MEMORIES OF GRANDMA ROSE
I have been thinking about all these memories that we have written about Grandma, but just what kind of person
Grandma was a devout Christian, who always attended church, Ladies Aid and the LWMS. She was a staunch supporter
or Christian education at all levels, being the only person who was present at the opening or NLA (Northwestern
Lutheran Academy, Mobridge) in 1929 and GPLHS (Great Plains Lutheran High School, Watertown) in 1996. Grandma was
well-known and liked throughout the area. She was a member of Extension Club for over 70 years. Grandma liked to
read and crochet and she enjoyed playing Scrabble until the last few months of her life. She also liked to watch
the State B's on TV.
Grandma was a woman who didn't want anyone to go hungry and always had food around for anyone who would stop by.
Grandma learned how to make lefse from her Norwegian neighbors. Her daughters would help in this endeavor because
making lefse. was a lot or work. I remember buttering rounds and rounds of lefse for Thanksgiving and Christmas
(and snitching a few pieces, too).
Grandma could be very blunt, saying whatever was on her mind. Kim and Jeff Orth had gone to visit Grandma when
Jennifer was a baby. Jennifer must have been hungry and Grandma told Kim to give her ''a little titty". She
was extremely proud of her brood and the size to which it had grown and didn't like bring out done in this department.
Once when she was in the hospital, there was a man of the Catholic faith who was also ill. He had 10 children.
When Grandma heard about them, she asked, "Didn't he have anything better to do?"
When Grandma was in the hospital in Bismarck for by-pass surgery, her girls hung a big family picture on the wall.
Grandma took great pleasure in showing it to anyone who came by because she was so proud of each and everyone of
us. I like to think that that picture helped Grandma get well. She had a bulletin board that was covered with pictures
of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, and she knew who they all were, too.
I believe that Grandma made it to almost all of her grandchildren's weddings, and she made it to countless baptisms,
confirmations, and graduations. For years she gave us all individual Christmas gifts. How she ever kept all those
presents straight, I'll never know.
Finally, a few years ago, she started giving gifts of money to each grandchild's family. That had to be a lot easier
Grandma suffered from macular degeneration the last few years of her life. Even though she had trouble seeing,
she told me a year before she died that she knew she could drive out to Laila's "if they'd only let me!"
I feel blessed and privileged that Grandma Rose was my grandma, and I am sure you are too. We have a good heritage!
- Kathy (Arndt) Krause
I remember Christmas with all the cousins at Grandma's and all the food - especially the big kettle of oyster stew.
I remember summer evenings spent playing ball and when it got too dark for that we would play hide-and-seek. I
remember the long tables set up at Thanksgiving. I remember riding in the jeep to get the cows up - playing in
the gullies in the pasture - skating on the dams - picnics in Grandma's green yard - the artesian well - sticking
honeysuckle berries on the cactus, which Grandma didn't like (Ginny helped) - sledding on the hill north of the
barn. And I remember swimming in the tank, even after I had kids.
- Kathy (Arndt) Krause
I always thought of her as my mother. [She] was so kind and understanding to us.
- Helmuth and Lucylle Eisenbeisz
I remember Grandma taking me to the basketball games at the Academy. (I was only in grade school).
- Bev (Arndt) Lemke
I remember staying overnight at her house on school nights and she would pack potato chips and candy bars in our
lunches. I remember all of her lilac bushes and the smell of them in the spring. I also remember the year she chaperoned
the choir tour when we went to the West Coast.
- Elaine (Arndt) Klingbeil
My fondest memory of Grandma Rose is from the summer of 1988 when I first met the entire Rabenberg clan. Joel and
I had just met and he invited me to Mobridge for the weekend. Little did I know that family reunions in this family
were held in pole barns and quonsets, not around the dining table. To make a long story short, Grandma Rose made
sure I was "tucked in" on the floor, right beside her bed at 8 pm. It was still broad daylight, but no
one protested. Marie was sleeping in the bed with Grandma and I was wide-eyed and petrified on the floor. It wasn't
15 minutes and Grandma Rose was sound asleep. Marie, being the bravest woman I had ever seen, leaned over Grandma
Rose and said, "Hey Kari! Let's sneak out!" She was so excited! Needless to say, I didn't move! I knew
my place in family from the start.
- Kari Tucker
Jarod and I share a very special memory of Grandma. The first time Jarod ever came to Mobridge to meet all the
family, he was very nervous and wanted to make a good impression on everyone. Sunday, we walked into church ahead
of Mom, Dad, and Grandma. She used her cane to whack our hands real good and said, "Hey! No holding hands
in church!" Jarod immediately dropped my hand and stepped back from me. When we turned around, she was laughing
and said, "I was just kidding.
- Jarod and DeAnna (Rabenberg) Wilkinson
Grandma Rose had a backyard that her grandkids (others too) loved to play in. For me "the tank" was the
highlight. Sometimes 15 large bodies would crunch into the small space to get some relief from the 100 degree weather.
The small kids would be the last to leave and would only have a few inches of water to play in. Grandma always
had the best food. We would come in from swimming and eat in our towels. Let me tell you we couldn't stop eating
until everything was gone. Grandma always thought we were starving kids. I never went away hungry and usually didn't
want to leave.
- Amy (Giese) Sievert
I remember the big swimming tank on Grandma Rose's farm. All of the cousins would stuff the hole of an old round
cow tank and fill it with COLD* water from the hose. Then we would all pile in and go around and around as fast
as we could until we created a small whirlpool that we could all float around in effortlessly. Grandma Rose would
always have old towels for us to dry off in and food for us in the house. I always thought of Grandma Rose as the
matriarch of the Rabenberg family. She was where it started and grew and grew. I have the utmost respect for her.
Look at all the values she handed on to her children and they in turn handed on to theirs. I am proud to be a part
of this family and am very thankful for the closeness we share even though we live miles apart.
- Tonya (Krause) Kowalke
[The water may have seemed a little chilly, but in reality it was nice warm water from an artesian well. There
wasn't a good well on the place, and after Grandpa died, Grandma and Ted had the artesian well dug. This was done
in the winter time, and I remember the cattle drinking and drinking that nice warm water. They had had enough of
drinking water from a hole in the ice of one of the dams. - Kathy]
Memories of Grandma Rose?? Where do I begin- there are so many!! I will always remember her happy, "Come on
in.!!," as soon as we would come to her door. And I always remember how she would direct us to go find the
latest batch of new kittens. I'll never forget one time when she looked at one kitten and said, "It's so ugly
I think I should put it down the garbage disposal!!" But my best memory of Grandma was walking with her through
the pasture looking for wild crocuses in the spring. Miss you, Grandma!"
- Lanita (Rabenberg) Herbener
I remember going to Grandma Rose's and walking to the southwest pasture to pick May flowers. Also jumping in the
hayloft of her barn. The quiet talks Grandma and I had while doing her hair. One thing I will always remember her
stating to me- she never wanted to pass away because she never thought anyone would come to her funeral. Wouldn't
she be surprised? Grandma was always special to me because even being adopted- she treated you like her own and
loved everyone of us equally. It was always so great to tell people- my grandma is Grandma Rose. I am so proud
to be part of this family.
I also remember going to Grandma's and she let us dress up in the clothes from upstairs, slide down the steps headfirst,
pretending to ride horse on her propane tank, going down in the basement and playing school.
- Kim (Arndt) Orth
I always felt that I was Grandma's favorite.
I remember gazing at Grandma's walls of pictures in awe. I remember the brass/bronze musical train. I remember
the bat in the attic. I remember hot summer days, cool green grass and food. I remember in the bathroom: "If
you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie."
I always remember going over to Grandma's house to help her set the table when she was going to have company. That
was always special. Sometimes she'd let me scatter candy all over the table. We always liked to sneak out of the
house and go over to Grandpa and Grandma's when they had company even if we weren't invited. (For the first 13
years of my life, we lived in the little house that was east of Grandma's house.) I'll never forget all the holiday
celebrations, Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday. (Easter egg hunts- I know, I always cried when the eggs got broken.)
I'm sure we'll always remember Grandma and her chickens. Being there on chicken butchering day is unforgettable.
Those chickens jumping all over the yard headless or hanging from the clothesline jumping by one leg. The unforgettable
smell of scalding and singeing chicken feathers.
- Ginny (Frey) Glock
No trip to Grandma's house was ever complete without a cup of coffee and FOOD! I guess it was always a good time
to play 'clean out the refrigerator.'
One time Grandma and I made a trip to Aberdeen and she demanded I run over all the gophers running across the road.
I never drove so much on the wrong side of the road, swerving and veering every time a gopher tried to run in front
- Ron Glock
Due to the excess kittens on the Rabenberg farm, I remember when Grandma would drown them in a bucket of water.
- Greg Frey
95 mph on a dirt road.
- Dana Rabenberg
I remember once when Grandma bought a new car (she never bought one unless the odometer "says all zeros").
She took as many grandchildren as could fit into the car (and it was a big one!) and we went out of town by the
Sitting Bull monument. She gave everyone a chance to drive the car (with all of us in it), over all the rough roads,
gopher holes, off the road, through the grass, everywhere. She's the one that taught me how to drive and I drove
many miles with her in the seat beside me before I had my license.
I remember all the hide and seek games with the cousins on warm summer nights at Grandma's, kittens in the barn
and new puppies under the granary. Grandma loved to keep her lawn and yard well trimmed, the flower beds free of
weeds and full of flowers. As I stood at the cemetery this afternoon, I couldn't help but think of the many times
she and I loaded the lawn mower into the car and went to the cemetery to mow around the graves of her loved ones.
I also remember the chicken butchering days and the one time Grandma sliced off a piece of her finger along with
a chicken head. After she did it, she just looked at her finger and calmly said, "Oh, I guess I got a piece
of my finger that time." Of course it was bleeding, but there was work to be done, so she didn't quit to get
a Band-Aid. She just kept on cutting off heads and then went to pulling off feathers, etc. I was there alone with
her and I've been squeamish about blood (from humans, not animals) and almost passed out when I couldn't tell which
was her blood and which was chicken blood! She kept chiding me about having to do all the work herself while I
sat on a chair trying not to pass out!
There are so many memories I have and couldn't possibly list them all here.
- Rise' (Rabenberg) Seidle
I too remember grandma's "above ground pool." We'd attempt to play games like Marco Polo in it even though
it was impossible to move a foot without hitting a body. I knew Grandma Rose as a nice old lady. Until I read some
of the other memories, I hadn't realized what a wild woman she was!
- Leah Klingbeil
I remember when my mom made Grandma a pair of dish cloths but Grandma wouldn't use them because she thought they
were too pretty. I also remember looking at her dolls and thinking they were the prettiest things in the world!
I, like Leah, did not realize she was so wild!
- Janet Arndt
I'll never forget the first time Patsy brought me up to the farm back in 82 for a family reunion. I thought my
family back in Chicago was large until that weekend. Holy cow.....I never thought I was going to stop meeting cousins,
aunts, uncles, and of course......Grandma Rose. She was a very special woman and treated me like her own grandchild,
even though it was through marriage. That weekend was great.....playing football, eating food til you couldn't
move and of course "The Tank"!! That was a lot of fun squeezing as many people in it as you could. I
became very close to the family very fast!!
I miss those reunions and visits on the farm, but especially miss Grandma Rose. She was a very special caring person,
not to mention strong. Thanks for the memories!!!!!!
- Paul Martin
I will never forget the time that a lot of us decorated the propane tank with lilacs and then took some crayons
and wrote "Worlds Greatest Grandma" on the tank. When we brought Grandma Rose out to see it she had tears
in her eyes. She also would let me have slumber parties out at the farm when I came to visit. Sometimes we would
get carried away and freeze someone's bra when they fell asleep. Grandma would sit back and laugh. She was a wonderful
lady and so easy to love.
- Patsy (Tucker) Martin
I enjoyed typing these memories of Grandma. If anyone would like to add to them, I'd be willing to type them up
and distribute them.
- Kathy (Arndt) Krause
I have fond memories of Rose and her family also. I first met Rose Rabenberg through my sister Betty who was
a classmate of Marie's at NLA. The one profound statement I remember from Rose was regarding her decision to marry
her husband John. She said, "He loved me and wanted to take care of me, so I married him."
- Karen (Springer) Mischke
To me Rose was a very kind, Christian, friendly, elegant lady. She was a good friend to me and my family when
we were in Mobridge and in later years she was a good neighbor. There is nothing better than to be remembered as
a Christian lady with a kindness that never ended. When I think of Rose I smile.
- Barb Phelps - Rock Rapids, IA (6/8/2004)
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June 13, 2004
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