Mary Ellen Schlagel

Mary Ellen Schlagel, age 85, of Fingal, ND, died Sunday, September 29th at Elim Care Center in Fargo, ND.  A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at 4:00 PM  on Friday, October 11th at the Valley City Eagles Club.  A private family committal service will be held at Old Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery near Fingal, ND.
Mary Ellen Bowe, the daughter of John “Emmet” and Dorothy M. (Reck) Bowe, was born March 25, 1928 on a farm north of Buffalo, ND.  During Mary Ellen’s formative years, the Bowes lived in the Buffalo, Minnie Lake, Pillsbury, King School, Lucca and Kathryn communities.  Along the way, Mary Ellen made lifelong friends.  In June, 1947 Mary Ellen was united in marriage to Frank J. Schlagel in Fingal, ND.  After a honeymoon in Winnipeg, Frank and Mary Ellen made their home on the original Schlagel farm in Clifton Township, Cass County, North Dakota.  Mary Ellen lived on the family farm until June 2, 2013.  Mary Ellen, Gertie (Christl) Schuster and Harriet Lindeman were instrumental in starting the hot lunch program for the Lucca Grade School.  They also started the PTA to help support the program and refurbish the school kitchen.  Mary Ellen was also active with functions at the Fingal School while her two sons Gary and Darrell were attending there.  Mary Ellen enjoyed life on the family farm.  After Frank’s death, Mary Ellen and Darrell farmed together until 1977.  Mary Ellen once painted the peak of the barn utilizing an extension ladder and a loader tractor.  She also kept a flock of laying hens and sold eggs at several locations.  She also kept flocks of fryers and roasting hens.  She had customers as far away as Shakopee, MN.  Mary Ellen’s garden was her pride and joy.  Her loyal and faithful customers at the Embassy Café enjoyed her cucumbers and tomatoes.  She enjoyed raising and giving away huge pumpkins to her grandchildren and people to make Jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.  In 1963, Mary Ellen began baking and decorating homemade Angel Food cakes.  Many families within an hour’s drive of Fingal enjoyed her cakes and special frosting.  For many years, Mary Ellen and Doris Johnson painted and hung wall paper.  Mary Ellen was very active with the Fingal American Legion Auxiliary where she held Post, District and State Offices.  She also attended a National Convention as a Page.  Until 2010, she was the chairwoman of the Poppy Program.  Mary Ellen and Bart spent many hours making and distributing poppies.  She was also instrumental in starting “Christmas on the Prairie”.  In March of 1992, she took over operating the Fingal Café and renamed it the Embassy Café.  Brett Kapaun convinced her to make Knoephla Soup for the Café.  Her recipe became famous as people would drive down on Fridays from Valley City to enjoy her famous soup.  St. Patrick’s Day meant corn beef and cabbage on the menu.  She also learned how to make original German Apple Strudel.  Her homemade Lefse was spot on with a number of Norwegians.  Mary Ellen was known for her authentic German and Norwegian dishes even though she was half Irish and half Jewish.  Mary Ellen operated the Embassy Café until May 31, 2013.
Mary Ellen is survived by her special friend of 38 years, Bartley Johnson, Fingal, ND; two sons, Gary (“M”) Schlagel, Valley City, ND and Darrell (Karla) Schlagel, Fargo, ND; two grandsons, Scott (Shelly) Schlagel and Cody Schlagel; four great-grandchildren, Shlayana Schlagel, Tara and Kelley Schlagel and Jordan Schlagel; her sisters, Alta Stansell, Everette, WA, Betty Lou Rowe (Al Hanson) Squim, WA; her brothers, James (Shirley) Bowe, Odgen, UT, Dale (Joan) Bowe, Post Falls, ID and Donald (Janie) Bowe, New Mexico; one sister-in-law, Shirley Bowe, Kokomo, IN.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her husband Frank, her parents, one brother Glen Bowe, one grandson Todd E. Schlagel, brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws Chris and Louise LeBus, Harold and Mary Rose, Albert and Marlene Schlagel, Ray and Violet Schlagel, Delin Abbey, Al Rowe and Frank Stansell. 
Funeral arrangements by the Lerud Schuldt Funeral Home of Valley City.  Online guestbook available at