Mercedes “Toots” Hickler

Mercedes “Toots” C. (Conlin) Hickler, nee Gutzwiller, passed into the eternal embrace of God on April 10, 2017.
She was born in St. Michael, MN, to Isidore and Lena Gutzwiller, July 1, 1923. In 1945, she married Francis R. Conlin with whom she had seven children. They farmed in Jordan for two years before moving in 1950 to a farm in Maple Lake, raising their family with great love and the gift of nature as members of St. Timothy Catholic Church. In 1962, the family sold the farm and moved to Monticello. One year later, cancer caused the death of Francis at age 41. In 1966, Mercedes married Lyell C. Hickler who passed away in 2000.
Mercedes is survived by her seven children, Sharon (Ron) Svihel of Alexandria, Colleen (Steve) Vlaisavljevich of Shoreview, Kathleen Sterriker of Monticello, Mary Ann (Bill) Lidberg of Monticello, Daniel (Mary) Conlin of Big Lake, Donald (Kerri) Conlin of Elk River, and Jeanette Conlin of Monticello; 24 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Florence (Hermes) Gutzwiller; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceded in death by her parents; husbands Francis Conlin and Lyell Hickler; brothers Hermes, Clarence (Coletta), and Omar Gutzwiller; sisters Sarah (Marvin) Scherber, Sally (Sig) Ronning, Lovina (Harold) Scherber and Meralda Brandon.
A faithful member of the Church of St. Henry in Monticello for over 50 years, she was employed at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, MN in the 1970s, and was an avid gardener, seamstress, and volunteer at Christian Clothing Center in Monticello. She enjoyed dancing, bowling, playing Euchre and gathering with family and friends.
A wake will be held Monday, April 17, 2017, at Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel, 250 E. Broadway, Monticello, 5-8 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. Visitation at 10:30 a.m., one hour before Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, April 18, 11:30 a.m. at Church of St. Henry, 1001 East 7th St., Monticello, with Fr. Tony VanderLoop officiating.
Special thanks to the staff of St. Benedict’s Senior Community and CentraCare Health Care Center, both in Monticello. Mercedes will be deeply missed by her family which holds with gratitude so very many cherished memories.

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