Born on June 16th, 1926

Departed on June 4th, 2020 and resided in Centennial, Colorado

    Our faithful loving mother died on June 4, 2020, twelve days before her 94th birthday.

    Her children, Julie and Ted, were with her when she was welcomed into the arms of Jesus.

    Mom was born in South Dakota and at an early age moved to Minnesota. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson high school in St. Paul Minnesota in 1945.  She loved to sing and was in the school and church choirs.  She gave her life to the Lord at an early age and continued to be a faithful follower of Jesus until he called her home.

    After high school graduation she worked for Brown and Bigelow in St. Paul.  She met Elmer Palen in the summer of 1948, and they were married on November 25, 1948. Together they established a home in Mounds View, Minnesota.

    Elmer and Herwanna were active members of First Covenant Church in Minneapolis Minnesota.  She sponsored children through World Vision and supported the Billy Graham evangelistic association.

    She loved her family, her flower gardens, her husband.  She worked for more than 30 years as the head bookkeeper a First State Bank of New Brighton.

    After the death of her husband she moved to Denver Colorado.  Even though she developed dementia in these last few years she still loved to sing and loved the Lord. She sang to the nursing home staff and often witnessed to them about Jesus and his love.

    Herwanna is survived by her sister, Gloira Busse; brother, Dan Gross; a son, Ted and his wife Karen, a daughter, Julie and her husband Larry, one grandson and 3 granddaughters, and 3 great grandchildren.

    She was preceded in death by her sister, Dorothy Gross and brother Donald Gross.

    A memorial service will be held later after the COVID pandemic has eased.

    In lieu of flowers please make donations in her name to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at

    Guestbook Entries

    Charlene Swanson

    A loving tribute to my oldest cousin.
    I will give my next contribution to Samaritan’s Purse in memory of her.
    God’s comfort to family as you grieve, but not as those without Hope in Jesus.

    June 10th, 2020 at 10:24am
    Barb Prihoda

    Herwanna was much loved by my Mom, Dorothy, who worked with her for decades at the bank. Herwanna, Donna, and Dorothy were such good friends and coworkers. I have many good memories of conversations and laughter with Herwanna. She was always so kind to me and I can still see that twinkle in her eye.
    Thank you, Ted, for bringing your Mom to see my Mom a couple of years ago, and for calling her a couple of days ago.
    Please email me because I want to share something more…

    June 13th, 2020 at 7:41am
    Vern Kleinsasser

    How sad the news of Cousin Herwanna, but we can be comforted by the assurance that she is in her eternal heavenly home with Jesus.  She was exemplary in every way, especially in her faith and her love of family.  I will miss her.

    June 13th, 2020 at 4:32pm
    Sonja Carlson

    Bob and I (Sonja) Knudson lived across the street from the Palens on Millwood in Roseville, MN. They were warm, caring neighbors and we enjoyed watching Ted and Julie grow up with our children. Our prayers are with you, Ted and Julie.

    June 13th, 2020 at 4:33pm
    Lois Owsley

    She raised Ted Palen and did a great job.  He’s been a great doctor and husband to my cousin Karen.  

    June 13th, 2020 at 8:49pm

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