Ardella Mae Knutson-Roehrs Simacek


Memorial services for Ardella Mae Simacek, of Waseca, Minn., will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Vista Lutheran Church of New Richland, Minn. Pastor Brian Gegel will officiate. Friends are invited to greet the family an hour before the service and to stay for lunch following the service at the church, where they are invited to enjoy one of Ardella’s favorite meals. Interment will be in the Woodville Cemetery, Waseca, Minn.

Ardella passed away Friday, March 31, at the Mayo Clinic Heath System-Mankato Hospital. She was 80 years of age.

Ardella, oldest of seven children, was born in rural Bricelyn, Minn., on Feb. 28, 1937, the daughter of Lester and Hattie (Winter) Knutson. She attended country school and graduated Kiester High School class of 1955. On Nov. 26, 1955, she was united in marriage to Ronald Roehrs. Ardella was married to Ron for 19 years; later, she married Emil Simacek on Nov. 3, 1975.

Ardella was no stranger to having an amazing entrepreneurial spirit. While raising six children, Ardella was instrumental in the establishment of a family farm, worked at Brown Printing Company and EF Johnson, was active in leadership in 4-H, Garden Club and Vista Lutheran Church. In 1990, she relocated to Texas and obtained her CDL license and drove cross country with her husband. She was a founder in a fiber optic company which became Fiber Systems International — a multi-million-dollar company providing communication technology used in our military’s national defense. Ardella remained active in the company until her retirement in 2003. When outside of work, Ardella loved baking and cooking, and was an avid gardener.

Ardella is survived by six children: Janet (John) Tharp, of Prosper, Texas; Rhonda (Gary) Conrath of Waseca, Minn.; Michael (Valerie) Roehrs, of Argyle, Texas; Steven (Kathy) Roehrs, of Frederic, Wisc.; Sandra (Garry) Walstrom, of New Richland, Minn.; Daniel (Renae) Roehrs, of Pagosa Springs; 16 grandchildren: Jeremy (Jamie) Conrath, Ted (AmyJo) Conrath, Jessica Conrath, Josh Conrath, Natalie Roehrs, Jennifer Roehrs, Sarah Roehrs, Andrew Roehrs, Kristy Roehrs, Megan Roehrs, Kristin Walstrom, Katie (Rod) Walstrom, Jonathan Walstrom, Tiffany (Darrin) DeBoer, Timothy Roehrs, Brianna (Rory) Burnett; seven great-grandchildren: Mikayla Conrath, Josiah Behncke, Jaxon Yenish, Jameson Conrath, Jasmine DeBoer, Levi DeBoer and Titus DeBoer.

Ardella is survived by four brothers: Alvin Knutson, Roger (LeAnn) Knutson, Jimmie Knutson, Lloyd (Becky) Knutson; and two sisters: Laura (Gerald) Heitland and Karen (Barry) Warren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Emil, in 2001; ex-husband Ronald, father to their six children in 2000; special friend and partner Tommy Thompson in 2004; father in 1964; mother in 2001; sister-in-law Janice Knutson; and nephews Jeffrey Heitland and Terry Knutson.