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Genell Y. Poitras

Genell Y. Poitras

Genell Yvonne Poitras, 87, of Park Rapids, MN died on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids, MN.

Genell Y. Kirmis was born on Aug. 30, 1930 at Lidgerwood, N.D. the daughter of Rufus and Adelia (Jacobson) Kirmis. She attended high school at Edgeley, graduating with the class of 1948. She went on to attend the University of ND, graduating in 1952. For the next 5 years she taught handicapped children in South Dakota. She continued her education, attaining her Masters in Social Work at Columbia University in NYC in 1959. She was united in marriage to Edward W. Poitras on June 20, 1959 in Ellendale, ND. They moved to South Korea the same year, residing there until 1989. For 30 years while in South Korea she worked teaching and practicing social work. In 1990 Genell and Ed moved to Dallas, TX where Genell was as a social worker at Bryan's House, a Center for children with HIV. Genell retired in 1995. They lived in Freeport, ME from 1997 - 2011, and they have lived in Park Rapids, MN since 2011.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church and was a Missionary of the United Methodist Church in South Korea. She was the recipient of the Korea Times translation prize (Korean stories into English) in 1976. She served on the Board of Wellspring of Park Rapids.

Genell enjoyed many hobbies and interests, including painting (water color and acrylic), creating books about family history, gardening, cooking and entertaining, playing piano and organ, reading, traveling and more.

Genell was always optimistic, generous, and gracious, and to the end thought of others' needs before her own. She had a strong clear, deep Christian faith and followed a lifetime practice of prayers for family, friends, and for people in need around the world.

She is survived by her husband, Edward W. Poitras of Park Rapids, MN; her daughter, Catherine Breer of Freeport, ME; grandchildren, Griffin Breer and Mina Breer of Freeport, ME; her brother, Wayne Kirmis (Pearl Courneya) of Park Rapids, MN; her three sisters, Kathryn Medellin of Park Rapids, MN; JoAnne Kirmis (Robert) Hill of St. Paul, MN; Bickey Kirmis (Frank) Bender of Park Rapids, MN; sister in law, Priscilla Gallagher of Sanford, Florida; her former son-in-law and his family, Douglas (Karen) Breer and their daughter, Hazel of Freeport, ME.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her son, Peter.

Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the Hubbard United Methodist Church in Hubbard, MN. Pastor Laurie Kantonen will officiate. Visitation will be held on Friday evening from 5 PM until 7 PM at the Cease Family Funeral Home Chapel in Park Rapids, MN. Visitation will also continue for one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday. Burial will be at a later date at the Mount Hope Cemetery at Edgeley, ND. Genell's wishes were to give memorials to the Southern Poverty Law Center in lieu of flowers: address, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery AL 36104. Friends may offer online condolences at Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids, MN is assisting with arrangements.