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2010 October 6: Gloria Nelva (Bratager) Severson

Gloria Nelva (Bratager) Severson, 59, passed away on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at her home in La Crescent after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

She was born in Rochester, MN, on January 11, 1951 to Curt and Emily (Eickhoff) Bratager and baptized in Rochester as Gloria Nelva Bratager.

Gloria started school in Rochester and moved with her family to Lanesboro, MN, where the family resided until they moved to La Crescent at the beginning of Gloria’s 6th grade year. Gloria graduated from La Crescent High School in 1969. She then moved to Rochester, MN, to attend classes at the Rochester School of Hair Design.

As a teenager, Gloria began her career with Osco Drug in La Crosse, WI. During her 25 years with the company, she worked in the Rochester and La Crosse locations and also served as the store’s Cosmetics Department Manager for a number of years. Gloria was instrumental in the move of Osco Drug from downtown La Crosse to Valley View Mall when it opened in 1980. Gloria retired from Osco Drug in the late 1980’s. Upon returning to the La Crosse area in the late 1970’s, she began work at the 3 Deuces on Pearl Street, where she worked for several years. It is here that she re-met her loving husband of 27 years, Dewey Severson. They were married July 9, 1983. Gloria continued to work in customer service throughout her life. She was the business manager of Dewey Enterprises Trucking, Store Manager for Sylvester Discounts, and worked as a merchandiser for Dart Distributing and Millstone Coffee for years. In 1994, she began working for Apple Blossom Cleaners La Crescent. Owner Margaret “Muggs” Beckman and Gloria became close friends and coworkers. In 2002, Gloria and Dewey purchased Apple Blossom Cleaners and continued operation until her death. Through her association at the cleaners she continued to establish close friendships with her employees, Betty, Donna, Kathy, and Jed. She served her customers like family, was always cheerful when meeting the people, and supported various community organizations. As the side affects of the ovarian cancer took her physical strength, her strength of spirit and faith served as inspiration for all around her. Gloria was first diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer on September 4, 2007 and was in remission from April 2008 until March 2010. In 2008, her closest friend of 48 years, Tres Stich, encouraged her and Dewey to celebrate their 25th anniversary with a Hawaiian cruise. They did, indeed, spend their 25th anniversary on Waikiki beach, with Tres and her husband Jerry.

Gloria is survived by her husband, Dewey, and her children: son, Chris (Amanda) Bratager of Holmen, WI; daughter, Vicki (Brandon) Lundquist of Annandale, MN; and daughter, Sarah Severson of La Crescent. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Shailynn, Elizabeth and Christian (CJ) Jr. who will miss her baking of those special treats. She also survived by mother Emily Bratager of La Crescent, and brother Mark (Linda) Bratager of La Crescent. Three brother-in-laws Derald (Shirley) Severson of Plainview, MN, Dennis (Bonita) Severson of Kansas City, MO, and David (Jeanne) Severson of Blaine, MN. She is further survived by uncle Art Bender of Wykoff, MN. and uncle Charles (Ruth) Eichkoff of Rochester, MN, along with cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbors, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father Curt and brother Jim; mother-in-law Margaret Severson, and aunt Doris Bender.

If you left Gloria’s house hungry or of thirst it was your fault, as she was always a wonderful hostess and enjoyed making sure that all around her were well taken care of.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and will be used in Gloria’s memory for the following charities: the Prince of Peace Church stained glass window fund, The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, The American Cancer Society, and the La Crescent Lions Club Park Shelter fund.

The family wishes to thank all who sent multiple cards and various gifts of flowers or food during her illness at home. She felt humbled by the outpouring of affection.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, October 11, 2010 at Prince Of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent. Pastors Michael Woods and Barbara Kopperud will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church on Sunday evening from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. and again on Monday from 9:30 until the time of services.

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