Welcome to the memorial page for

Wilma "Willie" Patten-Esklund

February 6, 1928 ~ August 10, 2017 (age 89)

Wilma Jean Patten Esklund passed peacefully from this life on Thursday, August 10 at the Ostrander Care and Rehab Center.


She was born Wilma Jean Boelter on February 6, 1928 to Herb and Belle (Halvorson) Boelter in Spring Valley, MN.  She grew up in Spring Valley and the surrounding area and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1946.


Willie married Larry Patten on September 1, 1949.  The young couple bought a small farm outside of Spring Valley, MN.  To this marriage, they welcomed two treasured children, Theresa Ann and Thomas John.  Larry farmed the acreage and also worked at IBM for many years.  Willie enjoyed working during the summers at Libby’s canning in Rochester, and worked for many years at Jornels & Barbara Ann Fashions in Spring Valley.  She was a proud homemaker, creative seamstress and loving mother. They enjoyed traveling and camping trips with family and friends. Larry preceded her in death in 1978.  On February 5, 1983, Willie married Dr. Harry Esklund, and welcomed his four daughters and their families into hers.  Together, they enjoyed traveling and seeing much of the United States.  Harry preceded her in death in 1994.


Those who knew Willie loved her.  She possessed a sharp sense of humor and a warm heart for everyone she considered family, which included many friends as well.  She enjoyed spending time with her friends and family, whether playing a good game of cribbage, meeting for cards, going to bible study, or gathering with family on holidays.  She remained very active into her older years. Many people remember Willie from her daily walks, and she walked up to three miles a day well into her eighties.  At the age of 80, she even took her rollerblades out for one last spin. Willie had a sweet tooth, and always had a bucket of the best chocolate chip cookies waiting in the freezer for anyone who stopped by to visit.  She also loved flowers, traveling, and going on her annual fall drive to the river to look at the colors. Willie was deeply spiritual, and blessed with the ability to appreciate simple beauty in the world around her.


Willie is survived by her children, Theresa Patten and Thomas (Sarah) Patten and their children Madisen and Jack; and step-daughters Dotty Leibold, Bobbie (Gary) Erickson, Kathy (Robert) Baarsch, and Heidi Esklund. In addition, she is survived by 10 step-grandchildren, 4 step great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and friends.  She was preceded in death by her husbands, Larry Patten and Harry Esklund, parents Herb and Belle Boelter, brother Donovan Boelter and wife Juanita (Mickey), sister Dorothy Laging and husband Cliff, and a nephew, Gregg Laging.


The family would like to thank the nurses, nursing assistants, and staff who helped care for Willie during the last three years of her life, both at the Evergreens in Spring Valley and at the Ostrander Care Center, with special thanks to the staff of St. Croix Hospice for their care and guidance.  Their gentle kindness and love for Willie made her days easier as she struggled with the increasing effects of Alzheimers Disease. 


Funeral Services will be held 11:00 A.M.  Wednesday at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Spring Valley. Burial will be in the St Ignatius Cemetery in Spring Valley. Visitation will be held from 5-7 P.M. on Tuesday at the Hindt funeral Home in Spring Valley and will continue 1hr prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.

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