Olive Cemensky, 93

Olive Marguerite Cemensky, 93, of St. Peter, formerly of Montgomery, died Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at Ecumen Sand Prairie in St. Peter.

Olive was born on October 2, 1919, in Pettis Station (south of St. Peter), a daughter of Max and Mathilda (Schmidt) Haack. When she was six months old, her mother passed away and she was raised by her aunts Mary and Emma Schmidt. Playing the piano and organ was Olive’s first love. She began her music career at the age of eight when she played the organ for mass every morning while attending John Ireland Elementary Catholic School in St. Peter. She graduated from St. Peter High School in 1937. At age 17, she attended St. Thomas College, where she received her church organist certification. She taught piano and played in an orchestra until her marriage to Ambrose Cemensky on April 28, 1942, in St. Peter. Olive was a life member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, where she served as musician since 1955. She also served as the VFW Ladies Auxiliary State Musician for 31 years. She was 2nd District VFW Auxiliary President in 1967 and held many other district and state offices over the years. Olive was appointed seven times as the National VFW Ladies Auxiliary Musician. She resumed teaching piano and organ lessons in her home in Montgomery in 1975, and held a recital every fall. Olive became the parish organist at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery in 1991. She also played for numerous weddings and funerals over the years. In addition to her passion for music, she enjoyed crocheting, working crossword puzzles, and found great comfort with her cat during her declining years.

She is survived by children Donna Robinson, Golden Valley, Kathleen (Pete) Lewis, Auburn WA, Trudy Bement, St. Peter, and Dale (Annette) Cemensky, Duluth; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m., at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery.

Burial was at St. Joseph Cemetery in Lexington.

Visitation was held on Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m. at Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery, and Monday at the church one hour prior to the services.

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