Della Mitchell, age 96, died on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at Colonial Manor of Elma.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Della will be held at 11:00 on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at Notre Dame Parish in Cresco with Fr. Jacob Rouse presiding. Visitation will be held on Tuesday at the church, beginning at 9:30. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Cresco, IA. Pallbearers will be Scott Fett, Rodney Matthis, Dustin Gunhus, Todd Berst, Jim Murphy, and Matt Kuennen. Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Cresco is handling the arrangements.
Adella Katherine Kuennen was born on February 19, 1926, daughter of Clem and Mathilda (Croatt) Kuennen in rural St. Lucas, IA. Della attended country school until the 8th grade. For 42 years, Della drove school bus for the Howard-Winn School District. In between the bus routes she waitressed at Davis Corner’s Restaurant. She was a talented seamstress making clothing for her children, and alterations for Leutholds Clothing Store. If her own children outgrew clothing that she made, the items would be passed on to children on the bus route who were in need. Della’s work for the day did not end when the bus route finished. On her farm she raised and sold butcher chickens, had massive vegetable gardens to tend, and a huge strawberry patch. Della had a loyal canine companion, Bucky, who would help her get back up if she was too stiff after weeding for hours. She liked to bake up a storm, and was known for her black walnut angel food cake with brown sugar frosting.
Della is survived by her children JoAnne Mitchell of Cedar Rapids, IA, Kathy Patito of Sierra Madre, CA, Janet Gunhus of Cresco, IA, Richard Mitchell of Rochester, MN, Debbie (Randy) Forster of Boise, ID, and Gerald “Tom” Mitchell of Lime Springs, IA; 9 grandchildren Jerry, Shelly, Joseph, Katherine, Dustin, Nick, Kristina, Katie, and Zach (Alex); a great grandchild on the way; sister Arlene (Frank) Wilusz of AZ; and brother Gerald “Jerry” (Margaret) Kuennen of St. Lucas, IA, and sisters-in-law MaryJo Kuennen and Donna Kuennen.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son Bobby, brothers Leon, Clarence (Geneva), and James, and sisters Ruth (Gerald) Oyloe, Lori (Linus) Huinker, and Edna (Cyril) Holthaus, and brother-in-law Ralph Imoehl.