Sharon Rae (Fenske) Gilman

August 29, 1947 ~ February 15, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Sharon Gilman Obituary

Sharon Rae Gilman, age 76, originally of Gibbon MN, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

She is survived by her four sons, nine grandchildren, three step grandchildren and three great grandchildren.  Jerry and his three children Zachary (Amanda) with children Carson and Camden, Taylor (Matthew) with child Iver and Drew (Eric).  Chad (Joy) and his two children Tate and Iris and step children Jewel, Graham and Samuel.  Ryan (Bridget) with children Charlie and Claire.  Jim and his two children Cody and Joey, as well as sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.

Sharon is preceded in death by her husband Willard Gilman, brother Allen Fenske, parents Raymond and Eleanor Fenske, and aunts and uncles.

Sharon Rae Gilman was born August 29, 1947 in New Ulm, Minnesota to parents Raymond and Eleanor Fenske (Wenztlaff).  She was the oldest of 2 children.  She was married to Willard Gilman for 43 years, who passed away in 2013.  Sharon loved her four sons and her grandchildren dearly, as they were the world to her, and she dedicated her life to putting her family first.  In the 1990s to 2023, From Sleepy Eye to New Ulm to Chisago City, Minnesota, She dedicated her time helping others as a nursing assistant. Sharon was honored in 2005 as “Caregiver of the Year” by Minnesota HHA. Prior to that, in the 1980’s, Sharon helped manage Fenske’s Café in Gibbon, MN, a diner her parents owned, where she learned how to make her famous potato salad.  She was always everyone’s mom whether it was with co-workers, family friends or being a caregiver for others’ loved ones. Her motto in life was, “be nice, kind and respectful to everyone.” Sharon was an avid Minnesota sports fan and she especially loved watching the Twins.

She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. In 2012, Sharon moved to Chisago City, Minnesota and lived the “Minnesota Dream” for almost a decade, waking up every morning at the family lake house. Many priceless memories of family gatherings were enjoyed at the lake house. In fall 2023, she moved to Covington, LA to be near her Louisiana son to start a “snow bird” life of winters in the south and summers in Minnesota. In January 2024 some serious health issues arose, but she was grateful to be able to enjoy her final days with family, who took care of her to the finish line of life. Sharon was the best mom and grandma in the world. Thank you for making the world a better place.

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