Katherine Cleone Speer (Lauridsen) — Elgin

Katherine Cleone Speer (Lauridsen), 74, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, surrounded by her family at her home in Elgin.

Katherine was born Dec. 20, 1939, to Lloyd and Lorna (Brewster) Lauridsen in Storm Lake, Iowa. She graduated from Grand Meadow Schools and married Dale Speer on June 15, 1958. They raised five children, living in Grand Meadow and Byron before purchasing a farm in Elgin in 1968.

Katherine worked as a secretary at the Grand Meadow School, she drove bus for Elgin-Millville Schools for 10 years, worked 14 years in the business office at Rochester Methodist Hospital, worked for Dayton's for 15 years and retired as a financial advisor for Prudential and Education Minnesota.

She is survived by her husband, Dale Speer, of Elgin; two daughters, Karen (David) Herman, of Greenville, N.C., and LaVonne Beck, of Elgin; two sons, Ronald (Sirena) Speer, of Elgin, and Lloyd Speer, of Elgin; 11 grandchildren, Ronald Beck, Heather Speer, Anne (Anton) Swanson, Thomas Speer, Daniel Beck, James Speer, John Skiba, Katherine Beck, Brittany Speer, Kayla Speer and Cory Speer; two stepgrandchildren, Nicole Herman and Daniel Herman; and four great-grandchildren, Isabelle Swanson, Karlee Speer, Lorelei Swanson and Jonathan Speer. She is also survived by a sister, Doris Speer (Robert); sisters-in-law, Bootsie Lauridsen and Ruth (Roy) Lidtke; and brothers in-law, Kenneth (Mayvis) Speer and Virgil (Mary) Speer.

She was preceded in death by son, Adrian Speer; brother, LaMonte Lauridsen; and brother-in-law, Victor Speer.

Katherine lived and loved passionately – you remembered her if you met her. She was dedicated to the Minnesota DFL, supporting candidates at the local, state and national level, knowing and working with political leaders from Humphrey and Mondale to Walz, Franken and Klobuchar. She was honored to be at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., for the nomination of Barack Obama and later at his inauguration events in Washington, D.C. She was well-known at local parades with the DFL float.

Katherine was devoted to her community and local schools. A member of many community organizations over the years, she served on the Elgin-Millville School Board, was the current secretary of the PEM Quarterback Club and a passionate supporter of the Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs. She made countless peanut butter sandwiches for the PEM baseball team and is well known for the "candy" bucket at PEM football games. She rarely missed an activity where her grandchildren were involved and was a familiar fan voice on the sidelines for the Elgin-Millville Watchmen, Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs, Saint John's University Rugby Team, Rochester Community and Technical College Yellow Jackets, American Saddlebred horse shows and the Ultimate Fighter events.She shared her energy and thirst for life with all those she came in contact. Her husband, Dale, shared the adventure of life with her for over 55 years. She will be missed by family and friends and her dogs, Corky and Rocky.

The family thanks the caregivers involved in her care over the past five years, especially Dr. Sanjay Kalra in the pulmonary division at Mayo Clinic for his expertise and kindness throughout her illness.

Katherine donated her body to Mayo Clinic in support of research and education.

In celebration of her life, please join the family Saturday, Jan. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Stumble Inn2 in Plainview – short program at 2 p.m.

The family requests no flowers; memorials preferred to go the PEM Facilities Project in memory of Katherine Speer, c/o People's State Bank, 100 Fourth Ave. SE, Suite 1, Plainview, MN 55964.