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First Covenant Church
Friday April 22nd, 2022
12:30pm - 1:30pm

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Celebration of Life

First Covenant Church
Friday April 22nd, 2022
1:30pm - 2:30pm

View Details

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Noel Paetznick

Noel H. Paetznick, age 89, of Willmar, passed away Sunday morning, December 26, at Carris Health Rice Memorial Hospital.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, April 22, at 1:30 pm at First Covenant Church in Willmar with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at West  Norway Lake Lutheran Cemetery in Sunburg.  Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. www.petersonbrothers.com


Noel Herman Paetznick was born on November 26, 1932, in Paynesville, MN, the son of Herman and Esther (Zimmerman) Paetznick. He grew up in Paynesville and in 1946, his family moved to Willmar, MN. In 1950, Noel graduated from Willmar Senior High School and went on to attend St. Cloud Teacher’s College.  He earned his teaching degree in 1955 and began his teaching career in Lynd, MN.


On December 27, 1957, Noel married his college sweetheart, Barbara Louise Leaf from Sunburg, MN.  They were married at West Norway Lake Lutheran Church in Sunburg, on a beautiful snowy evening. Noel and Barbara were blessed with three children: Mark, Mary Jo and Karin.


From 1957-1959, Noel served in the U.S. Army.  He was stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky at the Medical Research Laboratory.  In June 1958, after fulfilling her teaching contract in Paynesville, Barbara joined Noel in Kentucky. They made their first home together there until the summer of 1959 when Noel was honorably discharged. After his discharge they returned to Lynd, MN and resumed teaching.  Later, Noel also taught and coached varsity basketball in Eden Valley, MN before moving to Willmar in 1964.


The majority of Noel’s classroom experience while in Willmar was to teach Health, “Psychology of Living,” to all the ninth graders that passed through the Willmar Junior High School.  It was very important to him that each student felt welcome and accepted in his class.  One of the ways he did this was by teaching the students IALAC, an acronym for “I Am Lovable And Capable.”  He found it very rewarding when he ran into former students, and they specifically mentioned learning about IALAC. In the 1970’s Noel served on the State Drug Task Force.  He attended workshops, spoke to various special interest groups in Minnesota, and was instrumental in developing the drug education program for the Willmar School System. In 1992, he retired from his teaching career.


Noel was very passionate about and loved the game of basketball.  He played on the Willmar High School varsity basketball team and intermural teams in college. During his years in Willmar, Noel officiated basketball at the high school level. A highlight in his officiating career came when he was asked to ref the regional tournament at Williams Arena.


Noel had a deep faith and was an active member of First Covenant Church in Willmar. He served as church chairman, adult Sunday school teacher, led and attended Bible studies, and assisted with confirmation classes.  He was a mentor to many youths throughout the years.


Noel enjoyed spending time outdoors and passed on his love of nature to his family.  Some of his favorite activities were fishing, canoeing, hiking, birdwatching, ice fishing, ice skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and spending time with his family at their cabin on Lake Koronis.  He also looked forward to the many trips he took to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.


Noel loved his family dearly.  He was proud of all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He took an active role and interest in their lives.


Noel will be remembered for his sense of humor, creativity, wisdom, strong Christian faith, compassionate, kind and caring heart.  He enjoyed meeting new people and made a friend wherever he went. He took a genuine interest in people; accepting everyone, without judgement, no matter who they were and treated them with dignity and respect.  His life touched many and for that, we are all truly blessed.


Noel is survived by his wife Barbara, three children:  Mark (Jo) Paetznick of Bloomington, MN; Mary Jo (Larry) Eckblad of Mason City, IA; and Karin (Russ) Rein of Dundas, MN; seven grandchildren: Andrea (Adam) Miller, Aaron (Courtney) Paetznick, Britta Eckblad, Ayanna Eckblad, Mikael (Joy) Rein, Erik Rein, and Kjirstin (Nick) Escalante and five great grandchildren:  twins, Liv and Malin Rein, Elin Rein, Henry Miller and Bodin Escalante.  He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Kay Paetznick of Apple Valley, MN, along with many other relatives and friends.


Noel was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Daniel Paetznick.



To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Noel Paetznick, please visit our flower store.

Service Program


Barb and Family - Noel was a wonderful person and a great teacher. I had the privilege to teach across the hall from Noel while I was in the Junior High. We had great discussions and he was truly a role model for a beginning teacher that I was. I always enjoyed seeing his can of dehydrated water sitting on his desk - the students always asked him how that worked. Nancy and I had good memorable discussions with Noel and you out at Sibley Park. Our prayers go out to you Barb and your children. Noel will never be forgotten and that wonderful smile will always be etched in our memories. Peace, Noel.

Loren and Nancy Elinger Apr 11 2022 4:28 PM

I’m sending my love and sincere sympathy to you Barb and your family. Nick was a truly wonderful man .

Jan Braaten Apr 7 2022 5:31 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Noel Paetznick

Mary J Hanson Apr 5 2022 10:01 AM

Noel was one of my most influential teachers. I learned so much from his class. I also returned and completed my student teaching with him. He always believed you shouldn't "sweat the small stuff". I tried to carry his teaching philosophy with me throughout my teaching career and even taught in one of his Jr. High (Middle School) classrooms. I want to extend my sympathy to his family. Noel was an incredible man.

Mary Hanson Apr 5 2022 10:01 AM

To the family of Noel Paetznick,I want to express my sympathy for your loss. Mr. Paetznick was my 8th grade basketball coach and Health teacher. He was a favorite of teacher and coach of mine and I remember when he officiated a game I played in at WAVTI in the 70's. He was a true gentleman, honest, fair and very caring. A great example to all he came in contact with. Doug HillenbrandRochester, MN

Doug Hillenbrand Jan 11 2022 12:00 AM

My Sympathy to Barbara and family, GodBlessYou.

Mary Louise Wallin Jan 9 2022 12:00 AM

Noel was a great neighbor on Lake Koronis and a wonderful person who will be truly missed.

Dave & Karen Osley Jan 8 2022 12:00 AM

Barb and family, we extend our sympathy to you at this loss of Noel. We enjoyed those years as neighbors of yours at Lake Koronis.

Harlan and Mary Beek, Paynesville Dec 29 2021 12:00 AM

We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree

Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM