Linda Freida Graesser Selzer, age 98, formerly of Homestead, passed away peacefully, to live with her Lord, on Friday, October 17, 2014, at Colonial Manor of Amana. Funeral Service: 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, October 21, 2014, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Marengo with Rev. Andrew Gray officiating. Inurnment will be in the Homestead Cemetery. Visitation: 4 to 7 P.M. Monday, October 20, 2014, at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.
Linda is survived by her two children, Lial (Helen) Selzer of Homestead, and Marian Carew (Dan) of Dallas, TX; four grandchildren, Scott Selzer of Homestead, Neil Selzer (Rebecca) of Verona, WI, Alisa Hartman (Doug) of Gold Canyon, AZ, and Stephanie Vasso (Neal) of Tyler, TX; and 8 great-grandchildren, Gabriel and Aidan Selzer, Brooke and Zack Hartman, and Jake, Zeph, Garrett, and Nick Vasso.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband George on Feb. 14, 1995, and her siblings, Helene Wolf, Fred Graesser, Richard Graesser, and Lily Jones.
Linda was born May 1, 1916 in West Amana, Iowa, the daughter of William and Lina Griess Graesser. She grew up during the era of the Amana Colonies communal system. Her home was a community kitchen where her mother was the “kuchen boss.” Linda attended the Amana schools and helped her mother in the kitchen slicing and dicing, cooking and serving many meals a day. This was where her passions for cooking and intricate baking were born. Following her education in Amana, she attended Paris Beauty Academy in Cedar Rapids and became a beautician during the popularity of the marcel wave. She returned to the Colonies and set up a beauty shop in the Colony Inn. Linda and George Selzer were united in marriage at the Little Brown Church in the Vale, Nashua, Iowa on July 17, 1935. The couple settled in Homestead where they raised their family. For many years, she worked at the Homestead General Store, buying dry goods and gifts to sell to the surrounding area residents and to tourists. Shoppers would often request her to hand dip their ice cream cones, as her portions were most generous at 5 cents per dip.
For the past 40 plus years, she and George had a second home in Phoenix, AZ, where they spent their winters, returning to Iowa for the summers.
Prior to her illness, Linda lived a full, healthy life. She was active in various organizations and clubs, both in Arizona and Iowa. Being a devout Christian, in recent years her activities centered around her church families, St. John’s in Marengo and St. Mark’s in Phoenix. Her passion throughout her life was art, as was illustrated in her oil paintings, china painting, sewing, quilting, knitting, gardening and food presentation. Everything she did was done with an artistic flair. She was known for her cakes and won several awards and ribbons with her famous marble and walnut cakes. At the age of 80 she wrote a cookbook “Oma’s Family Secrets,” all handwritten in calligraphy, which is sold in various Amana shops.
Linda took great pride in her family and will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She delighted in the gathering of family and friends, loved people, and was the ultimate hostess, cooking and entertaining throughout her life.
At age 93, her health started to decline and she moved to Colonial Manor in Middle Amana where she remained until her passing.
The family expresses sincere appreciation to the caregivers and staff at Colonial Manor that cared for her with love and affection.