graduated from high school. The rings cost $5 each, so that was 1,000 buns that she made and baked. She attended Minot State Teachers College for 9 months and received her Teaching Certificate. She taught school for 3 years at a country school about 2 miles from home. Sometimes she walked to school. She taught all the grades with no workbooks. She was also the janitor. One Monday when she came to the school, the wood and coal that she brought into school on Friday had been burned up. It was winter and someone had been in the school over the weekend and used it to warm themselves. It was very cold, but she had to go out to the shed and get more wood and coal to start the fire so the school would be warm when the children came. One winter she was paid in warrants instead of checks that could be cashed. She was paid $45 a month. She could keep the warrants until they had money to pay her or sell them. She sold some for $32.
Evelyn married Mike Mrachek on June 21, 1937. They raised 4 children; Raymond, Dorothy, Delores and Rose. They lived on a farm northwest of Alexander. Evelyn raised chickens, had a garden and flowers. She also milked the cows and sometimes fed the pigs. They sold cream and eggs. She also had many beautiful house plants, especially African violets. She was a very good cook and fed many at family gatherings and during harvest. She could make a banquet out of anything that was in her kitchen. She was also an excellent seamstress. She sewed many beautiful clothes for herself and her family.
While on the farm, Evelyn was a member of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church in Alexander. She taught catechism and was active in the Altar Society.
Mike passed away in 1974. Evelyn continued to live on the farm, spending winters with her daughters. In 1989, she went to live with her daughter Rose in Bismarck. In 2007, she came to Williston to live with her daughter Dorothy and her husband Ingvald.
Evelyn entered Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home in September of 2009, and resided there until her death. Evelyn’s faith was a very important to her. She truly loved Jesus and it showed in the way that she lived her life.
Evelyn is survived by her son, Raymond (Anne), Alexander; daughters, Dorothy (Ingvald) Monger, Williston; Delores (Gerry) Rod, Williston; and Rose Hollan, Bismarck; 13 grandchildren, Cindy (Henry) Schroeder, Randy (Jan) Jost, Rocky (Judy) Jost, Rayne (Al) Romo, Carrie (Brent) Torgerson, Robyn (Brian) Heck, Michelle (Troy) Maxwell, Michael (Anneli) Rothenheber, Lori (Brett) Holtz, Steve Monger, Terry (Tracey) Rod, Susan (Erin) Shane, and Michael Hollan; 18 great-grandchildren, 17 great-great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren due in early 2018. She is also survived by one sister-in-law, Janette Novak; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Mike; daughter-in-law, Betty; brothers and sisters, Irene (Peder) Binde; Vivian (Archie) Bekkedahl; Raymond (Anne) Novak; George (Ellen) Novak, Elsie (Harley) Fixen, Don (Muriel) Novak; and Anton Novak Jr; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Albert and Ella Mrachek; Stanley and Lillie Mrachek; Francis Mrachek; Elizabeth and George Hunter; and John and Angie Mrachek.
Evelyn’s family would especially like to thank all her nurses, caregivers and staff at Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home for the wonderful care that they gave to her for the past eight years.
Her Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday morning, Nov. 9, 2017, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Williston, N.D. Father Russel Kovash. Interment in Riverview Cemetery will follow the mass.
An Evening Vigil with a Rosary will be held Wednesday evening, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., at the Everson-Coughlin Funeral Home Chapel in Williston.
Friends may call at Everson-Coughlin Funeral Home on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., and for the hour preceding the service at the church on Thursday.
Friends are welcome to visit www.eversoncoughlin.com to share memories of Evelyn or leave condolences for her family.