September 25, 2022
Richard Dinger, age 103, of Decorah, Iowa, died on July 15, 2022, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah.
It was Richard’s wish to donate his body to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program for research.
Irene Struxness Ulvilden Sawatzky, born on Sept. 26, 1924, to Julia and Edward Struxness (LC 1906) in Nome, N.D., died on June 6, 2022, in Peoria Ill. Irene grew up in Belgrade, Minn., graduating from Belgrade H.S. in 1942. In 1946 she received a B.A. degree in English and Music from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She had a beautiful soprano voice singing in choirs, small groups and as a soloist. Irene was Luther’s Homecoming Queen in 1944.
Irene married James A. Ulvilden ‘47 in July, 1946, after his discharge from the Navy. She taught in Spring Grove, Minn., and together they taught in Westby, Wis., until returning to college in Brookings, S.D.. Irene and Jim moved to Russell, Minn., in 1953, where Irene taught English and Music until she retired in 1973.
Irene was multi-talented, directing choirs at Russell H.S., Grace Lutheran Church, and participating in the Marshall Sweet Adalines Chorus and the Music Educators Chorus at Southwest State University. She also served as President of the congregation at Grace Lutheran Church, served on the school board as well as working with Jim at the Farmers State Bank of Russell. She became VP and oversaw operations of the bank after Jim’s death in Oct. 1979.
In Sept. 1980, Irene married Martin E. Sawatzky. They divided their time between Mesa, Ariz., and Russell, Minn., until a permanent move to Mesa in 2002. Irene directed the Mesa Towerpoint Mixed Chorus. She sang in Victory and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church choirs. Irene and Martin volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Phoenix, Valley Lutheran Hospital and in many capacities at Towerpoint Resort in Mesa. Irene became an accomplished artist in her retirement, enjoying oil painting, silver jewelry making, crafts work, and tap dancing.
Martin died in 2003. Irene relocated to Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria Ill., in 2012.
Survivors include two daughters, Jennifer (John) Gregg, Peoria Ill., and Deborah (Tony) Anderson, SeaTac, Wash., and their children. Stepsons Doug (Mary) Sawatzky, Wilmar, Minn., and Mike (Karen) Sawatzky, Slayton, Minn., and their children.
Irene was preceded in death by her parents, five brothers and five sisters.
You may send a memorial to the Weston Noble Anniversary Scholarship, to benefit Luther College choral music students, at www.giving@Luther.edu. Scroll down, choose other, and type in the scholarship name in memory of Irene.
A family graveside service will be held at West Nidaros Lutheran Cemetery, Crooks, S.D., at a later date.
The Cremation Society of Mid-Illinois Co. Pekin/Peoria is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at csmico.com.
James Reinertson, 95, of Cedar Rapids, died May 27, 2022, peacefully at home at Stoney Point Meadows. Services were held June 1, 2022, at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids. A private Entombment took place at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery Mausoleum. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 25, 1927. His parents were A.J. and Bonnie Wald Reinertson. He attended Slater High School and enjoyed participation in basketball, where he was the leading scorer his senior year. He also played semi-pro baseball and was the league’s leading base stealer. Dr. Reinertson attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, from 1944-1948 majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry and History. While at Luther he also lettered in baseball.
Following his Luther graduation, he married Beverly Elaine Sampson on June 6, 1948. Dr. Reinertson then attended the University of North Carolina, receiving a Master of Science degree in Public Health in 1949. He was then employed by Parke Davis & Company in Detroit, Mich., as an Associate Research Parasitologist from 1949-1954. While there he was integral in the development of medications, such as Povan, which have been used worldwide.
From 1954-1956 he was employed by the University of Iowa in the department of Parasitology while he established his Iowa residency. In 1956 he entered the University of Iowa Medical School program. After graduation he completed a general Internship at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Following his internship, he had a two-year Residency in Pediatrics at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1962 he joined Dr. John Downing in his Cedar Rapids Pediatric practice and retired from medicine in 2001.
Over the years, Dr. Reinertson, was deeply involved with multiple hospital, church and community boards and belonged to many organizations. In his retirement he enjoyed raising seeding vegetables and flowers at the city plots and in later years he would raise them in pots on his back deck. A fond memory for him was the opportunity he had to sing with Naomi Judd, while she was on tour in Cedar Rapids.
Dr. and Mrs. Reinertson had two children, a son Dr. Mark Reinertson ‘71 (Karen) formerly of Cedar Rapids, now in the Minneapolis area, and daughter Marilee Reinertson Torres ‘82 of Cedar Rapids. There are four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Donations may be directed to Camp Courageous, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church or to any organization advocating for children.
Merlin “Dean” Hagen, age 94, of Decorah, Iowa, passed away on May 2, 2022, at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah.
Funeral services were held May 10, 2022, at the Decorah Lutheran Church, with Pastor Peter Kowitz ‘98 officiating. Burial with Military Honors was at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Cresco, Iowa.
Dean was born to Adolph and Myrtle Luella (Moe) Hagen on March 27, 1928, on his grandmother’s farm near Calmar, Iowa, the oldest of two children. He was baptized at Calmar Lutheran Church and confirmed at Glenwood Lutheran Church.
He attended a one-room schoolhouse in rural Decorah and graduated from Decorah High School with the Class of 1945. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Luther College in 1949.
After meeting LaRue at her cousin’s skating rink in Decorah, they hit it off and fell in love while double dating alongside Wayne and Arylis Soeder—the four of them always sought out the latest entertainment in the area: dancing, bowling, skating, big band music and Luther League activities.
Dean and LaRue got married on Sept. 20, 1952, and settled in Decorah, where Dean started farming with his father.
In 1954 he served his country as an Intelligence Officer in the Fifth Army for two years out of Mankato, Minn., and sometimes Eastern South Dakota. He was recently honored with a Quilt of Valor for his service to our country. Dean was discharged from military service in 1956 and moved to Chicago, where he earned an accounting degree from Northwestern University.
The family moved to Cresco in 1957, where Dean helped establish an accounting firm that later branched out to Decorah and Waukon. He was a strong supporter of local businesses and was invited to join multiple local community boards and councils, such as the Howard-Winneshiek School Board, Evans Memorial Home and Aase Haugen Senior Services.
As a father, husband and grandfather, Dean was always motivated by what was best for his family. They were his constant priority. Whether it was a family weekend, cheering on his children and grandchildren at sporting events or attending their musical performances, he was there, even during their Chicago years. The main reason they moved to Cresco was to raise their children around their families in the area—especially LaRue’s siblings, Gloria and Keith. The three families forged lifelong bonds in constant support of one another and braided their families together with any opportunity presented.
Besides his family, Dean had a passion for sports and music. From a young age, he was involved in baseball and softball; he was a center fielder in community softball, voted to play in all-star games every year and played slow-pitch softball in the church league. He was an avid fan of high school and college sports, particularly wrestling, softball, baseball and football.
Dean was a talented tenor: singing for his home church choirs in Cresco and Decorah, and the Luren Singing Society, which traveled to Norway on several occasions. He enjoyed listening to Big Band and Country music and watching Lawrence Welk on Saturday night.
His faith moved him to get involved in his church communities, First Lutheran in Cresco and Decorah Lutheran. He was actively involved in their church councils, choirs and as a Sunday school teacher. He will be remembered for his faith in God, love for family, community involvement and service to others.
Dean is survived by his children, Rick Hagen ’78 (Sandy) of Cresco, Georgiann Hagen of Marion, Iowa, and David Hagen ’85 (Jussara) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; son-in-law, Wes Brinkmann of Cresco; 10 grandchildren, Nora (Dave) Harer of Mantorville, Minn., Jonathan Brinkmann ‘02 of Monterey, Calif., Jarred Brinkmann (Veronica) of Northampton, Mass., Jacob Hagen ‘11 (Rand) of Newbury, Mass., Ryan (Kelsey) Hagen of Cresco and Natalia, Asle, Carl and Kjirsti Hagen of Cedar Rapids; eight great-grandchildren, Cece, Eli and Grace Harer, Diego and Alma Garcia, Ana Carolina Brinkmann Martin, Caleb Buchheit and McCoy Hagen; and one sibling, Janice (Roy) Matthews of Charles City, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his wife, LaRue (Lee) Hagen on May 8, 2018; daughter, Connie (Gagen) Brinkmann ‘76 on Aug. 9, 2001; grandson, Nicholas Hagen on May 25, 2010; parents, Adolph and Myrtle (Moe) Hagen; grandparents, Asle and Dordi (Borseth) Hagen and Otto and Mina (Prestsater) Moe; and brother-in-law, David Lillegraven.
Rachel E. (Noer) Spencer, 96, died peacefully April 26, 2022, at the Pigeon Falls Health Care Center in Pigeon Falls, Wis. She was preceded in death by her parents Victor and Selma Noer, brother Juul, sisters Louise Pauline and Ruth, son Paul and husband John L. Spencer ’50. A memorial service for John and Rachel was held at Colfax Lutheran Church in Colfax, Wis., June 4, 2022. Rachel is survived by daughter Anne (Spencer) Kritikos ‘76, son Mark, sister Mary (Noer) Wrase ’57, three grandsons, two granddaughters, two step-grandsons, two great granddaughters, one step-great grandson.
Ruth (Mikelson) Ziemann, age 95, of Hudson, Wis. A graduate of Luther College passed away on May 11, 2022, with the love and presence of her children surrounding her.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Harold Ziemann ‘48; her parents, Emil and Annette Mickelson, and her six siblings. Ruth is survived by her four children son, Ronald Ziemann (Brenda); and daughters, Julianne (Ziemann) Dahlen ‘73 (Derick), Christine(Ziemann) Hatab ’77 (Paul), and Rebekah Hagstrom (Peter); 13 grandchildren, Aaron (Jaimi), Bryan, Kirstin (John), Stephanie (Dennis), Erika, Kelsey (Eamon), Brittany (Kyle), Jemma (Marc), Will, Erik (Jolene), Elliott (Rachael), Nils (Emily) and Anders; 17 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Lorinne Mikelson and many nieces and nephews. Also surviving is Harold and Ruth’s heart daughter, Carol Szyman.
Ruth’s beautiful, servant heart touched the lives of many people, even up until the time of her death. A celebration of Ruth’s life was held May 23 at Bethel Lutheran Church, Highlands Campus, 504 Frontage Rd, Hudson, WI 54016. A burial service followed at Willow River Cemetery, Hudson, Wisconsin. Please consider memorial gifts to Bethel Lutheran, Luther College, or Mayo Clinic in Ruth’s honor.
Marjorie (Olson) Hove, age 95, of Decorah died on July 12, 2022, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah.
Her funeral service was July 16, 2022, at the Glenwood Lutheran Church with Rev. Adam Starrett presiding. Burial was in the Pontoppidan Cemetery.
The family wishes that memorial donations be made to Glenwood Lutheran Church or Vesterheim Norwegian Museum.
Marjorie was born on Oct. 25, 1926, to Henry and Martha Olson. She graduated from Decorah High School. She completed “normal training” and attended Luther College so that she could teach at the country schools in the area. Following World War II, she met Milton Hove at a local dance. They married at Glenwood Lutheran Church on Sept. 26, 1948 and farmed together for over 50 years on the family farm settled by her Norwegian-American immigrant ancestors. She always had the coffee pot on and treats to share when she welcomed friends and family who frequently stopped by the farmhouse. Marj loved to garden growing beautiful flowers and vegetables, canning and freezing the abundant harvest of tomatoes, corn, beans, cucumbers and zucchini (so much zucchini). The homegrown sweet corn and green beans were family favorites requested by the grandchildren at holiday meals. She was committed to serving her community – active in the church and she also served as a 4-H leader, on the Aase Haugen Board, the Luther College Parents’ Council and the County Planning & Zoning Commission. She and Milton enjoyed their friends in the Luren – concerts, Sangerfest and trips to Norway. She also loved to make traditional Norwegian foods – lefse, kringla, krumkake and often demonstrated at the Nordic Fest or Vesterheim Museum. Marj was a devoted caregiver and a strong woman of faith dedicated to helping others. She believed in the love of family and fostered a deep connection among her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by 3 daughters, Susan Hove, Joann (Hove) Voltmer ’73, and Ruth (Hove) Schultz ’82 (Randy); daughter-in-law, Paula Hove (Steve); six grandchildren, Phil and Jenny Hove, Gerad Voltmer (Denise), Anna Voltmer (Ashley Stiles), Lauren Roth (Patrick) and Alex Schultz (fiancé, Haley Walton); three great grandchildren, Dalen Voltmer, Harrison and Olivia Roth; and three great step-grandchildren, Kolin, Kasey and Keatyn Krauskopf.
She was predeceased by her husband Milton, her son Steve, her parents Henry and Martha Olson and two sisters, Helen Dennis and Donna Rae Olson.
The family would like to thank the Aase Haugen health care team for the loving care during her time at the nursing home, and friends & family who supported her with visits, cards and notes.
Robert Edward Lee, age 93, of Waverly, Iowa, died June 24, 2022, at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community in Waverly.
“Can the Lord be wrong?” was a saying commonly heard by Wartburg College Band members during the tenure of their director Robert E. Lee. His ultimate answer has come as Robert Lee humbly offered up the joys and struggles of his life to the resurrection promise of Jesus Christ on Friday, June 24, 2022.
Lee was born on July 18th, 1928, in Decorah, Iowa — the home of Luther College, which would become his alma mater, and Weston Noble ‘43, the much-loved Luther music conductor who shaped Lee’s career and unwittingly facilitated his marriage.
Lee’s parents were Arthur Ophelius Lee (LC Class of 1917) and Arla Ovedia (Scarvie) Lee. It was clear from an early age that music of various styles was the love and driving force of Lee’s life. He started performing his first band gigs at the age of 16 when he began playing and singing professionally in a local dance band.
Lee graduated from Scandinavia Wisconsin High School in 1946 and from Luther College in 1950. At Luther he was prominent in band activities and the first president of the noted Dorian Society there. He also earned an athletic letter as a gymnast. Advanced degrees would follow– an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1957 and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1966.
Shortly after graduating from Luther, Lee began his teaching career as a public-school teacher in New Richland, Minn. This was followed by teaching stints in Wisconsin (Trempealeau, Mt. Horeb, and Madison).
While teaching in Madison, Lee met his wife, Joyce Everson ‘56, through Luther College connections and mutual music interests, having recruited her for his Lutheran Student Association choir at the University there. They married in 1957.
In 1959, Lee began his thirty-seven-year tenure at Wartburg College. Initially he taught all instruments, all band activities and, during his first five years, also directed the orchestra. He added numerous instrumental specialists to the music faculty along the way and thus helped build what has become an outstanding college music program.
After retirement in l995, Lee volunteered for fifteen years at Waverly-Shell Rock High School helping instrumental musicians prepare for All-State Auditions and Solo-Ensemble Contests. Lee retired a final time at age eighty-two for a total teaching career of forty-five years.
Along the way, Lee took part in other local music events. In 1965, he provided support and inspiration for his brother-in-law, Dr. Dale Everson, in the founding of the annual Shell Rock Spring Swing Show. Over the many years of participating in this show, Lee amused audiences with a variety of songs and musical characters but was best remembered for his Snoopy “Suppertime” and Music Man “Ya Got Trouble” acts.
Lee considered himself a most blessed individual enjoying family life, personal life and professional life. His career was not considered work because “It isn’t work unless you would rather be doing something else.” And he often said if he were independently wealthy, he would gladly pay for the privilege of conducting the Wartburg College Concert Band.
Lee is survived by his wife, Joyce (Everson) Lee ‘56 of Waverly; son Andrew (Gretchen) Lee of Laclede, Idaho; daughter Heide Lee Malat (Ron) of Minneapolis; granddaughters Ariel (Nick) Tintle, McKenna Lee, Madeline Lee Malat and Julia Dismore plus one grandson, Hunter Dismore; and a brother, Arthur Lee ‘53 (Judy) of Bemidji, Minn. He was preceded in death in death by his parents, sister, Madelyn (Lee) Larson ’42, and brother, Loren Lee ‘49.
Lee has donated his body to science and a memorial service was held July 23, at the Wartburg Chapel in Waverly. Memorials may be directed to Robert E. Lee Memorial Scholarship or Cedar Valley Hospice. Online condolences may be left at www.kaisercorson.com. 319-352-1187
Thomas Rossing of Palo Alto, Calif., died July 14, 2022, age 93. Thomas Dean Rossing, age 93, passed away peacefully on July 14, 2022 in West Lafayette, Ind.
He was born in Madison S.D., and grew up in Sacred Heart, Minn., as a “pastor’s kid” in a Lutheran parsonage. After graduating from Luther College in 1950, he completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Iowa State University in 1954. He began his career at UNIVAC in St. Paul, Minn., researching magnetic memories. He joined the Physics Department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., in 1957, where he discovered his love for teaching that continued throughout his life. He moved to Northern Illinois University in 1971 to be department chair, and he developed an internationally recognized research and teaching program in acoustics. After his retirement in 2005, he was a visiting professor at Edinburgh University (Scotland), Seoul National University (Korea), and Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (2005-2019), teaching musical acoustics.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Torstein Rossing ‘20 and Luella (Grangaard) Rossing, his brother Robert Rossing ‘43, and his son Erik Thomas Rossing. He is survived by four daughters: Karen (Rossing) Grandall ’75 (Elliott) of Spring Valley Minn., Barbara Rossing (Lauren Johnson) of Leavenworth Wash., Jane (Jim) Frankenberger of West Lafayette, Ind., and Mary Rossing (Joel Walinski) of Cashmere, Wash., and his former wife Dorothy Rossing of Minneapolis, as well as two grandsons (David Grandall, Soren (Emily) Grandall), and two great grandsons.
Rossing was widely recognized for his research in several areas of physics, but especially in musical acoustics which combined his love of physics and music. He authored or co-authored 17 books on various aspects of acoustics as well as physics of the visual arts, and over 400 scientific publications. He holds 9 U.S. and 11 foreign patents in acoustics, magnetism, and condensed matter physics. He was a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Association for Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, and IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He was recognized with the Gold Medal in Acoustics and the Silver Medal in Musical Acoustics, both from the Acoustical Society of America.
Rossing loved physics teaching, and he developed and published education activities and inspired students throughout his career. He was a leader in the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) including as national president. He was awarded the Millikan Medal by the AAPT for notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics. He says he had “so much fun” teaching musical acoustics and physics that he created and endowed the Rossing Fund for Physics Education, which has awarded scholarships of $5,000 or $10,000 to 168 students at Lutheran colleges. He also endowed the Rossing Prize for Acoustics Education at the Acoustical Society of America to celebrate the contributions of those who, like him, have made a lasting impression on their students and on the field of acoustics education.
He loved music, directing and singing in choirs, singing in madrigal groups, and singing tenor solos. In his later years, he and his beloved friend Linda Mankin, a pianist, sang together at senior gatherings. He enjoyed tennis, hiking, and skiing, which he introduced to his children and continued into retirement including competing in Senior Olympics. He relished opportunities to travel around the world, and was proud to have visited all 50 states, six continents, and all but two countries in Europe.
He lived life to the fullest and leaves a legacy of students and colleagues who share his curiosity and love for learning. In a final act of “teaching” he has donated his body to the Anatomical Education Program at the Indiana University School of Medicine to be used in the education of future physicians.
A memorial service was held on Zoom on July 31, 2022.
Memorials may be made to the Rossing Fund for Physics Education or a charity of your choice.
Eunice Joanne (Johnson) Swiggum, 92, passed away peacefully at home in April 2022, with family at her side in Roseville, Calif. Eunice was born on May 7, 1929, to Gertrude M. (Kern) Johnson and Gilbert O. Johnson on the family farm between Norway and Atkins, Iowa.
She attended Luther College preparing for a secretarial position, and had a 33-year career in the Luther College Treasurer’s Office.
Eunice was united in marriage to Buel M. Swiggum on May 16, 1948, at Benton Lutheran Church, Norway, Iowa. To this union were born three children: David (Myrna), Lois (Swiggum) Appel ’75 (Tom Appel ‘73), Ruth (Gene – deceased), seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Eunice devoted her entire life to serve her Lord and to spread his Word to all. She was active in her church and served in many ways. She wished to be remembered as a forgiven sinner. Blessed be her memory. Eunice resided at Vennehjem with her husband, Buel, for many years. She enjoyed helping in the kitchen, garden and decorating. Eunice requested that donations may be made to Lutheran World Relief or Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) World Hunger.
Elsie (Nesset) Kittleson, age 92, departed on her final adventure on June 27, 2022.
Visitation was July 1 at Decorah Lutheran Church followed by a funeral service. Burial was held at a later date at East Clermont Lutheran Church cemetery. The family requests donations to EWALU Camp and Retreat Center. The family would like to extend special thanks to Winneshiek Home Hospice for their compassionate care and support.
A lifelong traveler, Elsie was born on July 7, 1929, to the Rev. A.O. Nesset (Luther Class of 1913) and Blanche (Lawston) Nesset in Leeds, N.D. She joined two sisters, Ruth (Nesset) Eggleston and Esther (Nesset) Grinna ‘46. In 1943, she moved with her family to Clermont, Iowa, where her father was a Lutheran pastor. It was at Clermont High School where she met Dean Kittleson ‘52. After Elsie attended Luther College and graduated from Fairview Hospital School of Nursing, they were married on April 24, 1953, at East Clermont Lutheran Church.
Elsie’s childhood camping experiences led her and Dean to continue camping adventures with their five children. With their pop-up camper, the family traveled through nearly all the National Parks, every state west of the Mississippi, many Eastern states and Canada.
Elsie worked as a nurse in Waukon and Manchester and while living in Earlville, she became the first school nurse at the Maquoketa Valley School District. Following their move to Elgin, she worked for many years at Palmer Memorial Hospital in West Union, where her favorite job was delivering babies when the doctors didn’t arrive on time.
Elsie and Dean began bicycling in the 1970’s. They completed over a dozen RAGBRAIs with the Alpine Pedalers and rode 5,000 miles cross-country on the Iowa 150 ride in 1995. Their other travels took them to Mexico, Alaska, Maine, Texas and Florida, and in retirement they spent winters at the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Park in southern California. After Dean’s death in 1997, Elsie moved to Decorah, where she enjoyed attending musical and cultural events at Luther College and in the community, singing with the Northern Lights and the Decorah Lutheran Church choirs, guiding at Vesterheim and jumping around the Decorah Pool and drinking coffee with the Bobbers. She continued to see the world, bicycling and touring in the Netherlands, Costa Rica, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece and the Canadian Rockies. Elsie pedaled around Decorah into her 90’s and inspired many to “keep moving!”
Elsie is survived by her five children: Jean (Dale) Villhauer of Tomah, Wis.; Ruth Kittleson ’78 of Viroqua, Wis.; David Kittleson ‘80 (Lisa) Kittleson of Blue Earth, Minn.; Dale (Frances) Kittleson of Decorah and Judy Kittleson ‘86 (Mike Wilker) of Decorah as well as nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and many friends near and far.
Milo Arthur Thompson passed at age 94 on Oct. 6, 2021. Milo was born Jan. 19, 1927, in Decorah, Iowa, and was the youngest child of Torger and Clara Thompson. Milo served in the Army Air Force in WWII and was wounded in the Philippines in 1945. After his military service, he attended Luther College and then went on to a career in Personnel Management with several federal agencies.
Milo is preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Jean Thompson, brother Stan and sisters, Doris and Polly. Milo is survived by his only child, Jud Thompson (wife Kara) and grandchildren Jack 26, Luke 22, Nick 20, and Grace 14.
Milo was a 50-year resident of Carmel, living 45 years in Brookshire. Milo’s passion was golf. He was a member at Fox Prairie Golf Club and a proud member of the Fox Prairie Senior Men’s Group.
An event to celebrate his memory took place Oct. 14, 2021, at Twin Lakes Golf Club in Carmel on the back patio. Golf attire was encouraged, the brighter the colors the better. A “Final Tee-Shot” was struck by all those interested in participating.
Memorial contributions can be made in honor of Milo Thompson to First Tee-Indiana, a program of the Indiana Golf Foundation at indianagolf.org/donate. Checks can be mailed to Indiana Golf Foundation PO Box 26159 Indianapolis, IN 46226. Donations will support First Tee-Indiana, which is a youth development program teaching life lessons and core values through the game of golf.
Melba (Deters) Hughes, age 91, of Mabel, Minn., passed away on Feb. 15, 2022. Melba was born May 6, 1930.
Phyl (Breen) Krueger, 91, passed away on May 3, 2022, due to complications following a stroke. Prior to a brief stay at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, S.D., Phyl resided in her Sioux Falls home.
Phyllis Marilyn (Breen) Krueger was born on June 14, 1930, to William and Myrtle (Rolland) Breen at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. She was the last baby born in the “old” Sioux Valley (Sanford) Hospital that was used at that time for a nurses home. Phyl was baptized by her grandfather Lauritz Breen on July 20, 1930, in the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Hurley, S.D.
Phyl’s father worked at the Hurley State Bank and when it closed during the depression, the family lived for a time with both sets of Phyl’s grandparents on the Breen and Rolland sides of the family. Eventually the Breen family moved to Howard, S.D. This was during the time when the grasshoppers were so bad they ate a dress of Phyl’s right off the clothesline. When she was five years old, her sister Shirley was born. Job opportunities for Phyl’s dad would find the family on the move: Volin, S.D.; Ute, Iowa; and Yankton, S.D. It was when they were in Yankton that Phyl’s brother Gerald was adopted into the family. The last move for the Breens was back to Hurley, S.D., when Phyl was in the eighth grade. She was confirmed in Hurley at Bethany Lutheran Church on July 1, 1945, and since she was the only confirmand in her class, had to answer all the questions asked by the pastor by herself. While in Hurley, Phyl played the pump organ for services, taught Bible School, delivered the paper and worked as a soda jerk in the drugstore.
Phyl attended her senior year of high school at Augustana Academy in Canton, S.D., graduating in 1948. It wasn’t more than fifty miles away from Hurley, but it was a world apart for Phyl. Her greatest thrill was singing in the concert choir. Summers found Phyl working as a nurse’s aid at Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton and detasseling corn in Bode, Iowa, where her grandparents lived.
Attending a Luther League Convention in Decorah, Iowa, on the Luther College campus influenced Phyl to attend college there. The fall of 1948 she boarded the train in Canton, S.D., with her trunk of belongings and headed off to college. Singing in the Luther Choir was one of the highlights of Phyl’s college days. It was at Luther and during her freshman year that she met Harold Krueger ‘50, a junior. Following Phyl’s sophomore year, Harry received a teaching position in Calmar, Iowa, so after two years at Luther and a two-year teaching certificate in hand, she left Luther with her soon-to-be-husband. Phyl and Harry were married on Aug. 20, 1950, in Hurley. In Calmar she was contracted to teach a 5th and 6th grade combination class for $2400.00. The couple remained in Calmar for two years. Teaching positions for Harry would then take them to Britt, Iowa, and Glencoe and St. Cloud, Minn., and eventually in 1965 to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Phyl and Harry lived directly across from the Augustana campus where they raised their four boys; David, Mark, Timothy and Thomas. Life for Phyl revolved around that of her husband, children and eventually her grand and great-grandchildren.
Loving education and wanting to finish her college degree that she had started at Luther and continued at St. Cloud State, Phyl began taking classes at Augustana and would graduate Cum Laude in 1974 with a B.A. Degree in Education. She was employed by the Sioux Falls School District for eighteen years beginning at Garfield Elementary and then Washington High School as a certified aide for special needs children. Phyl retired in 1992.
Faith and church was of utmost importance to Phyl. Prior to having limited vision due to macular degeneration, she was a very active member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls serving on various boards and committees, volunteering and singing in the church choir. She loved leading Bible studies and was an avid fan of Biblical history. Phyl had also been a 50-year member of PEO (St. Cloud, Minn., and Sioux Falls) and a volunteer with Avera hospice. Playing bridge, walking, reading, gathering with family and friends, traveling with Harry and entertaining his students were pastime favorites. Phyl and Harry enjoyed travels which took them around the world. She devoted her later years in life caring for Harry as his health declined. As her eyesight diminished, Phyl enjoyed listening to books on tape.
Phyl was preceded in death by her parents William (1980) and Myrtle (1990) and her husband Harry Krueger ‘50 (2018). Phyl is survived by her sister Shirley (Breen) Johnson ’57 (Kent Johnson ‘55) of River Falls, Wisconsin and brother Jerry (Joyce) Breen also of River Falls along with a large extended family.
Grateful for sharing her life are her four children, ten grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren: Dave (Donna) of Sioux Falls and their family; Jessica (Zach) Rutten – Noah, Izabel, Haley and Kiley (Sioux Falls); Aaron (Laura) – Anders, Jonas and Greta (Omaha, Neb.); James (Ang) – Teddy, Charlie and William (Sioux Falls); Andrew (Kelly) – Ruby and Isla (Sioux Falls); Mark (Sonja) and family all of Boise, Idaho; Kari (Mitch) Dame; Joel; Tim of Sioux Falls and his family; Meghan Vasgaard – Madelyn, Henry, Katherine and Abraham (Centerville, S.D.); Zach (Meghan) – Flannery, Harper, Willa, Lucy and Wendell (Sioux Falls); Tom (Nancy) of Sioux Falls and their family; Isaac (Alex) – Emory (Minnetonka, Minn.); Anna (Nick) Schmitt of Rochester, Minn.
Concluding her daily devotions Phyl would say, “What a promise, what a promise indeed!”
Phyl’s memorial service was held at Our Saviors Lutheran Church on May 9th. Interment followed at Bethany Lutheran Cemetery, Hurley, S.D.
Phyl requested memorials be directed to the Rolland/Breen Memorial Scholarship Fund at Augustana University, 2001 S. Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57197.
Colleen (Toenges) Politz, age 90, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones on July 12, 2022, at Mercy One Hospice in Mason City, Iowa. Colleen was born to Harry and Gladys Toenges on March 8, 1932, on a snowy day at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea, Minn.
Colleen spent her childhood years living on a farm southwest of Alden and attended country school with her siblings. She attended Alden High School and then was recruited to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Upon graduation from college, Colleen followed her passion of teaching and accepted a fourth-grade teaching position in Tama, Iowa. In 1953, she was united in marriage to Raymond L. Politz and she became a homemaker and mother to five children. In 1961, Colleen applied and accepted an elementary teaching position in Alden, Minn., and continued to teach there until her retirement in July 1994. After retirement, Colleen moved to Grinnell, Iowa, where she enjoyed family and made many new friends. She then moved back to Albert Lea, Minn., to be near family and friends.
In addition to being a dedicated and loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, Colleen also loved teaching, cooking, entertaining, spending time with family and helping others. She was exceptionally kind and generous to all those around her. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her.
Colleen is survived by her children Kim and Justine (Doyle) Politz, Tony and Debbie (Boeck) Politz, Natalie Peter, Colette and Jeff Wiesmueller, and Todd and Tami (Schulz) Politz. She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
She joins in heaven her husband Raymond L. Politz, parents Harry and Gladys Toenges, brother Clifton Toenges and sister Glennyce Cox, son-in-law Russ Peter, and grandson Ryan Politz.
Thank you to Colleen’s “many good friends” for their years of love and care at Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood, Iowa, where she lived for the last six years.
The funeral service for Colleen was held July 18, 2022, at Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services Chapel in Albert Lea. Burial was at Concordia Lutheran Church of Pickerel Lake cemetery.
Memorials may be given to Peace and Power at First Lutheran Church located in Albert Lea, Minn.
Charles “Chuck” Irwin Danielson, 90, of Hamilton, Ill., passed away on Sunday, April 17, 2022, at Memorial Hospital in Carthage, Ill. Being a man of faith, Easter Sunday was the perfect day for him to enter the gates of Heaven.
Chuck was born June 22, 1931, in Decorah, Iowa, the son of Carl O. Danielson & Ida (Strand) Danielson. Chuck was united in marriage in 1957 to Virginia Ruth “Ginny” Perau after meeting on a train while he was stationed at Fort Drum, New York.
Chuck was a proud alum of Luther College where he received a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration. After graduating from college, Chuck entered the Army in October of 1953, and was honorably discharged in October 1955. He served in the Army Military Reserves for an additional eight years. Chuck passed the Certified Public Accountant exam and was a part of the Iowa Chapter of Certified Public Accountants.
Chuck has been a faithful and active member of the First Lutheran Church in Keokuk since 1969.
In 1969, Chuck brought his family and made his home in Keokuk, Iowa. He held several senior level accounting positions until he entered a partnership and was the Chief Financial Officer of Keokuk Ferro-Sil until his retirement.
As a young man, Chuck was adventurous and loved his 1941 Harley, he also learned to fly Cessna airplanes, sail and loved cars, spending many a weekend tinkering in the backyard unless the Cubs were playing. In his later years he and his wife loved to travel, visiting many places in the U.S. with a memorable 55th anniversary trip to Hawaii. Chuck enjoyed learning and gathered materials on a variety of topics to read and discuss with family.
Chuck was past President of Junior Achievement of Keokuk, and affiliated with the Keokuk Bridge Study Commission, Keokuk Chamber of Commerce, plus the Keokuk Public School Curriculum Advisory Committee. He also was a member of the Kiwanis Club, American Legion, and Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks.
Chuck is survived by one son, Michael Danielson ‘79 (Kathy) of Murfreesboro, Tenn., two daughters, Allison Danielson of Newport Beach, Calif., and Lori Danielson of Des Moines, Iowa; two grandsons, Joshua (Marcie Haller) Danielson of Phoenix, and Nathan (Kayla) Danielson and one great-grandson, Conner Danielson of Gallatin, Tenn.; one brother-inlaw, Donald Ash (Tracy) of Kansas City, and one sister-in-law, Donna Marie Ash (Russ) Rediger of Las Cruces, N.M., and extended family in the Decorah, Iowa, area. Chuck is preceded in death by his wife.
Funeral services were held April 22, 2022, at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home in Keokuk, Iowa. Burial with military honors was held at the Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah, Iowa.
Memorials may be directed to First Lutheran Church of Keokuk or Tunnels to Towers Foundation. Tributes and condolences may be left at www.dejongsfuneralhome.com.
Donna Marie (Skurat) Ellefson, age 90, passed from peaceful sleep in the evening of April 17. Donna Marie was born to Herman and Ella Skurat on a farm south of Starbuck, Minn., in May, 1931. Soon thereafter, Donna Marie and her parents moved to a farm east of Glenwood, Minn. Donna Marie received her first four years of school from a rural school in the area of Grove Lake and the rest of her public-school training from Glenwood Public Schools. After learning to read in first and second grades, Donna Marie taught her younger schoolmates to read, so her teaching career began at a very early age! Donna Marie graduated from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in 1953 and then taught elementary school in Duluth, Minn. During her year in Grade 5, Donna Marie met Ralph Ellefson ‘53, also from Glenwood; they became close friends during their junior and senior years. Following graduation Donna Marie taught elementary school in Duluth. In 1955 Donna Marie married Ralph and moved with him to Iowa City, Iowa, where Ralph was in graduate school and Donna Marie taught elementary school. In 1958 they moved to Rochester, and Donna Marie again began teaching elementary school. When she became a mother Donna Marie shifted to part time teaching in elementary school, music, and special education.
Donna Marie had a marvelous soprano singing voice and performed frequently as a soloist and member of The Nordic Cathedral Choir of Luther College, the choir of First Lutheran Church in Duluth, The Duluth Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, Choir Methodist Episcopal Church in Iowa City, Rochester Symphony Chorale, and the choir of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Donna Marie’s favorite musical scores for performances have included “Ave Maria,” Mozart’s “Lullaby,” and arias from Handel’s Messiah, including “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion,” and “I Know That My Redeemer Livith.”
Donna Marie enjoyed serving in charitable activities of Glori Dei Church, including WELCA and special task projects. She was always a source for well-prepared, delicious food for various events. Donna Marie served as a Den Mother for her Cub Scouts and a troop leader for her Brownie Scouts. She promoted swimming lessons and skiing lessons for her children and few others. She enjoyed cross-country skiing, biking, camping, and gardening. Most of all she enjoyed her children and their spouses, her grand-children and their spouses, and her great-grand-children. She has enjoyed especially the development of musical, professional, artistic, and sports skills by her children and their spouses, her grand-children and their spouses and her great grand-children!
Donna Marie is survived by her husband, Ralph Ellefson ‘53, and her daughter Susan (Ellefson) Wolle ‘89, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, son Mark Ellefson, Skandia, Minn., Peter Ellefson ‘82, Schoolcraft, Mich., Jonathan Ellefson ‘85, Harker Heights, Texas; grand-children, Matthew Ellefson, Amanda Ellefson, Sarah Yost, Katherine Brown, Kristen Ellefson, Megan Ellefson, Anna Wolle, Ella Wolle, Grace Wolle, Luke Ellefson, and Owen Ellefson; and great grand-children Gloria Degado, Aksel Yost, and Fluri Yost.
A celebration of Donna Marie’s life was held May 4, 2022, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Rochester. Burial was at Oakwood East Cemetery.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Ellefson family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.
Ramona Jeanne (Wheaton) Johnson, 91, of Somers, Wis., died June 15, 2022, at Ascension All Saints Hospital in Racine with her family at her side. Ramona was born Feb. 3, 1931, in Caledonia, Minn., to Arden and Esther (nee Kieland) Wheaton. After graduating high school in Caledonia, she earned a Music degree from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, in 1953. On Aug. 11, 1955, she married Donald Johnson in Caledonia, Minn. Following marriage they lived in Orange County, Calif., before moving to Racine and later the Union Grove area. She lived most recently in Somers.
Ramona was a public school music teacher for 40 years. Most of her career was spent at Knapp Elementary in Racine, where she taught from 1971 until her retirement in 1993. She was well-known for her musicals and annual Nutcracker holiday performances. She loved gardening, reading, and spending time with her grandchildren. Ramona was a lifelong learner and particularly enjoyed studying American history. Her students, friends, and family knew her as a patient woman with a kind voice and fondness for baking cookies.
Survivors include children: Kristin (Todd) Armstrong of Somers, John (Leanne) Johnson of McFarland, Kathy (Jeff) Burton of The Woodlands, Texas; and son-in-law David Nelson of Racine. Ramona had eight grandchildren: Sarah (Chris Wilson) and Peter Nelson, Shane and Justin (Inayat Gill) Armstrong, Michael (Chelsea) and David (Alison) Johnson, and John (Abby) and Colin Burton. She is further survived by nieces; nephews; and great-grandchildren: Colton and Elanor Johnson, Jackson Burton, and a baby girl Johnson due in October.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Donald; siblings Virgil, Erma, Esther, and Walter, and daughter Karen Nelson.
A private burial took place in August at So. Wis. Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove, where she was interred next to her husband.
Polnasek-Daniels Funeral Home & Crematory. www.danielsfamilyfuneral.com.
Horace John Olson, age 91, of Jackson, Minn., passed away on June 4, 2022, at his residence. Visitation was held on June 18, 2022, at the Osterberg Funeral Home in Jackson, with a Celebration of Life service officiated by Dr. Martin Lucin.
Memorials to the Minnesota Alzheimer Association are preferred.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at OFH.Care.
Horace John Olson “Ole,” son of Horace and Margaret Olson, was born on Feb. 28, 1931, in Harmony, Minn. He graduated from Harmony High School in 1949. Throughout his high school years, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. After one year at the University of Minnesota, Horace transferred to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he played basketball. He graduated from Luther College in the spring of 1953 with a degree in Social Studies and Physical Education. It was there that he met “his lovely wife” Cleora “Collie” (Sikkink) Olson ‘52. The two were married on July 17, 1953, at the Greenleafton Reformed Church in Greenleafton, Minn. In 1954 they moved to Canton, Minn., where Horace was both a teacher and a basketball coach. In 1957 he accepted a teaching/coaching position in Preston, Minn. Horace returned to the University of Minnesota and received his master’s degree in school counseling, and in 1962 accepted the position of the high school counselor in Jackson. He remained at JHS until 1968 when he helped to establish the vocational school in Jackson and took a position as the Student Personnel Director until his retirement in 1991.
Horace and his friend Al Nelson started Canoe Des Moines, a canoe rental business, in the ’70s. Together, they spent the summers paddling the river and entertaining people of all ages. After retirement, Horace found more time for his hobbies, which included fishing, woodworking, and wood carving. He enjoyed sharing stories of all his fishing adventures in northern Minnesota, Saganaga Lake, (“Sag”), and Canada with his friends and family. He loved sports, enjoyed watching all the Minnesota sports teams, and was an avid fan of the Minnesota Gophers. Horace was an active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Jackson, where he served as a church council member and became a familiar voice to anyone who tuned in to listen to the church broadcast on the local radio station.
Horace passed away at his home on June 4, 2022. He is survived by his wife Collie (Sikkink) Olson ‘52, son Mike (Carolyn) Olson of Minnetonka, and daughters Kim Olson, Peggy Kranz, and Erin Olson (Jeff Kruse) of Jackson. Grandchildren: Greg (Alison Mathias) Olson, William Kranz, Dinah (Darren) Sime, and Maren (Joshua Abels) Olson: Great Grandchildren Kori Olson, Stella Olson, and Lillian Sime, and many nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his parents and one son, Mark D. Olson.
Ole was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend. His stories will live on through all who were blessed to know him.
Phyllis (Larson) Emery, of Mabel, Minn., passed away on May 15, 2022, at 87 years of age. She was born May 21, 1934, to Joseph and Palma (Danielson) Larson.
She graduated from Mabel High School and attended Luther College. She married the love of her life, Jessie Emery, on January 30, 1954, at Mabel First Lutheran Church. For many years she was a Girl Scout leader and cookie chairman. She also worked at the Green Lea Manor, Larson Hardware, and helped at Jackie’s daycare. She enjoyed gardening, reading, crossword puzzles and singing in the Mabel First Lutheran Choir.
She is survived by her sister Beverly Holmes and brother Joseph Larson ‘61 (Deanna); four children: Jackie Emery, Jessica (Charlie) Arnold, Carol (Scott) Raines, and Phillip (DeAnn) Emery; seven grandchildren: Jesse (Jessica) Matthews, Leah Matthews, Beth Hardinger, Shelly and Robert Raines, Kyle and Eric Emery; seven great-grandchildren: Grace, Jessie Allen, Lauren, Avery, Hannah, Leila and Teegan; her sister-in-law Nell Jane Ewing, and day-care “grandkids” who called her Grandma.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister Dorothy Brandenburg, and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law: Beverly Berg, Tom Emery, Raymond Emery, Lenora Selinger, Dean Emery, Roger Emery, Arland Emery, Betty Guhl and JoAnn Emery.
The funeral was held at Mabel First Lutheran Church, on May 20, 2022.
Norlin Rober, 91, of Marshalltown, passed away July 11, 2022, at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown.
Services took place on July 23 at Elim Lutheran Church in Marshalltown with Pastor Paul Waterman officiating. He was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Elim Lutheran Church or Marshalltown Community College Foundation. For online condolences, please visit www.mitchellfh.com.
Born June 12, 1931, in Waukon, Iowa, he was the son of Erwin and Lulu (Fruechte) Rober. Norlin attended a one-room rural school through 8th grade before attending Waukon High School and graduating in 1948. He taught in one-room rural schools in Allamakee County from 1948-1950.
After his graduation from Luther College in 1954, he taught high school mathematics and science in Ridgeway, Iowa, and Mabel, Minn. Norlin returned to school to obtain his Master’s Degree, graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 1958. He returned to Luther College to teach math and pre-engineering from 1960-1965.
He married the love of his life, Audrey (Wogen) Rober ‘61 on Sept. 01, 1961, in Decorah, Iowa. The two relocated to Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1965, where he taught mathematics at Marshalltown Community College from 1965 until his retirement in 1992. They were blessed with two children, Paul and Aline.
Norlin was a faithful member of Elim Lutheran Church. He had much interest in a variety of hobbies over the years, including electronics, recorded classical music, photography, antique clock restoration and collecting, computing and genealogy.
Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife and two children: Paul Rober, of Marshalltown, and Aline Rober, of Mass., as well as his nieces and nephews.
In eternal life, he is reunited with his parents and his brother, Ronald Rober.
Søren Strat Urberg, 90, of Fort Wayne, Ind., passed away to his eternal home on May 16, 2022. A fourth generation Lutheran pastor, he was born to The Rev. Konrad Morbeck Lars Urberg (Luther Class of 1925) and Thea (Hagen) Urberg in the First Lutheran Parsonage at Blair, Wis., on August 21, 1931.
He was Baptized and Confirmed at First Lutheran in Blair, where his paternal grandfather and father served consecutively as senior pastors for 78 years. He attended Blair High School and did his undergraduate work at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where he majored in history and was a member of the Nordic Choir. He received his theological training at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.; served his ministerial internship at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis.; and was ordained as a pastor of The Evangelical Lutheran Church (former NCLA) at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Walum, N.D.
After serving at Hannaford and Walum, N.D., he served parishes in Winnebago County, Iowa, and Waukegan, Ill., before being called by Bethany Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, which he served from 1970 until 1996. Following his retirement from Bethany, he served in a dual parish at Hawley and Ulen, Minn. Thereafter, he served a congregation in the Community of Karmøy (Rogaland County), in Norway. After returning from Europe he served consecutively as a part-time staff member at Concordia Theological Seminary, as interim supply pastor in Michigan, and as visitation pastor and twice as interim pastor at Emmaus Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne.
He served on various boards and committees during his years as a pastor, held memberships in a number of historical societies and Norwegian-American and international Norwegian organizations and published works including biblical materials.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia (Haraldson) Urberg ‘56; by three daughters, Dagny (Thompson) Brandt ‘83, of Freeport, Illinois; Ingrid Urberg “84 (Mark Fulton), of Camrose, Alberta; and Ragna Urberg ‘86 of Fort Wayne; and a son, Konrad Urberg ‘94, of Fort Wayne; and four grandchildren: Kristin and Carsten Brandt, and Kristina and Christian Urberg. He is also survived by his sister, Solveig (Urberg) Rogne ‘56, sister in law, Harriet Miller; and four nieces and one nephew.
Jon Griffin Torkelson, 88, of Cashton, Wis., passed away at his home July 10, 2022. Jon was born Oct. 21, 1933, to Theodore “Ted” and Ethel (Lee) Torkelson. He was raised in Cashton and was a 1951 graduate of Cashton High School. After high school, Jon attended Luther College, where he played baritone with the college band.
After college, Jon enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he also played the baritone in the Navy Band. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he attended Mortuary Science School in Milwaukee. On a visit home from the Navy, he met his wife, Jan. They were married Aug. 20, 1960, in Weyauwega, Wis.
Jon’s grandfather Christ began Torkelson Funeral home in 1916. Jon’s father, Ted, took over the funeral home, and Jon worked for him before eventually taking over the business himself. In 1976, he built a new furniture store and funeral home in his beloved hometown of Cashton.
Jon was an active member of the community, serving as a board member for the Bank of Cashton and volunteering as a longtime member with the Cashton Lions Club and many other community services. He was also a lifelong active member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
He had a true love for all sports and was thrilled to have shot a hole-in-one and bowled a #300 game in his life. He adored his wife Jan, and together they raised three beautiful children, whom he loved dearly. Jon had a great appreciation of music and could be heard singing to Jan up until his final days. His faith was steadfast and strong. Jon’s big, happy smile and twinkle in his eyes will be missed.
Jon is survived by his wife of 61 years, “Jan” Janet L. (Popelars) Torkelson ‘58; his sons, Chris (Kelli) Torkelson of Milton, Ga., and their children, Connor and Kelsi, and Todd (Jennifer) Torkelson of Tomah, Wis., and their children, Tyler and Trey; his daughter, Julie (Scott) Burns of Waterford, Wis., and their sons, Skyler and Cole; his sister, Virginia (Orval) Hilden of Cashton, Wis.; along with nephews, other relatives and friends.
Jon was preceded in death by his parents, Ted and Ethel.
Funeral services were July 14, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cashton. Burial followed in Moen Cemetery, Cashton. Online condolences are available www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.
Charles Williams Hulsether was a beloved husband, father, Lutheran Minister, and friend to many. He lived a rich and long life of 95 years, mainly in Northeastern Iowa and Southwestern Wisconsin. But his body finally gave out and he died peacefully on April 26, 2022, at the Bethel Oaks memory care facility in Viroqua, Wis.
“Chuck,” as most people called him, was born on Oct.10, 1926, to George and Mabel (Williams) Hulsether, on a small dairy farm in the Norwegian-American community at Castle Rock, near Fennimore, Wis. He could remember the coming of its first tractor and first electricity. He played baseball on his high school team and ran the farm when his brother Gordon was in the Navy during World War II. Later he was drafted for the Korean War and served as a cook on an Army base in Alabama. Afterward, in the mid-1950s, he used the GI Bill to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., where he attained what would today be called a Master of Divinity degree.
During a summer at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis, he met the love of his life, a Swedish-American schoolteacher named Harriet Wedin from the St. Croix Valley of Northwestern Wisconsin. They married in 1956 and shortly afterward had three children, Mark, Sue, and Sara. He became a Parish Minister in the American Lutheran Church (later part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and led four churches in Iowa: Williams (near Ames), Elvira (near Clinton), Nashua, and Kanawha (both near Mason City). In Elvira he gained a footnote in history as the first ever Norwegian-American minister in Iowa to lead a German-American congregation. His last parish was the Mt. Sterling/Utica Parish near his birthplace. He then worked for six years as the Chaplain of the Bethel Home in Viroqua, where he developed and became the first Director of its Foundation.
He and Harriet moved to Viroqua in the mid-1990s. In their retirement they traveled far and wide, so that before Chuck turned 92 he had visited all 50 states and five other countries. Both before and after Harriet’s death in 2014 he was active in many Lutheran church networks, at the local golf course and wellness center, in the Viroqua Men’s Chorus, and as an accomplished Norwegian woodcarver. He moved first to Maplewood Terrace assisted living and later to Bethel Oaks starting after 2018.
Charles leaves behind for his many friends a huge store of good energy and a long legacy of thoughtful, compassionate, and faithful work in his ministries, always circling back to core Lutheran teachings about a universe filled by a God of grace. We were lucky to have him in our lives for so long. He outlived all of his and Harriet’s siblings plus one grandchild, Mark Hulsether McKee. He is survived by his children and their spouses: Mark Hulsether and Anne McKee of Maryville, Tenn., Sue Hulsether ‘81 and Steve Hanson of Viroqua, and Sara Hulsether ‘85 and John Brugge ‘85 of Madison; his grandchildren: Lucia Hulsether, Douglas Hulsether, Dominic Brugge, Mariah Hulsether-Brugge, and Joel Hulsether-Brugge; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to thank Hirsch Clinic, Maplewood Terrace, Bethel Oaks, and St. Croix Hospice for their loving care. Memorial gifts may be given to the ECLA World Hunger Appeal or a charity of the donor’s choice.
A Memorial Service was held on May 2, 2022, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Viroqua. Visitation was held May 1, 2022 at Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home in Viroqua. Burial was at Castle Rock Lutheran Cemetery. Online Condolences may be expressed at www.vossfh.com.
Eli A. “Coach” Crogan, 87, of Watertown, born to eternal life on July 16, 2022.
Eli was born May 18, 1935, in Crawford County Wisconsin to Alvin and Dora Crogan. Born a gifted athlete he was raised on the family farm and graduated from Gays Mills High School in 1953. Eli was a multi-sport athlete and key member of the Kickapoo Kids Baseball team winning 40 of 42 games pitched and earning a draft selection from the St. Louis Cardinals. Eli married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Karen Sime, on Sept. 3, 1955. The two made Watertown their home in 1965 and enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage before her death in 2015.
Following graduation from Luther College and another draft selection, this time by the Boston Red Sox, Eli chose instead to devote a lifetime to the development of students and athletes both at the high school and college level. While teaching and coaching he continued his love for the game of baseball playing at the semi pro level for nearly two decades earning a national title with Madison Anchor Bank. He is a member of the Madison Mallards Wall of Fame in Madison.
Eli’s teaching and coaching career spanned nearly 42 years including stops at Soldier’s Grove, Fennimore, UW-Whitewater, Wayland Academy and of course, Watertown. Always a Gosling. Whether you ever played for him or not he always preferred to be addressed as “Coach.” When he retired he was the second winningest coach in Wisconsin basketball history. Second only to his family, Eli was most proud of the accomplishments of the students he taught and the players he coached. He believed in you even when you did not. The philosophy of MTIXE, Mental Toughness Intensity and Xtra Effort, would serve as the cornerstone of an approach to sports and life that would see more championships, awards and recognitions to be mentioned. Induction into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, coaching in numerous All-Star games, WIAA state tournament appearances, serving as a scout for the Houston Rockets, and enjoying time as a TV basketball analyst were accomplishments of which he was particularly proud.
An avid golfer, Eli served as president of the Watertown County Club (“WCC”). He was proud to have brought Earl and Gloria Witte to the WCC who thereafter became lifelong friends. Outside of basketball season Friday nights for Eli and Karen were spent at the WCC among countless friends. He was a strong supporter of the Badgers, Packers and Brewers.
Following retirement, the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association was a source of great pride and connection for Eli up to the time of his death. Eli continued to author a mentor’s manual for young coaches and most recently was selected for the 2021 Legacy Award. He was most proud of the Eli and Karen Crogan Humanitarian and Service Award. Eli continued to serve on the Wisconsin Mr. Basketball selection committee. Eli devoted full time care to Karen the final seven years of her life before she died in 2015.
Eli was preceded in death by Karen, his parents, Alvin and Dora Crogan as well as a little sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Ann at the age of seven. He is survived by his brother Richard Crogan and sons Craig (Lisa) and Curt (Robin) and daughter Cori (Paul) Prahl, as well as grandchildren Alex, Jacob and Katie Crogan, Christopher and Carter Crogan, Matthew, Miranda and Megan Prahl.
Funeral services were July 22, 2022, at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church. Burial was alongside Karen at the Utica Lutheran Church, Ferryville, Wis., cemetery on July 23, 2022, the church where they were married in 1955.
The Eli A. Crogan Scholarship Fund is being established for the purpose of providing scholarship support to a graduating high school senior athlete pursuing a college degree. For those wishing to contribute donations should be made payable to: Eli A. Crogan Scholarship Fund.
Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home is caring for the family. Online condolences may be made at www.pn-fh.com.
Emmett M. Gaunitz of Apple Valley, Minn., passed away March 22nd, 2022.
Born June 20th, 1935, in Lansing, Iowa. Son of Emmet E. Gaunitz and Martha A. (Johnson) Gaunitz. Attended primary school in Lansing and graduated from Luther College in 1957 with a B.A. in Business Administration. Married Donna Burns Nov. 17, 1962, in Deerwood, Minn. Spent most of his career working as an accountant for Apache Corporation in Minneapolis. Was a member of the Minneapolis Jaycees, a precinct chairman, worked with YMCA sports programs and was a member of the Minnesota National Guard for seven years.
Belonged to the United Methodist church since 1961 teaching Sunday school and serving in various church leadership positions. Spent many years as a coach, manager and player for softball and basketball programs ending with St. Mary’s School in Owatonna. Enjoyed playing cards, bowling and fantasy football.
Survived by Children: Jeffrey (Carol) Gaunitz of Lansing, Iowa, Debbie (William) Beck of Rosemount, Minn., Julie (Jeff) Sabacky of Crystal, Minn., Gregory (Jesalyn) Gaunitz of Prior Lake, Minn. Grandchildren: Matthew (Teresa) Gaunitz, Alisha Gaunitz, Nicole Gaunitz ‘17, Jennifer Sabacky, Jessica Sabacky, Amy Beck, and Josephine Gaunitz and sister Ruth Feuerhelm. Preceded in death by parents, brother Richard (Dick), and sister Lavonne (Bonnie).
A memorial service was held April 22, 2022, at Old East Paint Creek Lutheran Church, 1799 Elon Drive, Waterville, IA. Following the service, interment of ashes for both Emmett and Donna Gaunitz (who passed away in Nov. 2021) was held at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lansing, Iowa.
Joanne (Doerring) Kramer, 86, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on July 14, 2022, at the Good Neighbor Home in Manchester due to complications from Progressive Supranuclear Palsy which she struggled with for a number of years. Visitation for Joanne was held July 17, 2022, at Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Manchester. Funeral Service was July 18, 2022, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church with the Reverends Tony D. Ede and Kurt Pasko presiding. Burial took place at Oakland Cemetery, Manchester.
Joanne was born on Dec. 19, 1935, in Luana, Iowa, the daughter of John and Helen (Miller) Doerring. She was a 1953 graduate of Luana High School and was active in 4-H, basketball, played clarinet in the band, and sang in the chorus. Joanne attended Luther College for two years and taught for 37 years in Elkader, Fayette and Manchester School Districts. While teaching she was able to complete her education, graduating from Upper Iowa University in 1970. On July 18, 1959, Joanne married Milt L. Kramer ‘59 from Elkader. Together they had two daughters, Kerry Jo and Jill Ellen.
Joanne retired from teaching in 1997. She remained active with golfing, photography, substitute teaching, quilting at the church, playing bridge, painting rocks, thread crocheting, and of course baking cinnamon rolls, cookies and biscotti until PSP robbed her abilities starting in 2015.
Joanne was preceded in death by her parents, John and Helen Doerring; and brothers, Raymond, Robert, and Keith.
She is survived by her husband of 63 years Milt Kramer ‘59: daughters, Kerry (Kramer) Johnson ’83 (Kirk Johnson ’82) of Decorah, Iowa; and Jill Davidson (Mark Davidson ’81) of Onalaska, Wis.; sisters, Edythe (Doerring) Scheidt ‘59 (Paul) of Chesterfield, Mo.: Nancy Beguin of Onalaska, Wis.; and Sally Williams (Larry) of Waverly, Iowa. Joanne and Milt have seven grandchildren, Ashley Johnson ‘09, Alexandra (Johnson) Engelken ‘11, Annalise Johnson ‘18, Clara Buxton, Madeline (Davidson) Didier ‘14, Caleb Davidson and Ben Davidson ‘20; and three great-grandchildren, Maryn JoAnn, Wren Ellen, Sonja Jill, and one due in Sept. Joanne was loved deeply by her family and will be dearly missed by all those who knew her.
Memorials may be directed to The Good Neighbor Society or Camp EWALU.
Milt, Kerry and Jill would like to thank all of those who were instrumental in Joanne’s care over the years. We appreciate all the support that was also given to our family.
Please share a memory of Joanne at www.murdochfuneralhome.com under obituaries.
Marjorie E. “Margie” (Olson) Dehmlow, age 86, a longtime resident of West Dundee, Ill., passed away unexpectedly at her home on June 6, 2022.
Marge was born in Oconomowoc, Wis. on Feb. 5, 1936, and was the daughter of the late Halvor and Alma (nee Peterson) Olson.
Marge earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
Following graduation she began her Elementary School teaching career in Boyer, Wis. After moving to Illinois she taught the remainder of her career in Barrington School District #220. On Dec. 7, 1963, she married her husband Marvin L. Dehmlow. Marv preceded Marge in death on June 27, 2003, after 39 years of marriage.
She was an avid gardener and a longtime member of the Dundee Backyard Garden Club. Marge was a lifelong Lutheran and a longtime and active member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Algonquin.
Survivors include her brother, David, and his wife, Nancy Olson; and her sister-in-law, Jean Dehmlow. Other survivors include many Anderson, Olson, and Dehmlow nieces, nephews, grand and great-nieces and nephews; as well as many good and faithful friends. In addition to her parents, and her beloved husband, Margie was preceded in death by her brother, Edward Olson and her sister, Mildred J. (Olson) Anderson ‘55.
Family and friends gathered for Funeral Services on June 17, 2022, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 300 Jefferson Street in Algonquin. Burial followed at the River Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery in West Dundee. Memorials may be made to either the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Algonquin or the St. John’s Lutheran Church, W344N6990 Stone Bank Rd., Oconomowoc, WI 53066. Miller Funeral Home assisted the family with all arrangements. To leave an online condolence, visit www.millerfuneralhomedundee.com.
John Benson “Jack” Nordgaard, 88, of Red Wing, died June 7, 2022, at his home.
He was born on April 9, 1954, to Karl Nordgaard ’25 and Anna Nordgaard in Mankato, Minn. He grew up in Decorah, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1952. He attended Luther College in Decorah until he was drafted into the Army in 1954. Jack served for two years in Germany.
After his military service, Jack returned to Luther College where he graduated in 1958. It was there that he met Diane Iverson ‘59. They were married on July 18, 1959. Jack and Diane moved to St. Paul, Minn., where he attended Luther Seminary. He finished seminary in 1962. Jack and Diane’s two oldest sons were born in St. Paul, Michael in 1961 and Timothy in 1964. Jack was ordained in July, 1964. Jack’s first call was to Ord, Nebraska, where he was pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church. His third son, Peter was born in 1966. His second call brought him to Chicago in 1967, where he was Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church.
While in Chicago, Jack enrolled in a master’s program on inner-city studies at Northwestern University. In 1971 Jack moved to Palatine as Assistant Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church and went to work at Lutheran Social Services Illinois (LSSI). At LSSI, Jack directed a ministry in Uptown Chicago for homeless and addicted people. He then was the director of Prison and Family Ministry, where he created programs to help families visit prisoners and prisoners transition back into society. Jack worked extensively with Habitat for Humanity. He organized the first chapter inside a prison, where Inmates are given a chance to learn skills which could someday lead to a productive job, and their work goes to benefit people in need of housing.
In 1993 Jack received the Raoul Wallenberg Award for Lifetime Humanitarian Services. In a statement by Jan E. Muller, founding president of the Wallenberg Committee of Chicago, “He is considered by many to be the premier grassroots advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. He’s truly a man who has devoted his life to helping others achieve their rightful dignity.” In 1998 he retired, and Jack and Diane moved to Red Wing, Minn. At that time, he received the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from Luther College. In retirement Jack continued his efforts helping to create programs to assist the homeless. He was also instrumental in founding a free medical clinic in Red Wing for those in need.
Jack is preceded in death by his wife, Diane (Iverson) Nordgaard ‘59; son Peter 88; his parents Karl Nordgaard ‘25 and Ann; and sister Karlyn (Nordgaard) Cross ‘55. He is survived by son Michael Nordgaard ‘83 (Jennifer (Nelson) Nordgaard ’88); grandsons Erik and Luke Nordgaard; son Timothy Nordgaard ‘86 (Barbara Schlender); and many in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends who will miss him deeply.
Services were held at United Lutheran Church in Red Wing, Minn., on June 25. Please donate to your local food shelf in Jack’s honor. Online condolences may be sent to mahnfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Irvin Maurice Alfred Rotto (age 91) of Bemidji, Minn., died on July 8, 2022, at the Aurora on France care facility in Edina, Minn.
Irvin was born on July 22, 1930, in Starbuck, Minn., the son of Reverend Isaac Rotto (Luther Class of 1925) and Jonette (Rafshol) Rotto. He grew up in Berthold, N.D. (1931-1939) and Portland, N.D. (1939-1948) where his father served as a Lutheran pastor, and he graduated from Portland High School in 1948. Irvin had many great stories of spending his summers during the 1940’s sitting on a John Deere “A” tractor and working for a local farmer just outside of Portland. He played on the Portland High School six-man football team, as well as the high school basketball and baseball teams. Irvin began college at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1948. However, due to the Korean War, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in Dec. 1950. After completing his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Irvin began intensive Russian language studies at the Army Language School in Monterey, Calif., in June 1951. He was eventually assigned to an Air Force Base in Chicksands, England, starting in June 1952. In Sept. 1954, Irvin was diagnosed with tuberculosis and began antibiotic treatment at a hospital at Lackland Air Force Base; he continued his treatment at a VA hospital in Minneapolis. After spending 18 months in the hospital, he was finally discharged from the VA Hospital in March 1956. In September 1956, Irvin resumed his studies at Luther College, enrolling as a junior and eventually obtaining his B.A. degree in Latin and Journalism in the spring of 1958. Irvin met Ardith (Gulbro) Rotto ‘58 in Oct. 1956 at Luther College, and the two had their first date at “The Polly” restaurant in Decorah, Iowa. Irvin and Ardith were eventually married at Big Canoe Lutheran Church near Highlandville, Iowa, on March 19, 1960.
After receiving his M.A. degree in Russian language from the University of Minnesota, Irvin and Ardith moved to Pittsburgh, Kansas, where Irvin taught Russian at Pittsburgh State University for three years. In 1964, Irvin enrolled in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and spent two academic years at Illinois. As a summer job during the summers of 1965, 1966 and 1967, Irvin worked as a seasonal park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. He began teaching at Bemidji State College in the fall of 1966, and he would then spend his next 56 years living in the Bemidji area. Irvin retired from Bemidji State University in 1993 after teaching Russian, Russian Literature, Latin, Norwegian and English at BSU for 27 years. Irvin served as president of the congregation at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji in 1980, and he was also elected to the Bemidji District 31 School Board in 1984 and served for four years. Irvin and Ardith purchased a townhome near Phoenix, Ariz., in 1994, and spent the next several retirement years dividing their time between Minnesota and Arizona.
Irvin was a dedicated husband and father, and was married to his beloved wife “Ardie” for over 61 years. He loved his three grandchildren as well as one great grandchild whom he got to meet in the final days of his life. Irvin and Ardith enjoyed travel to Norway, England, Europe, and many other places throughout the United States. Irvin enjoyed many gatherings of family and friends over the years. He was an avid golfer, and he enjoyed watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. Irvin very much enjoyed listening to “classic” country music from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Irvin was the second born of nine children and is survived by his two sons; Nelson (Lynn) and Erik Rotto ‘89; three grandchildren, Erika (Zac), Torsten (Lindsey) and Benjamin Rotto ‘23; one great grandchild, Soren; brothers, Curtis Rotto ‘60 and Luther Rotto ‘71; sisters Ruth (Rotto) Lyngaas ‘58, Alma Rotto-Morgan 61, and Jonette (Rotto) Martinson ‘69. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ardith (Gulbro) Rotto ‘58; brothers John Rotto ‘51 and Theodore Rotto 56; sister Christine (Rotto) Hefte ‘53.
A memorial service was held for Irvin on Aug. 6, 2022, at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji.
Memorials are suggested to First Lutheran Church in Bemidji or the Disabled American Veterans (DAV.org). Arrangements are under the direction of Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji.
Lou Ann Jane (Russ) Van Gerpen, age 85, of Garner, Iowa, passed away peacefully surrounded by her children and other family members on June 7, 2022, at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa.
A memorial service was held June 11, 2022, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City with Pastor Rod Hopp officiating.
A gathering of friends and family was held June 10, 2022 at Schott Funeral Home, 505 North Clark St., Forest City, Iowa 50436.
Inurnment of cremains was held in Madison Township Cemetery.
Lou Ann Jane Russ was born Aug. 18, 1936, in Rake, Iowa, the eldest child of Oscar M. and Lillian C. (Thompson) Russ. She was brought into the world by her paternal grandfather Dr. J.E. Russ. Lou Ann was baptized and confirmed at Liberty Lutheran Church in Rake. She attended Rake Community School, where she graduated in 1954. When she was 14 years old, she met the love of her life, Peter Van Gerpen. After graduating from Rake High School, Lou Ann attended Luther College during the 1954-55 academic year. She then returned to Rake where she married Pete at Liberty Lutheran Church on July 17, 1955.
Lou Ann and Pete made their home on a farm one mile east of Rake, where they raised their four children, milked a herd of 35 cows, and enjoyed their life together. They became active members of Zion Lutheran Church in Rake where Lou Ann was involved in the Ladies Aid organization, attended Bible study, completed the two-year Bethel Series training course, and served the congregation as a Bethel Series teacher. Lou Ann and Pete enjoyed attending all of their children’s school activities. They loved traveling, eventually visiting all 50 states and taking a trip to Germany, Belgium, France, and England. They also had fun cruising the Caribbean and Alaskan waters and boating with their family on Clear Lake. They were sports fans and especially enjoyed watching the Hawkeyes, Twins, Vikings, and Timberwolves. Lou Ann loved music, and as a freelance performer she shared her musical gifts with others. Under the moniker Musical Memories she played her electronic organ for special events and at area malls during the holidays; as always, Pete was by her side, helping her move the organ from their home to each venue and back again.
In 2007 Lou Ann and Pete retired from farming, leaving their home of over 50 years and moving to Garner where they settled in near son Paul and his family. In Garner they made many new friends and enjoyed attending the activities of their grandchildren. Lou Ann and Pete became members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City. During their retirement years Lou Ann became increasingly interested in family history and spent a great deal of time conducting genealogical research and “cemeterying” with Pete. In 2015 Lou Ann lost her life-long partner and soulmate, Pete, after nearly 60 years of marriage.
Lou Ann is survived by her children, Lori (Van Gerpen) Stanley ‘80 (David Stanley ’77) of Decorah, Iowa; Michael (Stephanie) Van Gerpen of Cottage Grove, Minn.; Mary Jo (Van Gerpen) Horner ’81 (Todd Horner ’82) of Logansport, Ind.; and Paul (Traci) Van Gerpen of Garner; seven grandchildren, Kaleb Van Gerpen ’16 of Cottage Grove, Minn.; Lauren Van Gerpen of St. Paul, Minn.; Nichole (John) Miller of Newburgh, Ind.; Kimberly Horner ’11 of Minneapolis; Alexander (fiancée Katie Giles) Van Gerpen of Garner; Tiara (special friend Victor Soupene) Van Gerpen of Coralville, Iowa; Mackenzie (special friend Kevin Boehnke) Van Gerpen of Coralville, Iowa; four sisters-in-law, Irene Russ of Crystal, Minn.; Elaine Boehm of Buffalo Center, Iowa; Lila Hassebrock of Johnston, Iowa; Julienne Van Gerpen of Buffalo Center, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Pete; her parents, Oscar Russ and Lillian (Thompson Russ) Johnson; her stepfather, Odin Johnson; her siblings, Ronald Russ and Patricia (Russ) Eastvold; her paternal grandparents, Dr. J.E. and Anna (Ryg) Russ, and paternal step-grandmother Edith (Olson Engelby) Russ; her maternal grandparents, Martin and Esther (Hove) Thompson; and several brothers-in-law. Lou Ann will be greatly missed and remembered as a kind and generous woman who was deeply loved by her family and friends.
The family requests donations be made to Gateway Hospice, Clarion, or Immanuel Lutheran Church, Forest City.
Howard M. Tollefsrud, born October 31, 1931, died April 28, 2022.
Omaha. Survived by wife, Georgia; sons, David (Kathy) and Eric (Lisa-Marie); daughters, Cynthia (Don) Dudenbostel and Judith (Tollefsrud) Halverson ’81 (Tom Halverson ’80); grandchildren, Britta, Dan, Rachel, and Claire. Preceded in death by sister-in-law, JoAnne Groth; granddaughter, Marissa Tollefsrud; daughter-in-law, Katherine Palu.
Graveside service was May 3, 2022, at Omaha National Cemetery. Memorials to Disabled American Veterans or The Nature Conservancy.
Roeder Mortuary, Inc. – 108th Street Chapel, 2727 N 108th St – Omaha, NE – 402-496-9000 www.RoederMortuary.com.
John Dahle, age 84, of Decorah, Iowa, died on April 27, 2022, at Evans Memorial Home in Cresco, Iowa.
Funeral services were held May 2, 2022, at Madison Lutheran Church, Decorah, with burial in the church cemetery.
John was born in Decorah on June 5, 1937, the son of Homer and Clara Inez (Albertson) Dahle. He was baptized and confirmed at Madison Lutheran Church, where he remained a lifelong active member. He attended rural school in Lincoln Township, graduated from Ridgeway High School in 1955 and also attended Luther College. After his father’s illness, he started farming near Ridgeway, which he continued until retirement.
John was united in marriage with Audrey (Hovden) Dahle ‘59 on Aug. 4, 1962. This union was blessed with four children, Jan Allen, Lance, Jolynn and Jenise.
He served as township field assessor and trustee for a number of years. He was employed as a relief postal clerk in Ridgeway and relief rural carrier in the Chester and Lime Springs areas.
John loved life and kept a positive attitude despite numerous health challenges. He enjoyed reading, playing cards, golfing, bowling and watching college sports and westerns. He also took baseball and fishing trips with buddies over the years. He was always ready to attend any meeting or social gathering. After moving to town, he was a senior volunteer with RSVP.
Trips to see his sister Irene and family in New Mexico were a highlight for him as well as other family car trips. When his grandsons arrived, he learned being a Grandpa was fun, too.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey (Hovden) Dahle ‘59 of Decorah; son, Lance Dahle of Decorah; daughter, Jolynn (Gerald) Pecinovsky of Protivin, Iowa; daughter, Jenise (Daniel) Lucero of Oklahoma City; grandson, Jarod, Jordan and step-grandson, Casey (Tracey) Lucero; step-great-grandchildren, Allerah, Michael, Logan and Aubree; brother-in-law, Alton Hovden; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Jan Allen Dahle; step-grandson, Christopher Lucero; sister, Irene (Garry) Schott; sister-in-law, Delores (Reuben) Rovang; sister-in-law, Judy Hovden; nephew, Thomas Schott; and niece, Doreen Rovang.
Carol Eleanor (Hanson) Wangsness of Anoka, Minn., age 83, died on May 13, 2022 from natural causes, while holding the hand of her daughter Annie.
She was born on August 1, 1938, on the family farm in Fertile, Minn. The family later moved to Stillwater, Minn., where Carol graduated from high school. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she excelled playing the French Horn and graduated with a B.A. in Education. Carol met her husband Darryl in Decorah, near his home-town of Calmar, and they were married on May 20, 1961.
Carol and Darryl settled in Anoka, Minn., where they raised four children. While Darryl worked in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, Carol served in a variety of roles including the Phys. Ed. teacher at Franklin Elementary, a pre-school teacher at Zion Lutheran Church, and for many years as a manager at Dayton’s. Carol’s use of her Dayton’s discount is legendary!
Carol had a large circle of friends in a close-knit community. She enjoyed tennis, couple’s bridge, gardening, furniture refinishing, antique collecting, and slinging lefse. Above all, Carol loved being a wife, a mother, a friend, and a grandmother. Carol was loving, sensitive, complex, and fiercely independent. She was determined to stay in the family house of 50 years until the end, and she did.
Preceded in death by her parents Hector and Anne Hanson, her husband Darryl and son Steve, and her sisters Mavis Anderson and Darlene Jensen Swaim. Survived by her children Erik (Kari), Kent (Molly), and Annie, and sibling David Hanson (Eileen). Grandchildren Hans, Kristen, Nels, Thea, Luke, Adam, Jonah, Cash, and Brooke. Many in-laws, nieces and nephews and friends will miss her dearly.
A celebration of life will be held for Carol and Darryl later this year. Mom, you left us much too soon. Thank you for everything and know we will carry you in our hearts forever. Memorials preferred to Zion Lutheran Church, Anoka, Minn.
Sharon (Neas) Rolstad passed away peacefully while in hospice care at the home of her daughter Lisa Batchelor in the presence of her son David, grandson Davis and daughter Lisa on October 26th.
Shari, as she was known to close friends and family, was born in New Salem, N.D., and raised in Chetek, Wis. She enjoyed many lake activities including putting on water ski shows, often waving from the top of the pyramid. She graduated from Luther College with a degree in Business Education. She put this degree to work as substitute teacher at Ripon College. She supported her husband Jerry in first attaining his college degree and then as office manager at his State Farm insurance agency. She more recently worked at the Stevens Point Housing Authority, where she became very close to many of the residents of the High-Rise Manor.
Sharon was an avid reader, her home was filled with Pulitzer and Booker prize winners as well as books about painting, birds, gardening, religion and science. She played bridge several times per week with her many friends. She was a talented painter and loved to attend art shows. She loved to travel to northern Wisconsin and more exotic places when the opportunity arose. She enjoyed classical and jazz music, dancing, golf and bowling. She is fondly remembered as being a great listener and confidant, as always willing to try something new, and having a great sense of humor.
Sharon loved spending time with her grandchildren. She could never get enough kisses and hugs. She loved to play card games and put together puzzles with them. There was a lot of good- natured teasing about how slowly grandma would eat- meals would end with a round of applause from her grandsons. They will always remember her waving until they were no longer in sight, a heartfelt farewell and can’t wait to see you again.
Shari is preceded in death by her parents August and Selma Neas, infant sister Vangie Ruth, brother Irlan Neas, sister Viane Popko and sister Darlene Overby. She is survived by her sister Betty (Dick) Reilly, daughter Pamela Rolstad (Jason Stoviak), daughter Lisa (Kester) Batchelor, son David (Carrie) Rolstad grandchildren Davis, Avery and Finley Rolstad, Charlie Batchelor and Tye Stoviak as well as many nieces and nephews.
She will be dearly missed.
David Kent Wold, 82, of Lilydale, Minn., passed away peacefully on July 16, 2022, surrounded by his family. David was born Nov. 22, 1939, in Grand Forks, N.D. He was the only child of Nolan and Edna (Sauer) Wold.
David grew up in Lyle, Minn., and graduated from Lyle High School in 1957. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in 1961 and a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Seminary in 1965. “The Rev” served for 37 years as a pastor at Medo Lutheran Church (Minn.), St. John’s Lutheran Church (Minn.), Grace Lutheran Church (Calif.), and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Arizona). In retirement he had the privilege of preaching at Golden Vista Park Ministry.
During the first week of his freshman year at Luther, David was introduced to Darlene A. Peters ‘61. She won his heart pretty quickly and after dating all four years at Luther, the two were married in July of 1961. For 61 years, he would tell anyone who would listen that Darlene was his whole world.
Relationships were treasured by David. He didn’t define himself by his material accomplishments, but by the pride he held for his wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandbaby, and deep, lifelong friendships. That same dedication extended to the churches he served, where he helped guide and inspire others along their faith journeys.
David found joy in hobbies including golfing and fishing, playing cards and winning Cribbage, and carving crosses as gifts for friends and family. He was beloved for his good humor, positive outlook, warmth, and genuine interest in those around him. Describing their Grandpa Rev/Grampy, his grandchildren remark that he was genuine, funny, kind-hearted, easy-going, passionate, cheerful, supportive, loving, and selfless.
He expressed deep love, gratitude, and pride for close and extended family, and the relationships with his many, many friends were precious to him. He is survived by his best friend and wife, Darlene (Peters) Wold ‘61; his daughter, Sara (Mark) Oster; daughter, Hannah (Pat) Berry; son, Mark; grandchildren Jon (Hannah Pardus) Oster, Andrew (Jaclyn) Oster, Sydney, Sam and Jessie Berry, Toby and Abby Wold, and sweet great-granddaughter, Torrey Oster. Although Dave was an only child, he would want us to indicate that he is also survived by “siblings” Lyle (Linda) Peters, Duane Peters, Verna (Tom) Fitzpatrick, Darrell (Ruth) Peters, and many cherished nieces and nephews.
A memorial celebration of life was held on July 29, at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, (7160 S Robert Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077). Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) or another charity of choice.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16–17
John “Jack” Daniel Bronner, 82 of Eagle River, Alaska, passed peacefully at home after a long battle with dementia, surrounded by family and friends, on March 24, 2022. Jack was born in Cresco, Iowa, on Oct. 17, 1939, to Henry and Helen Bronner.
After high school, Jack attended Luther College, where he was a champion wrestler eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in history. Jack met Beverly Anthis shortly after college and they were married, a union that would last for 58 years. Upon graduation from air traffic controller school, Jack and Beverly set their sights north ending up in Anchorage, Alaska. Daughter Chauna arrived in 1970 as they continued to work. Eventually, Jack retired from work as an air traffic controller and ran Jack’s Construction and J&B Rentals full-time. Jack retired from building in 2018, and spent the last few years going to his cabin on the Deshka River, riding his boat, snowmachine and three-wheeler, flying his airplane, fishing, hunting and traveling with Beverly. Mostly, he enjoyed the company of his family and being a role model to his grandson Tyler.
Jack was a longtime member of the Elks Club in Eagle River. He was honorably discharged from the United States Army National Guard. He was a three-time finisher of the Irondog.
He is survived by his wife, Beverly (nee Anthis); daughter, Chauna Lomonaco; grandson, Tyler Swain (Christa); great-grandchildren, Mycah and Jaxson, all of Eagle River; sister-in-law, Cindi Niwa of Eagle River; along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Helen; brothers, Richard and Reid; and sister, Donna of Cresco, Iowa.
Services were held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 18444 Old Glenn Highway Chugiak, AK 99567, on April 10, 2022.
Carol D. (Johnson) Nelsen, 82, of Stewartville, Minn., died at home on April 3, 2022, of natural causes, surrounded by her family.
Carol Deanne Johnson was born on March 7, 1940, in Rockford, Ill., to Earl “Fred” and Geneva (Quist) Johnson. She graduated from Rockford East H.S. in 1958. She attended Luther College and Rockford Business School. Carol married Wayne Kammerer Sr. in 1961 and together they had Wayne Jr. They were later divorced. Carol was married to David Hall Nelsen on August 4, 1973. They made their home in Rockford where they welcomed daughter Jodi. Carol was a homemaker and worked in the accounting departments at Sundstrand, Clinkenbeard, and RocVale Children’s Home. Later in life, she worked as a home health care provider. After a brief move to Peoria followed by a return to Rockford, Carol and David moved to Stewartville, Minn., in 2013, to live near their daughter’s family.
Carol was a natural born caregiver who even as a young girl could often be found helping others. Carol was a longtime active member of Alpine Lutheran Church in Rockford where she volunteered in many activities including Altar Guild, choir and enjoyed the camaraderie of ALPS and Marriage Encounter groups. After moving to Stewartville, they joined St. John’s Lutheran Church. She could be found volunteering or participating in activities at the Center for Active Adults. She was proud of her Swedish heritage and was a member of the Swedish Historical Society, the Independent Order of Svithiod/Corona Lodge 23. Carol was an AVID Chicago Cubs fan. She loved being outdoors and hiking on her many travels with David, bowling, chocolate, and time spent with her family, especially her granddaughters – Lora and Geneva.
Carol is survived by her husband of 48 years, David; son, Wayne (Heather) Kammerer Jr., Bronx, N.Y.; daughter Jodi (Nelsen) Dettmann ’97 (David), Rochester, Minn., and granddaughters – Lora and Geneva Dettmann; two brothers, Dr. Kent (Shirley) Johnson of River Falls, Wis., and John (Danita) Johnson of Rockford, Ill.; sister-in-law, Bernice Johnson of Rockford, Ill.; several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews and special cousin, Judy (Mark) Lauer, Prescott, Ariz. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Shirley Celebron, brothers Earl Johnson Jr., Gene Johnson, Donald Johnson and special Aunt Arlene Nelson.
A memorial service for Carol was held April 21, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stewartville, Minn., with Rev. Justin Kumfer officiating. A second took place at a later date in Rockford, Ill., with burial in Arlington Park Memorial Cemetery in Rockford. Memorials may be directed to Alpine Lutheran Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church or the Center for Active Adults at the Stewartville Civic Center. Arrangements were with Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville. To share a memory or condolences of Carol, please visit www.griffin-gray.com
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Mayo Clinic Hospice for their wonderful care.
Peter A. Olson of St. Petersburg, Fla., passed away surrounded by loved ones on April 29, 2022, after a brief illness. He was 82 years old.
Born in Stillwater, Minn., to William A. Olson ‘30 and Adelia Jermstad Olson, Peter attended Stillwater High School where he was an avid thespian and trombonist. He met his future wife, Marna Jacobson, in the high school band where she caught his eye playing in the saxophone section.
In 1962, Peter earned a B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and upon graduation married Marna, the love of his life. The day after their wedding, in their car packed with all their worldly belongings and only $250, Peter and Marna headed to the East Coast where he was to attend Clarkson University as a graduate student in Physics and Math. After graduation, Peter joined Corning Glassworks in Corning, N.Y., where he and Marna soon welcomed daughters Kristen in 1965 and Sara in 1968.
Growing up in Minnesota, Peter’s childhood dream was to see New York City. Not only did he see New York but he also traveled the world for both business and pleasure. He ultimately served as president of the international division of C.R. Bard, a medical products company, and continued to travel extensively in retirement.
Peter is known by his friends and family for his kind heart, his enthusiasm, and for his love of learning, travel and a good pun. He was an avid reader, enjoyed photography and especially loved golfing with friends. The other great passion in Peter’s life was his love of the water, whether on a boat, a cruise ship, or at his home. While living in Rhode Island, he and the family sailed the Narragansett Bay on their boat the MarKrisSa. Later, when they moved to Sparta, N.J., Peter and Marna raised their family on Lake Mohawk. Upon retirement, their first adventure was living on their boat “Rainbow’s End” while cruising the Inter-coastal Waterway and wintering in Florida.
After settling full time in St. Petersburg, Fla., Peter served as Endowment Chair for the Pass-A-Grill Beach Community Church and Commodore at the Isla del Sol Golf and Yacht Club. However, his favorite retirement “gig” was serving as Grandpa to his two granddaughters Abigail and Margarethe. Peter and Marna continued to enjoy their passion for travel, cruising destinations far and near right up until his passing.
Peter is survived by his wife Marna, daughters Kristen Olson and Sara Conner, son-in-law Scott Conner, granddaughters Abigail and Margarethe Conner, brother Jon Olson ‘69 and wife Marty along with many other dear friends and family.
A service will be held at Pass-A-Grill Beach Community Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Oct. 8, 2022. Should you wish, in lieu of flowers, donations in Peter’s honor would be welcomed to The William A. Olson Scholarship Fund at Bloomfield College, bloomfield.edu/giving.
Bruce Jacob Pfister, aged 81, of Wisconsin Rapids and DeForest, Wis., died on Jan. 20, 2022. His love of the natural world and animals stemmed from his upbringing and his parents’ teachings and was further developed throughout a lifetime of experiences. He passed this same love on to his children and grandchildren.
Bruce graduated from UW-Madison, with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and soon after began a 43-year career with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, where he advanced to the rank of Chief Geotechnical Engineer for the State of Wisconsin. After retirement, he began a second career further pursuing his varied interests and discovering new ones.
Bruce gave of his time and talents freely throughout his life. He was also an active father and grandfather. He enjoyed children and was a role model not only to his own children, but for many others as well.
Integrity, kindness, compassion, humor, and service to others exemplifies Bruce’s way of living, and is a good reminder for all of us. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.
Bruce is survived by his wife Daloris of nearly 59 years; his children Keith (Karen) Pfister, Craig Pfister and Laura Pfister (Mike Lewis); his five precious grandchildren; Jacob, Sophia and Gavin Pfister, and Rachel and Abigail Lewis; his two brothers Don and Jerome; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A private burial was held with immediate family at East Wiota Lutheran Cemetery. A celebration of life was held at a later date. The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Humane Society of Dane County (www.giveshelter.org); Boy Scouts of America Samoset Council (https://www.samoset.org/); or Save the Children (https://www.savethechildren.org/)To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
David Lee Amundson, 81, of La Crosse and formerly of Houston, Minn., died on June 19, 2022, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.
David was born on Feb. 16, 1941, in Bremerton, Wash, to Pastor James Amundson ’34 and Clare (Strum) Amundson.
As the child of a pastor, David grew up in many places, including: Sparta, Wis.; Tacoma, Wash.; Decorah, Iowa; Staples, Minn.; and Brooklyn, N.Y. After high school, David attended and graduated from Luther College in Decorah. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.
On Aug. 3, 1969, David was united in marriage with Joanne Anderson. David worked for most of his career in Milwaukee as an independent insurance agent. Following his retirement, David and Joanne built a home on the Anderson family farm in Yucatan Valley, south of Houston, Minn.
David is survived by his wife, Joanne; four siblings, Janet (Amundson) Moen ’61 (Ron), Patti (Amundson) Sheggeby ‘64 (Paul), Dick Amundson ’74 (Londa), and Steve Amundson ‘77 (Jane), and a sister-in-law, Marion Frickson.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
David’s family prefers memorials directed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Stone Church Cemetery, Valley View Nursing Home or to the donor’s choice.
A funeral service for David was held July 2, at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Houston. Burial was in the Stone Church Cemetery at a later date.
Please leave a memory of David and sign his online guestbook at www.hofffuneral.com.
Leroy Donald “Don” Aspenson passed away on April 11, 2022, at 79, surrounded by his family. His faith in God and love for his family and friends didn’t end with his death. His recent years of medical challenges showed his true strength and his ability to tackle life’s challenges head-on with a positive attitude. That strength and positive attitude will be carried on through his family.
Don was born Sept. 29, 1942, in Decorah, Iowa, to Adelaide and Donald Aspenson ‘42 and was raised in Ridgeway, Iowa, by his grandmother, Alice A. Hovden. He spent his primary education years in Ridgeway and then graduated from high school in Cresco, Iowa.
Don’s love for learning led him to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history and mathematics. Several years later, he obtained a master’s degree in personnel management from Webster University in St. Louis.
Don met the love of his life, Marcia Parks, in Rochester, Minn. They married on Nov. 30, 1963, in Chippewa Falls, Wis. They had two children, Jack Parks Aspenson (Carolyn), born Dec. 12, 1965, and Donald Erik Aspenson (Karen), born May 25, 1967.
His love for his country led him to enter the United States Air Force on Jan. 2, 1964, where he began his career as a navigator and electronics officer. In 1969 he joined pilot training. That training afforded him the responsibility of flying several large aircraft, including B-52s, 141s, C130s, and C-5s. In 1970 and 1975, Don had the honor of flying rescue missions during the Vietnam War.
Don’s military career allowed him to travel across the world. His assignments included Waco, Texas; Sacramento, Merced, and Vacaville, California’ Marquette, Mich.; Columbus, Miss.;, Wrightstown, N.J.;, Altus, Okla.; and Guam.
He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in April of 1985. The same month he began a 24-year career with Flight Safety Services Corporation and moved him and his wife Marcia to Littleton, Colo. Upon retirement in 2009, the couple moved to Tulsa, Okla.
Faith, family, and service to others were Don’s priorities. He relished his time coaching his sons’ baseball teams and teaching their Sunday school classes. He honored his faith in God in many ways, and volunteering and giving were part of his everyday life. He led Bible studies, taught Sunday school, built ramps for the disabled, cared for his church’s many flower beds, and partnered with his wife as church youth group leaders.
Don spent many years volunteering with Meals on Wheels, the American Cancer Society, and as a pilot coordinator for Angel Flight, which provides free air transportation for passengers in need of medical care.
Later in his life, Don refused to let his Parkinson’s diagnosis slow him down. Instead, it inspired him to learn about the disease and how to manage it. He attended therapeutic boxing classes at Rock Steady Boxing, traveled with his wife to visit friends and family, and continued his volunteer work.
Don’s stature and personality commanded a room. He was a humble and natural leader respected for being a man of his word and his willingess to jump in and help, but most of all, for his love of his family. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, and a beloved grandfather. He often talked of his family, and his love for them was apparent. All will greatly miss him.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, stepmother and stepfather, his beloved grandmother, grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and a cousin. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marcia (Parks) Aspenson, sons Jack (Carolyn) and Erik (Karen) Aspenson, his grandchildren, Erika, Morgan, Justin, Dain, Emma, Finn, and Beau, his siblings, Susan Gould, Dianne (Aspenson) Du Bose ‘72, Gary Aspenson ‘74, Jim Aspenson ‘76, Mark Aspenson, Janet Blessum, Debbie Gambrell, Greg Kilcher, Jan Kleve, and Julie Aspenson ‘77.
A service to honor Don’s life was held April 25, 2022, at Schaudt’s Tulsa Funeral Service Chapel.
The family suggests donations in Don’s name be made to the America Cancer Society, Parkinson’s research, or the charity of choice.
Don’s family would like to thank Rock Steady Boxing and the coach and other parkies for six years of friendship and support, Doctors James Burelson, Mark Boomer, and Paul Zito, the Oklahoma Cancer Specialists and Research Institute and their amazing nurses and staff, and the staff at St. John’s Hospital.
Linda (Svebakken) Lambert, surrounded by her family and friends, passed away peacefully at Welllington Place in Decorah, Iowa, on July 5, 2022, at the age of 80. Funeral services were held July 11th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah with Pastors Karla Wildberger and Ken Kimball officiating. Burial was at Old West Paint Creek Cemetery in rural Waukon, Iowa. Memorials suggested to Wellington Place in Decorah.
The daughter of Roy and Esther (Colsch) Svebakken, Linda Lou Lambert was born October 31, 1941, on her family’s farm in Waterville, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Church in rural Waukon, attended Waterville Schools until the 11th grade, and graduated from Decorah High School in 1959. Linda also attended Luther College for two years in Decorah and Coleman Technical College in La Crosse, Wis., for one year. On Feb. 19, 1966, she married LaVerne Joseph Lambert. They had four children and later divorced. Before returning to raise her children in Decorah, Linda worked as a bookkeeper in La Crosse. She also worked at Wapsie Produce in Decorah for 17 years.
Linda loved being a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Decorah. She was active in the Ruth Circle and TOPS 852. Linda enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, reading, walking, quilting, and handiwork. In 2008, Linda moved to Wellington Place in Decorah, where she built long-lasting friendships with other residents and staff and enjoyed activities, visits from family and friends, and doing word puzzles.
She will be missed by her children: Jim Lambert of Coralville, Iowa, Joe Lambert of Decorah, and LuAnne Lambert ‘94 of Austin, Texas; two grandsons: Mitchell and Tyler Lambert; two brothers: Gene Svebakken ‘61 (Carole) of Three Oaks, Mich., and Richard Svebakken ‘65 of Davenport, Iowa; a sister Marlene (Lee) Pierce of Cresco, Iowa; and the Wellington Place staff. She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter Lynnette Brown; two grandsons: Sam and Hayes Brown; a sister Sharon Svebakken; and a sister-in-law Jeannie Svebakken.
Linda’s family members will serve as casketbearers.
Catherine (Wolhowe) Reistrup passed peacefully and painlessly from this life July 9, 2022, at Hospice of the Chesapeake in Pasadena, Md., after a long battle with cancer.
She is survived by her husband of 47 years, John Valdemar Reistrup; by his sons James and Olaf Reistrup; by his daughter Christine Bottagaro; and by seven grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Ann Wolhowe Miller, her brothers Mark Wolhowe ‘76, Erik Wolhowe, and Karl Wolhowe, and by many nieces and nephews in the Reistrup, Wolhowe and Miller clans for whom she was a loving and attentive aunt.
A memorial service was held at a later date.
Catherine Gloria Wolhowe was born on May 16, 1944, to Casper Wolhowe ’33 and Stella Larson Wolhowe in Bismarck, N.D. She kept that name once she was established in her profession as a lawyer even after she married. She also kept the byline with which she began as a young writer—Cathe Wolhowe. In recent years, after she and John moved to Annapolis, she became known to friends, neighbors and fellow choristers in the U.S. Naval Academy Protestant Chapel Chorale as Cathe Reistrup.
She was a vibrant and empathetic presence in every role she took on. Perhaps her most lasting and memorable qualities were loyalty and perseverance.
Cathe was raised in Miles City, Mont., where her father was superintendent of the Pine Hills correctional facility for youthful offenders. She graduated from Custer County High School there in 1962 and entered Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she continued to pursue her lifelong musical interests of singing alto in the chorus and playing the clarinet.
While there Cathe was selected to be an exchange student at historically black Spelman College for women in Atlanta, where she met and interacted with prominent civil rights leaders of the period and began her lifelong pursuit of social justice.
When she wanted to join the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964, however, her father drew the line. He insisted she return to Montana and finish college at the University of Montana. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history and journalism, she went to work for the United Press International wire service in Helena.
Selected by Montana Senators Mike Mansfield and Lee Metcalf as the first female Montana Congressional Fellow, she went to work for them on Capitol Hill. While employed full time during the day she attended Georgetown University Law Center at night until she earned a Juris Doctor degree.
Afterward she worked for the Appalachian Regional Commission and the philanthropic staff of John D. Rockefeller III (which finally gave her the chance to go to Mississippi and advance the cause of civil rights). She returned briefly to journalism as a reporter for The Washington Post before being admitted to the bar in North Dakota, her native state.
Cathe started her legal career as a trial attorney for the Federal Trade Commission, handling antitrust and consumer protection cases, writing amicus briefs for the Supreme Court and developing policy for implementing new laws passed by Congress.
In 1975 she married John Reistrup and moved to Toronto, Canada, where his newspaper career had taken him. Despite retaining her American citizenship she was selected to work for the Ontario Law Commission, a group of five distinguished members of the profession appointed for life to recommend changes to provincial law. There she drafted proposed revisions on bankruptcy law that were accepted not only by the Commission but the Provincial Parliament and ultimately the federal Parliament of Canada.
Upon returning to the United States, she was selected as special assistant to the General Counsel of the Community Services Administration, where was assigned to direct the audit and inspection division in cleaning up outstanding cases of waste, fraud and abuse uncovered by the House Government Operations Committee.
Once again moving because of her husband’s work, Cathe was selected to head the Seattle/King County office of public defense and clear up staffing and budget problems uncovered by the local governments. Then, upon request of the mayor of Seattle, she succeeded in settling a sex-discrimination complaint by women electrical workers against their employer, Seattle City Light.
When her family moved back to Washington, D.C., Cathe returned to Capitol Hill as Senator John Melcher’s Legislative Director. When Senator Melcher was defeated in 1988, she went to work for the two-person Office of General Counsel & Congressional Liaison at the Endowment for the Humanities under Chairman Lynn Cheney.
Leaving federal service, Cathe accepted a private contract from the Department of Education to oversee a complex backlog of 125 outstanding employment cases. Upon successful completion of that contract, she won a multi-million-dollar, set-aside contract with the Department of Defense for handling its civilian employee issues at military installations around the country and drafting its final agency decisions. Upon completion of the contract, she represented supervisory federal employees before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Special Counsel, the Department of Labor and the Office of Personnel Management.
After closing her office in McLean, Va., and moving to Annapolis with her husband, she served as Legislative Director for Delegate Susan McComas, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Throughout, Cathe sustained her love of music, singing alto with the Calgary Festival Chorus, McLean Choral Society, Redeemer Lutheran Church in McLean and ultimately the U.S. Naval Academy Protestant Chapel Chorale. A gourmet cook, she delighted in bringing friends and family together over feasts she had prepared. She also remained active with women’s groups including the American Association of University Women and the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic and educational organization with the motto “Women Helping Women.”
The family suggests that donations to honor her may be sent to an endowment she helped establish to provide scholarships for women pursuing healthcare studies at nearby Anne Arundel Community College: Women Helping Women at Anne Arundel #8555, P.E.O. Foundation, Treasurer’s Office, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312
Marilyn Rose Stoa, 79, passed away March 24, 2022, in San Diego, Calif.
Marilyn was born April 11, 1942, in Freeborn County to Bernard and Alberta (Brighton) Stoa. She was a graduate of Albert Lea High School, class of 1960, and of Luther College in 1964. She taught school in Clear Lake for a time and then moved to California where she lived for many years. She was a talented artist, musician, teacher, bookstore proprietor, and middle management executive. She was a friend to many, and a loving, kind and generous person.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers Dennis and Joel Stoa ‘62; and her sister-in-law, Judy Stoa.
She is survived by her life partner, Marilyn Ireland, her brother, Rev. Allan Stoa ‘61 (Nancy (Skinner) Stoa ‘61) and family; and sister-in-law Aroon Stoa and family.
Services have taken place in California. Blessed be her memory.
Margaret “Maggie” (Peterson) Dixon, of Owatonna, died May 28, 2022, at her home. A memorial service was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Owatonna on July 16, 2022. Maggie was laid to rest next to her parents at Meadow Ridge Cemetery in Faribault. Brick – Meger Funeral Home of Owatonna assisted the family.
Margaret Helen Peterson was born Dec. 8, 1943, in Hot Springs, S.D., the daughter of Charles “Charlie” and Myrna (Nelson) Peterson. The family moved to Wheaton, Minn., when Maggie was eight months old and the family lived there until 1957 when the family relocated to Faribault, Minn. She attended Faribault Senior High and graduated in 1961. She was honored to be one of the first carhops at the Lavender Inn for Gaylen and Bebe Jensen in 1960; along with five of her high school friends. Maggie attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in the fall of 1961 and continued until she married July 11, 1964. She had two beautiful children, Melinda “Mindy” Joi Cundiff (1969) and Joseph “Joey” Charles Cundiff (1973). Maggie completed her education at MSU, graduating with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She student-taught at Lincoln Elementary and then was hired for a 2nd grade position at McKinley Elementary in Owatonna in 1966, a school known to have excellent teachers and support staff. Her first love was teaching and working with elementary kids.
Maggie married Peter “Pete” Dixon on June 29, 1985, and they would have celebrated their 37th anniversary in 2022. She was blessed with two stepsons, David John Dixon, and Jeff Scott Dixon. The couple loved to camp in the summers and visited most of the state parks in Minnesota. After her husband Pete retired in 2001, the couple took their travel trailer each winter to California, Arizona, Texas, or Florida. The couple enjoyed many international travels and cruises with Maggie’s brother and his wife Bill and Linda, made memories of a lifetime. Along with traveling, Maggie loved photography and line dancing, but most of all being with her family and friends.
Maggie leaves behind to carry on her memory her husband Pete, daughter Mindy Cundiff granddaughter Mystery (Brian), great-granddaughter Millicent “Millie” Margaret Brinkman, two stepsons David (Lora) Dixon and Jeff (Bobbie) Dixon; daughter-in-law Krissy Vogel, grandchildren Sophie (age 13) and Joey (age 11), brother Bill (Linda) Peterson; sister-in-law Joan (Ray) Wolf, many grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and special kids Denise DeClerck and Kasey Wright.
Maggie was preceded in death by her son Joe Cundiff in 2016, father Charles Peterson in 1982, mother Myrna Peterson in 2001, sister Fran Langevin (2011), and brother-in-law Al Langevin (2018). Memorials may be directed to Owatonna High School at ISD 761 Foundation 515 – West Bridge Street Owatonna, MN, 55060. Attn: Maggie Dixon Honorary Scholarship Fund.
For more information or to leave a condolence message go to www.megercares.com.
Janet Vivian (Hedstrom) Eubanks, beloved sister, aunt, and sister-in-law, passed away peacefully the evening of July 25, 2022, at Brookdale Madison West.
She was born in Rhinelander, Wis., on Feb. 1, 1943, to Olga and Elmer Hedstrom. She graduated as valedictorian in 1961, from Rhinelander Union High School and went on to Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, graduating cum laude in 1965.
Janet had a brilliant mind. Her career in the new field of computer programming began in Chicago when mainframe computers were room sized! She returned to Wisconsin and worked for DoIT, UW Madison for 40 years. There she led numerous projects in the accounting applications area. She was a gifted, innovative colleague who was a pioneer in her field, yet modest by nature, trusted and admired. She was also an inventor. Perhaps her most noteworthy brainchild, WISDM, an accounting application that is still in use throughout the UW System, allows users to access financial data via a much simpler Web interface.
Janet is survived by loving family members, including sisters Carol (Hedstrom) Gissing ‘64, Muriel Hedstrom, Karen Waldon and brother Alan Hedstrom ‘74 and his wife, Janet. Also, nieces Anna Waldon, Lisa and husband, Daniel Lilley, and nephew Kai Hedstrom ‘16. Additionally, cousin Jill (Hedstrom) Chleboun, husband Bob, and family – Katie, Nick, and Holly.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother-in-law, Daniel Waldon.
Janet will be fondly remembered for so many wonderful qualities. Above all, family was central to her life. She was a private person, so kind and generous to her family members, and a doting aunt who found joy in enthusiastically engaging in her nieces and nephew’s lives.
She had an appreciation for Nature’s beauty. Her adventurous spirit took her to hike mountains in Norway when her brother, Alan, lived there and to Grand Teton National Park to backpack with her sister, Karen. She loved visiting National Parks ever since family road trips in childhood inspired her. She had very fond memories of a trip out to Glacier and Olympic Parks with siblings and their families in 2002. She had an enduring love of the Northwoods. There were many happy gatherings at cabins on Lake George and Thompson and times spent at Firefly and Crystal Lakes. Her love of Nature was reflected in the exquisite artwork with which she decorated her homes, including Jill Bedford photographs, beautiful ceramics and paintings found at Art Fairs.
Janet was a voracious reader, whose curiosity was boundless while her passions were many and varied. In her youth she devoured the entire set of the World Book Encyclopedia. She loved classical music, attending symphony concerts but also musicals at the Overture Center. She had more Elton John CDs than anyone we knew, while her fascination with Bob Dylan led her to own practically every book and movie about him. Sports were another of her interests. She loved watching the Tour de France on TV, and took a deep dive into Badger Ice Hockey.
We know that Janet is now at peace after enduring several health issues over the past few years and setbacks in recent weeks. All of which she handled with gracious acceptance.
The family so appreciates the kind staff at Brookdale Madison West, as well the compassionate support offered by Agrace over the past few weeks.
In accordance with Janet’s wishes there will be no funeral. A cremation is planned, followed by interment of her ashes in Rhinelander, next to her parents. The family hopes to have a private celebration of her life at a future date.
Memorials could be directed to any of the following to honor her love of Nature and education: National Wildlife Federation; The Nature Conservancy; the Sierra Club; and Luther College.
“The times they are a-changin…” Janet’s family will so miss her. She was a blessing in all our lives. Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com.
Peggy Lee (Kindell) Wright of Decorah died June 17, 2022, at the Arlin Falck Assisted Living facility of Barthell Eastern Star Home in Decorah.
A private family grave-side service was held. Personal condolences and reminiscences would be welcomed by the family at 404 Fifth Avenue, Decorah, Iowa 52101. Memorials may be shared with the Decorah Public Library, the Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice, Arlin Falck Assisted Living, the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa, or a charity of choice.
Peggy Lee (Kindell) Wright was born on June 13, 1924, in Versailles, Ohio, to Ellen Marie Begien Kindell and George Thomas Kindell. When studying nursing at Ohio State University, Peggy met a medical student named David W. Wright, and was united in marriage to him on Dec. 28, 1945. When Dr. Wright opened his medical practice in Decorah in 1954, she began her residence here of nearly 70 years. During the 40 years of her husband’s career, Peggy provided the devoted support that helped make his work in medicine possible. In 1971, the Wrights together volunteered for service through an effort established by the three Lutheran synods to place doctors around the world.
The Wrights spent two months in Africa, in the small tribal village of Zor-Zor in Liberia. They took the reins of a 100-bed hospital, replacing a doctor from St. Paul who was forced to return home due to illness. Assisting her husband at every turn, Peggy spent most of her time trying to establish and maintain sanitary conditions at the hospital and in their living quarters. A lifelong devotee of literature and one of the world’s great readers, Peggy served for 34 years on the Board of Trustees for the Decorah Public Library. She was also a longtime member of, and author of a history about, Decorah’s Monday Club, a group that continues to provide leading annual support for the Library. Guided by a profound faith, and sincere belief in the power of forgiveness, she was a member of Decorah’s United Methodist Church since 1954.
Active in many clubs and organizations, she recently received recognition from the P.E.O. for her 70-year membership. An appreciation for beauty in all its forms was an innate passion of her life. A patron and advocate of the Norwegian American Museum (later Vesterheim), Peggy pursued a long interest in art and antiques. When first visiting the Winneshiek County Fair barns in the 1950s, she was amazed and fascinated by the rosemaled trunks being used by Decorah youth to store their animal brushes and supplies. She remembered with fondness the Norwegian language being spoken up and down Water Street.
Peggy Wright’s most important contribution to Decorah may lie in her life’s work: the rehabilitation, renovation, and preservation of the Smith-Stabo house where she lived for nearly 60 years. Since its construction in 1892, the house has been the residence of Decorah doctors for 115 of its 130-year existence. It became one of Decorah’s most historic structures in 1939 when Dr. Trond Stabo, Vice Consul for Norway in Iowa, hosted a dinner at the house for Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Märtha during the first visit of Norwegian royals to this country. During Dr. Stabo’s ownership, the house was visited by Ole Rolvaag, Herbjørn Gausta, Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen, and many other dignitaries. The house was also the site of the first meeting of the Symra Literary Society of which Dr. Stabo was founder in 1907 and charter member. In 1967, to benefit the Tuesday Evening Hospital Unit, the Wrights opened the house to the public for tours during the first Nordic Fest. Peggy Wright and her family are particularly grateful to the staff of Arlin Falck Assisted Living, especially Sheena Dix, Valerie Lee, Kaylor Assum, Jackie Gesing, Hailey Dull, Jessica Duffield, Jill Brusse, Tara Kleiner, and Mary Croatt; and to the Winneshiek Medical Center Hospice team, especially Jennifer Nahl and Jennifer Vogel.
Peggy Wright was preceded in death by Dr. David Wright in 2013. She is survived by her daughter, Ellen E. Wright, and partner Eric Bouquin, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; her son, David W. Wright, Jr., and daughter-in-law, Jeanne Leyen Wright, Decorah; and her grandson, David W. Wright III, Staten Island, New York.
Bruce Forde, 78, of Decorah, Iowa, died Nov. 15, 2021, in the comfort of his home. He was born Oct. 9, 1943, in Decorah, the son of Walter and Gladys (Hulquist), both of whom preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his brother Lowell.
He grew up in Decorah and graduated from Luther College in 1966 and earned a Master of Science from Winona State University in 1975. He married Cam (Leseth) Forde ‘68 on Aug. 5, 1967, and she survives. He is also survived by his son Chris of Robinson, Ill. as well as his brother Wilbur and Judy of Sherwood, Ark., a sister-in-law Suzanne, and his sister-in-law Adrienne (Leseth) Coffeen ‘71 and Paul Coffeen of Decorah along with numerous cousins.
He started his career as a history teacher and coach in Houston, Minn., before moving to Caledonia, Minn., where he also taught. He took over the family business, Peter Johnson & Sons in Decorah, and then worked as a sales representative in a multi-state area for Lomanco before retiring. He also served as a volunteer firefighter for several years in Decorah.
Bruce and Cam were bitten by the travel bug early in their marriage and they traveled around the country in an RV. He was a history buff and loved visiting historic homes and sites. One of his favorite places to visit was Yellowstone National Park. He also loved collecting antiques, fishing, and grilling. Bruce was a movie buff and loved cats. He was baptized, confirmed, and married at First Lutheran Church in Decorah.
He was cremated and will be buried Phelps Cemetery. Private family services were held. Memorial contributions can be made to the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa or the Decorah High School Class of ’62 Scholarship Fund.
Howard Duane Omdahl—dedicated to his country, community, family, and Lord—passed away on April 19, 2022. He was a quick-witted, determined fighter until his final hour. Funeral services were April 25th at First Lutheran Church in Algona. Burial took place in Riverview Cemetery in Algona, with Military Rites conducted by the Iowa Army National Guard Honor Guard, the VFW Post #2541 and the Haag-Turner American Legion Post #90 of Algona.
Born in Decorah, Iowa, on October 16, 1943 — Howard was a spirited Norwegian that loved fast cars, baseball, county fairs, garage sales, great music, sweet treats, parades and had blue eyes that twinkled when he smiled. He learned the value of a dollar at a young age by pumping gas, delivering pizzas, and working at the Post Office to put himself through Luther College.
He met his wife, Sharon (Sundet) Omdahl ‘70, in 1968 when they became pen pals corresponding during the Vietnam War after Howard was drafted to serve in the 25th Infantry of the United States Army. They married on June 19, 1971, in Algona, Iowa, and moved to Chicago, where Howard worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers accounting firm. In the Fall of 1972, the couple moved to Algona to join the family insurance business, start a family and never looked back.
Frequently known by the number of hats he wore, both in the community and from his own personal collection, Howard was a true Patriot, Iowa Hall of Fame Insurance Agent, and a man of many one-liners. His secret to happiness was helping others and his motto in life was to “Be a giver and not a taker.”
A leader among several community service organizations, Howard was active in the Morwens Kiwanis, Algona Chamber of Commerce, Masonic Lodge, First Lutheran Church and Commander of the VFW. His collection of close friends was immense and the relationships he built were deeply felt across the community. He helped many people in a multitude of ways and the impact of his kindness will be sorely missed.
Howard continued to live with hope and grit after being diagnosed with cancer in 2018. He was a simple man that truly lived one day at a time. He passed away peacefully from complications due to cancer.
Howard is preceded in death by his parents, Edward Omdahl ’38 and Genevieve (Haugen) Omdahl; and siblings Gerald and Gladys Eileen.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Sharon (Sundet) Omdahl ‘70; children Kristin Omdahl Sheriff (Fred Wolf), Karl (Kelly) Omdahl, Keara Omdahl, Katie (Steven) Tzimas; sister Kathy (Omdahl) Ronningen ’68 (Marshall Ronningen ’66), seven grandchildren, Genna, Gavin, Caleb, Graci, Avery, Alex and Campbell; and three step-grandchildren, Olivia, Madi and Kyra; eight nieces and nephews; and many cousins who dearly loved him.
Memorials may be made in Howard’s name and directed to The Kossuth County Cancer Foundation, Hospice of The Heartland and The Shriner’s Hospital.
William “Bill” Roger Saetveit, aged 76, went to be home with the Lord on May 3, 2022, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on Oct. 21, 1945, in Wauwatosa, Wis., then later attended Luther College in Iowa. Bill received his MBA from Indiana University in 1970, and worked as a CPA for nearly 50 years, becoming partner in his own firm in 1977.
He is survived by his wife Jan, his children Amy, Stacy, and Andy, and his five grandchildren: Logan, Blake, Simon, Alex, and Ziva.
Bill was a smart, kind, gentle, and generous man who enjoyed time with family, travel, music, tennis, and his beloved Colorado Rockies.
A celebration of Bill’s life took place on June 11, 2022, at the Horan & McConaty Funeral Home, 5303 East County Line Road, in Centennial.
Bill would want everyone to be comfortable, so please feel free to dress casually (no tie required) and consider wearing purple – for his beloved Rockies and the color representing pancreatic cancer awareness.
Those wishing to honor Bill’s life can make a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org), or another charitable cancer organization of your choice.
“No time on earth is long enough to share with those we love or to prepare our hearts for good-bye.”
Marilyn Jean (Amundson) Sears died unexpectedly, from complications after recent surgery, on Jan. 11, 2022, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, Minn. She was 76 years old. Marilyn was born in Decorah, Iowa, the daughter of Alan and Hazel (Milbrath) Amundson ‘39.
Marilyn graduated from Decorah High School, Class of 1963. She attended Luther College for a year and in the summer of 1964 lived in Colorado with her sister and worked at the University of Northern Colorado at Greely. She then moved to Rochester, Minn., for a job at the Mayo Clinic.
She married William Sears and together they raised three children, Angela, Craig and Jim. They celebrated 53 years of marriage in Aug. 2021.
After being a stay-at-home mom until her children were in high school, Marilyn worked as a sales associate at Richard N’s Shoe Store, Apache Mall, Rochester, and later at the Carson Pirie Scott department store at Miracle Mile, Rochester. Soon after the birth of her first grandchild she stayed home to provide daycare for her grandchildren. She cherished watching her children and grandchildren participate in sports, concerts, recitals and other activities.
Marilyn loved to travel. She treasured her vacations in Branson, Mo. She loved live music shows, Craft Malls and the Ozark Mountains. Her passion was hosting family gatherings especially at Christmas. She also enjoyed gardening and home decorating. Marilyn dearly loved the seven dogs she cared for over a period of 40 years.
She was preceded in death by her parents. Surviving in addition to her husband, are her daughter Angela (Sears) Spohn ’93, and her husband, Al Spohn of Rochester; sons, Craig Sears ‘96 and his wife Amy (Morse) Sears ‘95, of Rochester, Jim and his partner Jessica Rivard of Eagan, Minn.; six grandchildren, Ava Spohn, Abby Spohn, Andrew Spohn, Payton Sears, Torrey Sears and Sophia Sears; one sister, Dori (Amundson) Ritland ’62 and her husband Mike Ritland ‘60 of Eau Claire, Wis.; one brother, Richard Amundson ’64 and his wife Barbara “Babs” (Moen) Amundson ‘65 of Decorah, Iowa; many nieces and nephews.
Visitation and memorial service were held Jan. 29, 2022, at the Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Sears family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.
Eric Wulfsberg, age 76, died unexpectedly on June 1, 2022, at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was a Pediatrician in the U.S. Navy for twenty years and a Clinical Geneticist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for twelve years, becoming a full professor.
Eric was born on Nov. 17, 1945, in Denver, to the late Einar Theodore Wulfsberg ‘33 and Lillian Marie (Heggem) Wulfsberg. He graduated from Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., in 1964. He then attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
At The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Eric graduated in 1972, and was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha (Honor Medical Society). He completed his Pediatric Internship at John Hopkins in 1973, and his Pediatric Residency at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., in 1975. In 1982 he completed a two-year fellowship program in Pediatric Genetics at UCLA School of Medicine.
Eric married Sarah Prowse on Aug. 28, 1971, in Baltimore. After finishing his training in Portsmouth, Va., his Navy duty stations were: Naval Hospital Long Beach, Calif.; Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan; Naval Hospital San Diego (where he also taught medical genetics at UC San Diego School of Medicine) and National Medical Center Bethesda, Md. Following retirement from the U.S. Navy, he spent twelve years at UM School of Medicine, Division of Human Genetics.
In 1982, he and Sarah had their one child, Einar John Wulfsberg.
Throughout his life he enjoyed photography. Other hobbies and activities over the years were: golf, hiking, walking, drone flying, and clay pigeon shooting. He spent many hours volunteering at Bethel Lutheran Church, especially with videoing worship.
Eric was a man of faith and family. He is survived by his wife, Sarah; his son, LTC Einar John (wife, Nikohl) Wulfsberg, U.S. Army; and their two sons, Henrik and Soren. Einar is stationed at Patch Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany.
He is also survived by his siblings, Einar John (Lone) Wulfsberg of Castle Rock, Colo., Karen (Ernest Scott) Wulfsberg Strother of Nathrop, Colo., and Bruce Warren Wulfsberg ’72 (Cyndy (Ellis) Wulfsberg ‘72) of Michigan. He is also survived by Sarah’s brother, Bill (Janet) Prowse of McCall, Id.; and a host of friends.
Graveside Service was June 16, 2022, at Pikes Peak National Cemetery, 10545 Drennan Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80925.
Memorial Service was June 18, 2022, Bethel Lutheran Church, 4925 Farmingdale Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917.
Memorials in Eric’s name may be made to either Bethel Lutheran Church or Mercy’s Gate in care of Bethel Lutheran Church.
Blessed be his memory. He is now eternally with Jesus, his Lord and Savior.
Lana Marie Lewison, a former resident of Austin, Minn., died peacefully on April 5, 2020, at Three Crowns Park, Evanston, Ill.
She was born January 15, 1948, in Austin, Minn., to Edwin and Margaret (Braford) Lewison. A graduate of Austin High School class of 1966, Lana was a member of and soloist with the school choir and was also active in the First Baptist Church choir and other church musical groups. She attended Austin Community College and graduated from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) with a degree in secondary education and English. Following college, she taught English at Stewartville High School and then moved to Downers Grove, Ill., and began working at Arthur Andersen & Company public accounting firm, headquartered in Chicago. In 1974, Lana moved to Northbrook, Ill., where she lived for 39 years. She was married to Philip Staples for 29 years.
Lana had a passion for music and was a gifted vocalist. She was a member of the Northbrook Women’s Club and sang with their choir. She also served for many years as a regular member of North Suburban Church choir (Deerfield, Ill.). Lana enjoyed traveling and was able to take many memorable trips with family and friends, including a mission trip to France and a trip to China. Her dogs Widget, Suzi Q and Buddy held a special place in her heart.
Lana is survived by two sisters – Janet Harris, Evanston, Ill., and Kay (Floyd) Midura, Minnetonka, Minn.; and five nieces and nephews – John (Erin) Harris, Evanston, Ill.; Michael (Nicole) Harris, Evanston, Ill.; Allison Midura, Minneapolis; Jared Midura, Fargo, N.D.; and Lindsay Midura, Chicago.
She was preceded in death by her father in 1999 and her mother in 2013.
A memorial service in celebration of Lana’s life will be held at the Hormel Historic Home, 208 4th Avenue N.W. in Austin, on Sunday, June 12, at 11:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Lana are preferred to the Ted Fund (www.tedfund.org), which provides Evanston, Illinois, elementary students, whose families live below the poverty line, with the opportunity to attend local summer camps and programs.
Condolences may be left online at www.mayerfh.com.
Richard A. Meyer, 74, of Baldwin, Wis., passed away April 29, 2022, in Baldwin.
Visitation and funeral services were held May 21, 2022, at Zion Lutheran Church, Chebanse. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Chebanse.
Richard was born Jan. 7, 1948, in Kankakee, the son of Arthur and Gladys (Cailteux) Meyer.
He grew up on the family dairy farm in Chebanse, and graduated from Central High School.
Richard earned a degree in social work from Luther College and took a job as a case worker in Kankakee.
Many will remember him working at the Chebanse Crop Service in Chebanse, in the early years as well as other well-rounded positions, like another one at the Cormorant Inn in Minnesota, to complete an amazing resume of “Jack of all Trades.”
Richard was united in marriage to Kathy Peterson on Jan. 29, 1983, in Baldwin, Wis. The couple enjoyed a care-free lifestyle and traveled the country to anywhere the road may lead. Rich had a love for Minnesota Public Radio, the author Garrison Keillor and his cats. He was fond of cross country skiing, playing cards and recalling memories of wrestling with his brother, Merle, and once had a cow named Jennie. He was a renaissance man, and loved finance and investing. A farm accident slowed his pace of life, but not his mind, or his need to get the “next great idea.” He Never gave up. Many across the country will miss those random phone calls from Richard at any hour of the day looking for an answer to a seemingly random question, or looking for a misplaced phone number to any number of friends, relatives or co-conspirators.
Surviving are his brothers, Vernon (Judy) Meyer and Kenneth (Elaine) Meyer; many nieces and nephews who will miss his whimsical and fun lifestyle; and brother-in-law, Rich (Naomi) Peterson.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Arthur and Gladys Meyer; brothers, Merle Meyer and Gerald Meyer; and sisters, Wanda Meyer Wolfe, Idella Meyer Brooks and Lois Meyer Teske.
Memorials may be made to the wishes of the family.
Funeral arrangements are by O’Connell Family Funeral Home, Hudson and Baldwin, Wis.
Ralph M. Thompson was called home to heaven by our Lord and Savior on May 1st, 2022. Ralph was surrounded by his wife and children and they ushered him into paradise with Psalm 23, The Lord’s Prayer and the song “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” sung by his son.
Ralph was born on Nov. 12, 1948, to Robert and Margaret (Oleson) Thompson of Badger, Iowa. Ralph graduated from Fort Dodge High School, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, while working on the family farm with his brothers. He was a proud alumnus of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, Minn. Ralph had an undergraduate degree in history and a Master’s of Divinity. College was a wonderful time for Ralph as he made many friends and created lasting memories.
Per the pastoral handbook, one must meet the love of their life at church. Ralph was hired to sing at a wedding, he set eyes on Carol, and never looked back. After a six-month courtship, Ralph married Carol (Carlson) on Aug. 25, 1973, promising her that no matter how poor they were, he would always make sure she had a boat to play on the water. Ralph began his career at Ridgeland and Hay River Lutheran Churches in Ridgeland, Wis. They wasted no time in having three perfectly imperfect children, Kristin, Jennifer and Erik. Ralph and Carol raised their children in Glenwood City, Wis., while he served for over 30 years at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. On the PK (Pastor’s Kids) scale for behavior, they were fairly boring, except for the occasional bad grade, speeding ticket and the too-frequent use of curse words. They loved spending time with their parents skiing at Afton Alps (Ralph would sit in the chalet and write his sermons), boating on Lake Menomin (dad drove because he didn’t know how to swim) and traveling wherever the AAA guidebook sent us (cockroach motels). Ralph and Carol did everything with their children in tow, and the result was that as a family, not only did they love each other, they liked each other.
Ralph’s time in the ministry was always focused on building strong programs for the church youth. Sundays were for children sermons, youth choir, Sunday School and Luther League. When it was Wednesday night in Glenwood City, it was Pastor Thompson leading confirmation classes and youth handbell practice. His greatest joy was bringing our small congregation to Luther Point Bible Camp and the ELCA National Youth Gatherings. Ralph believed strongly in showing the nation to the youth of his community. He completed his calls of service at Luck Lutheran Church in Luck, Wis.
Ralph and Carol retired to their lake home in Shell Lake, Wis. Ever the side hustler, Ralph served as a retired pastor at Yellow Lake Lutheran in Danbury, Wis., and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, albeit a substitute teacher, for Shell Lake Public Schools. He delighted in his grandchildren, Tyler, Benjamin, Kennedy, Emerson, Madison and Freya. He loved to cuddle them when they were young, sneak them sweets, beat them at cards and teach them the art of Scandinavian cooking.
Ralph is survived by his beloved wife, Carol, and children Kristin (Robert) Brandt and children Ben, Ty and Kennedy of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Jennifer (Greg) Hinker and daughters Emerson and Madison of Delano, Minn., and Erik (Laura) Thompson and daughter Freya of Minnetonka, Minn., his brother, Ron (Jane) Thompson, of Mt. Airy, Md., sisters and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews of whom he adored. He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Margaret, and his brother Mark.
Kathryn L. (Selzer) Johnson, 73, of Spread Eagle, Wis., passed away unexpectedly June 11, 2022, at the Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson, Iron Mountain, Mich.
She was born March 9, 1949, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the daughter of the late Arthur and Marie (Stuck) Selzer. Kathryn grew up in Iowa and graduated from Amana High School. She went on to attend Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she received her bachelor of arts degree. Kathryn later attended Concordia University, River Forest, Ill., where she received her master’s degree in education. She taught as an elementary school teacher at Marion Jordan Elementary school in Palatine, Ill., for 33 years before retiring in 2004. She married Glen Johnson on June 12, 1971, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kathryn was a long-time member of Lutheran Church of Atonement in Barrington, Ill., and a member of Lutheran Social Service of Illinois Women’s Network. She was a current member of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, Carefree, Ariz., and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain, Mich. She was also an active member of the Pine Grove Country Club, Iron Mountain, the Chippewa Club, Iron Mountain, and the Desert Mountain Club, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Kathryn was an avid reader and enjoyed playing bridge and golfing over the years. She also loved spending time with her beloved grandchildren.
Survivors include her loving husband of 51 years, Glen Johnson ‘70; one daughter, Anne Marie (Johnson) Leake ’99 (T.J. Leake ’99), Caledonia, Ill.; one sister, Barbara (Charles) Hoehnle, Homestead, Iowa; one brother-in-law, Mark (Shirley) Johnson, Sisters, Ore.; three grandchildren, Benjamin, Joshua, and Matthew; and six nieces and nephews.
Visitation and Memorial Service were held June 25, 2022, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Iron Mountain with Rev. Paul Strom officiating. Burial took place in Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain, Mich.
Memorials in Kathryn’s honor can be addressed to Christ the Lord Lutheran Church or Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.
Friends may leave condolences and tributes to Kathryn’s family online at www.jacobsfuneralhomes.com.
Royce Thompson, 73, died April 23, 2022 at home.
Royce was born Feb. 22, 1949, to Rufus and Mabel (Ingibritson) Thompson in Buffalo Center, Iowa. He graduated from Elmore (Minn.) High School and attended Luther College in Decorah Iowa. Following careers in law enforcement and EMS, he returned to school and graduated from Control Data Institute in Minneapolis. He spent the next 21 years working as a copier service technician, retiring in 2005.
Royce married Susan (Siekmann) Thompson ‘72 on May 22, 1971. They had one daughter, Beth, who lives in Indianola.
Royce and Susan retired to a small acreage, where they maintained a large vegetable garden, restored prairie and flowerbeds. When not working in their yard, Royce enjoyed fishing and woodworking.
Royce is survived by his wife and daughter. He is also survived by three sisters, Darlene (Richard) Block, Marilyn (Kenneth) Balvance, and Janet (Thompson) Spitzack ‘68 (Maynard) and by many nieces and nephews, as well as great nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life Service was held April 29, 2022, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Indianola.
The family requests memorials to The Helping Hand.
Nancy L. Raines of Schaumburg, Ill., died April 22, 2022, age 67.
Nancy was the loving daughter of the late Charles and the late June Raines and dear sister of Linda (Stewart Maida) Raines ‘79.
Nancy spent her professional career at a national healthcare communications company, Professional Office Services. She had a 46-year journey at POS, beginning in 1976 until retiring just this past Feb. Over her 40 years in professional sales, she not only earned the respect of her colleagues and customers, Nancy won the company’s highest sales awards on eight different occasions. She launched the Eastern Iowa market in 1983 and went on to run the Northern Chicagoland market for the last 35 years. She loved her work family as did they her. She also had a great love for animals, especially her cats. In her free time Nancy loved to read, work in her garden, and travel. She also enjoyed entertaining and spending time with her family, godchildren, friends and neighbors.
A Memorial Visitation was held April 30, 2022, at Morizzo Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2550 West Hassell Road, (Northeast corner of Barrington Road), Hoffman Estates, IL. 60169. A donation to your favorite or local animal shelter/rescue would be appreciated.
The family created a Life Tributes page; at MorizzoFuneralHome.com to share memories, photos and videos.
Richard Marvin Marquardt, 62, of Rural Mantorville, Minn., passed away on June 7, 2022, at Mayo Clinic St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester, Minn.
Richard was born on May 3, 1960, in Rochester, Minn., to Marvin and Elaine (Engelstad) Marquardt. He graduated from Kasson-Mantorville High School in 1978. He attended Luther College for a year and a half. He then worked on his farm and for McNeilus Trucking and Steel. He also worked at Kwik Trip.
Richard married Jill Castner on Jan. 9, 1982, at Pleasant Corners United Methodist Church in Kasson, Minn. Together they had four children. He enjoyed bowling, softball, gardening, and traveling. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.
Richard is survived by his wife, Jill Marquardt of Mantorville, Minn.; children, Jason (Jennifer) Marquardt of Goodhue, Minn,, Eric Marquardt of Dodge Center, Minn., Melissa (Joshua) Whiteaker of Kasson, Minn., and Jacqueline (Shawn Bowe) Marquardt of Chippewa Falls, Wis.; his mother, Elaine Marquardt; siblings, Tammy (Wayne) Alberts and Sheila (Dan) Burton; grandchildren, Raelynn Marquardt, Beckett Marquardt, Griffin Marquardt, Kinnsley Marquardt, Briggs Marquardt, Robert Whiteaker, and Oliver Whiteaker; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Marvin Marquardt; sister, Cindy Marquardt; grandparents, Frank and Hulda Marquardt and Joy Engelstad.
A memorial service was held June 14, 2022, at Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes, 801 7th St SE in Kasson with Pastor Jacob Hanson officiating. Inurnment was in Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville, Minn.
To share a special memory or condolence please visit www.czaplewskifuneralhomes.com, Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes, 801 7th St SE Kasson, MN 55944 (507)634-6510. Blessed be his memory.
Kristin Marie (Nolte) Sperry, St. Anthony Park, 60, died March 10, 2022. Kristin battled several cancer diagnoses over the years, but they never dulled her shining personality or deterred her positive spirit. She died peacefully in her favorite place in the world, her bed at home.
Kristin was born in Champaign, Ill., to Gerald M. Nolte ‘64 and Joan (Dahlquist) Nolte ‘58, who inspired her love of travel.
She was raised in St. Anthony Park and was in the last class to graduate from Murray High School in 1979. She attended Luther College before graduating from University of Wisconsin-River Falls with her degree in accounting. As a CPA for nonprofits, Kristin was known for her service to others, her sharp attention to detail and her hot pink business blazers.
Kristin was a lifelong traveler and loved spending time at the cabin on Rabbit Lake.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, William and Esther Nolte, and Ralph Dahlquist ’28 and Hazel (Burreson) Dahlquist ‘50; her brother, William Rolf (Bill) Nolte; her aunts, Barbara and Pat Nolte; and her uncle, Russ Nolte. She is survived by her parents, Gerald Nolte ’64 and Joan (Dahlquist) Nolte ‘58; and her children, Nicole (Nikki) Sperry ‘07 and Alexander (Alex) Sperry ‘10; her uncle, Marc Dahlquist ‘62; several beloved cousins; and countless friends.
Her funeral service was held at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church April 9. Memorials in Kristin Nolte Sperry’s name can be made to Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota (c/o Children and Family Services), the American Cancer Society Minnesota or Heartland Animal Rescue Team or H.A.R.T. in Brainerd.
Michael Robert Hathaway-Madison, 58, of Nevada, Iowa, died June 25, 2022, at his home in Nevada.
Mike was born Oct. 29, 1963, in Nevada, Iowa, the son of Robert Carroll and Janice Kay (Haley) Hathaway. He graduated from Nevada High School in 1982 and attended Luther College. Mike was a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nevada. He had been a chef at Indian Creek Country Club in Nevada and was most recently working for ISU Dining.
Mike loved to entertain family and friends. Many would look forward to the yearly luau that he and his husband, Brad, would host at the “Hathison Hacienda”. At last year’s event, Mike and Brad surprised all their guests and were married on July 31, 2021, after spending 15 years together. One of the happiest days of Mike’s life was when he received his new smile.
Mike loved purple, fountains, and flowers. He looked forward to Christmas each year, displaying over 3000 snowmen he had collected. Mike enjoyed a good glass of wine and telling a good “dad joke.” He was an excellent musician, and while in high school he sang in the state chorus and was first chair saxophone for all four years. Mike was accomplished in playing the piano and during his time at Luther College, he played in the Luther Band before earning a spot in the Nordic Choir. Mike knew lots of Broadway musicals and was an avid fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes. He also enjoyed watching the Kentucky Derby, playing golf, and traveling to national bowling tournaments. As a chef, Mike had many coveted recipes and occasionally he might share it with a close friend. He was a very passionate supporter of the Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Mike had the ability to bring joy wherever he was and will be remembered for his warm and inviting personality.
Mike is survived by his husband, Brad of Nevada; his mother, Jan Hathaway of Nevada; his children, Brittney (Ryan) Mathre of Madrid, Zabrina (Jake) Plager of Cambridge, Nathan (Raven) Madison of Madrid and Clarissa (Jesse) Luther of Luther; his sister, Lori Hathaway-Millard (Bryan Ferichs) of Bristow; his sister-in-law, Kristen Fagen-Street of Ankeny; his grandchildren: Braylee, Bella and Rylin Mathre, Reagan and Lucas Plager, Lincoln, Hattie and Corbin Madison, Hagen, Jager and Lettie Mae Luther; his nieces, Caitlin Fagen and Brooklyn Street; his nephew, Nickolas Fagen; and his beloved dogs, Diablo and Buddy. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert “Bob” Hathaway; his paternal grandparents, Millard and Esther Hathaway; and his maternal grandparents, Oliver and Maxine Haley.
A funeral service was held June 30, 2022, at Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home (1418 Fawcett Pkwy) in Nevada with Pastor Mike Albert officiating. Cremation followed the service. In celebrating Mike’s life, those in attendance were asked to wear purple or something Iowa Hawkeyes. A luncheon will follow the service at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (250 E Avenue) in Nevada.
Donations can be made at www.rasmussonfh.com, click on Mike’s photo then Tribute Fund. Donations can also be made directly to the funeral home. All donations will be used to help defray funeral expenses.
Rasmusson-Ryan Funeral Home in Nevada is handling arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.rasmussonfh.com.
Mike Bruess, age 55, of Peoria, Ill., passed away on May 28, 2022, at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
A Celebration of Life was held at Quail Meadows Golf Course in Washington, Ill. on June 1, 2022. A visitation was held at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home in Protivin, Iowa, on June 4 with a prayer service and interment immediately following at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery in Protivin. Following the interment, friends gathered for a Celebration of Life held at The Mint in Protivin.
Mike was born to Cornell and LaVerne Sabelka Bruess on Oct. 20, 1966, in New Hampton, Iowa, grew up on a farm near Protivin, graduated from Crestwood (Cresco, Iowa) High School in 1984 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
He moved to Peoria to work for RLI for over 20 years and later worked as a census taker, court researcher and statistician for Bradley University sports.
Mike lived life and enjoyed it to the fullest. He was passionate about everything he loved to do and brought light and joy with him everywhere he went. As the ultimate fan, he visited all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums and was loyal to all his favorite teams — the Oakland A’s, Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Iowa Hawkeyes and the Bradley Braves. He loved watching movies, attended thousands of concerts, bowled and played softball and was a pizza connoisseur. Mike’s energy, warm spirit and sense of humor will be deeply missed.
Surviving are his mother, LaVerne of Cresco; his siblings, Karen Bruess (Mary Chval) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kenneth Bruess of Protivin, Linda (Rich) Lechtenberg of New Hampton, Jean Ann Bruess ‘85 (Dean Rue) of Madison, Wis. and Chuck Bruess ‘93 (Angie) Bruess of Trivoli, Ill.; sister-in-law, Jill Bruess; his nieces and nephews, Matthew and Sam Lechtenberg, Megan (Jeff) Nesvik, Chas (Sami) Bruess, Chris and John Bruess and Jalynn (Tanner) Roberts; great-nieces and nephews, Alice and Colton Bruess and Calvin and Nora Nesvik; and his cousin and buddy, Dennis “Bubs” Bruess.
He was preceded in death by his father; brother, Gerry Bruess; and three infant siblings, Patricia, Mary Jo and Steven.
Memorial contributions may be made to the local Red Cross chapter or Holy Trinity Catholic School in Protivin.
Wendy Eliason died unexpectedly March 2. Wendy was born Dec. 7, 1964, in Duluth, grew up in Cromwell where she attended High School graduating with honors in 1983. Wendy was an exceptional musician and student. Following graduation Wendy obtained degrees from Luther College and Kansas University in the anthropology field. Preceded in death by Grandparents Doris and Rudolph Eliason, Lucille and Lester Larson. Survived by parents Carole and Oscar Eliason, Siblings Greg (Christie) Paul (Tho) and Scott (Carol), Nieces and Nephews Mitchel, Valerie, Ben (Kaitlyn), Matt, Nick, Josh, Nathan, Anita and Ethan. Visitation and Memorial services were held at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cromwell on March 12.
David A. Heaton, 49, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, died Sunday, May 22, 2022, at his home from natural causes.
David was born July 12, 1972, in Mount Pleasant, the son of David and Carmen (Crawford) Heaton. He attended Mount Pleasant High School where he was a Rotary exchange student to South Africa during his junior year, and graduated in 1991. David earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Luther College as well as sang in the prestigious Nordic Choir. He received his teaching certification from Iowa Wesleyan University. David worked for the Minneapolis National Lutheran Choir. He taught junior high and middle school social studies in West Liberty and Durant. David then began teaching abroad, traveling to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Cartagena, Colombia, to teach American history. He was currently teaching social studies at Danville middle school. David was an avid reader and choral music was his passion.
David is survived by his parents David and Carmen Heaton of Mount Pleasant; sister Mary and Ben Carrick of Omaha, Neb.; a niece and nephew Sophie and Patrick Carrick and aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents Ward and Jean Heaton and Philip and Viola Crawford.
A memorial service was held May 28, 2022, at the Olson-Powell Memorial Chapel. Burial followed in the St. Alphonsus Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established for the Iowa Wesleyan University Choir.