Clara Rose Aeling, 90, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2023.
She was born on February 26, 1933, and was the youngest child of Rose and Joseph Zak. She graduated from Owatonna High School, class of 1951.
She married Donald William Aeling on February 23, 1952, in Owatonna, Minn., and later moved to St. Cloud, Minn., and they eventually landed in Winona, Minn., in 1962. Donald preceded her in death in 1992.
After raising five children to school age, she started a career at Winona Agency, where she enjoyed working for 30+ years before her retirement.
Clara loved everything about the Mississippi and all the beauty that it entails. Her and Don and children enjoyed their weekend gatherings with long time “river rats” and their families! We have fond memories of the family adventures together on the Mississippi. She also loved reading, playing bridge, line dancing, and cooking all her yummy food for her family — no one will ever master her famous potato salad and caramel bars. She adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved to squeeze them tight, including their little fingers when she held hands. Later in life, she met a special friend, Ted Steinberger, and spent 10+ years traveling and enjoying life together.
She was a member of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Winona. Clara was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Clare and Don had five children: Thomas, Mark (Bonnie), Michael (Debra), Cheryl, Pamela [Penny] (Duane) Koehler. Grandchildren: Lisa Mahlum (Jason); Laura Devine (Chris); Jackie Aeling, Brian Aeling, Troy Koehler (Samantha), Heather Grigg (Andrew); step-grandchildren: Corey Koehler (Carissa); Stacey Koehler; great-grandchildren: Jackson Mahlum, Jessica Mahlum and Lia Mahlum; Alli Devine, Lettie Devine, Cashten Koehler, Jade Koehler, Maximus Grigg, baby boy Grigg due in July; step-great-grandchildren: Mitchell Koehler, Maya Koehler, Maggie Koehler, Kamerin Koehler, Driana Smith.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald; daughter, Cheryl Ann Aeling; siblings: Hubert Zak, Margaret Kiley; Brother-in-law, Bob Kiley; nieces: Ruth Kiley and Nancy Thiewes; and special friend, Ted Steinberger.
We’d like to thank Callista Court and Dr. Leece, Gundersen Lutheran, for their kind care of our mother.
Services will be held at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on Monday, March 20, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., with a visitation one hour before. A luncheon will be following. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Hoff Celebration of Life Center is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at www.hoffffuneral.com. It will be live streamed at https://www.facebook.com/cathedralwinona/live_videos/?ref=page_internal.