Mildred Roseline Ballantyne, age 96 of Austin, Minnesota, passed away Monday, September 2, 2019 at Primrose Assisted Living in Austin. Mildred was born May 22, 1923 in Kiester, MN the oldest child of Carl and Ottilia (Lembke) Kirchner. She was baptized as an infant, and later was the first child confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church, Austin, MN on July 19, 1936. She studied music and played the piano at age 11 for her first Christmas program at Grace on December 24, 1935. She later played the organ at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Elkton, MN for nearly 40 years. She graduated Valedictorian of her Rose Creek High School class on May 29, 1941, and then attended Austin Junior College. She started working night invoice at the Hormel office, Austin, and then worked as Secretary to the Treasurer of Hormel until her marriage. Mildred was united in marriage to Willard James Ballantyne on February 21, 1944 at Grace Lutheran Church by Reverend Pilgrim. They became parents of five children: Helen (Richard) Schnorenberg, Lawler, IA; Joyce (Roger) Kamrath, North Mankato, MN; Marvin Ballantyne, Sioux Falls, SD; Nancy (Todd) Wiessner, Woodbury, MN; and Sue (Gregory) Brown, Gilbert, AZ. Mildred lived as a farmer’s wife in various places in Mower County and farmed in the Rose Creek area for nearly 40 years before moving to Brownsdale in retirement. She loved family, gardening, canning, cooking, sewing, crafts, reading, music, and playing cards. Mildred especially enjoyed growing orchids, violets, and Christmas cactus plants. She enjoyed her volunteer work, and in 2002, Willard and Mildred were named Mower County Senior King and Queen for their volunteer work.
Mildred is survived by her five children and their spouses along with 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends along the way. Mildred and Willard Ballantyne were married for over 71 years when Willard went to be with our Lord and Savior in May, 2015. Mildred was also preceded in death by her parents, brother Alvin Kirchner, and sisters Maleta Kirchner, Corrine Petersen, and Alice Kroneman, Daughter-in-Law Judy Ballantyne, and three grandchildren, Michael Schnorenberg, Brian Kamrath, and Kari Kamrath.
Funeral services for Mildred will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Grace Lutheran Church, Austin, MN, followed by lunch at the church. Interment will follow at St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Elkton, MN. Visitation will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 6, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin – 1801 4th St. NW, Austin, MN 55912. Visitation will continue on Saturday, September 7, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church - 2001 6th Ave SE, Austin, MN 55912. Memorials to Grace Lutheran Church, Austin, MN or Austin Mayo Hospice are suggested. The family of Mildred wishes to express gratitude to the Austin Mayo Hospice for their loving care and comfort. Thanks also to the Primrose nurses, aides, and staff for their kindness and care. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements.