Caroline Weis

Monday, June 19, 2023 11:47 am

Caroline Louise Weis, age 86, of Decorah, Iowa and Fort Myers, Florida passed away peacefully on Feb. 13, 2023 in her Decorah home.

Caroline was born March 27, 1936, to Gavin and Josephine Hjerleid of Decorah. 

She was baptized and confirmed at Decorah Lutheran Church and graduated from Decorah High School in 1954. She then matriculated at the Lutheran Deaconess School of Nursing in Chicago, Ill., graduated with an R.N. degree specializing in obstetrics, and became O.B. supervisor at a large hospital in Chicago. In the summer of 1965 Caroline moved back to Decorah and became the head of nursing at Decorah Hospitals. A few months later, Caroline met Jim Weis at Luther’s Homecoming weekend and were married on May 28, 1966.

For the next 15 years, Caroline was director of nurses for Decorah Hospitals, during which time Jim’s and Caroline’s three children were born. The first, Matthew, on July 25, 1970, followed by David on January 4, 1973, and lastly, Mary, on September 19, 1975. Soon after, she spent 15 years volunteering as nurse and health teacher at St. Benedict’s School.

Caroline engaged herself in the intricate art of rosemaling. She had the privilege of working with Sigmund Aarseth, world-renowned artisan. She created many expertly-done works of art, most of which were given to friends and family to beautify their homes and special places.

Caroline was active in several organizations. She led various ladies’ groups at St. Benedict’s Church, was a member of Beta Sigma Phi, and served as the ladies’ president at Oneota Golf and Country Club where she headed numerous committees. She also was active in bridge clubs. In addition, Caroline loved to bake. Friends and family craved her chocolate chip cookies and her delicate Norwegian treats such as krumkake, rosettes and lefse, were among the favorites.

Caroline was a talented piano player and played by ear. Hours upon hours of glorious music could be heard in her home. She loved gathering family around to sing while she accompanied. A treasured event was singing Christmas carols with the Hjerleid family.

One of her favorite destinations was Fort Myers, FL where she and husband Jim acquired a home. They spent as many winters as possible in their tropical paradise.

She is survived by her husband, James A. Weis, two sons, Matthew J. (Dawn) Weis of Decorah, David J. (Anne) Weis of Wauwatosa, WI, one daughter Mary C. (Magnus) Hellmark of Örebro, Sweden, one brother, Homer A. (Renee) Hjerleid and sisters, Sandra (Carleton) Kittelson and Betty Wilson, all of Decorah, two sisters-in-law, Liz (Gabe) Alvarado, Grass Valley, Calif., and JoAnn (Tom) Martindale, Santa Cruz, Calif.. Caroline has five grandchildren, Kajsa Caroline and Annika Britt Hellmark of Örebro, Sweden and Sarah, Patrick and Nora Weis of Wauwatosa, WI.

Caroline was preceded in death by her parents Gavin and Josephine, sister-in-law Renee (Homer) Hjerleid, brothers-in-law Carleton (Sandra) Kittelson, Tom (Lorraine) Weis, David P. Weis, Richard (Vernelle) Weis, Joseph (Patricia) Weis, sisters-in-law Shirley (Cyril) Murphy, Edina, MN, Jeanenne (SNJM), Los Gatos, CA, Sandra Weis, Decorah, father-in-law Alvin H. Weis and mother-in-law Pauline L. Weis, both of Decorah.

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah with Rev. Donald Hertges presiding. Burial will be in the St. Benedict Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Saturday, at the church. Helms Funeral Home is handling arrangements.



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