Julie C. Boots, 97, of Decorah, died Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, at Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah. Memorial services are at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church in rural Spring Grove, Minn., with Rev. Allen Hermeier officiating. Inurnment is in the Church Cemetery. Visitation is one hour before the service at the church the day of the service. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com.
Julie Christine Clauson Boots was born Sept. 3, 1916, to John P. Clauson and Christine (Peterson) Clauson at her parental home in Winneshiek County, Highland Township. She was baptized, confirmed and married at Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church, rural Spring Grove, Minn. Youngest of five children, she attended elementary school in the rural Kjome School for eight years. From 1930-1934 Julie attended Spring Grove High School, boarding in town during the week and returning to the farm on weekends, graduating in 1934. For two years she attended the Decorah College for Women and graduated from Luther College, Decorah, in 1938. Following graduation from Luther, Julie pursued a teaching career and taught high school English and vocal music in Maynard for two years. Thereafter, she accepted a teaching and high school library position in Wapello, where she taught for two years. It was in Wapello that Julie met a fellow teacher, Kenneth Boots, whom she married May 18, 1941. Their loving partnership endured for 66 years and produced four children: John, Linda, Norma and Paul. In 1942 she moved to Arizona, where Kenneth served as U.S. border patrolman for two years, living in Douglas, Gila Bend and Sasabee, Ariz. When Kenneth joined the U.S. Army in Oct. of 1944, Julie and infant son, John returned to her parental home and remained on the farm until Kenneth's discharge. In 1946 the couple moved to Wabasha, Minn., which became their home for the next 31 years. As much as Julie enjoyed teaching, she chose to interrupt her career in order to be home with her young children, returning to the classroom in 1961 to teach junior high school English and high school Latin. A devoted mother to four children, she followed their activities with interest, gardened, canned, cooked, sewed and managed their busy household. While in Wabasha, Julie was an active member of Lyster Lutheran Church, rural Nelson, Wis., participating in circle, choir and ALCW, and serving as Sunday school superintendent. In 1978, Julie and Ken moved back to Iowa, building a retirement home in rural Dorchester, where they lived until moving to Decorah in 2000. In retirement Julie discovered a talent for rosemaling and spent many productive hours painting and taking classes. She continued her life-long love affair with flowers, and entered floral arrangements at the Winneshiek County Fair for years. She and Ken enjoyed a trip to Germany and three trips to Norway to research her heritage and visit relatives. They also made frequent trips to visit their children in various parts of the country, and Julie was always on call for the birth of grandchildren and other family emergencies. Julie was a member of Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church where she was active in women's organizations, sang in the choir, and was the first woman to serve as deacon of the congregation.
For the past six years Julie resided at Mathilda A. Barthell's Order of the Eastern Star Home in Decorah, where she was known for her sweet temperament and love of singing.
Julie is survived by her children and their spouses: John and Justine (Julie) Boots of Ogema, Minn., Linda and Owen Christianson of Decorah, Norma and Harley Refsal of Decorah, Paul Boots and Katryn Gabrielson of N. Yarmouth, Me.; grandchildren: Jennifer Boots-Marshall, Peter Christianson, Carl Refsal, Mary-Catherine Boots-Sacra, Rebekah Christianson Fonkert, Martin Refsal, Christopher Boots and Anna Boots; five great-grandchildren: Joel and Owen Marshall, Gus and Jens Fonkert and Alice Sacra. She also is survived by seven nieces and nephews, numerous grand-nieces and -nephews, and great-great nieces and -nephews.
Julie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 66 years, Kenneth A. Boots (April 7, 2008); her sisters, Selma Clauson and Jarla Clauson; her brothers and sisters-in-law: Gerhard and Wilma Clauson and Peter and Odella Clauson.
The family wishes to thank the staff and administration of Barthell Eastern Star Home for the loving and attentive care that Julie received while a resident there. Memorials may be given to Barthell Eastern Star Home, Luther College, or Waterloo Ridge Lutheran Church.