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Idella Hayes, 75, of Bemidji, MN died Thursday, January 12, 2023 at Ecumen, Duluth.
Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bemidji. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, January 27, 2023 at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Idella was born to William & Clara Glidden on May 2, 1947. She attended Lincoln Elementary from K-6. She then attended Bemidji Jr. High and graduated from Bemidji High School in May of 1965. On May 8, 1965, Idella married Vernon Stranger of Northome, MN. She and Vernon married while still attending high school. She graduated May 25, 1965. While in high school she as known for her babysitting skills. She moved into two families’ homes to take care of the children. After graduation, Idella started working at Bemidji State College. In July of 1969, Vernon & Idella welcomed a baby girl into the world, Tonja. There was no mistaking baby Tonja for she had beautiful red hair just like Mom & Dad. In 2010, Idella retired from Bemidji State University, after devoting 45 years to the school. Her whole career was in Deputy Hall. She made many great friendships during her tenure. On December 8, 1991, Idella lost her husband Vern in a truck accident. She would meet and marry a gentleman, Mel Hayes. In this relationship she was blessed with two beautiful stepchildren Randy and Angela Hayes. Idella’s passion was dirt track racing. In 1989, her daughter Tonja got into the sport, and it was all over. Idella traveled all around with the crew and enjoyed every minute of it. Tonja had great success in racing and Idella could not be prouder. In 2002, she and Mel bought Bemidji Speedway. With some racing experience it was a great endeavor. The first few years were very challenging. In 2010, Randy and Tonja took over the day-to-day operation of Bemidji Speedway. Idella was the financial officer taking care of the finances. On Sundays , she would sit under the canopy of the grandstands and make sure things were running ok. Up until the last two years, she had not missed a race. Her COPD really got the best of her breathing so she was there in spirit. In 2010, Idella was blessed with 3 beautiful boys entering her life. Ashton, Cameron, and Danny Schwinn were the “grandkids” in her life. Tonja and Conrad Schwinn entered a great friendship, and the boys were included. She loved them as if they were her blood. They gave her the nickname Della and it just stuck with her. Whenever the boys came into a room her smile would light up the room. She will be with them in everything they do. Idella was also a lifelong member of the Eagle’s Club. Many great friendships were made there. She would go for lunch almost everyday after she retired. Idella worked at Minnesota Woods Products for 20 plus years. She was the office manager for the night shift. She retired when her friend, Mindy Bowman passed.
Idella is survived by her daughters Tonja and Angela; son, Randy; grandsons, Ashton, Cameron and Danny and very special friends, Conrad Schwinn, and Terry and Kerri Jourdain. She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Vernon and Mel and sister Maxine.
Idella was a very casual person so please dress casual for the visitation and services. This is what she would want.