April 2014 Death Notices - Paynesville Press, Paynesville, Minnesota
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Death Notices
Complete obituaries can be found in the Paynesville Press each week.

April 2014


Johnson Funeral Home


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Obituary Archives

Dean Schmidt, 56, Paynesville
Dean "Speaner" A. Schmidt, 56, of Paynesville died on Friday, April 18, at his home.

A visitation was held on Wednesday, April 23, at Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Burial was held on Thursday, April 21, at East Irving Mission Cemetery in rural Paynesville.

Dean A. Schmidt was born on June 10, 1957, to Roger and Ardine (Albrecht) Edwardson in Willmar. His father died when Dean was two years old. His mother remarried David Schmidt, who adopted Dean a few years later.

Dean grew up in Paynesville, where he received his elementary school education and graduated from high school in 1975.

Dean then went on to attend Willmar Area Vocational Technical Institute, majoring in auto mechanics.

A few years later, Dean began working in the maintenance department at AMPI, and worked there his entire career.

On June 19, 1999, Dean married Dawn Fredrick in Paynesville. This union was blessed with a son, Cameron. The family made their home in Paynesville.

Dean and Dawn were later divorced but remained good friends.

He is survived by his son, Cameron of Paynesville; siblings, Bill of New London, Gary of Paynesville, and Lori Fritz of Lake City; ex-wife, Dawn of Paynesville; and many uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews.

Dean was preceded in death by his fathers, Roger Edwardson and David Schmidt, and his mother, Ardine Schmidt.


Josephine Christian, 90, Paynesville
Josephine "Jo" M. Christian, 90, of Paynesville passed away on Thursday, April 24, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, April 29, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Burial was in the St. Louis Parish Cemetery in Paynesville.

Jo was born on Sept. 1, 1923, in Excelsior, Minn., to Theodore and Margaret (Meyer) Durenberger.

She married John E. Christian on May 17, 1943, at St. Anne's Catholic Church in LeSueur.

Through the years, they farmed in the LeCenter, Henderson, and Paynesville areas. Besides raising a large family, she also worked as a caterer, at a health food store, and at an antique store.

She was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church, Christian Women and her HomemakerÕs Group.

She enjoyed quilting, gardening, going to garage sales, reading, playing games, and earlier in life, dancing. She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

Jo is survived by her children John "Jack" (Kris) Christian of Garfield, Minn., Cheryl Christian of Minnetonka, Rick Christian of Goldfield, Nev., Bonnie (Jerry) Radermacher of Willmar, Connie (Mike) Caskey of Sunburg, Minn., Mike (Monica) Christian of Paynesville, Ray (Sue) Christian of Indianola, Iowa, Joe (Kathy) Christian of Parkers Prairie, Pat (Vonda) Christian of Paynesville, Becky (Phil) Ahrens of Paynesville, Mary (Scott) Christian-Hudson of St. Louis Park, and David (Sara) Christian of Alexandria; daughter-in-law, Sheila Christian of Owatonna; 31 grandchildren; seven step grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband (1995); sons, Jim and Mark; grandsons, Mark Christian and Erick Butler; granddaughters, Erin Butler and Maggie Rose Christian; sister, Mary Durenberger; brother, Ambrose Durenberger; and one infant sister.

Memorials are preferred.


LaVonne Ludwig, 83, Melrose
LaVonne B. "Vonne" Ludwig, 83, of Melrose died peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, April 21, at the CentraCare Nursing Home in Long Prairie.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, April 24, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose. Burial was in the parish cemetery.

LaVonne B. Schlicht was born June 4, 1930, to Norbert and Hedwig (Hoffman) Schlicht in Morris, Minn.

Vonne graduated from Melrose High School and was later employed there as an office assistant.

She married Marlin Evens at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose. Marlin passed away in 1970.

She married Mike Ludwig on August 21, 1980, at St. MaryÕs Catholic Church in Melrose.

Vonne cleaned houses into her 70s and, at that time, was still on her hands and knees scrubbing floors. She also volunteered at Pine Villa in Melrose.

She is survived by her husband, Mike Ludwig of Melrose; children, Carla Bodeker of Melrose, Ned (Annette) Evens of Tomball, Texas, Eric (Kay) Evens of Brooklyn Center, and Jonel (Bruce) Walz of Melrose; 12 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister, Doris Ferm of Maple Grove; brother, Tom Schlicht of Woodbury; and two sisters-in-law.

Vonne was preceded in death by her first husband, Marlin Evens; parents; son, Mark Evens; a great-grandson; brother, Jerry Schlicht; a son-in-law, Dean Bodeker; and a brother-in-law.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. MichaelÕs Hospice in Sauk Centre.


Sharon Zimmermann, 72, Paynesville
Sharon Lee Zimmermann, 72, of Paynesville died on Friday, April 4, at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Sharon was born on June 25, 1941, to Lincoln and Myrtle (Morris) Kissinger in Paynesville.

In 1960, she married Arnold Zimmermann of Albany. Together, they raised one son in Paynesville, where Sharon lived her entire life.

Sharon is survived by her husband, Arnold; son, Kevin (Alison) of St. Cloud; a granddaughter; and her beloved dog, Lil' Spade.

Sharon was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Donald Kissinger.


Rita Wolford, 80, Golden Valley
Rita Margaret Wolford, 80, of Golden Valley died on Friday, April 18, at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale.

A visitation will be held at the Washburn- McReavy Funeral Chapel in Edina at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 23. The funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Fort Snelling after a luncheon.

She was born Jan. 6, 1934, in Belgrade, to Martin and Gladyce Bickford Grismer.

On Oct. 11, 1980, she married Charles Wolford in Bloomington, Minn.

Rita graduated from Paynesville High School, received her bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University, and attained her master's degree in educational psychology in 1964.

Before retiring, she served as the administrator for all school-based special education programs across the Minneapolis Public School District. Rita was instrumental in changing the educational delivery systems for students with disabilities from a segregated setting to an integrated setting with typical students whenever possible. Rita was a strong advocate for students with disabilities and their families.

Rita loved traveling, spending time up north, and taking long car rides. She was a dedicated Gophers fan.

She is survived by her stepdaughter, Debra Wolford; a grandson; three nieces and a nephew; six great-nieces and nephews; three great-great nephews; and many devoted friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; parents; brother, Lawrence Grismer; and two sisters, Wanda Harper and Velora Wright.

Memorials may be directed to a charity of your choice.


Michael Pelkey, 69, Paynesville
Michael Pelkey, 69, of Paynesville died on Thursday, April 17, at his home surrounded by his family.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 22, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. Burial was in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Mike was born on Oct. 15, 1944, to Elmo and Elsie (Shreffler) Pelkey in Paynesville.

He married Janet L. Mayer on June 25, 1965, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville.

Mike was employed as a diesel mechanic by Younkin Transport in Paynesville, by Loxtercamp Trucking in Melrose, and by Maney International in St. Cloud. He later owned and operated Regal Refrigeration, Heating, and Air Conditioning until his retirement in 2008.

After his retirement, Mike worked at the Koronis Hills Golf Course.

Mike is survived by his wife, Janet; children, Jeffrey of Paynesville, Greg (Angie) of Pine River, Dave of Watkins, and Kim (Cory) Bukowski of Grove City; seven grandchildren; two great-granddaughters; and five sisters, Patricia Carlson of Pennock, Carol Ditmarson of New London, Barbara Jones of Hawick, Becky Schmitz, of Hawick, and Roxanne Oeltjenbruns of Belgrade.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents.


Lois Frank, 89, Rochester
Lois Frank, 89, of Rochester died on Thursday, April 17, at Samaritan Bethany Home on Eighth.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, April 22, at the Mahn Family Funeral Home Š Rochester Chapel. Burial was in Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights.

Lois Helen Bernd was born on Aug. 14, 1924, in New Richmond, Wis., where she was raised and graduated high school.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in River Falls with a degree in English.

She taught English at the Rasmussen School of Business in St. Paul, where she met her husband. Lois married Floyd W. Frank on Oct. 14, 1950, in New Richmond. The couple lived in St. Paul for more than 30 years; in St. Louis, Mo., for five years; and in Woodbury, Minn.

The couple moved to Rochester in 2000. Their union lasted until FloydÕs death on Oct. 21, 2005.

Lois is survived by her son, William (Carrie) of Rochester; two grandsons; two great-grandchildren; and brother, James (JoAnn) Bernd of Waupaca, Wis.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Janet, and husband, Floyd.

Memorials are suggested to Friendship Ventures in Annandale or to Koronis Ministries (formerly the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds) in Paynesville.


Frances Brossard, 89, Paynesville
Frances M. Brossard, 89, of Paynesville died on Wednesday, April 9, at the St. Benedict's Senior Community in St. Cloud.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 14, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Burial was in the St. Louis Parish Cemetery.

Frances was born on April 1, 1925, to Math and Barbra (Hurth) Lang in Roscoe. She grew up on the family farm near Pirz Lake.

She married Delmar "Buddy" Brossard on Aug. 11, 1945, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville.

They lived on a turkey farm near Paynesville and farmed for Koronis Mills Turkeys.

After retirement, they moved into Paynesville. Their union lasted until Buddy's death in 2008.

Frances is survived by her children, Roger (Dorothy) of Paynesville, Curtis (Nancy) of Alta Loma, Calif., and Nancy (Herb) Mueller of New London; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and sister, Marie Schaefer.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Buddy; brothers, Benny and Math Lang; and sisters, Susan Kascht, Christine Ramler, Betty VanHorik, Theresa Liestman, and Ceil Theis.


Lois Runge, 81, Paynesville
Lois J. Runge, 81, of Paynesville died on Wednesday, April 9, at the Paynesville Area Hospital.

A funeral service was held on Monday, April 14, at Payne-sville Lutheran Church. Burial was in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Lois Jean Runge was born on July 12, 1932, to Ralph H. and Helen L. (Moss) Runge in St. James.

She grew up in St. James, where she attended elementary school and graduated from St. James High School.

Lois attended college at St. Olaf, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education.

Lois moved to Thief River Falls, where she worked for the high school as a music teacher.

She decided to further her education and moved to New York, where she enrolled at Columbia University. Lois completed her education with a master's degree in library science.

Lois then moved to Hibbing, Minn., where she worked as a librarian at Hibbing High School for the remainder of her career.

After her retirement, Lois moved to Rice Lake, near Paynesville. She was able to live in her retirement home until her death.

Lois is survived by her aunt, Ione (Eugene) Stine; many cousins; and her church family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Helen.


Donald Ziemer, 75, New London
Donald L. Ziemer, 75, of New London, died on Thursday, April 10, at his home surrounded by family.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 15, at Crow River Lutheran Church in rural Belgrade. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Donald Leo Ziemer was born on May 31, 1938, to Leo and Ruby (Campbell) Ziemer in Ceylon.

He grew up in Ceylon, where he attended school, graduating in 1956. He continued his education at St. Cloud State.

On May 21, 1960, Don married Louise Maurer in Paynesville. To this union, four sons and a daughter were born. They shared 53 years of marriage.

They lived in Paynesville for a year before moving to their rural New London farm.

Don worked for Midwest Breeders Association as an A.I. tech., serving many area farmers for several years.

In 1968, Don began auctioneering, and, in 1992, began Ziemer Family Auctioneering Services. He he was very proud that all his children helped with the business.

Donald is survived by his wife, Louise; children, Mark (Lori) Ziemer of New London, Brian (Shelly) Ziemer of New London, Scott Ziemer of Bloomington, Todd (Krista) Ziemer of Sauk Centre, and Susan Swanson of New London; 10 grandchildren; four great-grandsons; brother, Percy Ziemer of Belgrade; dog, Pooh; and many other relatives.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother and an infant sister; and a sister-in-law and brother-in-law.


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