Wanda Laine Pieper 76 of Caledonia, Minn., passed away surrounded by family and friends at Mayo Clinic in La Crosse, Wis., on Wednesday May 17, 2017. Wanda was born on July 25, 1940 to Elsie (Hatling) and Donald Hellickson at their home in Mabel, Minn. After attending most of her high school in Caledonia, Wanda graduated from Bothell High School in Washington. Wanda attended Winona State University with her husband Bernhard, and siblings Herald and Ancy. After graduation, she taught school for a year with Bernhard in Byron, Minn. After a year of teaching and a couple of moves she found her true calling as a loving mother of five and resided in Roseville Minn., until returning to Caledonia in 1978 to the Pieper family farm with her husband and her five children Jon, Lori, David, Heidi, and Michael.
Although the farm was started by Fredricka and her son Barney, the family farm has been heavily influenced by its many matriarchs. First with Minnie Bolduan who married Barney, then Lorena Krick, who married Milton, and perhaps most of all by Wanda Laine Hellickson who married Bernhard Pieper on August 12, 1961. The biggest legacy that Wanda brought to her family farm is that all were welcome at any time for any reason, and were soon made welcome on the farm, which was a tradition she brought with her to her retirement home at 725 Marshall street, in Caledonia, Minn. She was often surprised by her children’s visits because they often did not bother to call because, “of course she would be there; where do you go when you have to milk cows twice a day.” In addition to being a loving wife, friend, sister, neighbor, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother Wanda enjoyed bowling, bridge, Trash Night with her friends, and red hatting, but her pride and joy was always her family and attending every event she could that involved any of her many grandchildren.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Howard, Victor, and Jerome (Terry). Wanda is survived by three siblings Harold (Judy), Ancy, and Erma (Don) Mackenzie; her loving husband Bernhard (Bernie) Paul Pieper; children; grandchildren; and a great grandson. Her oldest son Jon (Sarah) Pieper reside with their children Claire, Sophie, and Tate in Lanesboro, Minn., where the family owns and operates The Old Village Hall restaurant. Oldest daughter Lori (Scott) Herkert and their children Shane, Jack, Max, and Sam reside in Verona, Wis., where Lori is a registered physical Therapist. Middle son David manages the family farm which includes Betsy’s Bed & Breakfast with his wife Elizabeth (Betsy) in addition to his Mutual of Omaha office. Their children include Kelly (Christopher) Gunderson, Benjamin, Ella, Tessa, and Christopher; Kelly & Christopher have one son Elliot. Youngest daughter Heidi (Brian) Wilson is a beautician in Onalaska and has three children Austin, Tanner, and Mitchel. Youngest son Michael (Jennifer) Pieper has four children Emma, Joshua, Nolan, and Oliver and resides in Holmen, Wis. Michael is an administrator at the UND.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. with visitation at 10 a.m. at St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Caledonia, Minn., on Monday May 22, 2017. Memorials can be made out to St John’s for the tuition assistance fund and mailed to 725 S Marshall Street in Caledonia, MN 55921.