Gretchen H. Healy April 19, 1935 - July 28, 2020

HEALY, GRETCHEN (Hamar). Age 85, of St. Paul, MN. Died Tuesday, July 28, 2020 of ovarian cancer. Preceded in death by husband John “Jake” Healy of 61 years, parents John Newton Hamar and Nina Rupprecht Hamar, sister-in-law Colleen Healy, brothers-in-law Tim Healy, Robert “Boots” Healy, Peter Healy, and Juan Mentink, nephew Jim Healy and niece Liz Healy. Survived by brother-in-law Michael Healy (Irene), sisters-in-law Mary Mentink, Mary S. Healy, and Ingrid Lynch. Beloved mom to seven children: Margaret (Mike) Pickard, Susan (Mehdi) Rafian, Rev. Daniel Healy, Paul (Tico) Healy, Joan Healy (John Andrastek), Peter (Cole) Healy, and Rebecca Healy. “Granny” to 18 grandchildren: Claire, Joseph, Luke and George Pickard; Jahan, Ehsan, Paymon, Arman, and Kian Rafian; Shane and Ryan Healy; Sam, Henry, Bridget, Alice and Elizabeth Andrastek; Olin and Victoria Healy. Aunt Gretchen was loved by many nieces and nephews. Gretchen treasured her friends in the Mes Amis book club, with whom she traveled and discussed over 450 books over the past 40 years. She also held “Grandma’s Book Club” for seven groups of her grandchildren through the years. She enjoyed daily lap swimming at the St. Paul JCC and YMCA, and swam 189 miles during the year she turned 80. Another favorite activity was bicycling in Europe with her husband Jake. Gretchen was born in Laurium, Michigan, raised in Houghton, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1957 with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy. Her desire for adventure and travel led her to pursue O.T. clinical internships in Los Angeles, Virginia, Hawaii, and the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Milwaukee, and she would remind you she was in Hawaii before it became a state. Her many volunteer activities included teaching computer literacy to seniors at SeniorNet, volunteering at Trinity School at River Ridge, volunteering at Good Counsel Cancer Home (now Our Lady of Peace Hospice), and many years at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church where, among other activities, she taught Junior Great Books as well as CCD classes, and was president of the Nativity Council of Catholic Women. While raising 7 children in St. Paul in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s Gretchen pursued a wide range of interests including courses in millinery, drapery making, upholstery, bridge, and of course, mushrooms. She was a member of the MN Mycological Society and you may have seen her after a spring rain foraging in the yards of Macalester-Groveland. Thank you to her “gourmet chef” grandsons, Paymon Rafian, and especially Henry Andrastek, who took care of her in her final months, as well as beloved daughter Becky, who stayed with her until the end. The family would also like to thank the staff of Our Lady of Peace Hospice for their kindness, especially Lynette Baker, RN for her loving care of our mom over the last 13 months. There will be a small funeral Mass at 11am Monday, August 3, 2020, at Nativity Catholic Church, celebrated by Gretchen’s son, Fr. Daniel Healy. It will be livestreamed on the Nativity webpage, Nativity-MN.org. Funeral will be followed by a private “natural” burial at Resurrection cemetery.

Visitation on Sunday, August 2, 3-5pm, at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Visitors are requested to observe spacing protocols. Memories of Gretchen may be sent to the family at G3Healy@comcast.net. Rather than flowers, donations suggested to: Catholic Charities, 1200 2nd Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55403, or St. Paul Healthcare for the Homeless, 438 Main St., Saint Paul, MN 55102.

Visitation on Sunday, August 2, 3-5pm, at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Visitors are requested to observe spacing protocols. Memories of Gretchen may be sent to the family at G3Healy@comcast.net. Rather than flowers, donations suggested to: Catholic Charities, 1200 2nd Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55403, or St. Paul Healthcare for the Homeless, 438 Main St., Saint Paul, MN 55102. There will be a small funeral Mass at 11am Monday, August 3, 2020, at Nativity Catholic Church, celebrated by Gretchen’s son, Fr. Daniel Healy. It will be livestreamed on the Nativity webpage, Nativity-MN.org.

Condolences(2)

  1. REPLY
    Barbara Strandell and Kathi Koehn says

    What a life! Our condolences go out to you Joan and John Andrastek – and your beautiful children. May the gift of Gretchen’s amazing spirit remain active in all of you — forever.

    • REPLY
      John Andrastek says

      Thank you for your thoughtful words of condolences. She was a remarkable woman!

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