Gloria Graham

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Gloria Graham, age 78 of Belle Plaine died on Friday, June 26, 2020 at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home.
Memorial services are TENTATIVELY planned for Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the
Prairie Catholic Church. Visitation TENTATIVELY will be on Tuesday, July 7, 4:00 ~ 8:00 p.m, Kolden
Funeral Home Belle Plaine, MN. Visitation will continue at the funeral home on Tuesday morning from
9:00 a.m. ~ 10:15 a.m. we will then process to church for the 10:30 a.m. service. Burial will be at Sacred
Heard Cemetery, Belle Plaine, MN. The family has request that EVERYONE wear masks to the
wake/visitation and memorial service. Due to restrictions, no more that 50 people will be able to be in
funeral home at a time.
Gloria was born April 10th 1942 to Robert & Marian Sass. She graduated from Belle Plaine High School in
1960. Lived in Belle Plaine where she grew up with her siblings Marilyn, Gerri & Cheryl. She was Baptized
& Confirmed at the First Presbyterian Church in Belle Plaine. After graduation she worked at the State
Bank of Belle Plaine for 1 year and then Norwest Bank in Minneapolis for 1 year. She then married
Eugene Michael Newell on August 4th 1962 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Belle Plaine. They lived in
Belle Plaine and she went to work for her parents in the Coast to Coast Store. A year or so later they
moved to the Newell Family Farm in Faxon Twp. She then helped on the farm & continued to work for
her parents. From this marriage they had 4 children –Michael James, Patrick Brian, Deborah Kay, &
Noreen Ann. In 1983 she went to work for a company called Clothier Design in Belle Plaine. In 1985 she
went back to work for the State Bank of Belle Plaine where she held many positions; she retired 12-31-
2003. Her husband Michael Newell passed away in 1988. On 1-04-1991 she married Roger Michael
Graham. They had many good years together, traveled a lot, became snowbirds in Florida for 15 ½ years.
They also had a Park Model at Cozy Corners in Richmond, MN on the lake. She was a faithful member of
First Presbyterian Church all of her life. There she served as a Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Elder,
Deacon, Worship Leader, Organist, Pianist, & Choir Director. Gloria planted & took care of the flowers,
took care of shrubs, cleaned the Church whenever needed, served on many fundraiser dinners &
functions. She was an excellent cook & was known for her pecan tassies, pecan pies, and her fruitcakes.
She loved to entertain. It was hard for her to give that up. Her hobbies included golfing, reading, playing
cards & going to many sporting events at school, dance recitals, school plays and music concerts; and
most of all traveling. She enjoyed her morning coffee group, her monthly girls luncheon and the Friday
night group that went out for dinner to different restaurants. She was a Viking & Twins fan and had
Viking season tickets for many years. She loved playing Bridge and belonged to a number of clubs. She
was also in charge of Belle Plaine Ladies Bridge players for Queen of Peace Hospital Card-O-Rama that
raised money for the hospital for 35 years. She also was a volunteer for the Food Shelf, Meals on
Wheels, Families Moving Forward, Card-O-Rama for hospital, and election judge.
She is survived by her husband Roger Graham, daughter Noreen Newell (Brian) Schultz, Daughter-in-
laws: Melissa Newell-Olson and Dina (Robert) Jones. Step-daughters: Maureen Graham (Kerwin) Wolter,
Colleen (Ross) Reichenberger, Sky Christenson, and LaDonna Graham. Grandchildren: Zachary (Jazz)
Newell, Brianna Newell, Grace Olson, Lilly Olson, Mikayla (Kevin) Meek, Jack Jones, Adam Jones, Austin
Jones, Tucker Schultz & Michael Schultz. Step-Grandchildren: Kyle Lamb, Kevin Lamb, Clare Lamb, Joe
(Laura) St Amand, Josh St Amand, Johnny St Amand, Jacob (Haley) St Amand, Bekah St Amand, Rachel St
Amand, Fritzline Reichenberger, Philippe Reichenberger, Keara Hallberg, Dana (Reed) Hardyman, Dallas

John, Kasidee Bronson, Jaydee Bodman. Great- Grandchildren: McCoy Newell, Crew Newell, Braxton
Newell, Bryson Newell & Lucas St Amand. Sisters; Marilyn Mueller McSweeney, Gerri (John) Hennen
and Cheryl (Bill) Dreyer. She was preceded in death by her husband Eugene Michael Newell, Children
Michael, Patrick & Deborah Newell. Parents: Robert & Marian Sass, Grandparents – Tony & Hazel
Schmidt, Ed & Anna Sass. Brother-in-laws: Roger Mueller, John McSweeney, John (Jack) Newell and Tom
Newell. Mother-in-law & Father-in-laws: Jack & Elizabeth Newell, Veronica Graham.
Things she will be remembered for her unending strength, a strong Faith, she was kind to everyone, she
loved to cook and most of all loved her family more than anything.

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