Minnesota Lake Tamara P. Latusek, age 85, of Minnesota Lake, died Thursday, June 19, 2014, at Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato. Mass of Christian Burial was held June 23, 2014, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Minnesota Lake. The Rev. Thomas Niehaus officiated and burial was in the church cemetery. Bruss-Heitner Funeral Home in Wells was in charge of arrangements.
Tamara P. Latusek was born Sept. 1, 1929, to Rudolph H. Panowitsch and Natalie E. (Rodewald) Panowitsch in Zdunska-Wola Poland. Tamara lived in Poland through 1946. As the Russians swept through their town in the winter of 1945 her father Rudolph was captured by the Russians and sent to a labor camp. He died that winter in Russia and never returned. When the Communists swept through the country after World War II all the property of people with German Ancestry was seized by the state and redistributed to people of Poland ancestry. Tamara's family then moved west as part of migration away from the Communists in the east. The family settled in a village near Hanover in northern Germany. In 1951, Tamara received sponsorship from a cousin in New Ulm. She worked for a year at Martin Luther College in New Ulm in the food service. In 1952 she traveled to Chicago to be reunited with two uncles and their families. In Chicago she worked as a Nanny until 1955. At that time she had saved enough money to bring over her mother (Natalie) and younger sister and brother (Christa and Heinrich). The family then settled in Mankato.?Tamara then worked as a nanny in Wayzata.
On July 3, 1963, Tamara married Phillip J. Latusek at St. John the Baptist Church in Mankato. Tamara and Phillip had one son, John P. Latusek. Tamara farmed with her husband until his retirement in 1983. She continued to live on the farm site until December of 2013. Tamara loved to travel and collect doll house furniture. She was also very interested in the achievements of her grandchildren, Amanda and Ben.
Tamara is survived by her son, John and daughter-in-law, Susan, grandchildren, Amanda and Ben, all of Dike, Iowa; sister, Christa Schruin, brother, Henry (Susan Chambers) Panowitsch, sister-in-law, Karen (Jones) Panowitsch, all of the Mankato area; along with numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
She is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Margaret (Felix) Klocek; brother-in-law, Demeter Schruin; and nephew, Johnny Schruin.
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