Cover photo for Noel Paetznick's Obituary
Noel Paetznick Profile Photo
1932 Noel 2021

Noel Paetznick

November 26, 1932 — December 26, 2021

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.


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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 22, 2022

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Friday, April 22, 2022

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 67

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree