On May 9, 2017, Minnette “Minnie” Kranzler, age 108, went to be with her Lord. She was born on April 20, 1909, in Philadelphia, Pa. She was the third child of Stefan and Lulu Jolan Fuxa, who had recently immigrated to the United States from Budapest, Hungary. She had two older sisters (Lu and Elizabeth) and two younger brothers (Steven and Eugene).
At age 4, she contracted polio. Fortunately, her mother was a nurse and she survived without any long-term effects. After recovering from polio, her mother said she was “always running.” In 1914, Minnie traveled with her family to North Dakota. They lived in several towns, as her father was a Baptist missionary to the foreign born. Her world changed drastically when her mother became ill with kidney problems and died when Minnie was only 11 years old. Out of necessity, Stefan moved to Canada later, taking the two boys with him and leaving the three girls in North Dakota to live with families and to work for their board and room. Minnie was on her own at age 14.
Minnie graduated from high school in Goodrich, N.D., in 1928. While in school, she participated in track and basketball. After graduation, she attended Valley City State Teacher’s College for two summers and taught at a rural school in the vicinity of Lehr, N.D. She married John Kranzler, also a teacher, on April 5, 1931. First, they lived on a farm for six years, and then they moved to Lehr, where eventually both of them were employed at the U.S. Post Office. Minnie retired in July 1979 from post office work after serving for 35 years. John and Minnie had two children, Gerald and Linnea.
Through the years, Minnie was a member of the Lehr Ebenezer Baptist Church, sang in the choir, taught Sunday School and was active in the Ladies’ Aid. She also was active in the Lehr Thimble Bees, the Lehr Royal Homemakers’ Club and the Lehr Lions Club. Additionally, she did some typing and reporting for the local newspapers, as well as traveling and visiting family and friends whenever possible. She became an active member of the Lehr Senior Citizens Center.
Minnie enjoyed spending time with family and friends, playing card games, baking cookies and memorizing poetry. She also liked clothes and always wore a dress or skirt, never pants. She always lived her life with a positive attitude, and she was blessed with good health.
Minnie lived in Lehr until October 2008, when she moved to Aspen View Retirement Center in Billings, and later Aspen Meadows. She would often serenade the other residents and employees with “You Are My Sunshine” and other favorites of hers.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers and sisters; her husband, John; and her son, Gerald. She is survived by her daughter, Linnea (David) Veeder of Billings; her grandchildren, John (Teresa) Kranzler of Gainesville, Fla., Katie Izgi (Sinan) of Istanbul, Turkey, Jolane (Brian) Jones of Billings, Bradley Veeder of Billings and Anne (John) Dunlap of Billings. She is also survived by six great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Zion United Methodist Church in Lehr.
Memorials may be sent to Lehr Lions Club, c/o Bonnie Wiskus, PO Box 83, Wishek, ND 58495, or the Montana Rescue Mission, 2902 Minnesota Ave., Billings, MT 59101.
The family would like to thank the staff of Aspen Meadows for their kind and loving care of her.