Teckla Helen (Kuklok) Symanietz, age 96, of Foley, after a long life passed away peacefully in the early morning hours June 6, 2022, in her sleep at The Gardens at Foley. Mass of Christian burial was June 10 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Gilman. The Rev. Matthew Langager officiated and burial took place in the parish cemetery. Visitation was Thursday evening and Friday at the church in Gilman. Parish prayers were Thursday evening. Service with dignity provided by the Foley Funeral Home.
Teckla was born Sept. 10, 1925, at home in Holding Township, Stearns County, to Frank and Agnes (Philipsek) Kuklok. She was the sixth child in a family of eight children. Teckla attended District 88, a rural country school to eighth grade, and then attended Holdingford High School and graduated in 1944. Teckla was a survivor of the 1940, Armistice Day blizzard. Going to school that Monday morning with only a windbreaker and light clothing on, on a day she said was very warm, the day soon changed. Before the day was over, the storm hit and they were snowbound at the Holdingford High School for four days. Given they did not want to stay at the high school where she was a freshman any longer, they were billeted to homes in the area. Teckla along with two friends from home who rode her bus (Margaret (Zech) Case and her sister Adeline (Zech) Zink) were walking to one of these homes when she was overcome by the high winds and collapsed. Margaret helped Teckla to the closest house and Teckla stayed there for several days to recover. A total of 150-people died from this storm in Minnesota and Wisconsin who were caught by the early warmth that turned deadly. Teckla survived this ordeal and went on to live a long life even though her lungs were affected. After graduating high school, she was accepted to St. Cloud Teachers College and graduated in 1946 receiving an associate of arts degree. She then began her first teaching position in District 12 country school, starting before she finished her degree because of the shortage of teachers. She taught first through eighth grades. Teckla went on to teach for additional 23 years in these country schools districts: 48, 50, 54, 57, 60, 42, 12 and 80.
On June 25, 1946, she married Bernard (Ben) Symanietz at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Opole. They lived in Stearns County for a few years before moving to Benton County near Gilman where they purchased a farm. Rochus and Meri, Ben’s parents, lived with Teckla and Ben for many years in St. Cloud and on the farm. They attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Gilman, and Teckla belonged to the Rosary Sodality and received a 50-year membership pin. She also taught CCD religion and was on the parish counsel. Teckla and Ben had five children: Darlene, Nancy, Arnie, Ardelle and Dale. She was a wonderful wife and mother.
In 1950, she received her associate of education degree. With the consolidation of the rural schools, Teckla was hired by St. John’s Catholic School in Foley, where she taught for an additional 22 years. While at St. John’s, Teckla continued her education and received her bachelor of science degree in 1973 in elementary education; going to many summer sessions and night schools to receive this degree with her first grandchild Rochelle Karsnia, four months old, attending along with her parents. After leaving St. John’s, she substituted for the Milaca Public Schools for an additional 13 years and retired from teaching at the age of 78. With many wonderful stories to tell of her many students she still would get a twinkle in her eye reminiscing her teaching days. She truly loved teaching. Besides teaching, Teckla helped on the farm milking many head of cattle and raised hogs and chickens. She was a wonderful cook and baker and made delicious bread, cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes. Teckla also sold World Book Encyclopedias and childcraft for many years and sold Avon. She had a green thumb and could raise anything. She had beautiful flowers and plants and she canned many fruits and vegetables. In her later years, she traveled and had her first plane ride to Colorado with her sons Arnie and Dale and Dale’s family when she was in her 70s to see where they hunted elk and to see the Sister Cabrini Statue in Golden, Colorado. She did travel on other trips with her children but mostly with her sisters Theresa and Hilda, and two of her nieces, Elaine and Kathy, who traveled extensively to different states and Canada. She enjoyed traveling very much. Teckla had a busy life and loved her family.
Ben passed away Aug. 15, 2000, at the age of 75. Teckla and Ben were married for 54 years. Teckla was preceded in death by her husband and parents, Frank and Agnes (Philpsek) Kuklok and mother and father-in-law Rochus and Meri (Ostoj) Symanietz; her brothers, Alex Kuklok (2000), Benedict Kuklok (1981), Cyril Kuklok (2017), sister Hilda Karnes (2017), sister Theresa Philippi (2022); and two infant siblings, Dorothy and Sylvester from pneumonia and (30) brothers and sisters-in-laws.
Teckla is survived by her children, Darlene (Mike) Karsnia of International Falls, Nancy Johnson of Onamia, Arnie of rural Oak Park, Ardelle (Murry) Moulzolf of Foley, and Dale (Diane) Symanietz of Rice; and 15 grandchildren, Rochelle Karsnia, Chet (Kalli) Karsnia, Chad (Beth) Karsnia, Christie Lindemann, Curt (Jaclyn) Dumonceaux, Felicia (Andy Cleland) Dumonceaux, Katie (Tyler) Rueckert, Jarret (Jessica) Symanietz, Neil (Erica) Moulzolf, Andrew (Kerrie) Moulzolf, Pam (Sam) Lieser, Megan (Dylan) Brenny, Jennifer (Brian) Zwilling, Sara (Brett) Sevy, Ryan (Kylee) Symanietz, and 32 great-grandchildren: Avrey and Myla Karsnia; Madalyn, Natalie and Alexander Karsnia; Evelyn, Penelope Teckla and Ellianna Dumonceaux; Alyssa and Ethan Zajac; Owen amd Logan Rueckert; Kaela Symanietz; Alaina, Landen, Logan and Lincoln Moulzolf; Holden and Leonora Moulzolf; Ethan, Haley, Allison and Charlotte Lieser; Brynnley and Alexis Brenny; and Evelyn, Jacob, Thomas and Luke Zwilling. Wyatt Symanietz, Gianna Cleland, and Vivian Sevy and many nieces and nephews and sister-in-law June Kuklok and special friends Lorraine Potuzek and Sandy Lambertson. The family would like to thank The Gardens at Foley for their care of our mother and grandmother.