Delores Smith Kurpius, 93, of Crookston, MN, passed away Saturday morning, October 1, 2022, at the Benedictine Living Community Crookston with family at her side.
Delores Mina Gullekson was born at Fertile, MN on June 23, 1929, 1 of 8 children of the union of Gordon and Mina (Kiltie) Gullekson. While growing up near Fertile she attended the Golden Beam, District 66, country school through the 8th grade and went on to the Fertile High School where she graduated with the Class of 1946. On January 17, 1947, Delores was united in marriage to Walter M. Smith. As their family grew to include 3 sons and 5 daughters they moved from Fertile to Rustad, MN and then to Crookston in 1963. Delores was employed at Jiffy Fry until 1979 and then began working behind the counter at the Sweetheart Bread Store. Walter passed away on October 30, 1993, and Delores decided to retire and devote herself to her children and their families. As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary she enjoyed attending meetings and volunteering her time to help with the organization’s projects. Several years later while making her home in the Summerfield Apartments she met a new resident by the name of Edward Kurpius, who had moved from Ada, MN to be near his daughters, Connie and MaryJane. To quote one of his daughters, “the rest was history”. They were married on June 14, 2004, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston and enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon trip to Maui. Life was good and Delores was very happy to have Ed’s family warmly embrace her as part of their family, just as her family welcomed Ed. Sadly, he would pass away on March 21, 2015.
Delores continued to make her home in Summerfield, looking forward to frequent visits from her blended family. She filled her days doing embroidery, sewing, and cloth painting, and loved going to garage sales, shopping, and playing cards and bingo with friends. Delores was an ardent fan of the Minnesota Twins and was able to watch a game on television with her son, Scott, just 3 days before her passing. The Twins won and that made it a good day! She will be very fondly remembered and sadly missed by her family and many friends.
Delores is survived by 4 of her 8 children: Connie Smith of Crookston, Janie Ricord of Redwood Falls, MN, Tracy Smith of Crookston, and Scott Smith (Patrick Prochaska) of Minneapolis; 2 daughters-in-law, Eileen Smith of Langford, SD and Sharon Smith of Yuma, AZ; sons-in-law, Dennis LaFleur and John Helgaas of Crookston; 7 grandchildren: Nikki (Doug) Wick, Judd Smith, Jodi Enlow, Troy (Leisha) Smith, Seth Ricord, Nevin Ricord, and Kira Yates; 12 great-grandchildren: Dayton (Nicole) Wick, Josie Wick (Michael Thompson), Christopher (Ciara) Wick, Nathan Wick, Rowdy Smith, Race Smith, Brooke Clemenson, Megan Pierson, Anna Enlow, Casey Enlow, Jayda Ricord, and Talon Smith; 3 great-great grandchildren: Ryatt Wick, Ransom Wick, and Westin Thompson; together with many nieces, nephews, and friends.
From Ed’s family Delores leaves 2 step-daughters, Connie Kurpius-Hannesson and MaryJane Kurpius-Brock, both of Crookston; and their families, including 6 grandchildren: Wendy (Scott) Berge, Darby (Beka) Miller, Jeanna Miller, Andrew (Tami) Miller, Larissa Kurpius-Brock, and Marinda Kurpius-Brock; and 8 great-grandchildren: Riley, Jacob (Evian), and Cole Miller, Alexia (Tim) Engle, Thomas and Brenna Berge, Kendra Strommen, and Brianna Miller; 2 great-great grandchildren: Allyson Miller and Leo Berge; and extended family.
In addition to her beloved husbands, Walter and Edward; Delores was preceded in death by her sons, Kelly Smith and Monty Smith; daughters, Cindy LaFleur and Sherri Helgaas; grandsons: Jason Clemenson, Lance Smith, and Trent Smith: grandson-in-law, Will Enlow; and all of Delores’ siblings, brothers: Glen, Ken, Allan “Stub”, and Nick, and sisters: Afton, Faye and Roma. From Ed’s family she was preceded in death by 2 sons-in-law, Lee Hannesson and Bill Kurpius-Brock; his parents, Steve and Clara Kurpius; and all of Ed’s siblings, brothers: Joe, Ted, and Stanley, and sisters: Mamie, Lorraine, and Evangeline. May God richly bless the memory of Delores Smith Kurpius.
The funeral service celebrating Delores and her life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, October 14, 2022, at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with The Rev. Greg Isaacson, officiating. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service. The funeral will be livestreamed by going to her obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com and clicking on the prompt to view. Interment will take place at the Little Norway Cemetery, rural Fertile, MN, where Delores will be buried next to Walter.
Messages of condolence may be offered to the family on the funeral home website.