Sophia Hillesheim-Kral, age 101, of Sleepy Eye, MN passed away at Divine Providence Community Home lovingly surrounded by her family on May 22, 2016. Visitation will be at Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye on Wednesday May 25th from 4:00 – 8:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Church of St Mary in Sleepy Eye on Thursday, May 26th at 11:00 a.m. Interment in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery immediately following services. On-line condolences may be left at Kahler Funeral Home.
Sophia was born in New York, New York on April 22, 1915 as Sophia Kaminsky, the daughter of William and Maria Kaminsky. On October 9, 1915, Maria relinquished six month old Sophia to the New York Foundling Hospital orphanage in Manhattan. Sophia was one of 250,000 children shipped from the East Coast to families in the West on one of the infamous “orphan trains.” Two-year-old Sophia Kamin arrived in St Paul /Minneapolis, MN. in 1917 and was taken in by a family. In 1919, Sophia was replaced to Springfield, MN. Scarcely before Sophia’s eighteenth birthday, she was legally adopted by Mrs. Anna (Joseph) Greim and became Sophia Greim. Sophia grew up in Springfield and attended St Raphael and Springfield Public schools.
On June 4, 1936, Sophia Greim married Charles E. Hillesheim, son of Meinrad and Bertha (Wiltscheck) Hillesheim of Stark / Siegel Township, Sleepy Eye, MN, at St Raphael’s Catholic Church, Springfield, MN. After living in Springfield for many years, the couple moved to Sleepy Eye. Charles preceded Sophia in death on August 24, 1966. On February 16, 1985, Sophia married widower, Raymond O. Kral at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye. Raymond preceded Sophia in death on August 26, 2007.
Sophia worked at Anthony’s Department Store and the Orchid Inn and Supper Club. She had a very strong love for her family and the people that touched her life. She often expressed, “Deepest gratitude fills my heart when I think of God’s great goodness to me and the countless persons whose lives have touched mine and helped me to grow.” Her legacy of kindness and her humble loving spirit a gift to many. She will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.
Sophia is survived by her children, Patricia (Henry) Brandel of Atwater, MN.; Charlene (Gil) Peichel of Dell Rapids, S.D.; Johnora “Jonni” (Lon) DeGregoris of Gilbert, AZ.; Stephen (Lois) Hillesheim of Sleepy Eye, MN.; and Renée (Lonnie) Wendinger of Sleepy Eye, MN.; 13 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
Sophia is also survived by step children, Phyllis (Frederick) Juni of New Ulm, MN. Linus (Janet) Kral, Ray (Susan) Kral Jr., and the late Marvin (Eileen) Kral of Sleepy Eye, MN., and many step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; surrogate brother, Norbert Ochs, Walker, MN., surrogate daughter, Dorothy (Crouter) Glynn, Casper, WY., brother in-laws Meinrad Hillesheim Jr., Arthur Sellner, Sleepy Eye, MN., and sister-in-law Evelyn Forstner, New Ulm, MN.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Divine Providence landscaping project or individual choice.