Gretchen Ann Sylvester, 84-year-old resident of Little Falls, passed away on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, at the Cedar Crest Estate in Silver Lake.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2021, at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls. A visitation will be held from 10-11 a.m. on Jan. 16 at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls. Minnesota Department of Health guidelines will be followed, and a facial covering will be required to attend.

Gretchen Ann Irgens (Sylvester) was born on Aug. 7, 1936, in Glenwood, to the late Harold and Maxine (Flaten) Irgens. She was baptized, confirmed and married at Glenwood Lutheran Church. Gretchen graduated from Glenwood High School in 1954 and continued teaching education with a Bachelor of Science degree from Moorhead State University and a Master’s Degree from Bemidji State University in 1978. She taught at Lincoln Elementary in Little Falls for most of her life and retired in 1995. Gretchen was an active member of First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, along with Alpha Delta Kappa and many other local social groups.

This amazing woman lived a full life. High school days were packed with babysitting, studying, cheerleading, band and being voted Homecoming Queen. She went to college for a teaching degree, married, taught school, raised two children and was always active in school, church and many extracurricular activities. Playing Bridge was one of her favorite pastimes. She moved to many towns while being married but finally settled in Little Falls. One of the most important facts about Gretchen was her ability to remember people by face and name. Everywhere she went she would run into someone she knew. Whether in a foreign country or different state or town, Gretchen would always ask people their name and be able to make a link to their family of someone she knew. Whether a past student, friend or relative she always knew who, where and when she last met them.

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