By Brenda Erdahl: The community of Maple Lake said their goodbyes this week to local icon “Gramma” Carole Bestland who passed away, Sunday, Dec. 31 after a year-long battle with cervical cancer. Considered the face of the Maple Lake municipal liquor store for many years and lovingly bestowed the title of “everybody’s grandma,” Bestland is credited with bringing the city owned business back from the brink and helping to make it the success story it is today, but she was much more than that. “She always had a smile on her face and good words for everybody. She was everybody’s grandma and made everyone who came in feel like that,” former city clerk Linda Hruby said. At times gruff, often fearless, but always softhearted, grandma Bestland was once captured on security camera chasing a shoplifter out the door of the business she looked after as if it were her own. When she found out the would-be thief was homeless her heart went out to him, and as Lee Ann Yager describes it, “was suddenly ready to make lunch for him.” Likewise, underage visitors to the liquor store were quickly debunked and sent packing, but in a grandmotherly fashion. “She was rough and gruff, but had a heart of gold,” Yager said.
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