Rose Mitzel Werlinger, 95, beloved grand matriarch and heart and soul of her family, passed away Sunday, November 23, 2003, in her home while in the tender care of her daughter Sr. Colette Werlinger and family friend and daughter in faith and spirit, Sr. Julie Wisnewski, while at Odyssey Hospice in Fargo, North Dakota. A lifelong North Dakota resident, Rose?s life was defined by her love of family and friends, her deeply heartfelt Catholic faith, and annual celebrations of family and friends. Her life spans much of the history of the state of North Dakota, well reflecting the state?s dedication to family, strength of character and perseverance. Born at Hague, North Dakota to Jacob Mitzel and Maria Eva Silbernagel as the second of 15 children, Rose grew up in rural south-central North Dakota near Hague. She married her cherished husband, Anton S. Werlinger, a farmer, schoolteacher and community leader, in 1927 in Zeeland, North Dakota. After building their homestead in Logan County a few miles south of Napoleon, North Dakota in 1928, the couple persevered through the terrible drought and challenges of the Great Depression. In 1944, the family farm was hit by a tornado. The barn was completely destroyed, though promptly rebuilt. By 1953, Rose and Anton?s family enjoyed conveniences never before available in their area of south central North Dakota. The Werlinger farm was one of the first in the region to enjoy indoor plumbing - and the luxury of an indoor bathroom. Though sometimes visited by tragedy in her life, Rose?s strength of will and devotion to family and her Catholic faith never faltered. She lost two sons, Joseph and Dennis, before their time. Her husband Anton died of cancer in 1969, and Rose honored his memory throughout her life. Rose?s devotion to her family was perhaps most apparent in the many holiday gatherings she hosted and for which she often cooked, enjoying the company of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as she served seemingly endless portions of hearty foods and dessert staples such as the German dish ?kuchen?. Thirty or more kuchen pies would often be served as the grandchildren happily yelled and cavorted around the house, enjoying the company of family and their grandmother?s smiles and patience. Love was always the main ingredient in her cooking, as was obvious to all who shared the bounty, enjoying Rose?s seemingly endless smiles as she offered the delicious fruits of her labors. In her later years Rose still greatly enjoyed the annual family celebrations to honor her, presiding over the sometimes chaotic mix of her children?s boisterous conversations and grandchildren?s and great-grandchildren?s dancing and laughing with quiet pride and an inner joy. This past summer, her family enjoyed the truly rare blessing of seeing their beloved Mother Rose attend the 50th wedding anniversary of her daughter Phyllis. That anniversary and this summer?s annual Grandma Rose celebration would be her last major family celebrations. Mother Rose to many, Grandma Rose to many more, our dear Rose was preceded in death by her husband Anton, her parents Jacob and Maria Eva Mitzel, and sons Joseph and Dennis. Rose is survived by her sons, Vic (Bonnie), Ray (Cledith), Leo (Connie), Bill (Margaret), Tony (Barb), Bob (Diana), and Larry; her daughters, Sr. Colette (given name Eleanor), Phyllis (Albert) Bauer, Marci (Joel) Roth, Bernie (Gerry) Bakke, and many friends and family, including 29 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and dear family friend, Sr. Julie Wisnewski, each and every one a special blessing to her during her long life. Rose?s life and great faith will be honored and celebrated during a Vigil at 7:00 p.m. Friday, November 28 at Church of the Nativity, 1825 South 11th Street, Fargo. Rose Werlinger?s Mass of Christian Burial is 1:00 p.m. Saturday, November 29, also at Church of the Nativity. Visitation will be Friday in the church from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday in the church from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Fargo. Memorials are preferred to the Church of the Nativity or Cardinal Muench Seminary in Fargo. Arrangements by Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. Online guestbook at

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook