Ann Jean “Jeannie” Gareis

November 21, 1934-July 15, 2021

Ann Jean “Jeannie” Gareis, age 86, of New Ulm, MN died Thursday, July 15, 2021 at Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm, surrounded by her children.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 am Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm. Burial will follow in the New Ulm City Cemetery.

Visitation will be 4 – 7 pm Monday and 9 – 10:30 am Tuesday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home NORTH Chapel in New Ulm.

The Christian Mother’s Society will pray the rosary at 4 pm on Monday at the Cathedral.

Ann Jean Heiling was born on November 21, 1934 in Morgan, MN to Alois and Evelyn (Heiderscheidt) Heiling. She was united in marriage to Elmer Alfred Gareis on October 25, 1958 in Morgan, MN. Jeannie was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Aide.

After getting married, Jeannie partnered with Elmer in running Gareis Construction. She helped with all aspects of the business from bidding to concrete work. Jeannie continued to run the construction business along with her son and son-in-law for many years after Elmer passed away. She often spoke about her customers being surprised that a female was running a concrete business and enjoyed doing something outside of the norm.

Jeannie loved music and taught herself to play guitar at a young age. Jeannie was well known for sharing her gift of making joyful music throughout her life. She and her sister Jani, known as the Country Gals, even performed on the Ted Mack Show in New York City as young adults. Oh what an adventure it was for them! Jeannie especially loved to sing and play guitar for her children and grandchildren. In her later years she entertained many at area nursing homes, assisted living, and memory care facilities.

Jeannie dearly loved her family, especially spending time together at their cabin near Alexandria, MN. The cabin has been and continues to be a treasured gathering place for family and friends.

To her family, friends, and everyone that knew her, Jeannie exemplified kindness, generosity, Christian faith, and a love for all!

Jeannie will be dearly missed by her children, Fred (Sandy) Gareis of New Ulm, Patty (Steve) Grussendorf of New Ulm, Kathy Hacker of Mankato, John (Loralyn) Gareis of Rogers, Betty (Kenny) Fortwengler of New Ulm, Jim (Candace) Gareis of New Prague, and Amy (Brian) Doeden of Waconia; sister, Judy (Jerry) Hurias of Morgan; brother, Jack (Barb) Heiling of Morgan; sister-in-law, Deb Heiling of Morgan; 20 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer; her parents; brothers, James and Joe Heiling; sister, Jani Mohlenbrock; son-in-law, Joe Hacker; and a daughter, Susie in infancy.

Arrangements are with Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, New Ulm, MN. To leave an online condolence for the family, or to sign the guestbook, please visit:


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