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Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Larry McCorkell

I learned from Grandma Dake to love and stand by your family no matter what; it's better to accept people for who they are instead of trying to change them. That Rice Krispie bars need peanut butter added to taste right and that growing violets is worth the effort.

Ardis Sigman Quick
Roseville, MN

Adriana and I used to love going to see Great Grandma Amy because she had dolls to play with and an exciting farm to explore. We spent lots of time just playing and pretending outside. The last time we got to see Great Grandma was just a few weeks before she passed away. Adriana and I were old enough to know that this was probably the last time we would see her, and the good-bye was really, really hard for a couple of young girls. However, I will never forget how she comforted us and was so reassuring and calm. And that's how I remember her ... patient, kind, and such a good example to others. Living so far away, we didn't get to see her that often, but the few times we spent with her were very memorable and special. She left a lasting impression on some young ladies from Texas. I hope that I can be like her when I am a great grandmother!

Angela Stahlecker Roberson
Hico, TX

I want to share my fondest memories of Great Grandma Dake. The thing that I remember the most about her was her contagious smile ... it lit up her face and all the faces of those who were around her! Her eyes sparkled when she laughed. I also remember the quilts that she made for my sister (Angela) and me ... they were small quilts, just the right size for our Cabbage Patch dolls. We always looked forward to her visits to Texas and the visits we made to Minnesota to spend time with her. She was always so happy and full of life!

With love,
Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

I always wished through the years that we had lived closer to Grandma and Grandpa Dake and been able to experience some of the wonderful times the other cousins had with them. We always looked forward to our visits from Grandma, when she would fly to see us, whether it were in Texas or Colorado, after Grandpa passed on. She always had a listening ear and never was judgmental. She was always true to her convictions. One of the things I remember the most about her, was when she would get tickled, how she would laugh until she cried. My Dad was the same way, and I am that way, too. I loved her dearly.

Kathleen Dake Stahlecker
Gatesville, TX

Photo © Ernie Dake

I may have written this for The Bulletin before, but it's one of my favorite memories, so I'll repeat it. Grandma and Grandpa babysat me in the morning before I went to kindergarten. One day when I was changing into my school clothes from my play clothes I saw that Mom had packed knee highs for me to wear with my dress. The problem was that I didn't wear knee highs, I wore tights! Only. I remember crying over the prospect of having to go to school with bare legs. Grandpa thought I was being silly (I probably was) but Grandma's solution was to sit down at her sewing machine and whip me up a pair of pants. I was thrilled. I wish I still had those pants. I'm betting that they were lavender!

Marlene Anderson Johnson
Long Lake, MN

What Grandma Dake's memory is to me: How can you put into one small paragraph what a wonderful woman Grandma Dake was! She could sew a pair of homemade pants as fast as any seamstress, she could make Rice Krispie Bars and Ma's bars better than any bakery, she could read more books to kids than any librarian and of course I could go on and on ... but most importantly she prayed for each and every one of us and just the knowledge of that kept me encouraged more than once! (Once, while I visited her in the nursing home, she told me that she prayed for all of us EVERY day!) When I read about the Virtuous Woman ... I think of Grandma Dake!

Patty Anderson Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

Amy Dake was my grandmother but I always felt that she was more like a friend. Spending time with her was like being with another 5-year-old who could make cookies and read stories to you. She didn't give you a toy and a gentle push to go play with it; she played with the toy along with you. (Except when we were in groups, and then who can blame her!) I honestly think she got more of a kick out of the stories she read to me than I did (and I really got a kick out of that). I think I inherited a great deal of my quirkiness from Grandma Dake, for which I am ever grateful to her. She had a strange sense of humor; I will always have vivid memories of her laughing herself to tears over something she read in one of our stories. I am forever in her debt for teaching me how to laugh at the world and never take things too seriously. Grandma was a great teacher, but more importantly, my first best friend.

Douglas Anderson
St. Cloud, MN

Photo © Larry McCorkell

I remember when I was in the second or third grade and we were living in Illinois in a trailer park. It was very cold that year and Grandma Dake made me a brown coat and matching mittens, she sent them to me. I always remember that coat when I hear the song by Dolly Parton, THE COAT OF MANY COLORS. I remember when we had meetings at Grandma and Grandpa Dake's and after meeting all the kids would invade her cookie jars and she always had her special bars ready for anybody who wanted one. Grandma was a very special lady whom I think about all the time and will always think of her; she left a very loving impression on me.

Linda Blackstone Knutson
Fergus Falls, MN

If I had to describe, in one word, what grandma meant to me, I'd have to choose the word "ROOTS." She gave me a sense of belonging somewhere. Fond memories: African violets, bars (Rice Krispie -- best in the county ... maybe the whole world!), Oak Grove (I remember when a man in a truck delivered milk to her door, and she had the coolest milk carton holder), big desk, National Geographic, teddy bear (black & white), blooming flowers (all summer long), cousins (she was a vital link to them for me), panty hose braided rug (still have mine :o), cheeseburger hotdish and sour cream & onion chips, ugly black fish with BIG eyes, a school bell, instant coffee, books on records ... I could go on and on but I've used up my one paragraph limit :o)

Melanie Lehtola
Howard Lake, MN

I always enjoyed just sitting down with her and listening to the stories she had to tell. And certain that I'm not the only one who remembers the yummy treats she always had available. She will always be remembered.

Peggy McNeill
Ashby, MN

When I think of Grandma, I remember childhood summer visits to the farm near Howard Lake from our home in Texas. I smell her homemade bread ... spread thick with butter and honey ... and dishes of berries freshly picked from her strawberry patch. She was never happier than when the farmhouse was overflowing with family and friends, and she took a lively personal interest in each and every one! As she grew older, she showed by her example how good it is to Enjoy memories of the Past ... Live in the Present ... and Look Forward to the Future ... and she did that to the end of her life.

Carol Dake Printz
Sidney, NE

Photo © Larry McCorkell
(circa 1980)

Amy Dake was my Mother and my best friend! I remember as a child, my Mom and I were often home alone (when my brother and older sisters were at school). I loved to help her, but I am sure I was often more in the way than I could be of any help! A special time was sitting down with her and having a coffee break (with a dried out crust of bread or a dried out doughnut) to dunk in the coffee! Mom loved company, friends, neighbors and yes, even strangers riding the train boxcars, she fed them also! Mother prayed for all of her children and grandchildren right up to the day she died, a wonderful example for all of us!

LeRoy (Bubsy) Dake
Blaine, MN

"A mother's love never ends," is what comes to my mind when I think of our mother. Even though things were done in one's life that she did not approve of, her love for that child never stopped. ------ Thank you, Mom ------- Love, Gert

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

The Bill and Amy Dake Family

That's Billy, then "Mom" (Amy) holding Gert. (I would say she was about 6 months, old which would make the photo date 1932), Leroy (Bubsy), "Dad" (William B.) Dake, Dorothy, and Blanche. That is in front of the home place where we had many enjoyable times! Thanks for the memories. She is my second Mother and I still think of her often.

Tom Miller
Madera, CA

Thinking of Grandma Dake is like thinking of the definition of unconditional love. It seemed that she was always happy to see everyone; even my girlfriend from high school, Nancy, called her Grandma Dake. We always had so much fun with Grandma; she laughed a lot, paid attention to what we had to say ... AND she made the BEST chocolate malteds I have ever had!

Shari Miller Larson
Bradenton, FL

Mother Dake was one special lady. Blanche and I were privileged to take her on five long trips into Canada as well as the south area. She was a very good travel companion, as well as our mother.

Jim Miller
Bradenton, FL

My mother was not a brave women -- yet she took the pitchfork to a bull that had Dad cornered in its pen and poked him in the back until he backed away and Dad scrambled free. She did not like the sight of blood, yet she cleaned and bandaged many a cut or abrasion for the generations of kids she tended. She was not extremely interested in housekeeping, yet she kept a very homey place where everyone felt welcome. When I was sick and feeling miserable, lying in bed all hot and bothered, she came noiselessly up to me and made me as comfortable as she could. I guess she was pretty typical of most good mothers. I loved her, and I miss her.

Dorothy Dake Anderson
Alexandria, MN

On this Mother's Day, 2006, I would like to think of her as the best mother-in-law anyone could ask for. From the first day I met her, January 9, 1950 (that's a long time ago), until her death 44 years later, I enjoyed knowing her. Good memories remain in my mind as she with us in good days as well as bad ones. She was there for us. As it was true of the times, money was short. We traveled from North Dakota for a weekend with them; there was a $5 bill tucked into some canned goods as we loaded our car for the return trip. This was a good gift; without a doubt, it strained their budget for that week, but it helped to make it possible to come for a visit. You know we wanted to get there as we had filled two 5-gallon cans of gas at home and hid it in a culvert part way to Howard Lake. On our return trip, we stopped there and replenished our gas tank. (Gas was then 29 cents a gallon. Money was short. No credit cards.) But Amy and Bill wanted us there ... and we came! So you ones who have a mother-in-law, be good to her; she is the mother of your spouse.

Respectfully Submitted,
Don Anderson, Son-In-Law
(Jim Miller told me I was her favorite -- I thought he was!)

Photo © Larry McCorkell
(circa 1985)

As a youngster, I would occasionally have the opportunity to stay at Uncle Don and Aunt Dorothy's and to play with my cousins. Sometimes we would all go to visit Grandpa and Grandma Dake. Amy was so kind and hospitable. I always felt welcome. In her home or at her dining table she would say, "There is always room for one more!"

Muriel Wold Rodriguez
Wahpeton, ND

Amy was my friend ... as she was to so many! She had a big heart, always there for those who needed her. The main thing I remember about her was her love for African violets. She could grow the most beautiful African violets. She even developed new plants, beginning with seeds which she pollinated, which grew into various colored blooming plants. Violet was also her favorite color. Many times we saw her wearing that color, which was so becoming with her silver hair. Along with violets, she had another hobby which I also enjoy -- bird watching ... she loved to watch and identify numerous birds. I have such pleasant memories of that gracious lady!

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

As my memory takes me back to the few times I had the privilege to be with Amy Dake, I must say she was a very wonderful lady with a heart full of love and a table full of food. When her clear, strong voice beckoned that the coffee is ready, all within hearing distance made tracks, knowing something good was in store. We did enjoy knowing her and the wonderful family she and Bill raised.

Tom and Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Your dear mother, Amy, was like another grandmother to all of us, She was special, and all our times with the Millers and Dake get togethers gave some very good memories. I love to think about them, and to think that one day, if we all finish faithful, there will be a grand reunion. What a comfort to us all.

Anita Phingsten Weiland
Yankton, SD

You were asking for a short thought about your mother for Mother's Day, Dorothy. Amy was such a dear and special friend, whom I still miss. She truly served others at the expense of herself, and one doesn't forget that. Well, this is such a nice picture ... and made me think of how she and your dad had changed over the years later when I knew them best. This was the beginning ... I knew them at the other end of their life. Spending so much time with Bill and Amy left fond memories of them both. They became dearest friends of mine, and it is with sincere loving memories that I send this little comment.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

William Benjamin Dake and Amy May Mellon Dake
on their wedding day, September 3, 1919
Click here to read more "About Bill and Amy Dake"

I think Proverbs 31 best describes my memory of Amy. That of the virtous woman in that proverb. She loved her family and extended family, too. She was so compassionate toward any who were having a rough time, and she was an example to me as a wife and mother. She had a sense of humor, too -- that I loved. I miss her coming to visit us every year.

Lois Gandy Dake
Waco, TX

Grandma Dake -- I think all of us grandkids will say she was a wonderful Grandma. And she was! At Grandma's house there was always something delicious to eat! Their farm had so many interesting places to explore (but never, never Grandpa's tool shed!) and things to do (get into!). How about the big box of dress up clothes? That old wedding dress was by far the favorite of the girls! I don't think I appreciated her as much as I should have until I was an adult. After Grandpa Dake died, two or three times a year Grandma would stay at Mom and Dad's and since we were nearby she would come spend a few days with us. What a privilege. She loved to tell of her childhood, their early married life, raising a family in the depression, when the Gospel came, of the war years, just whatever. All it took was a good open ended question and get ready to sit back and listen for a couple of hours! She always had her basket of hand work near. Does anyone else still have one her throw rugs made by braiding four strands of worn out nylon stockings? Ours just won't wear out! She loved to mend clothes and darn socks while she talked. I think I still have one pair of socks she fixed -- I don't wear them -- I just haven't had the heart to throw them out! One thing she told us about that intrigued me was their water system. They had hot and cold running water BEFORE they had electricity. If my memory is correct it was an enclosed system and air was pumped into the water holding tank to give it pressure. Neat! Well, I think I have used up my share of space, but Thank You, Aunt Dorothy, for the idea and the trip down memory lane!

Steve Miller
Coral Springs, FL

My clearest and fondest memories of Aunt Amy were her serenity and delightful spirit. And, of course, the wonderful holiday get togethers with her and Uncle Bill at the farm. Her faith and devotion were always an inspiration and, I am sure, her strength. I loved her dearly, and am so proud to have called her "Auntie."

Diana Mellon Martin
Coon Rapids, MN

Grandpa's and Grandma's door was always open. If there wasn't a wholesome meal on the table when company arrived, Grandma would soon be coming from her kitchen bearing steaming bowls and platters of meat, potatoes, and pies. No matter who showed up, how many, when, or for what reason, there was always room at Grandma's table for one more guest.

Grandma's heart was like that. She loved us all -- and there were a lot of us -- and yet she always had plenty of love in her heart to love one more.

Larry Dake
Brooks-Oklee, MN

When I think of Grandma Dake I think of how she taught us by the example she lived more than the words that she spoke. Who could think of her without thinking of violets? Lilacs, flower gardens, quilts, chickens, egg gathering, Rice Krispie bars, coffee and toast, doll clothes and even doll shoes, treadle sewing machine, fried chicken, corn on the cob, strawberries, button box, Snooks, gladiolas, hooked rugs, braided nylon rugs, generous, loving, accepting people as they are, outhouse in the lilacs, swing in the tree, pumping water at the old hand pump ... all come to mind.

Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

I remember great-grandma Amy Dake coming to visit us a time or two up in Silver Bay. I remember getting caught up on all the news of her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids! She loved them all so much. I remember violets on the windowsill. I remember her being ready for a good laugh. Most of all I remember her love for her God, and the joy and satisfaction it brought into her life.

Suzanne McCorkell
Winston-Salem, NC

Photo © Larry McCorkell
54th Wedding Anniversary, 1973.

Thinking of her brings to mind so many fun memories! Lavender colored dresses, picking eggs and then washing them with her at the big kitchen table, her letting us stay over as often as our parents would let us, the many quilts she made and the rugs made from our old nylons. Her WONDERFUL hand mixed malted milks and her famous bars. (To us, they were famous :-) And far and above all of that, her kind, gentle nature and the love she bestowed to so many people! When I think of her I always remember the story Grandpa told about her trying to learn to drive and also how she'd given someone directions to turn by the "big white horse." Another, how she'd gotten a needle through her hand and had to walk out into the field for Grandpa to pull it out! Ouch! I loved her deeply and miss her yet. I was born on her birthday and remember fondly the many we got to share together. When I walk into another room and don't remember what I've come for, I remember Grandpa getting after her for doing the same thing! I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful grandmother!

Donna Mae Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Grandma Dake was a very large part of my formative years. Her warmth and tolerance for a rather active, and usually loud six-year-old boy was unparalleled. When informed that we were going to visit Grandma, I responded by asking, "My Gramma, or Donna's Gramma?" Grandma Dake has always been MY Gramma. I miss her so.

Donnie Anderson
Isanti, MN

My memories of Grandpa Dake, and his constant Terrier companion, "Snookie," are more vivid to me than memories of Grandma. Grandpa was the one who entertained me with his stories, and the one who I would tag along behind as he tended to the few farm chores that remained in their later years. I think in reality, he was the "babysitter" of the grandchildren so Grandma could get her work done. Nevertheless, some of my favorite memories of Grandma are seeing her at work in the kitchen, making dinner or some treat, like Depression Spice cake or frosted oatmeal bars, or seeing her bent over in her garden tending her beautiful flowers. But the memory that delights and stirs all my senses is that of washing dishes in the square dishpan at the kitchen table. I can still smell the warm, pink Little Debbie suds. These were the moments -- when I would be helping Grandma with her chores -- that we would have our own time to visit. Grandma and Grandpa were both kind and gentle spirits and I miss them both.

Genelle Mogck
Plymouth, MN

Grandma Dake wasn't really my grandma, but I can't remember a time when I didn't call her by that name. I don't think it was my doing as I have a childhood birthday card in my memory box that is signed "Love Grandpa and Grandma Dake." I could not have loved her more if she had been my real grandma. Thankfully, she became a real grandma when Ernie and I were married. In her later years, she would often come and spend a couple of weeks with us. She and I both loved to sew and it was a joy to take her to the big fabric stores in whatever city we were living in. She was thrilled to rummage through bins of buttons and look for a bargain on the clearance rack. If the fabric was purple or had flowers she was so happy. If it was both purple and had flowers she would exclaim how "pretty" it was! When someone calls me Grandma Dake, it is almost flashback time. I can't help but think of her and know I am richer for having known her. I can not even begin to fill those Grandma Dake shoes, but I will always be grateful for the standard of love, caring and acceptance she set for all of us. She not only touched my soul but helped form and mold the person I am today. With loving memories,

Carolyn Miller Dake
Duluth, GA

Grandma Dake was a special person who always had a smile for me and all the grandkids. In later years when she visited me in Texas, she would still smile, even when there was too much noise due to all the family talking at the same time. She would wink at me -- and then reach up and turn her hearing aids off! Then, she would just sit there and smile and nod appropriately! Ironically, Grandma had to come to Texas to slip and fall on a patch of ice, thus breaking her hip. She told me and others that was her way of getting to stay with us a little longer. Having both Grandpa and Grandma Dake separated from us by so many miles seemed so unfair, yet when we were together, I believe that we truly savored each and every moment. This certainly was true the last time I saw her at the family reunion. Before we left to come home, I visited with her at the nursing home and, in essence, she told me that she loved me and that I should hurry up and leave since she didn't like long goodbyes. She and I cried together, I left, and not much later in time we received the call that she was gone.

Bill (Stanley) Dake
McGregor, TX

Photo © Larry McCorkell
August 1978 at Larry and Sherry Dake's wedding reception.