Laurel Wolkenhauer, 52, Flaxton, passed away Friday, May 9, 2014, at Mayo Clinic, St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, Minn., after a long, courageous fight against ovarian cancer.
Laurel Diane Benge was born May 23, 1961, the daughter of Donald and LaVerne (Pautz) Benge, in Kenmare. She was raised near Flaxton, where she attended and graduated from Flaxton High School in 1979.
She was once married to Michael Ragle. From this union, two children, Jeremy Michael and Teri Diane, were born. Later, she was united in marriage to Terry Wolkenhauer on July, 17, 1990. They made their home near Flaxton.
She was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Flaxton, where she was baptized, confirmed, taught Sunday school and participated in Lutheran Women's Missionary League for many years.
Laurel was employed at the Burke Central School for more than 20 years, where she worked until the time of her death. She drove school bus and truly enjoyed the staff and students. She also dedicated more than 30 years to the Burke County 4-H program and was an assessor for Dale Township for many years.
She was a kind and caring person who always put the needs of others before her own. She will be remembered for her unselfishness and courage. Laurel was dedicated to her family and friends and made a lasting impact on everyone who knew her.
Laurel enjoyed sewing, baking and making crafts, especially with her grandchildren, who were the love of her life.
She is survived by: her husband, Terry, Flaxton; son, Jeremy (Casey) Ragle, Flaxton; and daughter, Teri (Justin) Nelson, Flaxton. Grandchildren include Kynzee and Rhypp Ragle, and Hannah, Abigail, and Emma Nelson. Also surviving are her mother, LaVerne Benge, Flaxton; brother, Dennis, (Jodi) Benge, Bowbells; and sister, LaDonna, (Kim) Erdmann, of Goodrich; father-in-law, Alfred Wolkenhauer, Minot; and brother-in-law, Kent (Carol) Wolkenhauer, Fessenden. Several nieces, nephews, and cousins survive.
Laurel was preceded in death by her father, Donald; paternal grandparents, Henry and Violet Benge; maternal grandparents, William and Gladys Pautz; and mother-in-law, Louise Wolkenhauer.
Funeral: Friday, May 16, 2014, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Flaxton.
Interment: Flaxton Community Cemetery, Flaxton.
Visitation: Thursday, May 15, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Kenmare.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be designated to cancer research or palliative medicine at Mayo Clinic. Gifts can be mailed directly to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200-1st St. SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, to the American Cancer Society, or to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Bowbells.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).