LaDez Mell of Harris passed away on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at her home at the age of 74. She had fought valiantly to defeat metastatic breast cancer. We celebrated victories of her beating it in her breasts, liver, lung and spine. For nearly 2 years we were blessed with no evidence of the disease in her body. Unfortunately, when it returned it did so by metastasizing to the brain. A risky brain surgery and subsequent gamma knife radiation bought her some months, but in early February her symptoms raised their ugly heads. This time, in addition to additional brain tumors, she was also diagnosed with Leptomeningeal Disease, or cancer of the spinal fluid and brain fluid. Despite a deep desire to live, LaDez opted for quality time over quantity, and refused the full brain radiation required to possibly give her an extra month or two. As a family, we committed to caring for her final journey in the comfort of her home. She was a woman of faith, did not fear death, and we had many conversations about Jesus greeting her and the loving eternity she is enjoying in Heaven.
LaDez Marie Dahlstrom was born March 27, 1948 to Walfred and Lillian (Rasmussen) Dahlstrom in Rush City, Minnesota.
A life long resident of Rush City, and a self professed “city girl”, she knew one thing for sure: she was never, ever going to marry a farmer. That lasted until local Rush City farm boy, Glenn Mell, swept her off her feet her junior year of high school. Glenn, having been drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War and on a ship headed for Thailand, was offered a data processing station at the base in Hawaii. He quickly accepted, and nearly as quickly procured an engagement ring which he sent in the mail to LaDez in March of her senior year of high school. A few months after her graduation, LaDez and Glenn married at First Lutheran Church, Rush City, where she had been baptized as an infant and was a life-long member, on September 10, 1966. The newlyweds promptly traveled to Hawaii, where they lived until Glenn’s honorable discharge in 1967. They came home and took over the Mell home dairy farm southeast of Rush City. Despite her original hesitancies about farm life, LaDez immersed herself in all aspects of the farm and became a true life and business partner for Glenn. Two children, Anita Marie and Craig Richard were born to this union.
LaDez’s favorite time was spent with family. She was the best cook, and daily feasts were common. She also kept her home stocked with homemade baked goods. Her recipes have been passed down and we will honor her memory every time we continue to enjoy “her” cooking using those recipes. After the dairy cows were sold, she briefly worked at the local bank, but quit to take care of her grandchildren. She and Glenn were a huge part of raising their grandkids, and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. She was also her kids and grandkids biggest fan at their high school and collegiate sporting events, as well as loved hearing about their hunting and outdoors exploits. LaDez enjoyed spirited games of cards – especially 500 and cribbage – with friends and family.
Our beloved wife, mother and grandmother, LaDez is survived by her husband, Glenn, who provided her with the most loving and selfless complete home care during her illness; daughter Anita (Bob) Janssen; son Craig (Amy) Mell; grandchildren Ryan (Lindsey) Lind, Garret (Mikaela) Pearson, Alissa Mell (Luke Pelegrin), Shawna Mell; brother Duane (Connie) Dahlstrom; sister-in-law Phyllis Dahlstrom; brother-in-law Duane Mell; sister-in-law Diane (Jerry) Nedegaard; numerous nieces and nephews.
She will be greeted in Heaven by numerous loved ones who have preceded her in death: her parents Walfred and Lillian Dahlstrom; her in-laws Charlie and Ebba Mell; brother Merle Dahlstrom; brothers and sisters-in-law Eleanor and Bob Severson, Pheobe and Art Lundin, Audrey and Myron Olson, Wilfred and Jean Mell, Joyce Mell, Tim Lewis, and Brenda Dahlstrom as well as several nephews. She specifically was looking forward to hugging her Goddaughter Tami McDonald once she arrived in Heaven.
Pastor Nathan Baker-Trinity will officiate at funeral services for LaDez: 11 AM; Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Rush City. A gathering of family and friends is planned for one hour prior to the service at the church. (CASUAL DRESS ENCOURAGED) The spring interment will take place in First Lutheran Cemetery, Rush City.
LaDez and her family are immensely grateful for the tremendous support we received during her illness from extended family, neighbors, friends, the community, M Health Fairview System and especially St. Croix Hospice.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City ~ Olson Chapel