Gladys Ione Mrachek
1934 - 2020

Gladys Ione (Larson) Mrachek

Gladys Ione (Larson) Mrachek, 86, passed away peacefully and transitioned into her new role as our guardian angel, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

Gladys was born Oct. 6, 1934, to Nels and Inger (Quamen) Larson, on a farm just outside Peterson, Minn. In her younger years she loved skating and dancing and became quite the accomplished ice skater. In fact, people would often comment that she could skate circles around any of her friends. Gladys graduated from Peterson High School in 1952, where she was well known for and voted best dresser and keeper of the nicest fingernails, a lore which she carried throughout the rest of her life.

After graduating from Peterson High School, Gladys was employed at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., and as a nanny for multiple families, including the Ernest L. King Jr. family, owners of Watkin's Products in Winona. Considered a natural beauty by her peers, after moving to Winona, Gladys was selected to be an attendant in the 1956 Winona Winter Carnival.

While employed at the locally famous Oaks Supper Club, in Minnesota City, she met her husband, Edward Frank Mrachek, and they were married Sept. 1, 1956, in Peterson. In her early years of marriage, Gladys was busy raising her family as a full-time homemaker, volunteering as a room mother and Girl Scout leader. Later Gladys was employed at several clothing stores in the area.

After the passing of her husband, Eddie in 1980, Gladys quickly and successfully adjusted to and embraced single life, becoming very independent and self-sufficient, while working at Saint Mary's University, and later as an in-home caregiver to the late Budd Ulrich.

Gladys was easy going and made many good friends in Winona and the surrounding area. She loved to work in her garden and travel to new places. All who knew Gladys would tell you she will be greatly remembered for her stylish flair, quick wit, attention to detail, timeless wisdom, all while being a perfectionist with her home and yard. She embraced family get-togethers and especially looked forward to traveling during the holidays, every year for the past 40 years, to her daughter and son-in-law's home in southern California. Despite being frequently encouraged by her daughter and son-in-law, to move to California, Gladys really loved Minnesota and was grateful and happy to remain there her entire life.

Gladys is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Frank) Caraglio of Carlsbad, Calif.; two grandchildren, Angela (Austin) Faringhy of Vista, Calif., and Michael Caraglio of San Diego, Calif.; stepdaughter, Cheryl Meloche and family, of Prescott Valley, Ariz.: two sisters, Alice (Darold) Sievers of Rushford, and Arlene Grimes of Peterson; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Gladys was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Edward; sister, Marian and brother-in-law, Melvin Nordgaard; brother, Norman and sister-in-law, Lois Larson; and brother-in-law, Robert Grimes.

The family would like to recognize Gladys' longtime friend, Brenda Rohn of Winona, and special caregiver, Connie Chadbourn, and the staff of Saint Anne Extended Care, all of whom provided their compassionate care and kindness to Gladys when it was most needed.

In accordance with Gladys' wishes, no services will be held. Cards may be sent to Hoff Funeral Home c/o Gladys Mrachek Family, 3480 Service Drive, Goodview, Minn., 55987. Memories and online condolences may be left for the family at

Gladys will remain dearly loved and treasured forever by her family and many friends whose life she touched. She will forever be remembered as our hero and the icon she is.

Mom, grandma, sister, friend. We love you Gladys!

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Published by Winona Daily News on Nov. 22, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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Funeral services provided by:
Hoff Funeral & Cremation Service
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