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Anita "Nita" Ann (Minkstein-Walker) Pastor

July 22, 1944 ~ December 31, 2021 (age 77)

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Anita Ann Pastor

On Friday, December 31, 2021, the “Chicken Chick” lost her biggest fan; Anita Ann (Minkstein) (Walker) Pastor of North Branch.

Anita (Nita) was born on July 22, 1944, in the living room of the family’s farmhouse in North Branch. She was the 2nd child of Ed and Florence (Rossman) Minkstein.  Nita often shared stories about helping out on the farm and we have no doubt this is where her love of chickens was born. Her favorite thing to do was drive the massive red farm truck uptown as she ran errands with her sisters, Jeannie (wife to the late Jim Stevenson) and Pam (married to Les Frampton). She was a graduate of the North Branch Class of 1962.

We were blessed to have Nita on this earth with us for over 77 years. Throughout her life, Nita was loved by all holding the titles of beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-grandmother and cherished friend to so many.

For the past 35 years, Nita was married to the love of her life, Dennis Pastor. He survives her along with her three sons; Lance (Dana), Zane (Tracey), and Ty (Kim) (the Walker boys), 5 stepdaughters (Jeanette, Jacqueline, Diana, Suzanne, Patricia), 15 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 15 hens, and 3 roosters.

Nita worked her tail off over the years, holding down jobs in factories, bars, the state home, and Meijer, but her favorite job was that of being a grandmother.  She was a devoted grandmother who attended endless sporting and school events and crocheted numerous blankets. You could even find her in a tree stand hunting with a grandson or two.

Nita was a lifelong collector (a Minkstein family trait). She had a love of the 4-C’s; Cookie jars, Cardinals, Canning and Christmas.  It’s no surprise that she waited to leave us until she had all 8 of her decorated Christmas trees up throughout the house and chose New Year's Eve to depart this world to ensure her family would always raise a toast to her at midnight.

Nita embraced retirement by puttering around her constantly expanding flower gardens, tending to her chickens, and watching old westerns for hours (another Minkstein trait). In recent years, Nita found additional comfort with her “church family” within the walls of the North Branch United Methodist Church. This past Sunday, she was able to attend the service and got to meet one of the newest members of the congregation (a baby). She was thrilled!

Nita loved family gatherings and was known for her homemade pies and potato salad. No one could make a banana cream pie like her! She looked forward to every spring because it meant it was maple syrup time, where she would spend hours in her son Lance’s Sugar Shack, drinking a beer in a cloud of maple steam. Just last week she asked if she might be able to drive the sap truck this spring.

We will miss her stubbornness (yet another Minkstein trait) and her absolute dedication to honoring her parents and all their traditions. You taught us so many life lessons that we will carry forever- including how to “get over it.”  We love you, Nita, and will miss you every day but draw comfort in knowing that you have been welcomed into heaven by Gram, Gramps, and Fox.

In keeping with Nita’s wishes, cremation has been entrusted to Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral home in North Branch. A gathering to celebrate Nita’s life will take place sometime in the spring at the Sugar Shack. Memorial contributions can be made in her honor to North Branch United Methodist Church.

You may share an online condolence to the family at:

  Arrangements by; Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Anita "Nita" Ann (Minkstein-Walker) Pastor, please visit our floral store.


Family to do services at later date

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