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Emilie Grendler

Emilie Grendler

Sioux City

Emilie Ann "Sally" Grendler, 87, of Sioux City, died Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City. Alzheimer’s disease robbed Emilie of her abilities; however, she retained her gentle, sweet spirit throughout her final days.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Monday at Holy Spirit Retirement Home Chapel, with the Rev. Dennis Meinen officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation with the family present will be one hour prior to the services. Arrangements are under the direction of Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Online condolences may be given at

Emilie was born on April 1, 1931, in Yankton, S.D., to Albert O. Grendler Sr. and Winifred Hansen Grendler. As a toddler, her grandfather, Ferdinand Hansen, called her Sally, and that became her name among family. She attended elementary school in Yankton and St. Peter’s School in Jefferson, S.D. At age 13, Emilie and her family moved to Sioux City due to her father’s job with the Milwaukee Railroad. A 1948 graduate of Cathedral High School, she pursued a career as an elementary teacher. Her mother often told stories of Emilie as a young girl holding school for her siblings and neighborhood friends. The family’s kitchen was her first classroom.

She received a two-year teaching certificate from Briar Cliff College. Her first job as a teacher was in Ute, Iowa. In 1958, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in elementary education from Briar Cliff. She received a Master of Education degree from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in 1964; she also completed an administrative certificate from USD.

Forty-two years of her 46-year teaching career were with the Sioux City Community School District. Nine years were at Riverview School, and 33 years at Hunt School. Her expertise was teaching primary grade students to read, and enjoy the fun and discipline of learning. Former students always remembered her. She was always thrilled when she was out and about and someone would ask, "Are you Miss Grendler, my third-grade teacher?"

Retiring in 1996, she had a second career with volunteering. She returned to the classroom as a volunteer through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. She assisted beginning readers at Hunt School for seven years. Her involvement with RSVP included serving as the Advisory Board secretary. Other volunteer activities included the American Cancer Society, Bargain Center, Cathedral Arts Guild, Friends of the Library, and Sioux City Public Museum. She served faithfully for decades at the Cathedral of the Epiphany as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, docent, religious education teacher, and Pastoral Committee member.

She was a member of the American Association of University Women, Catholic Daughters of Americas, Ave Maria 269, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Girls of '68, and Sioux City Retired Educators Unit.

Emilie was dedicated to her family. She took loving care of her mother, who lived with Emilie in their Douglas Street home. Emilie was an advocate and teacher for her nieces and nephews. She helped all of them in many kind and caring ways. Retirement offered her more time for travel, Bible study, book clubs, attending family activities, and enjoying her great-nieces and great-nephews.

Those left to honor her memory are her nieces and nephews, Mary C. McCarthy, Karen M. (Ken Todd) McCarthy, Dennis J. (Kris) McCarthy, Kimberly A. Kuehl, Amy L. Thacker and fiancé, Tim Alvano, Julie A. (Brad) Schindler, Sara J. Den Beste, Christopher L. (Brenda) Persinger, JoAnna M. Knox and Shane Hosch; great-nieces and nephews, Erin, Eriksen and James Todd; Maddie and Anna McCarthy; Kane (Mandi) Kuehl, Bobby Kuehl, Lindsey Persinger, Samantha Rogers, Tristan, Taylor, Tanner, Brittany, and Ashley Beaulieu, Brittney, Oliver, and Zoe Schindler, Alexandria (Tyler) Garrett, Braxton Den Beste, Brianna and Brandon Norris, Ethan and Olivia Knox; and nine great-great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert O. and Winifred Grendler; siblings, Mary P. McCarthy, Father Albert O. Grendler Jr., Joan Shaw, and Dorothy Persinger; niece, Kathy Persinger; nephew, Tom McCarthy; and brother-in-law, Robert D. Persinger.

Many thanks to the staff of Holy Spirit Retirement Home for the compassionate and respectful care provided to Sally since moving there April 1, 2015. Sally’s end of life care was blessed with extra TLC from Hospice of Siouxland staff and volunteers.

Memorials may be directed to Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Hospice of Siouxland, or Sioux City Public Museum. Sally was thrilled to attend the opening day of the new Sioux City Museum with its excellent learning opportunities for young and old. She never lost her excitement for teaching and learning.

Lastly, to honor Sally’s memory, encourage reading, visit a care center resident, or do an anonymous good deed.

the life of: Emilie Ann 'Sally' Grendler
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