Pelagia Shimek, 99, of Decorah, passed away Sunday, July 12, 2020, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. A mass of Christian burial was at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 16, at the St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Donald Hertges presiding. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery in Cresco. Visitation was after 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning at the church.

Pelagia was born Oct. 11, 1920, on a farm in Howard County, the daughter of Wenzel and Mary (Urban) Shimek. Pelagia was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Lourdes. She attended rural school, two years of high school at Our Lady of Lourdes and graduated from Cresco High School in 1939 with a Normal Training Certificate. Pelagia taught several years in rural schools and then graduated from Iowa State Teachers College, (UNI) in Cedar Falls. After graduating from college, Pelagia taught in the primary grades for several years in various locations around Iowa. Pelagia became a parish housekeeper at Assumption Parish and taught kindergarten when Msgr. Vernon Peters was pastor. When he was transferred to St. Francis Parish in Ossian, she accompanied Msgr. Peters as the parish housekeeper. Upon Msgr. Peters’ retirement, Pelagia took care of him at his home in Harpers Ferry until his death. She moved to Decorah in 1990. She was a member of St. Benedict Parish and the Rosary Society, volunteered at St. Benedict School and at Aase Haugen Retirement Home as a RAC member for many years. Pelagia enjoyed knitting, needlework, sewing, reading, traveling and having conversations with people.

She is survived by nieces and nephews: Arletta (Wendel) O’Hearn, Alan (Joyce) Wendl and David Wendel; extended family, Mary Ann Gloe and Mary Daley.

Pelagia was preceded in death by her parents, Wenzel and Mary (Urban) Shimek; sisters: Gertrude (John) Wendel, Gabriella Shimek, Ursula (Gene) Lenard; brother, Paul (Valborg) Shimek; nieces and nephews: Dr. Maurice Shimek, Lorayne (George) Stasney, Mary (James) Thorn and Elmarie Wendel.