Florence Dorothea Neels was born on December 14, 1925 at the family farm in Leaf Lake Township, near Ottertail, Minnesota to John and Alena (Folkers) Neels. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church near Ottertail. Florence attended school at District #185 and then St. John’s Parochial School. She graduated from the Henning High School with the class of 1943. Florence was employed at the Wesley Hospital in Wadena and attended the University of Minnesota.
On June 23, 1944 Florence was united in marriage with Otto Guse while he was serving in the United States Army. Their marriage was blessed with six children. Florence and Otto made their home in Abilene, Texas for a short time before he departed for overseas duty in Europe. When Otto returned from overseas duties they resided in Hot Springs, Arkansas until he was honorably discharged from the United States Army. Returning to Henning for a few years and then Rushmore for a short time and returned to Henning in 1954 to farm.
Florence taught Sunday School and was active at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and was employed at the Henning Nursing Home. She enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nursing Program in Fergus Falls, graduating in 1968 and was employed at the Wesley Hospital, Otter Tail – Wadena Community Action and the Otter Tail County Department of Public Health, retiring in 1999. Otto died on September 11, 1982. Florence continued to reside in her home near Henning and then made her home at Willow Creek.
Florence had deep roots of faith and loved her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchild. She enjoyed spending time with her family, doing yard work, flowers, gardening, baking and bird watching.
On March 5, 2020 Florence passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family and the gentle care of Knute Nelson Hospice and the Good Samaritan Center in Battle Lake, Minnesota. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends. Preceding Florence in death were her parents, John & Alena Neels; husband, Otto; grandchild, Katie Thalmann; great-grandchild, Bryce Thalmann; siblings: Anna, Henry, Helen, Clarence, Margaret, Martha, Ernest, Herman, John and Adolph.
Florence is survived by 3 daughters: Barbara (David) Carlson; Renae (Pete) Thalmann and Dawn (John) Lueders; 3 sons: James (Carol) Guse; Wayne (Gail) Guse and Randy (Karla) Guse; 14 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; sister, Vera Kleinke; sister-in-law, Alma Stueve; many other relatives and a host of friends.
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