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Audrey Quast

Audrey Quast died peacefully January 27th on Martha’s Vineyard island at age 90 after living a full and active life. She spent her final few months being cared for by family on that island off the coast of Massachusetts but she was a child of Minnesota and was “Minnesota through-and-through.” Audrey lived in Zumbrota for 65 years and even while living on Martha’s Vineyard she subscribed to the News-Record and watched church services streaming on a laptop computer from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in her hometown. When she would pick up the phone to chat with friends and family back home she would always ask, “So what’s going on down in Zumbrota?” And as anyone who knew Audrey can attest, Audrey certainly loved to chat, especially about family and “the old days.”

Audrey Margaret Elliott was born on the family farm on April 21st, 1930 in Harmony, Minnesota to Wesley and Patricia Elliott. She was one of their 9 children (brothers Wesley, Lowell, Orville, and Virgil, and sisters Blanche, Marjorie, Lorilee, and Wahnita Marie). Audrey would often reminisce about her younger years and passion for dancing at weekend socials in Rochester, Minnesota. She enjoyed dancing well into her 80s. After she met and married her husband John Quast, the couple lived on “White Willow Farm” in Goodhue County until they moved into Zumbrota in 1975. Audrey bore three daughters. Julie died tragically at 5 years old. Later came Kathy in 1962 and then Patty in 1965. Audrey’s focus was on taking care of her home and family but for several years she worked as a lab technician at Mayo Clinic and then in the local dairy industry.

After the death of her husband John in 2011 Audrey came to spend more time with friends and other family members. She traveled when she could, and made several trips to Florida with her sister Marie to visit her daughter Patty at her vacation home in Naples. Above all Audrey loved just being a member of her local community, and especially church potluck gatherings on Sunday. She was a good neighbor to many and an indispensable dog-sitter for Diane and Brian Biwer across the street whom she loved like family. She will miss her good friend around the corner, Darrel Meyer, as well as Rosella Staub with whom she shared many trips together to church and plenty of good times.

After a health setback, Audrey moved to Martha’s Vineyard in March of 2020 to be cared for by her daughter Patricia, just as the Covid pandemic was starting. Many of her Zumbrota friends regularly checked in on Audrey after she moved to Martha’s Vineyard and she in turn checked in on them. The letters and cards from them were eagerly received and read with pleasure, and Audrey was sure to respond. The move to Martha’s Vineyard was intended to be temporary so she could eventually return to her beloved Zumbrota, but Audrey experienced a couple more setbacks and with Covid making it even more challenging to return home, she settled into life on the island. While living on the island she was superbly cared for by Melissa Powers, and the two were a fixture in their yellow VW Bug, whether it was at Polly Hill Arboreteum, Nat’s Corner, or the thrift store (“hither and yon” if Audrey couldn’t remember exactly where she had been that day). Thanks to Melissa, Audrey had a fun-filled final few months of her life that were documented in many Facebook posts entitled “The Adventures of Audrey.” Audrey never quite mastered her cell phone but that didn’t stop her from being an enthusiastic participant in Martha’s Vineyard’s “Center for Living” Zoom sessions where she loved singing and exercising with the other group members and being a not-infrequent winner in Bingo.

Audrey is predeceased by her husband John Quast, daughter Julie, and grandson Asa. She is survived by her daughters Kathy and Patricia, grandson Truman, granddaughter Clara, brother Virgil, and sisters Lorilee and Wahnita. She leaves behind many friends and fellow congregants at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Zumbrota, all of whom will miss her friendliness and zest for life.

A celebration of life will take place July 2021 with details to follow.

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