Rachel Emma Carrette passed away peacefully on May 16, 2020, at the age of 94 at her home in Taunton, Minnesota, with her oldest daughter and her husband present. Rachel was born on October 28, 1925, the second child of Adiel Dhaenens and Laura De Muynck in Aalter, Belgium.
The Dhaenens family moved to France for several years; and at the age of 10, her mother died and the family then moved back to Belgium. She and a younger brother lived with an aunt and uncle before her father purchased a farm and brought his three children home together. During WWII, when Belgium was occupied by the Germans, she used her own blood as ink to falsify German paperwork so her oldest brother would not have to work in the German factories. In November 1948, at the age of 23, she immigrated to the United States and traveled on the RMS Queen Elizabeth ocean liner to marry the man she loved, Albert Carrette, formerly of Hansbeke, Belgium. They were united in marriage on December 27, 1948, at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Taunton, Minnesota. Seven children were born to that marriage: Larry, Diane, Linda, Laurie, Debbie, Mark and Paul. The Carrettes made their home at the DePestel farmstead in 1961 and remained there until 1985 upon retirement. Albert and Rachel then moved to Taunton. The Carrettes were members of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Taunton, and later of St. Edwards Catholic Church in Minneota.
Rachel was a hard-working farmer’s wife and beloved mother. She was a member of the Council of Catholic Women at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, and a member of the Lincoln-Lyon County Extension Club. She loved to cook, can vegetables, and sew for her family and friends. She was active in her church. Rachel was very proud of her Belgian heritage and enjoyed playing rolle bolle and playing the card game Bien.
At the age of 75, Rachel was diagnosed with breast cancer and began aggressive treatment. She was a cancer survivor for 19 years. During the last 600 days of her life, she was living at home with her daughter Diane and her husband Jim. Crafting became a way to keep Rachel busy and she excitedly worked on each project. She was especially curious to see how people reacted to the frequent Facebook postings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped make over 135 face masks for friends and family.
Among the survivors are daughters; Diane Tuttle and her husband James of Portland, OR; Linda Sjurseth of Taunton, MN; Laurie Carrette Zook and her husband, Michael, of Omaha, NE; Debbie Goblirsch and her husband, Gary, of Apple Valley, MN; and a son Paul Carrette and his wife, Anita (Swedzinski) of Garretson, SD; 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren; and a host of people who simply called her a friend. Rachel was preceded in death by her husband, Albert; sons, Larry and Mark; and brothers, Marcel Dhaenens, Gentil Dhaenens and Daniel Dhaenens.
May God bless the memory of Rachel Carrette.