Death Notices - Paynesville Press, Paynesville, Minnesota
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Death Notices
Complete obituaries can be found in the Paynesville Press each week.

May 2021


Johnson Funeral Home


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Obituary Archives

Russ Laposky, 88, Pine River
Russ Laposky passed from this life peacefully in his home near Pine River, Minn., as the sun was setting on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. He was 88 years old. Russ will be remembered as a man completely devoted to his wife and family and, above all else, as a man of faith. He trusted completely in the grace and mercy of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the eternal power of the cross. He was a man devoted to prayer, who consistently lived what he believed, and was longing for his Lord to return. His family rejoices that the things he saw dimly yesterday, he now sees clearly, and the things he knew in part, he now knows in full. Russ was born on Aug. 6, 1932, to Louis and Thelma (Brandrup) Laposky in Webster City, Iowa. When he was a young boy his family moved to Iroquois, S.D., where developed a strong work ethic while working the family farm. Shortly after graduation from high school, Russ proudly served his country in Korea during the Korean Conflict. On March 6, 1955, following his discharge from the service, Russ married Eleanor Putman, who had faithfully written to him every day while he was serving in Korea. In 1957, upon graduating from Huron College in Huron, S.D., Russ accepted a teaching position in Sandstone, Minn.Along with teaching science, he coached the basketball, baseball, and football teams. After seven years of teaching, he became the high school principal in Sandstone. In 1974, Russ became the superintendent of Sioux Valley Public Schools in Volga, S.D. He would later serve as superintendent of the Paynesville Area Schools, Northland Community Schools in Remer, Minn., and the Sebeka Public Schools, until retiring in 1998. Throughout his career as a teacher and school administrator, Russ was known and respected as a compassionate educator who was always firm, fair, and consistent with his students and employees. He improved every community he served. Russ was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; his parents; and his mother-in-law, Selma. He is survived by his sister, Barb (Milo) DeJong of Cavour, S.D.; and children: Jim (Jacquie) Laposky of Hinckley Minn., Dave (Bev) Laposky of Pine River, Minn., Mike Laposky of Minnetonka, Minn., Lori (Ron) Lee of Edina, Minn., and Lisa (Darren) Vik of Spooner, Wis., in addition to 14 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. A private family service will be held at a later date. Interment will be at the Jenkins Cemetery in Jenkins, Minn. Memorials to your local food shelf are preferred. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River,


Donald Fredrick, 90, Avon

Donald R. Fredrick, 90, of Avon, formerly of Paynesville, died on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Serenity Village in Avon. A funeral service will be held Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 11 am at Grace Lutheran Church in Belgrade. Burial will be at Gausdal Lutheran Church Cemetery in rural Georgeville. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Belgrade: www.hafh.org. Donald Richard Fredrick was born on Oct. 8, 1930, near Georgeville, Minn., the son of Fred and Ruth (Berg) Fredrick. He grew on the family farm near Georgeville, where he attended a small country school. After his schooling, he worked at home helping his parents on the farm. On Sept. 13, 1953, Don was united in marriage to Lois Zimmerle at her family's home. This union was blessed with four daughters. The family made their home in rural Georgeville and rural New London before moving to Paynesville in 1961. Don worked various construction jobs in Paynesville and later at Ted's RV Land. In 2003, Don retired, and he and Lois moved to Melrose. In 2006 Lois passed away. They shared in 53 years of marriage before her death. In 2019, Don moved to his current home at Serenity Village in Avon. Don was a former member of Gausdal Lutheran Church in rural Georgeville. He enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting, playing softball, playing cards, dancing, listening to old-time music, going on road trips, watching the Twins, and spending time with family and friends. Don is survived by his daughters: Julienne (Butch) Gustafson of Deer Creek, Charlene Altenbrun of Staples, Arlene Feldewerd of Avon, and Lorene (Tom) Meyer of Melrose; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; a great-great-granddaughter; and many nephews and nieces. Don was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lois; sons-in-law, Ken and Gene; sister, Charlotte; and brother, Carl.


Tiffany Gnirk, 27, Holdingford

Tiffany Lee (Krupke) Gnirk, 27, of Holdingford, Minn., passed away on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, with her husband and mother at her side. She fought so hard after complications from gallstone pancreatitis. A memorial service for her will take place at Salem Church, Zion Township, in rural Paynesville, on Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers. As preventative measures for reducing the spread of COVID-19, attendees are asked to wear a mask and to practice social distancing wherever possible. Tiffany must have had some grand calling to heaven since she made her time here on earth one of caring, kindness, and love. Tiffany had a big, sweet heart that could be felt even if you only met her in passing. She loved all animals and projected onto them the love she had for those around her. She had a quirky sense of humor that helped her through any life situation she came across. As a young child, Tiffany was an avid writer. She asked the Paynesville Press, her local paper, if she could start writing articles from the "teen perspective." At age 13, when she was in the seventh grade, Tiffany's articles started to be published weekly. Her writing was done so eloquently, sharing exactly what she was thinking about in her teenage years. After earning two years of college credit in high school and completing an internship at the Paynesville Press, Tiffany attended St. Cloud State University where she became the editor of the school's paper, the University Chronicle. After graduating from St. Cloud State, where she met her husband, she worked at jobs where she could express her love for animals by caring for them. Tiffany then decided that occupational therapy would be a good fit for her and graduated from OT-assistant school last spring. Through her internships, she found that working with children with mental health issues would become her passion. While in the hospital, she was even offered a job at a residential treatment center for children. They were willing to wait for her to recover. Tiffany was born on June 21, 1993, at the Paynesville Hospital. It's fitting that she was born on the first day of summer, a day which we all cherish in Minnesota. Tiffany was baptized and confirmed at the Paynesville Lutheran Church. She married her sweetheart, Andrew Gnirk, on June 25, 2015. She is survived by her incredibly loving husband, Andrew Gnirk of Holdingford; her parents Denise Bahr and Brady Krupke; half-sister Alicia Varner (Scott and Tucker); her grandfather, Dean Bahr (Sue Drager); grandmother, Ann Krupke; her aunts, uncles, and cousins: Deb Bahr-Helgen (Lee, Evan, and Luke Helgen), Michelle Bahr (Robert Hostetler and Olivia and Noah Drontle), Lisa Bahr (Russ Pregler), and Julie (Chris) Thorstenson (Tyler and Gavin Warnberg); and many loving extended family. She was preceded in death by her sister, Kayla, in 2019, and her grandmother, Rose. Her family thanks the ICU staff at M Health Fairview for their excellent and loving care of Tiffany. You will be missed, Tiffany, and you mattered to this world. Just like summer, we will cherish the time in which we will meet you again.


Ione Woessner, 99, Wayzata

Ione Dorothy (Krebs) Woessner, 99, of Wayzata, formerly of Sleepy Eye, Minn., died peacefully on Monday, May 10, 2021, at Folkestone Senior Living Community in Wayzata. Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Sleepy Eye, on Monday, May 17. The service was livestreamed on St. Mary's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/stmarysleepyeye/videos. The clergy was Father Mark Steffl. Interment was in the Home Cemetery in Sleepy Eye. Ione was born April 22, 1922, in Albany, Minn., the second daughter of Albert H. and Anna (Winter) Krebs. She was graduated from Albany High School and the Minneapolis Business College. She exchanged marriage vows with Lieutenant F. George Woessner, U.S. Navy, on Sept. 30, 1944, in Albany, while he was on leave from the Atlantic Fleet, after the Normandy and Southern France invasions of World War II. They enjoyed their honeymoon exploring Washington, D.C., and Boston. Ione loved her summers at their Rice Lake cabin swimming, fishing, and spending time with family and friends. She was an avid birdwatcher. She also enjoyed golfing, playing bridge, knitting, and baking nearly every day while the boys were growing up. Ione was a long-time Sleepy Eye resident and active member of St. Mary's Church and the Sleepy Eye Golf Club, as well as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary since 1950. Ione is survived by her six sons, Tom (Joan) of Brandon; Gerry (Lynne) of Plymouth; Mark (JoAnn) of Edina; Steve (Leann) of Corcoran; Don (Ann) of Roseville; and Mike (Judy) of Chaska; 16 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband George; her sister Lillian Rivers; and her brothers Dr. Earl Krebs and Dr. Allen Krebs. Arrangements were with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Mary's Church and School.


Ruth Hoeft, 96, Paynesville

Ruth V. M. Hoeft 96, of Paynesville died Sunday, May 16, 2021, at the Paynesville Care Center in Paynesville. Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 21, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. Burial will be at the Paynesville Cemetery. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Ruth Virginia Mae Hoeft was born on Feb. 5, 1925, in the Monson Township, the daughter of Edwin and Esther (Otto) Knebel. She was baptized and confirmed at Zion Church in rural Paynesville. Ruth attended a small country school close to her home and went on to graduate from Paynesville High School with the Class of 1943. After high school, Ruth worked as a bank teller at a local bank. On Aug. 22, 1945, Ruth was united in marriage to Eldon Hoeft at the EUB Church in Paynesville. This union was blessed with two daughters and four sons. The family made their home on Eldon's family farm in rural Paynesville, where they farmed. In 1976, they moved to the river farm, where they lived until they retired in 1991. Eldon and Ruth then moved to their retirement home, where they lived until 2013, when they moved to 700 Stearns Place. Eldon died on Dec. 18, 2013. They shared in 68 years of marriage before his death. Ruth was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. She was active there in the United Methodist Women, Ruth Circle, as a conference lay leader, as a Sunday school teacher, and Christian Education Leader. She enjoyed home extension, flower gardening, quilting, knitting, reading, and cooking for family birthdays and holidays. The grandchildren each received their own quilts and knitted slippers which they cherish. Ruth and Eldon each had their own garden and had a friendly competition with who kept the best garden. Ruth is survived by her children, David (Barb) Hoeft of Paynesville, Helen (Jerry) Olson of Paynesville, Jerry (Melody) Hoeft of Paynesville, Dean (Judy) Hoeft of St. Cloud, Beth (Scott) Person of Renville, and Bill (Nancy) Hoeft of Paynesville; 18 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. Ruth is also survived by her sister, Betty Coulter of Eden Valley; and nieces and nephews. Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Eldon; and brother, Cliff Knebel. Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville: www.hafh.org.


Doreen Kern, 56, Paynesville

Doreen Kern died peacefully at her home on Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Paynesville at the age of 56 after her five-year journey with cancer. A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Friday, May 14, 2021, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church and continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Doreen was born on June 9, 1964, in Paynesville to Romuald and MaryAnn (Schaefer) Lauer. She grew up on a farm near St. Martin and graduated from Paynesville High School in 1982. After many years working as a housekeeper and nursing assistant at 700 Stearns Place and Paynesville Hospital, she pursued a degree in nursing. She married Randy Kern, her high school sweetheart, on June 2, 1984. Over the course of 36 years, they raised seven children at their home in Paynesville. Doreen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed spending time at the family's hobby farm outside of Paynesville, gardening, and working as a registered nurse at the Paynesville Hospital. Through her years of treatment, she displayed great courage, strength, and grace –remaining resilient until the very end. Doreen is survived by her husband, Randy of Paynesville; children: Chris (Jenn) of Cameron, Mo., Amanda (Brendan) Wickstrom of St. Paul, Morgan of Minneapolis, Holli (and partner, Brady Lindquist) of New London, Collin of Duluth, Taylor of Moorhead, and Connor of Paynesville; six grandchildren; mother, MaryAnn of St. Martin; siblings: Gary (Anne) of Hugo, Dale (Judi) of Spicer, Conrad (Mary) of St. Martin, Carol (Greg) Mohrenweiser of Onamia, Tim (Nancy) of St. Martin, Fred of Buffalo, and Ron (Tammy) of Albany; mother-in-law, Eileen (Hennen) Kern of Paynesville; brothers-in-law, Larry (Lynae) Kern of Paynesville, Ron (Jean) Kern of Belgrade, and Kevin Kern of Paynesville; sisters-in-law, Lori (Jeff) Evans of Paynesville, Sandy (Keith) Spanier of Avon, and Brenda Kern of Maple Grove. She is preceded in death by her father, Romuald Lauer; brother, Roger Lauer; sister, Sandra Lauer; father-in-law, Gerald Kern; and sister-in-law, Diane Kern. The family would like to thank everyone who helped during the years of Doreen's treatment and the continued support after her passing. Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville: www.hafh.org.


Anna Fleischhacker, Paynesville

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville, Minn., for Anna Mae Fleischhacker, 93, who died on Monday, April 26, 2021, at Asher House. Entombment will be in the parish cemetery. Annie was born on April 6, 1928, in Roscoe, Minn., to Herman and Margaret (Mohs) Utsch. She married Ralph Fleischhacker on June 22, 1948, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roscoe. Annie was a wonder to us all. She got up early, worked in the garden, drove a tractor, cooked, and baked. Whatever needed to be done. Annie sewed in her down time, making clothes for all nine kids, mending, quilting, and carpet rags. She used every scrap of fabric or old clothes for something. Annie was a member of Catholic United Financial, Christian Women and of the St. Louis Parish. She is survived by her; children, Laura (Gary) Reiter; Grace (Allan) Gertken; Betty (Roger) Theis; Bonnie (Lewis) Wesenberg; Kevin (Cindy); Nancy (Mike) Theis; Jean (Di Johnson); and Alan; sisters, Viola "Ole" (Joe) Kremer and Katie (Kenny) Albrecht; sister-in-law, Pat Utsch; 32 grandchildren; 58-great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph; infant daughter, Linda; son, Leroy "Lee"; sister, Gene Buerman; brothers, Ralph, Stan, Ray, and Arnie Utsch; granddaughter, Gina; and great-grandson, Jaron. Services were with the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring and Richmond.


Kevin Schlangen, 58, Paynesville

A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 7, 2021, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for Kevin F. Schlangen, 58, of Paynesville, who passed away unexpectedly at his family farm on Monday, April 26, 2021. Reverend Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Entombment will take place at the parish cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 6, and again after 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 7, both at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Kevin was born on March 9, 1963, in Paynesville to Daniel and Juanita (Renneker) Schlangen. He graduated from Paynesville High School in 1981. Kevin worked on the family farm all of his life. He enjoyed listening to sports on the radio and TV. Kevin was a very private quiet man. He is survived by his siblings; Jane Konz of South Haven; Dale (Julie) of Lake Henry; Karl of Lake Henry; Gary (Janet) of Belgrade; Leo (Marlene) of St. Michael; and Scott (Mary) of Paynesville; nieces, nephews, and extended family. Kevin was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Virgil. Arrangements are with the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville.


Maria Duscher, 59, Paynesville

Maria A. Duscher, 59, of Hawick died on Wednesdya, April 28, 2021, at Divine House in Atwater. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, 2021, at St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery in Regal. Maria Ann Duscher was born on June 14, 1961, in Paynesville, the only daughter and youngest of nine children to Edward and Florence (Whealy) Duscher. She grew up in Hawick and attended and graduated from Willmar High School. She lived with her parents in Hawick until moving to Presbyterian Family Foundation, later Divine House in Atwater, where she worked at the D.A.C. Maria loved bowling, dancing, music, eating out with family and playing with Barbies. She is survived by her brothers, Pete (Judith) Duscher, and Pat (Linda) Duscher; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Duscher, Jane Duscher, Sue Duscher, and Jerri Duscher; and numerous nieces and nephews. Maria was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, John, Ed, Phil, Norbert, Robert, and Tim; niece, Denise Duscher; and nephew, Kevin Duscher. Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville.


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