November 18, 1926 – Friday, August 20, 2010
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church,
September 18, 2010
Evelyn “Evy” Arlene Thibodeau, age 83, of Buffalo passed away August 20, 2010 at Parkview Care Center in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Evelyn Arlene Thibodeau was born November 18, 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Elmer and Florence (Jacobson) Nivala. She was raised on the family farm in Annandale graduating from Annandale High School. After high school she worked in a canning factory in Cokato and later worked in Minneapolis.
She married Leonard Thibodeau on January 18, 1947. The couple settled in Robbinsdale where her children Bruce, Diane, Keith and Craig were born. The family lived there until 1952 when they moved to her parent’s farm near Annandale where daughter Wendy was born. They helped run the farm and eventually took over the farming operation until 1956, when they moved to Rockford. In the spring of 1957, the Great Flood of Buffalo and Rockford forced the children to live with their uncle Ed and Aunt Jenny in Annandale and being Evy was pregnant with Cindy she lived with her brother Wally and wife Carol in Brooklyn Park. After the flood receded, the family lived on the Maehling farm until 1961. Then the family purchased a home in the Upper Davis Addition in Buffalo. Evy worked at Wonderalls in Buffalo during the day once the last child went to school she also worked part time on the night shifts at the Buffalo Bakery and the Rockford Bakery. In 1968, she started at Temroc Metals in Plymouth and worked her way up from packaging and boxing to the lead floor manager. Evy retired from Temroc in 1989 after 21 years. She loved bowling, where she bowled several perfect games of 300 with a 15 pound ball. She won many awards and trophies and went to the Nationals. She was so proud to have bowled leagues with most of her children. She was an avid Twins and Timberwolves fan. She enjoyed flowers and gardening.
Evy loved taking vacations with the children, especially going up north and taking camping trips to Grand Marais, Duluth and Lake Superior. Evy never missed a sporting event, 4-H or any of her children’s events while they were growing up. Evy always involved herself in helping raise the grandchildren, too. She would always take off work and spend the first week with the newborn and always be available for babysitting. And even with Cindy, who has no children, she would put up with her cats, dogs, horses and any other animal she would drag home. Evy would never forget a birthday or anniversary or party event.
Evy’s brother, Wally, and his wife Carol, with their children Todd, Jedd and Julie became a second family to her. The two families also did many things together. Wally’s death on July 30, 2003 was very difficult for Evy and her life changed as well.
From 1992 – 1993 Evy first lived with her son, Bruce and wife Linda, in Buffalo and then with daughter, Cindy, in Coon Rapids. Because of hip and knee replacement, she took physical therapy at Lynnwood Residence for 8 months before moving to DeMar Assisted Living in Coon Rapids for two and half years. Evy became a resident of Whispering Pines Assisted Living in Anoka. In 1997 to 2002, Evy resided in Berkshire Assisted Living in Osseo where she shared a room with Eleanor and they became great friends. Her failing health and memory loss forced her move to Good Samaritan Home in Robbinsdale for a short while before returning to Berkshire in 2004. Since May of 2010 Evy has been a resident of Parkview Care Center in Buffalo, where she died of a massive cerebral accident. She was a member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo.
She is survived by her children and 14 grandchildren; Bruce (Linda) Thibodeau of Buffalo, MN, with their children Brandon and Brooke; Diane (Dale) Lay of Buffalo, MN, with their children Traci and Chad; Keith Thibodeau of Rockford, MN with his children; Dennis, Patrick, Angel, & Michael; Craig (Lisa) Thibodeau of Clearwater, MN, with their children; Jordan, Lara, Drew, Shennon and Beau, Wendy Thibodeau of Glencoe, MN, with her daughter Ashley, and Cindy Summers of Waverly, MN. Also survived by 12 great grandchildren and siblings; Lawrence (Larry) Nivala of Washington, Thelma Komathy of California, and Alvin Nivala of California.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents Elmer and Florence Nivala, brother Wallace (Wally) Nivala, and sister Doris Kyander.
The first memorial service will be Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at the Osseo United Methodist Church at 16 2nd Ave SE in Osseo with visitation from 3:30 until time of service at the church. A reception will be served during the visitation hours.
A second memorial service will be held Saturday, September 18, 2010 at Noon at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo with a reception following the service. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. until time of services at the church.
Interment will be in Glen Haven Cemetery in Crystal, MN.
The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo assisted the family with the arrangements.