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September 7, 1930 - February 6, 2020
Halene Whitfield, 89, of Duluth (formerly of Minnetonka), passed away February 6, 2020, at Primrose Retirement Community. She was born in Northfield, MI, on September 7, 1930, to Harold and Enid (Sanderson) Whitfield.
Halene was a lifelong learner and teacher. After attending Rockford College, IL, and earning a teaching degree from the University of Minnesota in 1953, Halene spent two years teaching in California before returning to Minnesota, where she taught in St. Louis Park until her retirement. Highly regarded by colleagues, students, and parents, Halene’s enthusiasm, quick wit, and dedication influenced generations, many of whom remained in contact throughout her life. Halene’s love of nature and animals showed in her amazing gardens and backyard in Minnetonka, which provided food and shelter to raccoons, deer, and other creatures, and much entertainment for Halene. Nature was also at the center of Halene’s creative pursuits; for many years she created jewelry from her extensive agate and driftwood collections. Halene was also a voracious reader and an arts enthusiast, often sharing her season tickets to the Guthrie Theater with family and friends.
Halene is preceded in death by her parents Enid and Harold; sister Faith Rutford; brother Harold Whitfield; and longtime friend Eleanor Olson.
She is survived by — and will be missed by — nieces Yvonne (Marty) Rutford, Julie (Dan) Zobel, and Kathy Whitfield; nephews Dave (Rhonda) Rutford, Tom (Sue) Rutford, and John Whitfield; brother-in-law David C. Rutford; and grandnieces and grandnephews.
A private service will be held. The family would like to thank Primrose Retirement Community of Duluth and St. Croix Hospice for the loving care they provided to Halene in her final days.