Eileen Anna Winberg was born on November 19, 1928 on the home farm of her parents, Harry and Minnie (Anderson) Winberg in Forest Township, Wisconsin. She was the youngest of Minnie & Harry’s six children, but not the quietest or the shyest!
Eileen attended Woodland Country School through 8th grade, then attended Glenwood City High School, “with some of the nicest people ever.” During high school she worked at Harold Paulson’s store in Glenwood City, and during summers worked at Stella Cheese and Friday Canning Factory. Eileen graduated from Glenwood City High in 1946.
After high school, Eileen moved to the Twin Cities, where she worked for the Minneapolis Star & Tribune Newspaper and 3M. With husband Emil, she owned and operated the Family Bar in St. Paul, Mr.Dutt’s Resort & Campground in Siren, Wisconsin, a bar and dance hall in Orient, Washington and The Boondocks Bar in Glenwood City, from which she finally retired in 1994. Even after retiring she couldn’t sit still – she worked at Friday Canning Factory again during the next couple of summers.
In 1951, Eileen married and had one child, but was later divorced. She married Emil Mrdutt on Valentine’s Day in 1959, and they had three children. Following Emil’s death in 1981, Eileen began spending a few weeks each winter in Florida, to escape the Wisconsin winter weather. She eventually met special friend Bob Whipple, and moved to New York State where she lived for 13 years. She returned to live in her hometown, Glenwood City, Wisconsin, in 2008. Eileen loved being near her family, but was fiercely independent. She lived in an apartment in Glen Park Manor, and over the next few years she reconnected with old friends and made many new ones. True to her Scandinavian heritage, Eileen and friends attended countless lutefisk dinners throughout Western Wisconsin each fall, but she still insisted on having lutefisk again each Christmas! While at Glen Park Manor, Eileen found a best friend in fellow Minnesota Twins fan, Ruth Davis who lived just down the hall. Eileen and Ruth called to check on each other daily, at pre-appointed times. When Eileen was taken to the hospital on April 9, 2015, she asked to have Ruth called at precisely 9:30 pm, so Ruth wouldn’t be worried! Though Eileen had survived cancer twenty years earlier, during this hospital stay she was diagnosed with COPD and a cancerous tumor in her lung. Too ill to return to her apartment, Eileen moved from Luther Hospital to Neighbors of Dunn County in Menomonie, then to Glenhaven Nursing Home in Glenwood City. Eileen died at Glenhaven on Friday, July 3, 2015.
Eileen loved music, dancing, high school football, and the Minnesota Twins! She watched Twins games faithfully for many years, even during her last days at Glenhaven Nursing Home. She loved to cook, ate well and collected recipe books. She loved coffee, butter and lutefisk. Eileen was happy in a warm sweatshirt, and enjoyed Bud Lite shorties, long phone conversations, and Jim Beam. She sang in choirs, in church and in the car; she danced around the kitchen or at wedding dances; she was an active member of the Legion Auxiliary, and loved riding in parades. She adored her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, nieces and nephews and her friends. She was outspoken, but was a quietly faithful woman, who loved God and serving her church. Years before her death, she selflessly decided that she would donate her body to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for medical education and research. Her work will continue there for many months. Her family could not be more proud.
Eileen was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Minnie Winberg; her husband, Emil Mrdutt; her brothers, Francis, Raymond, Clifford and Melvin Winberg; her sister Esther (Winberg) Koosmann, brother-in-law Gerhard Koosmann, and a nephew, William Koosmann. She is survived by daughter Sali (Michael) Mounce, son Jon (Barbe) Mrdutt, daughter Mary (Mike) Hill, and son Roger Mrdutt. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Philip Mounce and Rachel (Jacob) Bravo, Nicholas Mrdutt and Nathan Mrdutt, Savannah and Spencer Hill, and great-granddaughters Kaia and Sofia Bravo. She is further survived by sisters-in-law Gladys (Raymond) Winberg and Donna (Melvin) Winberg, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, July 26, 2015, 1:00 pm at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Glenwood City. Eileen’s family prefers memorials to Glenhaven Nursing Home in Glenwood City or Neighbors of Dunn County in Menomonie.