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June 23, 1927 ~ November 18, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Wauneta E. Stevens-Ortez, 96, went home to her Lord on November 18, 2023. She had fought a long and valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. She was the child of Richard U. Stevens and Ellen Pearl (Pinkerton) Stevens. Richard has descendants going back to the Mayflower. Pearl, as she liked to be called, has descendants going back to the Salem Witch Trials and beyond. Wauneta secretly married Pierre Ortez December 28, 1946, in a small Church in Minneapolis, MN. Pierre became MIA in French Indochina in 1954. Wauneta was one of the first airline stewardesses (and hence the secret marriage) having flown with Braniff, Cordova, and Pacific Northern Airlines (which became Delta) stationed out of Anchorage, Alaska for ten years. She proudly talked about living through several hard landings. After her career with air travel, and while still living in Alaska, she worked for Providence Hospital, sold Minnesota woolens, and was the caretaker of the Alaska Art Tile Building. She missed Alaska’s big earthquake when she returned home to Eyota to care for her ailing mother. A late graduate of Eyota High School, she attended Rochester Community College, which lead to a 30 year career with Rochester Methodist Hospital and the Mayo Clinics in Rochester, retiring in 1992. She then volunteered for Minnesota Services for the Blind, and took care of her beloved Boxers. After leaving her home in 2004, she moved into Arbor Gardens, progressing through their independent living, to assisted living, and finally into their newly opened memory care unit. In December of 2022, she entered Mayo Hospice Care at Green Prairie Nursing Home in Plainview, MN. There will be a grave side service at Oak Grove Cemetery near Eyota at 1 pm December 8, 2023, officiate by Reverend Mark Young of Grace Community Church, Eyota, MN.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home are assisting with the arrangements.