Ethel Little, 96, Wahpeton, North Dakota, passed away on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 at CHI St. Francis Healthcare in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Visitation was held from 5-6 p.m. with a 6 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, Jan. 9 at Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, Wahpeton. Visitation continued at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10, followed by her Mass of Christian Burial at St. John’s Catholic Church in Wahpeton. Burial will be at a later date in Elk Creek Cemetery, Wyndmere, North Dakota.
Ethel Puetz was born Aug. 26, 1923 in Danton Township. She graduated from Wyndmere High School, Wyndmere, then went on to attend New York Beauty School in Fargo, North Dakota.
While working at Neva Beauty Shop in Wahpeton, she shared an apartment with two of her future sisters-in-law, Janet and DeElda. In 1950 she married the love of her life, Bud (Forrest) Little. As a team, they farmed, milked cows and raised three children — Neil, Linda and Kay. Ethel lived on the farm until Bud’s passing in 2008.
We never imagined the “family” we would find in the caring staff who assisted her during the last season of her rich, full life. We were blessed with gifted caregivers who helped us make the most of our last precious moments together.
Ethel’s boundless compassion was a constant source of kindness and conversation for those in need. She knew the power of food and good company, and would generously share both, especially with the elderly and people with disabilities.
She found ways to weave creativity through all aspects of her life. She was an excellent seamstress who charmed her grandchildren throughout the years with every blanket, dinner dress or pillowcase ... all made with the love and warmth only a grandma could sew in.
Ethel’s wit shown through her ability to make people laugh, and bled into the collections of poetry she wrote. Her creations brought bounds of joy, love and laughter to her family and community.
She is survived by daughter-in-law, Mona (Neil) Little, Fargo, their children, McKensie (Brad) Sawyer, Northfield, Minnesota, Logan (Lindsey) Moorhead, Minnesota, Alexandra and Madison, Fargo; her daughter, Linda and husband Ben Fink, Wahpeton, her children Hugh Zajac, Ginger (Andy) Schillinger, Breckenridge, Minnesota, and Hope (Chris) Hruby, Fargo, and step-children: Traci (Dave) Van Ooteghem, Osceola, Indiana, Christy (Antonio) Amador, Mishawaka, Indiana, Mandy (Greg) Baune, Rosemont, Minnesota, and Josie (Aaron) Koppen, Edina, Minnesota; daughter Kay and husband Dan Vinje, Valley City, North Dakota, their children: Kristin (Max) Klingenstein, Anchorage, Alaska, Melody Vinje, Denver, Colorado, Joy (Travis) Anderson, Bismarck, North Dakota, and Carl Vinje, Bismarck; sister-in-law, Janet Dotzenrod, Breckenridge; great-grandchildren: Aiden Hruby, Siddalee, Millie, Harmonie and Bella Schillinger, Connor and Asher Klingenstein, Vivi, Sam and Zeke Sawyer, McCoy Little; nephews: Dan Puetz and David Puetz, Wyndmere, who, stayed with Bud and Ethel six summers; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bud; her son, Neil; grandchildren: Sonnie Zajac, Joshua Little, Sammy Little; great-grandchildren: Rasberry Sawyer, Poppy Sawyer and Jordy Neil Little; brothers: Arnold (Margie) Puetz and Donald (Mary) Puetz; sisters-in law: Dorthy (John) Trygg, DeElda (Lawrence) Vosberg; and brother-in-law, Rudy Dotzenrod.
Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, Wahpeton, was in charge of funeral arrangements.