Mariella Havel Powers, 95, of Mankato, passed away on Friday, June 7, 2019, at Madonna Living Community in Rochester.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 16, at Mankato Mortuary, 1001 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato. Visitation will continue for one hour before the service at the church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 17, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Seasons Hospice or Madonna Living Community, both in Rochester.
Mariella was born Nov. 13, 1923, to Thomas and Henrietta (Thaler) Havel in Montgomery. She graduated from Montgomery High School in 1941, and from Saint Catherine’s College, St. Paul, with an RN degree in 1944.
On July 11, 1945, she married the love of her life, Bernard Joseph Powers, in Montgomery. Mariella and Bernie moved to Chicago, where Bernie earned his DDS degree in 1950. By the time he finished dental school, Bernie and Mariella had a family of three daughters, Mary Ellen, Kathleen, and Peggy. The family then moved to North Mankato for five years, and they added one more daughter, Grace, to the fold. In 1956, they returned to Chicago, where Bernie completed an MS degree in orthodontics. Then it was back to Mankato in 1958, where Mariella and Bernie lived for 55 years, until 2013, when they moved to Rochester.
Mariella was the consummate caregiver. With her RN degree close to her heart, she became Bernie’s guardian and lifesaver. Bernie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes the year after they were married, and he survived it for 67 years because Mariella gave him his insulin, cooked well-balanced meals at scheduled hours, and made sure he avoided sweets. She could tell when his blood-sugar level was high or low before he could. Their marriage was an ideal match between a dedicated, organized Czech woman, and a sweet, humorous Irishman. Bernie often said to Mariella, “If you weren’t married, I’d marry you.”
Mariella and Bernie created many adventures for their family. Mariella loved the Minnesota lakes, so they built a cabin on Lake Washington, where their children and grandchildren enjoyed years of summer weekends and grew to love being near the water. Mariella was dedicated to family genealogy, so they treated their extended family to two European vacations. On their 50th anniversary, the family traveled to Ireland to follow Bernie’s roots, and a few years later, the family traveled to the Czech Republic to meet the Havels, who remained in southern Bohemia rather than immigrating to America. These trips instilled a deep love for family and a lasting thirst for travel among all who joined the journeys.
Mariella lost her beloved Bernie in 2013, and their daughter, Kathleen (Powers) Howard, in 2007. She is survived by daughters, Mary Ellen (Dick) Landwehr, Peggy (Tim Rourke) Powers, and Grace (John) Perry; grandchildren, Brian (Jen) Landwehr, Shannon Landwehr, Colleen (Eric) Teynor, John (Julie) Howard, Tom (Hannah) Howard, Tessa (Ryder) Monsen, Seth (Jenny) Goettl, Rachel O’Connor, and Sean Perry; 14 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernie; her daughter, Kathleen; her parents, Thomas and Henrietta Havel; three brothers, Harold, Thomas, and Joseph Havel; and one sister, Rosalia Petricka.
The family is extremely grateful for the loving care she received for five and a half years from the staff of Madonna Living Community, and for the tenderness and kindness of the staff of Seasons Hospice during her final weeks.