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April 11, 1938 - April 15, 2019

Rachel was born April 11, 1938 in Rushford, Minnesota to Marvel and Eva (Highlan) Sandsness.  She graduated from the Rushford High School, attended Luther College for a year, and then the Winona Business College.  She worked in Rochester for a short time.  On March 19, 1960 she married Blaine Vatland at the Highland Prairie Lutheran Church.  They farmed in Newburg Township. She worked at Control Data in Spring Grove for a short time, then helped around the farm. Blaine passed away March 9, 1998.  She has been a resident at the Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove for the last eleven years. 

Rachel was a member of the Garness Trinity Lutheran Church. She enjoyed cooking, baking, entertaining family and friends, church circle group and card club.  She had a green thumb for growing flowers and plants. During her time at Tweeten Care Center,
she enjoyed her daily activities (especially BINGO) and visits/activities with local youth groups. Also, knowing what her grandchildren were involved in was VERY important to her. She was extremely proud of all of their accomplishments!

Rachel passed away  Monday, April 15, 2019 at Gundersen Health Systems in LaCrosse, Wisconsin at the age of 81.

Rachel is survived by her children Kevin (Joanie) of Mabel, Karen (Richard) Morreim of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Rebecca (Ted) Phillips of Spillville, Iowa; grandchildren Luke (Teri), Laura (Cory Vickerman), Josh, Travis, Lydia, Shelby, Ally, Lilly, and Johnny; great grandson Trevor; a sister Elizabeth (Jerry) Olson of Mankato; brother-in-law Walter (Darlene) Thompson of Winona; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Blaine; two grandchildren Jacob and Mary; a sister Mary Thompson; and a brother Edmer Sandsness.

Funeral services will be 11 AM, Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the Garness Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Mabel with the Reverend Leonard Liptack officiating.  Burial will be in the Garness Cemetery.   Visitation will be 4 – 7 P.M. Monday, April 22 at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.

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