Agnes Marie Moss
June 1, 1931 - November 2, 2022
Agnes Marie Moss was born June 1, 1931 in Maplewood Township in Ottertail County, Minnesota to Mildred and Crissie Dunbar. The township was organized in 1880 and ironically was originally named St. Agnes. It was renamed 2 years later to Maplewood township for the Sugar Maple trees within its borders. It is in and around this rural Minnesota area that Agnes spent her childhood and young adult years.
Agnes was the middle child of seven. She had 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Her family rented, lived on and farmed several different locations while she was growing up. She was born in the first years of the Great Depression when many families struggled to provide. They did not have a lot but they managed to survive through their own hard work and personal effort. Every member of the family participated in what was required to operate the farm and keep food on the table. They lived largely off of vegetables and fruit they raised and their own livestock. She and her siblings played a significant part of caring for the chickens, bringing in the cattle from the pastures, and managing large flocks of sheep they had on some of the farmsteads they occupied. Agnes said she often squabbled with her brother Darwin over which of them would get to pluck the feathers from a chicken that was to be prepared for dinner.
Agnes was educated in Ottertail County. She attended one room school houses in her grade school years and like the not so uncommon story, she often walked miles in the winter cold and snow to attend school. She graduated from Underwood High School 1948.
After High School she worked in Fergus Falls at the Five and Dime Store. It was during this time that she would meet her future husband and life partner, Conrad Moss. Soon after Conrad came home from the Navy after WW II, she was introduced to Conrad by his brother Kenneth who was friends with Agnes. They dated for several months and were engaged on Halloween of 1949 when Conrad proposed to her and brought her a ring while she was working at the Five and Dime Store. They celebrated the engagement with friends that night tipping over out houses in the surrounding communities and belatedly discovered out house had an occupant was understandably very disturbed at their action. Agnes said after that they never did such shenanigans again!
Conrad and Agnes eloped and were married on December 10, 1949 with two of their friends as witnesses in Dalton, Minnesota, They had a wedding dance at a later date in Fergus Falls at a local night spot called the Big Ship. The Big Ship was constructed in the late 1940s to look like a luxury vessel and at one time housed a swimming pool and dance floor on the upper portion of the vessel. It still exists in some form today.
After their wedding Agnes and Conrad rented and farmed two different homesteads between Underwood and Battle Lake, Mn. In the winter of 1952 a fire broke out in the farm home. Agnes set out carrying her 1 year old daughter and their dog in the cold and snow drifts to a neighboring farm to get help. Conrad stayed behind in an attempt to salvage what he could from the fire. Agnes later said that the walk in the bitterly cold night was almost too much for her and several times she stumbled and fell in the snow. She said their dog tugged on her coat sleeve each time she fell and stayed with her until they reached the neighboring farm. Both Agnes and Kathy suffered frost bite in the ordeal but otherwise were fine and precious little of their belongings was able to be saved from the fire.
After the fire they were taken in by Conrad's parents and made the decision to make a big change and move to the Twin Cities. During that time their daughter Karen was born in 1952. Conrad set out to the Twin Cities ahead of Agnes to find employment and a place to live. He found work at the Arsenal and their first little house in Spring Lake Park where they lived for about 5 years. That home and those nearby it were demolished and redeveloped with the commercial property surrounding North Town Mall.
In the Spring of 1957 the family moved to the home on Woodcrest Drive in Mounds View where Agnes continued to live until her death. Three more children were born after they moved to Mounds View...Kevin in 1957, Lisa in 1961, and Tammy Jo in 1965. At that home, Agnes was a busy, hardworking mother and homemaker. She was an outstanding housekeeper, gardener, seamstress, and baker and lefse maker. The large garden that she and the family tended produced an abundance of produce and Agnes canned and preserved copious amounts of vegetables, jams/jellies, pickles and fruits for the winter months from the harvest. Some of her children and grandchildren continue to follow her canning and preserving efforts today.
Agnes and Conrad were long time members of Abiding Savior, originally joining the congregation of Spring Lake Park Lutheran. At the church, they generously served as Offering Counters and CLIP leaders. Agnes served for many years as the organizer and caller of the women who donate time and food for funeral luncheons for grieving families of Abiding Savior. It was a regret for her that her health eventually required her to step away from this mission.
Agnes was a nurturer and help to many including her neighbors. She loved to talk and connect with people. She was a loving caregiver to Conrad in his last years. Before he passed away he said "she was the best life partner he could have had". Agnes loved her family and especially her children and grandchildren. A family friend shared his memory of her in this way. "No one loved people, especially her family, more than Agnes. Her down to earth grace towards all people will live in our memories forever".
Agnes was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Conrad and son, Kevin. She is survived by her sister LaVina Moinicken, daughters Kathleen Lopez (Lonnie Hare), Karen Underwood, Lisa Max (Victor) and Tammy Jo Moss (Steve Webster) and many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews.