When folks gathered Sept. 17 for a concert on the grounds at Main Street and 8th Avenue NE, they enjoyed the fountain, flowers, benches and a new pavilion. Eight days earlier on a chilly day, at this newly improved spot, called St. Anthony Garden and the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Catholic Eldercare held a garden blessing and ribbon cutting.
Greg Baumberger, CEO of Catholic Eldercare, teased, “It’s hard to talk over this loud fountain,” gesturing toward Jerry and Trish Hartlaub, who funded the fountain in 2018 and contributed much of the funding for the most recent improvements.
“He wanted it to sound like a fountain.” Jerry, an engineer, helped design the fountain. It provides an antidote to passing cars and other urban noise, making for a “really peaceful, beautiful place to pause in life and listen,” Baumberger said.
He passed around a historical photo of a concert on the lawn with shrine in the background.
TerraVista Landscape and Design arranged for fountain repairs and its workers constructed the pavilion and did the landscaping. Owner Eric Baldus and daughter Iver attended the ceremony. Newly installed concrete pads will eventually be surrounded by benches that are held up by supply chain transportation issues in Wisconsin. That irony got a laugh from Jerry Hartlaub, a Manitowoc, Wis., native.
Trish (Patricia Strauss) Hartlaub grew up in the neighborhood, attended St. Anthony [of Padua] through high school, and they married in the church on this site. “It means everything to me,” said Trish. “My grandparents were immigrants.” They were the center of the family, holding extended family dinners in their duplex. Trish’s mother volunteered at Eldercare and later was cared for and passed away there.
The couple met at a dance at Lyndale and Lake that was advertised as all the beer you could drink for $2. “Of course, being from Wisconsin …” Jerry laughed. In further conversation that night it was revealed that they were both “fish-eaters,” meaning they are of the Catholic faith.
Jerry’s career included helping improve the pacemaker and other medical devices at Medtronic and took him to surgical suites in Europe and Asia. Trish told Catholic Eldercare they were frugal throughout their lives but had many enriching world travel experiences together because of Jerry’s hard work, education and planning; that also made it possible to donate.
Patricia Strauss Hartlaub had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Other donors to the project include: David Ryan, donors in memory of Dan & Carol Forby, donors in memory of Rose Lawson, Michael Ellingsworth, Medtronic Foundation and Northeast Minneapolis Lions.
Below: Patricia Strauss Hartlaub had the honor of cutting the ribbon. Husband Jerry is in the blue shirt. Saturday, Sept. 17, about 60 residents and passers-by enjoyed a birthday celebration concert by the Capri Big Band for Roger Archer, a friend of one of the band members. The scent of fresh timber, the big band sounds of songs like “Caravan” and “Perdido,” garden roses, the happily bubbling water, shade and sun made a feast for the senses. (Photos by Margo Ashmore)