Red Lake Falls – Mabel Lillian (Zak) Sirek of Red Lake Falls passed away on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at the age of 87. She resided at Hillcrest Senior Living Inc. (RLF) and was also under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Mabel was born on January 28, 1935, to Louis and Agnes (Machal) Zak near Sherack. As a child, she resided outside of Tabor and worked closely with her parents and siblings on the family farm. She attended Northwest Agriculture School in Crookston and graduated high school in 1953.

Mabel met Earl Sirek at Carpenter’s Corner, rural Thief River Falls, during their teen years. They married on July 31, 1954, while Earl was on a one week leave from the Korean War.  Mabel moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin by herself and worked as a keypunch operator. When Earl was honorably discharged, he joined her.  After a few years, they were blessed with their firstborn child, Shawn. City life didn’t turn out to be their passion, so they agreed to return to their rural beginnings and purchased Earl’s childhood family farm outside of RLF in 1958. They were blessed with four more children:  Kimberly, Debra, Alex and Eric.

On the farm, Mabel had many hobbies, responsibilities and interests. She enjoyed cooking the family meals, baking, sewing, gardening many flowers and vegetables, canning produce, or she was caring for the family pets. Plus, she had many responsibilities by milking the dairy cattle, feeding the pigs and chickens or attending school conferences with her children. Most importantly, she was the main support to Earl while they farmed small grains and bailed hay on their acreage.   If she wasn’t hauling grain to the bins or elevator, she made meals and delivered them to the help. During her free time, she worked to keep the farm beautiful by painting the buildings or mowing the lawn or adding more colorful flowers to the yard.

In 2000 they retired and purchased a home in Florida. They traveled for 11 consecutive winters and enjoyed the sunny weather near their son: Alex. They all had many laughs and enjoyed many activities, but still had time to appreciate the Atlantic Ocean with their son. Mabel’s other children made their way south during the years and reaped the benefits of the warm climate, too.

Mabel is survived by her five children and their spouses:  Shawn and Maurice Brault of Crookston, Kimberly Sirek-Gutbrod and Curt Gutbrod of Andover, Debra and Richard Salentiny of Plummer, Alex and Melissa of Eustis, FL and Eric and DeeAnn of Red Lake Falls; and their six grandchildren: Lisa (Andy) Larson, Chad (Charity) Brault, Justin Brault, Patrick (Carmen) Salentiny, Sandy Nielson and Eric Gutbrod; 10 great-grandchildren;  and brother,  Marvin (Cora) Zak.  Recently, we lost Mabel’s beloved sister, Vilma Thompson on April 27, 2022.

Memorial Services will be offered at Johnson Funeral Home Chapel in Red Lake Falls on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 11 a.m.

Visitation will be offered one hour before the service. After lunch, guests are invited to the burial site for Mabel and Earl Sirek at St. Dorothy Cemetery, Dorothy.

Mabel will be remembered for her love of her children and is likely dancing with her soulmate Earl while being blessed by our heavenly father.