Paul Podratz, age 99, of Gaylord passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at the Arlington Good Samaritan Center in Arlington. Funeral Services were Sunday, May 8, 2011, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Gaylord, with interment in the church cemetery. The Rev. Fredric Hinz officiated.
Paul John Podratz was born on November 3, 1911, in Transit Township, Sibley County, Minnesota. He was the son of Fred and Anna (Rose) Podratz. He was baptized at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Mountville, Dryden Township, Sibley County, and was later confirmed in his faith at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Gaylord, where he remained a member until his death. His life revolved around his faith.
Paul was united in marriage to Viola Franke on September 9, 1937, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Gaylord. The marriage was blessed with two children, Janet and Ronald. Paul and Viola lived on a farm when they were first married. That farm is now Gaylord’s West Addition. Paul built a home in Gaylord in 1948 and bought farms west of Gaylord. He continued to farm until 1974 when he retired. He also owned a trucking business from 1948 – 1970. Paul and Viola shared 73 years of marriage until Viola died on November 13, 2010.
Even in retirement, Paul continued to be a proud farmer. He was always interested in the markets and how the crops were doing. He also enjoyed fishing, playing cards, and reading newspapers. Paul was an avid baseball fan. He would always know whom the Minnesota Twins were playing and all of the player’s stats. Paul was always interested in the affairs of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He loved spending time with them.
When Viola lived at the Good Samaritan Home in Arlington, Paul would take the Trailblazer from Gaylord to Arlington to visit her. When Fairview Assisted Living opened, Paul moved there and was just down the hall from Viola. He eventually entered the Good Samaritan Center and was there until his passing. Paul enjoyed playing Bingo, attending church services and the other activities that the Good Samaritan Center held. After Viola died in November, Paul was lonesome and felt he had no more to do on earth. He wanted to go be with Viola in Heaven and live with God.
Paul is survived by his daughter, Janet Schultz of Henderson; son, Ronald Podratz and his wife, Dody of Shoreview; grandchildren, Lori Zimmerman and her husband, Mark of Cleveland, Julie Wirth and her husband, Kelly of Frazee, and Timothy Schultz of Henderson; great-grandsons, SPC Jack Zimmerman, United States Army, Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX, and PFC Andrew Zimmerman serving in the United States Army at Fort Hood, TX; step-grandchildren, Julie Carlson and her husband, Myron of Milaca, and Michelle LeGault and her husband, Michael Gaertner of Atlanta, GA; step-great-grandchildren, Jenna Carlson and Logan Carlson; sisters-in-law, Lily Franke of Gaylord, and Clella Franke of Lafayette; brother-in-law, Rev. Ervin Franke of Spring Valley; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Anna Podratz; Wife, Viola Podratz; brothers, Charles Podratz and Frank Podratz; sisters, Alvina Harbarth and Lydia Pitzner; son-in-law, William Schultz; brothers-in-law, Raymond Franke, William Franke, and Roland Peterson; sisters-in-law, Elmira Peterson and Irene Franke.