Former council member dies

by Jim Boyle


Cecilia Scheel, a former Elk River City Council member who fought for property rights and limited government, has died at 79 years of age.

The Elk River woman is survived by eight children, 21 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Eugene, an infant daughter of theirs, her parents and three of her six siblings.

Scheel grew up in rural Akeley. She married Gene in 1952 and moved to Spring Lake Park where they started their family before moving to New Brighton four years later. They began a tool grinding business in 1961 and in 1973 they moved to a farm in Elk River.

Scheel was a past president of the Ladies Auxiliary of Kraus-Hartig VFW in Spring Lake Park where she was active for more than 40 years and directed its veterans funeral program.

Scheel gave her life to rearing her children, but after they left home, she was elected to the Elk River City Council for a term before retiring on her farm.

Elk River Mayor John Dietz, who served on the council with Scheel,  remembered her as both feisty and firm in her convictions.

“She was not in favor of government intervention,” Dietz said.

Former Mayor Stephanie Klinzing remembered Scheel similarly.

“She wanted to pursue the things she thought were right, and she never let up,” Klinzing said. “A lot of us are intense about something, but we will eventually let up or compromise. Of course, that’s good.

“But Cecilia never let up. She always stayed the course on the things she felt were right.”

Scheel upset Duane Kropuenske in her bid for the council. She served one term and was beat out by Daryl Thompson in a re-election bid.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Miller Funeral Home, 6210 Highway 65 NE, Fridley (763-571-1300). Visitation was on Wednesday. Interment Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.