Floral 11

Carmel A. Bennett

July 16, 1939 ~ March 4, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Carmel Bennett Obituary

 Carmel Ann Bennett, 84, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 4, 2024 at Bridgewater in Janesville, MN. 

 Carmel was born July 16, 1939 in Easton, MN to parents Charles and Louise (Stencel) O’Rourke. She was the fourth of eight children, including Patricia (Stanley) Seifert, Charles (Karen) O’Rourke, Jr., Mary (Frank) Kanelos, Dennis (Margo) O’Rourke, Dean (Charlene) O’Rourke, Beatrice (Ed) Neves, and Joette (Bill) King. She attended school at St. Mary’s in Sleepy Eye, MN before the family moved to Waseca, MN, where she attended Sacred Heart. Carmel was a beautiful young woman with raven black hair and warm brown eyes whose teenage years were spent roller skating and listening to rock ‘n roll music.

 Carmel married young, spending the next three decades as a stay-at-home mom to 12 children: Luann (Thomas) Freitag, Kimberly Laughter, Teresa Ehrlicher, Brent (Angela) Thoreson, Jennifer (Tim) Bennett, Nicholas Bennett, Rachel (David) Scheurer, Brenda (Chad) Weyhrauch, Bradley Bennett, Jeffrey (Michelle) Bennett, Elizabeth Bennett, and Kathleen (Jeremiah) Morsching.

 In 1990, Carmel began attending classes at Mankato State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1994, majoring in interior design. Her achievement was celebrated by the Mankato Free Press with a front-page article on May 25, 1994. In it, Carmel acknowledges the challenges she faced going back to school as a single mother, explaining, “I guess the number one thing women like me say is, ‘I’m not smart enough.’ But I guess I was.” Carmel became the second person in her family to graduate from college, setting a strong example for the generations to follow.

 Carmel is survived by 27 grandchildren: William (Christine) Freitag, Dustin (Jessica) Freitag,  Charles  (Mandy) Freitag, Christopher (Erin) Freitag, Sarah (Dave) Connor, Daniel (Andrea) Laughter, Michael  Laughter, Rebecca (Joseph) Roeker, Joshua (Karli) Ehrlicher, Anna (Chad) Ehrlicher, Ethan Ehrlicher,  Natasha (Chad) Thoreson, Melody (Matthew) Boeser, Anthony Garcia, Andrew Garcia, Bennett  (Gabriella) Weyhrauch, Nora (Talon) Weyhrauch, Ella Weyhrauch, Treven, Mya, Emma, Brayden Rolfson,  Macy Morsching, Eli Rolfson, Ellie Morsching, Rylan Rolfson, and Ayla Morsching. She is also survived by  20 great-grandchildren:  Carter Freitag, Grant Freitag, Brandon (Kaylee) Freitag, Alexander Freitag, Sam  Freitag, Gracelyn Freitag, Marshall Freitag, Caleb, Gwen, Mackenzie Laughter, Madilynn Laughter, Ayden  Roeker, Emily Roeker, Elijah Ehrlicher, Elsie Karlstad, Jennavieve Boeser, Kaytlyn Boeser, Jaymes Boeser,  Ileana Weyhrauch, and Elysa Weyhrauch. Carmel was also expecting her first great-great-grandchild this coming May.

 Carmel will be remembered for her fantastic storytelling and sense of humor, her funny phrases and her silly songs, her tenacity and resourcefulness, her faith and dedication to God, and her incredible artistic ability. She was an accomplished crocheter, sewist, baker, painter, and decorator, imbuing each of her homes with her exceptional style, creative touches, and boundless warmth.  Carmel is preceded in death by her parents, sister Patricia, two brothers, Charles and Dennis, and son Nicholas. She suffered immensely at the sudden loss of her son in 1997, but her steadfast faith and trust in the Lord helped her overcome this devastating heartache. 

 Carmel’s Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Clair, MN, with Father Joe Fogal, Celebrant. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be on Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the church. Arrangements by Woodland Hills Funeral Home of Mankato, MN. www.woodlandhillsfh.com




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March 12, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
101 Church St
St. Clair, Minnesota 56080

Mass of Christian Burial
March 12, 2024

11:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
101 Church St
St. Clair, Minnesota 56080


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