Wilhelmine "Willi" Finkral

Wilhelmine Rose (Walleser) Finkral, 94, of Lansing peacefully passed away surrounded by her family January 26, 2024. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, February 9, with visitation one hour prior at Immaculate Conception Church in Lansing. A luncheon will follow the services at T.J. Hunters.

Born December 2, 1929 in Manitoba, Canada, Wilhelmine, fondly known as “Willi,” was the daughter of John and Anna Walleser. She grew up on a small dairy farm near Lansing, one of 12 children. Willi received her education at Immaculate Conception High School in Lansing before attending Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, where she earned a degree and teaching certificate. She dedicated almost 40 years to teaching at Sioux City public and parochial schools, before retiring.

August 22, 1953, she married George Henry, and together they raised three children. After 33 years of marriage and George’s passing in 1987, she married Gerald Finkral and shared 25 years together before his passing in 2015.

Willi was an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lansing and earlier with Immaculate Conception Church and Nativity Church in Sioux City.

Known for her culinary skills, particularly her famous potato salad, Willi was also an avid gardener with a green thumb. Whether tending to growing or canning vegetables, planting flowerbeds, or generously sharing her talent, she relished every moment. A vibrant social spirit, she cherished the camaraderie of her weekly coffee group, and especially her visits with grandchildren and extended family for weddings, reunions, and gatherings each year.

Throughout her life, Willi found joy in various activities. She conducted children’s choirs at the church and in school, dedicated summers to tutoring, explored the States and Canada by motorhome and became a published author at age 86. Her skills in home improvement were evident, and she successfully managed real estate rentals over the years. An avid shopper, she took delight in discovering great bargains and the chance to brag about her finds.

Willi is survived by her three children: Mary (Dave) Robinson of Ankeny, Tony Henry of Sioux City and Chris Henry of Lansing; and two sisters, Alice Griffin of Dayton, OH and Phyllis Kimsey of Fort Collins, CO; and one brother-in-law, Leo (Bud) Hawes of Lansing. She leaves behind seven grandchildren: Jason O’Keefe of Fort Lauderdale, FL, Calina Lewis of Ankeny, Jeffrey Robinson of Des Moines, Kimberly (John) Beaderstadt of Des Moines, Brian J. Henry of Missouri, Christopher J. Henry of Phoenix, AZ and Robert Jensen (RJ) O’Neal of De Soto, WI; three great-grandchildren, Aryana Lewis, Riyah Lewis and Rowan Beaderstadt; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; six brothers; three sisters; six sisters-in-law; four brothers-in-law; her first husband, George Henry; and her second husband, Gerald Finkral.