Grelling, Audrey Adele Gahl wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher, passed away Saturday, March 21st, 2020 at the age of 85. She died at home peacefully in Coon Rapids, MN, surrounded by family after a series of complications from surgery two weeks ago. Audrey was preceded in death by her husband Claude Grelling as well as her father and mother Albert and Minna Gahl. She is survived by her three children, Kevin Grelling (Susan Grelling), Kent Grelling (Barbara Grelling) and Karin Johnson (Tim Johnson), as well as her four grandchildren, Jordan, Isabel, Alianne and Keira. Audrey was an energetic and passionate woman throughout her life, always taking on (and completing) more projects than others thought possible. She attended high school at Bethany in Mankato, MN where she was active in theater and other student activities. She then attended Grinnell College where she earned a degree in English and met her future husband, Claude. After graduation, they married and moved to Chicago and Audrey began teaching English and Theater, a role that she continued on and off throughout her life. However, through much of her life, she also dedicated herself to raising her three children. In the late 1950s, Audrey moved to Glenview, IL and lived there through much of the 1970s. In Glenview, she founded a monthly book club with neighbors and friends, was a Den Mother in the Cub Scouts, and enjoyed the close-knit neighborhood in the vicinity of their home on Ralmark Lane (where many members of that community became lifelong friends). She also started the "picture lady" program at her children's elementary school. This program involved training volunteers to bring reproductions of famous artwork into the classroom and teaching children about the paintings and their historical importance. Her children remember well that at the beginning of each school year their house was stacked with these reproductions as Audrey organized the program and did the historical research for the coming year. In 1978, Audrey moved to Valparaiso, Indiana with her family where she continued her involvement with scouting culminating in her becoming District Commissioner and earning scouting's "Silver Beaver" award in 1980. She became a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, and became active in the local chapter of the AAUW. In 1984 Audrey moved with Claude and Karin to Coon Rapids, MN where she remained until her death. Once again Audrey became deeply involved with her community, founding another book club, becoming a consistent patron of the Minneapolis theater community, working as a tutor in Anoka County's adult literacy program, and directing plays at Karin's middle school. Over the years, Audrey directed dozens of plays, continuing this long after her daughter had left the school. As always, Audrey's many commitments led her to stay up late into the night, many times each week, and even into her eighties, her children would not be surprised to receive an email from her sent at 3:00 in the morning! Audrey was also a woman of faith and an active member of the Lutheran church throughout her life, playing many roles in the various churches she attended. She belonged to Christ Lutheran Church in Blaine until her passing and participated in a variety of groups and committees there, most notably the church banner committee. Audrey's faith was a source of strength and solace to her and a central facet of her life until the very end. Given the current national health crisis, an in-person memorial service is not currently planned, though this may occur when the crisis has abated. Audrey will be interred at Fort Snelling National Cemetery next to her husband Claude. Memorials to charities supporting children and the arts are suggested.
Audrey Adele (Gahl) Grelling
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