Shari Lee (Paskewitz) Kottke, 62, of Walnut Grove, ran through heaven’s gates into the loving arms of her Savior on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at her home after a 3 ½ year battle with cancer. Memorial Services were held at 1 p.m. Monday, August 31, 2020 outside St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Ann Township. Interment was in the St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery. Facebook link may be found and online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Walnut Grove Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Shari Lee (Paskewitz) Kottke was born on July 17, 1958 to Lou Anne Beito and Marvin Paskewitz in Granite Falls. Her younger years were spent living in Granite Falls, Hanley Falls and Duluth. Her parents divorced when she was young and she later gained an awesome new Dad when her mom married Wayne Kling. Shari grew up with six siblings and remembers fondly her days as a town kid before they moved to the farm and she had to become a hardworking farm kid. Those years of hard work would serve her well later in life. In high school she enjoyed being a part of the FFA and working at the Granite Falls drive-in. She graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1976. Shari met Ronald Kottke at the Blue Moon Ballroom in Marshall on December 19, 1976. They were engaged three weeks later. They were married at the Granite Falls Lutheran Church on August 27, 1977. At the young age of 19, she was married and moved to Westbrook to begin her life as a farmer’s wife. Soon she would have a house full of children when Micara, Josh and Travis were born. In 1986 she started taking classes at Worthington Community College and when Ron and Shari left the farm in 1987, they moved the family to Lake Crystal while they pursued their undergraduate degrees at Mankato State University. The family moved to Hanover in 1989 and Shari began her career as a social worker working in child protection for Wright County. Ron couldn’t resist the urge to be a farmer, so in 1995 he and the kids moved back to Walnut Grove to start farming again while keeping the new careers they both loved. Shari moved to Walnut Grove in 1997 and was the school social worker for the Springfield Schools until 2003. The school bug bit her again when she was almost done raising her children, so off to the U of M she went to get her Master’s degree in Social Work, graduating in 2003. From there she pursued all of her dreams in her career and worked for Olmsted County, the State of Minnesota, loved to travel the U.S. working Federal child protection review cases and her last home was being a manager of Child & Family social services at the three county consortium called MN Prairie – a combination of Dodge, Steele and Waseca counties. She lived her life dedicated to the transformational power of social work. The seeds of her life have been scattered within children, families, social workers, students/interns and to the wider community and universe. Shari’s faith was deep and abiding. She was an active member of St. Olaf Lutheran church for over 40 years serving as a council member, teacher and pie and turkey sandwich maker. St. Olaf was her faith home and a most fitting place to raise her up on her journey into our Lord’s arms. Shari’s passions in life were her children and grandchildren, her career, traveling, lengthy and expansive conversations with family and friends, hosting the Kottke Thanksgiving, taking the grandchildren to the farm for the weekends and making special moments and memories with everyone she met.
Shari is survived by her husband Ronald Kottke of Walnut Grove; children: Micara (Todd) Baker of New Market, Joshua of Walnut Grove and Travis (Ashley Paplow) of Rosemount; five beloved grandchildren; Sophie, Eva and Grant Baker and Eloise and Vivian Kottke; father Wayne Kling of Granite Falls; five siblings: Carrie (Larry) Anderson of Westbrook, Butch (Pam) Paskewitz of Dayton, Ohio, Susan (Doug) Westbrook of Onalaska, Wis., Michael (Tracey) Kling of Lewisville, Texas and Mitch Kling of Granite Falls; mother-in-law, Leona Kottke of Walnut Grove; siblings-in-law: Heather Richter-Kling, Darla Bloch, Kevin (Marikay) Kottke, LeRoy (Bonnie) Kottke, Diane Kottke, Dawn Possehl, Mary (Paul) Tomasek, Heidi (Wade) Brod, Keith (Chiloe) Kottke and Kristi (Kevin) Curd; and many nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts and cousins. She was preceded in death by her mother, Lou Anne Kling, father, Marvin Paskewitz, brother, Matthew Kling, grandparents Lloyd and Alta (Halvorson) Beito, father-in-law Donald Kottke and brothers-in-law, Fred Bloch, Dave Possehl and John Kottke.