Caroline Walburga (Klassen) Nathe

November 13, 1944 ~ November 11, 2020 (age 75)


Caroline W. Nathe, age 75, of Litchfield died on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at her home.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, November 17th, at the Church of St. Philip in Litchfield. A walk through visitation will be held from 5:00 Pm until 7:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020, at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service.  Interment will be in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.  The mass will be live streamed on her obituary page on

Caroline Walburga (Klassen) Nathe was born to Nicholas & Theresia (Hemmesch) Klassen during a snowstorm on November 13, 1944 at their family’s farm in Spring Hill, Minnesota.   Caroline had attended Country School District #133 located in Spring Hill. At age 13, she moved to St. Benedict’s High School in St Joseph, Mn where she graduated in 1962.  Later, she worked for the State Bank of Paynesville. Carol’s love of dancing caught the eye of a tall baseball player named Rueben where they met at the infamous New Munich Ballroom.  They started dating during the time of the United States draft; so, Rueben decided to enlist in the Navy Reserve during the Vietnam war.  Rube proposed marriage to Carol with some options: Marry now? or after the war??  and Carol said, “Let’s not wait!”  on June 26th, 1965, they were married by Father Gerard Nathe, Rueben’s uncle, at St Michael’s Catholic Church in Spring Hill.  They were stationed in Norfolk, Va and had their first child Lana, few yrs later they had moved back to Minnesota where they became members of St Philip’s Catholic Church in Litchfield.  

Greg and Russ were born in Litchfield, where this couple devoted their life to their community. (Litchfield Blues Baseball Assn & The American Legion Post #104) After the boys were in kindergarten, Carol went to work for Litchfield School District #465 in the Business office, as their Accounts payable clerk until June 2011. (34 yrs) 

Carol enjoyed life thru bowling & softball, gardening, canning, quilting and her special 1,000+ bulb Christmas tree with hundreds of decorations.  Later the entire family would celebrate their grandchildren’s birthdays with a bowling competition- making special memories.  She often travelled to visit her daughter when she lived in New York, Chicago and Boston.  Every year, Carol & Rube averaged 80 + baseball games a year.  Carol was loved by many, as the reliable (professional) baseball scorekeeper. She was the second Mother to many of the baseball players- even sometimes washing their uniforms.  She was the Queen of the Blues and was holding court in the dugout!   For this dedication , Carol was inducted into the Litchfield Baseball Assoc. Hall of Fame in 2009 she also served as a Board member/Secretary, especially when husband Rube managed the Blues Amateur and Post #104 Legion baseball teams for over 35 years.  Carol also was a lifelong member American Legion Auxiliary #104 and had served 9 separate times as their President.  Carol’s love of family heritage and of all things German; this is one of her favorite phrases:  Gutes essen und trinken halt lieb und seele zusammen! Translation:  Good food and drink, bring love and soul together!

In 2017, Carol was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her loving and devoted husband took good care of her at home.   She entered into the Mayo Clinic research Alzheimer’s study taking annual brain scans. Last scans occurred on November 3, & 10, 2020.  Her brain has donated for the study with hopes for a needed cure.   

Caroline is survived by her husband, Rueben, children: Lana Nathe of Boston, MA.  Gregory/Monica Nathe of Elk River, Mn and Russell Nathe of Mound, Mn.  Sisters:  Lorraine Cagley of Tulsa, Ok; Kathleen and (Ralph Kalthoff) of Richmond, Mn; Hilde and (Richard) Nohner of Clearwater, Mn; Jane and (Robert) Detloff of St. Cloud,Mn,  Brothers Ralph Klassen of Richmond, Duane Klassen of Minneapolis, Jim and (Janice) Klassen of Spring Hill and. (4) Grand Children:  Beau Nathe, Katie, Sam, and Lexie Lemcke all of Elk River.  She was preceded in death by her parents; Nicholas (1995) and Theresia (2008) Sisters:  Marlene Klassen (1964), and Marie Klassen (2010) Brother in law:  James Cagley (Lorraine) (2007) Sister in laws: Lades (Duane) Klassen (2019), Marcy (Ralph) Klassen (2020)

Donations in Caroline Nathe’s memory: Alzheimer’s Foundation and Meeker County Veterans Council + Assistance Fund 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Caroline Walburga (Klassen) Nathe, please visit our floral store.


November 16, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Johnson - Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service

November 17, 2020

11:00 AM
Church of St. Philip
821 E. 5th Street
Litchfield, MN 55355

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