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

April 2021

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Obituary Archives

Gladys Powers, 88, Hawick
Gladys C. Powers, 88, of Hawick died Monday, April 19, 2021, at Bethesda in Willmar. Memorial services were held on Friday, April 23, , at Nordland Lutheran Church near Hawick. Burial was in the church cemetery. Gladys Corrine Idella Powers was born on May 11, 1932, on the family farm in Lake Andrew Township, the daughter of Cornell and Geoline (Rood) Hatlestad. She grew up on the family farm and attended country grade school in District #69. She graduated from New London High School in the Class of 1950 and continued her education at Concordia College in Moorhead. On June 29, 1953, Gladys was united in marriage to Howard Powers at First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake. They made their home near Hawick, where she worked as a secretary for New London-Spicer Schools and farmed with Howard. Gladys and Howard were able to share in 63 years of marriage before his death on Feb. 17, 2017. Gladys was a member of Nordland Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School and confirmation class, was active in NLCW, and began the tradition of taping the services. She enjoyed golf, bowling, music, quilting, and cleaning the road ditches near the farm, which inspired other family to adopt the highway. She loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is survived by her children: Donald (Nancy) of Hawick, Larry (Melanie) of Hawick, Diane (Jim) Thompson of Pennock, and Naomi Baker of Kerkhoven; 16 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren; brothers, Ellsworth Hatlestad of New London and Edward Hatlestad of Willmar; and nieces and nephews. Gladys was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Howard; great-grand-daughter, Tenley Thompson; son-in-law, Tim Baker; and brothers, Hanley and Sherlyn Hatlestad. Arrangements were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home:

Merrilee North, 73, Minneapolis

Merrilee Judith (Atwood) North passed into her heavenly home on Thursday, April 20, 2021, at age 73. Funeral services will be held at the Brooklyn Park United Methodist Chuch on Tuesday, May 4, at 11 a.m. Burial to follow at Fort Snelling, Minn. She was born on March 25, 1948, in Rice Lake, Wis. She was the daughter of John Louis and Julia Lucille Atwood. Merrilee grew up in Paynesville, Minn., where she graduated from high school. She attended Westmar College in LeMars, Iowa, and received a vocal music education degree. Merrilee taught vocal music in Minnesota. In her college years, Merrilee met and married Les North, who later became a Methodist minister. Later in life, she married Brian Will, who preceded her in death in April 2020. Merrilee was a member of the Paynesville United Methodist Church and the Brooklyn Park United Methodist Church and was a choir member in both churches. She also was a piano accompanist and choir member in a Morman church. She will be remembered as a loving and giving woman of faith. She is survived by her sister Merrilyn Downs of Rockford, Minn.; and brothers John R. Atwood of Minneapolis, Minn., and Barry L. Atwood of Delano, Minn.

Elston 'Ron' Rowell, Paynesville

Elston "Ron" Rowell, 96, of Paynesville, died on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at his home in Paynesville. A private memorial service for family and close friends was held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, at Nordland Lutheran Church in rural Paynesville. The service was livestreamed on the church's YouTube page, CdRnlegrcYxt9 L1touWXXMg. Burial will be in the Nordland Church cemetery. Elston Drury Rowell was born on Feb. 20, 1925, in Lynn, Mass., the son of Bernard and Ethel (Drury) Rowell. At the age of 12 his family moved to Connecticut, where he received his nickname, Ron. When Ron was 17, and still in high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He served his country during World War II, serving in the Aleutian Islands for 22 months before being stationed in San Francisco, Calif. It was there that he met his first wife, Irene Stewart. Ron and Irene were married and moved to Boise, Idaho, where Ron worked in sales. They were blessed with two sons, Ronald and Steve. In 1970, they moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., where Ron became a real estate agent. After his retirement in 1987, they moved to Mesa, Ariz., where he enjoyed golfing and ballroom dancing. After the passing of Irene, he met Evangeline (Lind) Wuertz. They enjoyed a whirlwind courtship and were married. They moved to Vangie's condo on Green Lake, in Spicer, Minn., where they enjoyed summer activities on the lake. The Minnesota winters got long at the condo, so the couple decided to buy a motorhome and travel the winter months. They traveled to every state in the U.S. and enjoyed all the beauty of God's creation. After seven and a half years, they moved to a senior living community in Paynesville, Minn. Ron enjoyed his grandchildren, many friends, playing golf, cards, church functions, American Legion meetings, and dancing on Sunday afternoons. He is survived by his wife, Vangie of Paynesville; son, Steve of Eagle, Idaho; step-children, Kary (Cathy) Wuertz of Eden Valley, Kim (Mike) McArdle of Bloomington, and Diane (Ron) Rusca of Walnut Creek, Calif.; grandchildren: Jennifer Howell, Robert Schaeffer, Doug Rowell, Ashley Rumble, Ryan McArdle, Tommy Wuertz, Jack Rusca, and Joey Rusca; many great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Ron was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Irene; son, Ronald; granddaughter, Stephanie; and sisters, Alma and Emily. Services were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville.

Emma Lehnen, 76, Paynesville

Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Emma Lorraine Lehnen, 76, of Paynesville, who passed away on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville, will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 16, at St. Louis Catholic Church. Father Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Burial will be in the St. Louis Parish Cemetery in Paynesville. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday, April 16, at the church. Emma was born in Pequot Lakes, Minn., on Dec. 7, 1944, to Henry and Mable (Kulman) Goble. She attended Pequot Lakes school until the eighth grade. The family moved to Clearwater in her teenage years. Emma was united in marriage to Eugene Lehnen in April 1967. Together they moved to the family dairy farm in Paynesville. They eventually converted their farm to raising beef cattle, allowing them more time to enter the workforce. Emma worked for Animal Fair in Eden Valley and eventually Jennie-O. The couple later divorced, but remained close friends. Emma enjoyed giving of her time and talents. She was very active in her community and enjoyed crocheting many prayer shawls and other crafts for various organizations. Emma was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed crocheting, cross stitch, playing cards, going to bingo, and growing house flowers and plants. She will be remembered for her excellent cooking, even though she never quite figured out how to downsize the portions she made once her children left home. She is survived by her children, Mark (Roxanne) Lehnen of Paynesville, Cindy (Paul Coulter) Anderson of Hawick, Debi (Chris) Kennedy of Belgrade, Bonnie (Danny) Rudy of Paynesville, Mary (Kenny) Schlangen of Paynesville, John (Rosanne) Lehnen of Albany, and Sara Lehnen of Motley; 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren with one on the way; sisters, Marion Bahner and Carol (Roger) Barton; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Emma was preceded in death by her parents; son, David; grandson, Brent Lehnen; granddaughter, Bobby Jean Anderson; brothers, Earl and Bobby; sister and brother-in-law, Fran (Bill) Wynn and brother-in-law, Richard Bahner A special thank you to the staff of Koronis Manor, the Paynesville Hospital, and CentraCare Hospice for their loving and compassionate care of Emma. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Ardys Zimmerman, 89, Paynesville

Ardys Marilyn Zimmerman, 89, of Paynesville died on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at the Centracare Hospital in Paynesville. Private graveside services will be held at Zion Cemetery near Paynesville. A celebration of her life will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 18, 2021, at Crystal Hills Assembly near Paynesville. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Ardys was born on Aug. 27, 1931, in Litchfield, the daughter of Selmer and Thelma (Thompson) Kallevig. She grew up in the Willmar area where she attended country grade school and Willmar High School, graduating in 1949. On June 1, 1951, Ardys was united in marriage to Edgar Zimmerman at the Willmar Assembly of God Church. They made their home on the Zimmerman family farm near Paynesville. Ardys enjoyed camping, gardening, canning, and working with her hands. Ardys was admired for her talents as a seamstress, working for local clothing stores and individuals from across the community. She worked at Koronis Sports for 20 years prior to her retirement. Ardys and Edgar celebrated 65 years of marriage before his death on June 24, 2016. Ardys was a member of Crystal Hills Assembly, where she sang in the choir and served as a missionette and youth leader. She and Edgar spent many hours volunteering in various capacities. They especially enjoyed working with RV Maps at locations in Florida, Louisiana, and Arizona. She received Christ as her personal Savior at an early age and lived to please Him. In retirement, she enjoyed reading, traveling, socializing with friends, and doing craft projects. One of her greatest joys was spending time with her family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Ardys is survived by children, Dennis (Cindy) Zimmerman of Paynesville, Don (Denise) Zimmerman of Houston, Texas, Demaris (Jim) Holle of Jordan, Diane (Dale) Kuglin of Baxter, and Dana (Erika) Zimmerman of Seattle, Wash.: 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Loren Kallevig, James Kallevig, and Darla (Ted) Groat. Ardys was preceded in death by her husband Edgar, her parents, and three sisters. Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville.

George Corte, 81, Paynesville

George A. Corte, 81, of Paynesville, died on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at his home in Paynesville. Memorial services with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, at Crystal Hills Assembly near Paynesville. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville: George Anthony Corte was born on Oct. 4, 1939, in Fairview Heights, Ohio, the son of George and Emma (Posante) Corte. He grew up near Cleveland, where he attended high school until leaving early to help with his father's construction business. He entered the Ohio National Guard and was deployed and served in the Vietnam War. He returned home and began his career in law enforcement. On Aug. 11, 1973, George was united in marriage to Kathleen McTigue. They made their home in Verndale where he served as chief of police. They later moved to Deerwood where he worked for Potlatch. In retirement, he returned to school, receiving his GED and receiving a degree as a chemical dependency counselor. They moved to Paynesville in 2004. George enjoyed woodworking, crafts, helping others, cooking, and teaching cooking. He was a proud member of the American Legion and took great pride in serving in the honor guard with his wife, Kathy. He is survived by his wife, Kathy; son, George (Angie) of Avon; and three granddaughters, Katherine, Darlene, and Carleigh; and sisters, Dolly Lang and Marie Grealis; along many cousins in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Darlene; and sister, Marlene Fisher.

Donald Lehman, 95, Paynesville

Donald G. Lehman, 95, of Paynesville passed away on Monday, March 22, 2021. Don was born July 23, 1925 in Mannannah, Minn., to Gustav and Emma Lehman. He was raised on the family homestead in Mannannah. Don attended country school in Mannannah and then went to Litchfield High School, where he graduated in 1943. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy at age 17 and served on the U.S.S. Kadashan Bay, an escort aircraft carrier, during World War II. As a naval radar and radioman on a torpedo plane, he was instrumental in locating a large Japanese fleet in the southwest Pacific near the Philippine Islands and alerting his crew of the enemy ships nearby, thus avoiding a surprise attack. He was awarded the Air Medal for his actions at Leyte Gulf. After his military service, Don returned home and worked at Northwestern Bank in Litchfield. It was there that he learned of a man who was seeking an insurance agent. He met with Cliff Heitke and in 1953 moved his family to Paynesville and began working for Cliff's Insurance, ultimately buying the agency when Cliff passed away. Don was an avid golfer. As a member of the men's golf league, his team won several league trophies. Later, he and his wife joined the couples league where they spent many fun times together with friends doing what they loved. Gardening was also a passion of his. Don and Helen were known for having the biggest and best raspberries and had a waiting list to buy them each summer. They also made great homemade wine from grapes, chokecherries, currants, and rhubarb grown in their garden. Don was an avid hunter and fisherman. He and Helen also liked to travel, attending all his navy reunions around the U.S., visiting many national parks, and their daughter in Colorado. They spent many years wintering in Florida. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and Paynesville American Legion #271. Don is survived by his wife of 74 years, Helen; daughter and son-in-law Kat and Gregg Torres; two granddaughters; six great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Meredith; brother Leonard; and sisters Dorothy, Berniece, Hope, and Fern.

Patricia Sorenson, 74, Paynesville

Patricia A. (Larson) Sorenson died peacefully on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at the CentraCare Hospital in Paynesville. An open house celebration of life will be held for her on Saturday, April 17, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Patricia was born Feb. 18, 1946, to Lewis and Olga Larson in Hawick, Minn. She attended New London schools. Patricia married Mike Sorenson on Dec. 26, 1963. She got a dental assistant's license in St. Cloud and worked in the field for a few years. She then graduated from St. Cloud Beauty School and opened a small beauty shop in Paynesville, Minn. In 1976, Patricia and Mike moved to Fosston, Minn., where she was co-owner of TrueValu hardware store and owner of Headquarters beauty salon. Patricia and Mike moved from Fosston to Norway Lake in Sunburg, Minn., in 1998. They also lived in New Hope, Minn., as caretakers of a condominium building for ten years. Patricia and Mike enjoyed spending the winters in Texas with her sisters, nephew, Larry, niece Jan, and friends. It was a wonderful time in her life, and she looked forward to it after every family Christmas. Patricia is survived by her son, Ty Sorenson of San Diego, Calif.; daughter, Gina Feinstein of Minneapolis; grandson Nash Feinstein of Minneapolis; daughter-in-law Laurie Ann Regondon; son-in-law,Michael Feinstein; two nieces; and 13 nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Michael Sorenson; brother, Harvey Larson, sisters, Lenore Kiether, Genore Bork, Arlis Person, and Norma Mathison; and one nephew, Danny Mathison. A memorial service will be held for Sorenson at Harvey Anderson Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville on Saturday, April 17. More details to follow.

Leslie Clark, 76, Eden Valley

Leslie H. Clark, 76, of Eden Valley, died on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Hilltop Health Care Center in Watkins. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 9, at Kimball United Methodist Church with Pastor Lori Artner officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Kimball, and from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. on Friday, April 9, at the church. Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, at Ebenezer Cemetery, rural Eden Valley. The services will be livestreamed on the funeral home website. Leslie Harold Clark was born Sept. 16, 1944, in Paynesville to Harold and Clara (Schreffler) Clark. He grew up in Eden Valley, graduating with the Class of 1962 from Eden Valley High School. Leslie was married to Sandra Swanson on May 29, 1968, in Paynesville; she preceded him in death on Oct. 18, 1976. On July 27, 1985, he was united in marriage to Judy Schacht Maurer in Buffalo. Leslie worked for 20 years as a plastics fabricator for Circuit Chemistry in Long Lake. He was a member of Kimball United Methodist Church. He enjoyed collecting rocks and Native American artifacts. He loved traveling with his family, sometimes dragging his kids to see a historic monument. Spending time with family was his greatest joy. Leslie is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Paul (Luann) Clark of Dixen, Mo., Lynn (Rodney) Gohmann of St. Joseph, Kelly Maurer of South Haven, and Becky Schmitz of Eden Valley; nine grandchildren, Alicia, Nikki, Brittany, Ryan, Skylar, Derek, Brianna, Josh, and Sofia; nine great-grandchildren, Carson, Carter, Annabella, Adelyn, Eli, Wyatt, Jemma, Rosella, and Ray; sisters, Brenda Neal of Emerson, Canada, Sandra (John) Christianson of Blaine, and Norma Jean (James) Hiltner of Eden Valley; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Clara Clark; first wife, Sandra Clark; son, Benjamin Clark; granddaughter, Kayla Hurd; and brother, Vaughn Clark. The pallbearers will be Ryan Schmitz, Derek Fenske, Josh Gohmann, Justin Miller and Ryan Posusta. Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Kimball. Obituary, tribute wall, video tribute, and funeral webcast online at

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