Francis Passe, 85, formerly of Spring Valley

Francis Passe

Francis L. Passe, 85, of rural Rochester, died at home on Friday, June 22, 2018, while watching the birds feed outside her window.

She was born on Oct. 29, 1932, in Spring Valley, the daughter of Harold and Gladys Lentz.

She graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1950.

She married Eugene Passe on Nov. 6, 1950, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Rochester.

While raising five children, she was active in the Rochester Garden Club. She also assisted on the farm in rural Rochester while working with her mother growing and transplanting trees on their farms in Spring Valley and Rochester. In 1975, she began teaching Horticulture at the Rochester Vocational School while simultaneously earning a master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota. She continued to teach until the program was discontinued in 1987.

She was an active member of St. John's, Resurrection and Holy Spirit Catholic churches in Rochester, teaching catechism class and singing in the choir. She was a member of the historical societies of Wabasha, Olmsted and Fillmore counties and a member of the Rochester Genealogy Society. She was the administrator of the Southeastern Minnesota Rural Education Resource Center in St. Charles from 1988 to 2015. Her interests included antiques, birding, bicycling, traveling, genealogy and gardening.

She is survived by sons, Charles (Sandra) Passe of Rochester, Kevin (Beverly) Passe of Redwood Falls, Minn., David (Mary) Passe of River Falls, Wis., and Derrick (Cheryl) Passe of Two Harbors, Minn.; daughter, Deborah (James) Patterson of Manitowish Waters, Wis.; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sisters, Bernice Root of Spring Valley and Arlone Crowson of Hastings; sisters-in-law, Joanne Passe of Lithia, Fla. and Pauline Lentz of Spring Valley and brother-in-law, Ernest Meyer Jr., of Wykoff.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene, on Christmas Eve in 2006; twin sons; one daughter, Gwendolyn; brothers, Arlow and Jerry and sisters, Mavis and Carol Jean.

A memorial service was held on Friday, June 29, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Rochester with the Rev. Tom Loomis officiating.

Donations may be made to Fillmore or Wabasha Historical Societies or Cherry Grove Cemetery. Interment will be in St. Felix Cemetery at a later date.

Personal messages and stories may be sent to the family at