Gay Horgen, 100

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 2, 2009

The funeral service for Gay Horgen, 100, an Albert Lea resident, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Bonnerup Funeral Service, 2210 E. Main St., Albert Lea. The Rev. Tamara Dahlvang will officiate. Interment will be in Lunder Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the funeral home.
Gay died on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2009, at Thorne Crest Retirement Community.
Gabriella Maria Irma Horgen was best known to all as “Gay.” A good nickname, as she was always happy and gay, having a smile and kind word for everyone.
Gabriella (Gay) was born in Heusden, Belguim, on Sept. 11, 1909, the daughter of Victor and Elodie (Landuyt) Roggeman. Gay was just about 2 when she came to America in July 1911. She attended rural school near Tracy and Walnut Grove.
On Dec. 28, 1928, she married Henry Gerald Johnson. They had nine children: Kathryn, Ihlajean, Betty, Gerald, Lavonne, Carol, Diane, Robert and Cynthia. They divorced on March 26, 1964. On June 19, 1967, she married Everett (Pete) Horgen.
She had lived in Freeborn County since 1952. Gay had several interesting jobs. Before coming to Albert Lea she worked alongside her husband Henry as a farm wife, they owned theaters, a motel, a bar, and she helped him with his various sales jobs. They purchased the Rex Café when they came to Albert Lea. Gay was also a waitress at the Skyline Restaurant, she clerked at J.C. Penney Co. and at Ben Franklin. She was also co-owner with her second husband, Pete, of the Twin Lakes Grocery and Café. She enjoyed being around and serving people. Gay belonged to Lunder Lutheran Church and the Ruth-Naomi Circle. She was one of the founders in 1981 of the Twin Lakes Senior Citizens Club. Gay enjoyed bingo, embroidering, playing cards, attending plays, and many events with the Twin Lake Senior Citizens Club (even though in later years she was not able to attend as many of their activities and finally had to leave this club at the age of 95.) She helped serve the wonderful meals for the Semcac Dinners at Senior Tower for 13 years. Most of all and number one to her was her family. With a large family she was always had a lot to keep track of and enjoyed their company often.
Gay is survived by one son, Robert (Jolynn) Johnson of Albert Lea; seven daughters: Kathryn Burgener of Mesa, Ariz., Ihlajean Barz of Garner, Iowa, Betty Tompkins of Garner, Iowa, Lavonne (Jim) Swanson of Minneapolis, Carol (Chuck) Smith of Albert Lea, Diane (Kent) Dugstad of Sun Lakes, Ariz., and Cindi (Dean) Kirkpatrick of Reeds Spring, Mo. Also surviving her are the stepfamily: Roger Horgen of DeKalb, Ill., James (Jane) Horgen of Bethany Beach, Del., Jerold (Grace) Horgen of Henning, Paul (Carol) Horgen of Phoenix, Ariz., and Sandra Horgen of Minneapolis. Her extended family of 31 grandchildren; 66 great-grandchildren; 27 great-great grandchildren; 15 step grandchildren; five step great-grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, also survive her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands: Henry and Everett; brothers: Alfons, Maurice, Gustaf and Michael; sisters: Clara, Evone, Lorraine, Elsie; son, Gerald Johnson; sons-in-law: Merlyn Burgener, Allen Barz and Dean Tompkins; granddaughter, Barb Tompkins; grandson, Daniel Barz; and great-grandson, Michael Dugstad.
Gay’s family and friends will miss her smile, jokes and her good outlook on life.
She has left us with so very many special memories.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Lunder Lutheran Church, or the charity of the donor’s choice.

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