Florence Darlene (Mikulich) Struss became a beautiful angel on January 28, 2023. She died of natural causes at her home surrounded by family. During her 94 year journey, Florence lived by one of her favorite quotes: Give of yourself the best to the world and only the best will come back to you.
Florence was a proud Croatian Iron Ranger. She was born on November 27, 1928 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the second of three children born to John and Katherine Mikulich. Florence spent her youth on the family farm in Trout Lake Township (near Coleraine). The family spoke only Croatian until the children learned English at Trout Lake country school. Florence graduated from Greenway High School in Coleraine in 1945, and attended Itasca Community College.
While working as a telephone operator in Coleraine, she answered a late night call from the local depot agent and telegrapher, Gerald Struss. They were united in marriage on July 2, 1950. While starting their family, Gerald was a depot agent for the Great Northern Railroad and they made their early homes in Coleraine, Keewatin, and Fosston, settling in Akeley in 1957. Florence was always sure to have fresh lipstick and her hair styled just right whenever her husband returned home from work.
They were blessed with six children: Gerald Struss, Jr. (June), Rosanne Lueck (Matt), Gail Henne (Chester Berg), Kevin Struss, Cy Struss (Lisa), and Violet Struss (Vince Lamb); twelve grandchildren: Amanda (Miler) Montoya, Seth Struss, Kate (Corey) Milkert, Anna (Will) Lein, Michele Watson, Ross (Sue) Lueck, Shannon (Collin) Frazier, Ashley (Matt) Kirchoff, Angele Henne (Ryan Staudhammer), Zachary Struss, Kiel Struss, Rian Struss; twenty-one great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
On entering heaven, Florence joins her beloved husband, Gerald; son, Kevin; grandson, Seth; parents, John and Katherine Mikulich; brother John Mikulich; sister-in-law Beverly Mikulich; and sister Rose Hanson.
Florence was the Akeley Postmaster (1987-1990); postal clerk (1960-1987); Bell telephone operator (1946-1950); and a fabulous mother and grandmother (always).
Florence enjoyed reading, singing, good music, a good picture show, philately (stamp collecting), beautiful flowers, photography, traveling, finding treasures, rides in her nephew’s float plane, rowing around Island Lake, long walks, rides and road trips, talking politics, ceramics, a good laugh, and learning new things. She prized education and was a masterful bedtime story teller. In 2006, Florence fulfilled a lifelong dream when she traveled to Croatia with her daughter, Violet. While in Croatia, she visited areas where her parents had lived prior to immigrating to the United States.
Florence was a member of the Akeley United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women, member of the National League of Postmasters, member of the American Legion Auxiliary, founding member of the Akeley History Museum, and volunteered many hours to support community organizations.
Florence accepted everyone as they were and had a tremendous talent for making you feel understood and valued. She was a loving, kind, caring, and selfless woman. Family and friends are grateful to have had her in our lives. Florence will forever and lovingly be remembered.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 1 p.m. at the Akeley United Methodist Church in Akeley, MN. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday. Interment will be held this spring at the Akeley City Cemetery.
Arrangements were entrusted to Cease Funeral Home. Friends may leave online condolences at ceasefuneralhome.com. 2-8