Ethel Drees Ethel Viola Kuster
1905 - 1984

BORN: 29 OCT 1905
         Grand Forks, North Dakota
MARRIED: Albert Fredrick Frank DREES
         01 Mar 1931
         Immanuel Lutheran Church parsonage
         Grand Forks, North Dakota
DIED: 09 SEP 1984
         Valley Memorial Home
         Grand Forks, North Dakota

Albert Drees, 1919

Ethel Viola Kuster was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Her father farmed near town but because he leased the land he farmed, Ethel never lived in the same house for more than a few years at a time. After graduating the 8th Grade, Ethel stayed home to help her mother until she married.

Ethel met Albert Drees at a neighborhood barn dance. The Kuster and Drees families only lived about two miles from each other on what would eventually become 17th Avenue in south Grand Forks. They were married on March 1, 1931 at the Immanuel Lutheran parsonage with only the pastor and two witnesses in attendance. Their wedding gifts included a team of horses and a family Bible.

The new couple rented the Tanneyhill Farm, located on the banks of the English Coolee for seven years, barely eaking out a living during the worst days of the Great Depression. Their first five children were born at that home with the assistance of a doctor or midwife.

In 1938, Albert purchased the "Art Gregoire" farm, located seven miles south of Grand Forks for $15,000 (320 acres at $46.80 and acre). The house was old and had probably never been painted but the farm came with a several farm buildings that were in good repair. Surrounding these buildings was a large grove of cottonwood and box elder trees which also served as a calf pasture. There was no electricity or running water until a new house was built in the 1940s. Ethel didn't want the new house to be square but Albert felt a square house was the best way to get the 4 bedrooms he thought his growing family needed. Between 1940 and 1946, five more children were born. Since doctors no longer made house calls, the final five were born in the hospital.

Albert Drees Family, 1951

Ethel was a quiet person whose entire life was focused on her children. She would often give them the money she made selling eggs so they could have a treat or do something in town. Ethel also liked to read Zane Gray novels.

Ethel's health had deteriorated enough by the time Albert died that she moved to the Valley Memorial Home in Grand Forks. There she spent the last nine years of her life. She died from a heart attack in 1984.

Ethel is buried in the Memorial Park Cemetary in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

HUSBAND of Ethel Viola Kuster:
    Albert Fredrick Frank DREES

PARENTS of Ethel Viola Kuster:
    Frank C. KUSTER
    Mable APPLEBY

CHILDREN of Ethel Viola Kuster:
   1. Albert Frank DREES Jr.

   2. Donna Jean (WIDENHOEFER)
   3. Doris June (RACHOW)

   4. Mary Louise (HOOEY)
   5. Donald Leroy DREES
   6. Violet Ruth (OKESON)
   7. Dorothy Anne (SCHROETER)

   8. Kathleen Karen (MILLER)
   9. Paul Robert DREES
   10. John Richard DREES



  A Genealogy and History for the Family of Albert and Ethel Drees, by Donna Widenhoefer
  1910 U.S. Federal Census for Grand Forks ND
  1915 North Dakota State Census for Grand Forks ND
  1920 U.S. Federal Census for Grand Forks ND
  1925 North Dakota State Census for Grand Forks ND
  1930 U.S. Federal Census for Grand Forks ND
  1940 U.S. Federal Census for Grand Forks ND
  U.S. Social Security Death Index