Grace M. (Blau) Averill, age 84, of Eau Claire, WI and formerly of Decorah, IA, died Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 10, 2020 at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah in Decorah, IA, with Pastor Nathan Emmons officiating. Burial will be in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation will begin at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, one hour before the service, at Fjelstul Funeral Home.Grace Marlene (Blau) Averill was born on February 12, 1936, on a farm near Little Rock, Iowa, the sixth of eleven daughters born to Harley and Janetta (Hinrichs) Blau.  Grace and her twin sister, Elizabeth, were born during a bitterly cold, snowy day, but sadly, her twin sister only lived 20 hours after birth.  Grace grew up in the same farm home in which she was born.  All of the girls had to pitch in to help on the farm.  Grace and her sisters worked in the large family garden, took care of the chickens and turkeys, milked the cows, learned to sew their own clothes, made hay, picked corn, cooked, cleaned, ironed, and performed a multitude of numerous other chores. Grace accepted Christ at an early age, was baptized at First Baptist Church in George, IA, and was always active in church the rest of her life.

School years were spent in Elgin No. 3 country school.  During most of Grace’s years, she was the only student in her grade.  High school years were in LIttle Rock, IA, and Grace graduated with her “very large” class of 18 students in 1953.  Following graduation, Grace enrolled in nurse’s training classes at St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN, to earn her LPN license. While in Winona, she met her husband Dick through mutual friends.  He was attending Winona State Teachers College to attain a BA degree in business administration. Grace was united in marriage to Richard (Dick) C. Averill on June 6, 1958 at the First Baptist Church in Winona, MN. Dick and Grace were blessed with four children: Lynn, David, Keith and Rebecca.Dick and Grace moved to Decorah, IA, in 1962, where Dick worked for Deco Products as the Sales and Marketing Manager for many years.Throughout their years of marriage, they lived in Decorah, IA, Winona, MN, New Hampton, IA, New Lenox, IL, and Elwood, IL.  After her four children were grown, Grace worked as a nurse in both hospital and nursing home settings in various locations.

She especially enjoyed taking care of aging senior citizens.  Throughout the years, Grace was always very involved in her local community church doing various activities such as: baking  cookies for VBS, housing visiting missionaries, having friends over for meals, helping with AWANA, and providing delicious food for potlucks and fellowship times at church.  For many years, Grace was also a member of The Red Hatters, a club which she really enjoyed.  Grace always grew a bountiful garden, enjoyed camping with her family, sewing, scrapbooking, reading, and did some crocheting and cross stitching.   She thoroughly enjoyed serving her children and grandchildren sumptuous meals, including delicious casseroles, salads, homemade breads, cookies, cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls, and many more delicious foods. However, Grace’s favorite pastime was to spend time with her family: traveling with her husband, Dick, and visiting her children and grandchildren.  Shortly after her husband of  57 years, Dick, died, Grace sold their home and became a resident of The Cottages in New Lenox, IL, where she received wonderful care. 

In October 2019, Grace moved to Azura Memory Care in Eau Claire, WI, where she enjoyed many happy days under excellent care.

Grace is survived by her four children: Lynn (Nathan) Emmons of Barron, WI; David Averill of Decatur, IN; Keith Averill of Medellin, Colombia, and Rebecca (Douglas) Cherry of New Lenox, IL; twelve grandchildren:  Aaron (Misty) Emmons of Caledonia, MI, Paul Emmons of Barron, WI, Dr. Samuel (Sarah) Emmons of Knoxville, TN, Caleb (Taya) Averill of Wolverine, MI, Mason Averill of Fort Wayne, IN, Rachel Averill of Decatur, IN, Lauren Averill of Decatur, IN, Gracie Averill of Reno, NV, Elisa Cherry of LaPaz, Bolivia, Kyle Cherry of Baltimore, MD, Bryan Cherry of Palatine, IL, Hannah Cherry of New Lenox, IL; five great-grandchildren: Andrew Emmons, Luke Emmons, Dahlia Emmons, Maple Averill, and Ezekiel Emmons; three sisters: Janette Decker of Winona, MN, Priscilla Swenson of Luverne, MN, and Beverly Patterson of La Crescent, MN; sister-in-law Patricia (Ralph) Kuskye of Plymouth, IN; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other extended family.Grace was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband Richard Averill on September 12, 2015; five sisters: Anna Johnson, Hazel Winter, Wilma Klingenberg, Sylvia Harberts and Hattie Vermaat; numerous brothers-in-law; and one sister-in-law. Blessed be her memory.