Grace Kaveney of St Peter, Minnesota, age 84, passed away in the early hours of August 3rd, 2014, from complications arising from diabetes.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis P. Kaveney and Myrtle F. (Dungan) Kaveney, by her half-sister Florence A. (Day) Rybus, by her half-brother Ernest E. Day, by her younger brothers John "Big Lou" Kaveney and Wayne T. Kaveney and by one nephew, Charles A. Chouanard.
She is survived by her sister Janice Chouanard and by her sister-in-laws Elizabeth "Betty" Kaveney and Yvonne "Bonnie" Rients and by 21 nieces and nephews.
Grace Restella Kaveney was born on September 14th, 1929, in Withee, Wisconsin where her father worked in the local sawmill. The start of the depression caused Grace's father to bring the family back to his parent's farm in Washington Township, Le Sueur County for a brief stay. In a couple years the family was established in a brick home at 312 South Front Street in St Peter where Grace would live for over 40 years of her life. Grace attended Central Grade School (grades 1 -3), then John Ireland Grade School (grades 4 -8) and then St Peter High School departing after her junior year to enter the work force. In her youth she worked at the counter of her family's resort, "The Cracker Box" during the summers from 1937 to 1949. In August of 1950 she was hired as an operator at the Northwestern Bell office in St. Peter. Later, from 1957 onwards, she worked in the plant department out of the same location until the position was phased out and she was laid-off in September 1975. After a short period working near Winona she was able to start work again in January of 1976 for Northwestern Bell as a directory assistant operator in Owatonna Minnesota. She moved to Owatonna and after working as directory assistance operator and she later was transferred to the plant department as a repair clerk. She was elected to be President of CWA (Communications Workers of America) Local 7213 in 1978. In October of 1980 she moved to Fargo, North Dakota and became the International Representative for the CWA there. Her union related activities covered the states of North Dakota and South Dakota. She retired in October of 1990 and lived in a home constructed on the corner of her brother's (Wayne's) property in rural Kasota Township, Le Sueur County. In 1993, she replaced the Kasota Township Clerk for the remainder of his term and was subsequently re-elected to that position in 3 times. She was stubbornly independent but with her health deteriorating she moved out of her home and into assisted living in October of 2013. Grace enjoyed camping and took her nieces and nephews on camping trips. She took pleasure in crocheting, raising flowers and cooking. She watched birds from her Kasota Township home and she enjoyed hosting holidays and card parties for her relatives. In her younger days she had been very active in Nicollet County DFL Party affairs. She was baptized when she was 9 years old at the (Roman Catholic) Church of St Peter, in St Peter and faith was very important to her. With the exception of her years in Owatonna and Fargo, she remained very involved with this parish church all her life, singing in the choir, cleaning the church on Saturdays, being lector and Eucharistic minister, singing in the funeral choir and serving on various councils and committees over the decades. She will be greatly missed.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00a.m. on Thursday, August 7, 2014 at the Church of Peter with Fr. Todd Peterson officiating. Visitation will be from 9 " 11a.m. on Thursday at church with a Rosary at 9:00a.m. Burial in Calvary Cemetery, St. Peter. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the John Ireland Grade School, 1801 W. Broadway, St. Peter, MN 56082. St. Peter Funeral Home ~ Klein Chapel is in charge of arrangements.