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

January 2023

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Obituary Archives

Jerry and Suzanne Pierce, 95
Jerry and Suzanne Pierce passed away quietly nine days apart, never learning of the other's departure. Both entered this world in Mankato, Minn., by the same pediatrician, Dr. R.N. Andrews; however, they did not meet until their college years and now left this earthly life together. Jerry and Suzanne were loving partners, parents, grand-, and great-grandparents. They were married just short of 70 years and resided in their Arizona home until just a few days before passing. Together, they reached the age of 95. Suzanne completed her bachelor's degree studying at both William Woods College, Mo., and the University of Minnesota. Jerry completed undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa and Minnesota and then served two years as a sergeant in the United States Army. Long-term military service was not for him, and after marrying Sue, in 1953, they moved for a short period to Houston, Texas, and then resettled in San Francisco for a little over ten years. Jerry received a master's degree from San Francisco State University. In the mid 1960s, to raise their young family, they purchased their first home in San Ramon, Calif. In their careers, Suzanne worked for a local Minnesota radio station, worked for the Campfire Girls, and later committed to being a full-time homemaker. Jerry worked for McCann Erickson Agency and then started an agency with a partner, Richard Strain, naming the agency Pierce & Strain Advertising, San Francisco. A few years into the partnership, Jerry became the sole owner. The primary accounts were in agriculture, and Jerry was a member of the National Agri Marketing Association (NAMA). Pierce & Strain Advertising made the San Francisco Chronicle's Herb Caen column a few times for the obvious amusement of its name. While living in San Ramon, Sue volunteered a couple of days a month for the local Walnut Creek Tearoom. She and Jerry both played bridge, and they dined out with friends on Friday or Saturday nights. Jerry sold the business at his retirement. He and Sue then moved to Arizona for 20-plus years of sunshine, golf, swimming, dancing, and annual summer car trips to the cottage home, Mon Repos, on Lake Koronis, Minn.; both were true midwesterners. Throughout their marriage, Sue enjoyed home decorating, collecting and organizing family heirlooms, and attending to all the family album pictures. Jerry drew comics as a teenager and adult, made many family 16mm films, was the family still photographer, and always found time for a round of golf. Sue kept everything perfectly organized and thoughtfully displayed throughout the home; then a few years ago added the challenge of her email account. Jerry could always tell a good story with ample humor; each knew the others' quirks but found harmony in the balance of a long life together. Both were avid readers. Both were devoted to each other, rarely apart in retirement, and lived fully and independently until their closing days. In addition to their parents, Jerry was predeceased by his sister, Patricia. Both are survived by their children Diane Pierce and partner, Scott Pierce and spouse, and Becky Pierce; grandchildren, Briana (Pierce) Rawlinson and Megan Pierce; and their great-grandchildren, Lily Rawlinson and Ryder Rawlinson. Suzanne is survived by her brother, Skip Sampson, and his wife, Joan. A private family memorial will be determined for a later date. Memorial contributions may be sent to Desert Palms Presbyterian Church, 13459 W. Stardust Blvd., Sun City West, AZ 85375.

Linda Abraham, 73, New Ulm

Linda L. Abraham, 73, of New Ulm, died on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at Cherrywood Advanced Living in Richmond, Minn. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Ulm. Burial will follow in the New Ulm City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home – North Chapel in New Ulm. The visitation will continue one hour prior to the service Friday at the church. To leave an online condolence for her family, or to sign the guestbook, go to: Linda is survived by her sons, Derrick (Melissa) Abraham of Paynesville, Scott (Molly) Abraham of Ottertail, and Jason (Valerie) Penaz of Monticello; grandchildren, Devon, Amalia, Christian, Brianna, Britney, Brooke, and Brynn; great-grandchild, Everhett; special friend, Thomas Whittet; sisters, Joyce (Wayne) Henfling, Nancy (Jim) Segal, Lynn (Vance) Kessler, and Joanne (Jerome) Leimer; brothers, Ron Lahr, Gene Lahr, Wayne Lahr, and Harry (Shannon) Lahr; sister-in-law, Jill Lahr; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn, who passed in 2009; her father and mother, Frank and Mabel Lahr; brothers, Tom Lahr, Gary Lahr, Frankie Lahr, and Dale Lahr. Linda Lyla Lahr was born on March 21, 1949, in St. Cloud to Frank and Mabel (Lounsbury) Lahr. She graduated from Eden Valley High School in Eden Valley. Linda was united in marriage to Glenn Harry Abraham on Nov. 6, 1971, at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley. That same year, Linda and Glenn moved to New Ulm. She worked as a teacher's aide at Head Start in New Ulm for nine years and then at the New Ulm Medical Center for 22 years in their medical records department. Linda enjoyed music, dancing, cooking, and spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren. In her free time, she enjoyed crocheting, traveling, relaxing in the sun, and going for long weekends with her sisters.

Alfred Holstad, 93, Paynesville

Alfred Holstad, 93, of Paynesville, died on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at Paynesville Care Center in Paynesville. His Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, Jan. 9, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville with interment in the church cemetery with Military Honors by American Legion Post #271. Alfred was born Oct. 11, 1929, in Sacred Heart, Minn., the son of Norwegian immigrants Olaf and Alma (Olson) Holstad, who immigrated in the early 1920s. Following his schooling, Alfred worked on the family farm prior to working for the railroad. He later was drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War. He was required to serve stateside as he lost a brother during World War II. After his discharge, he returned to the area and worked for the Minnesota DNR Fisheries in New London before working for Cold Spring Granite. On Nov. 24, 1955, he was united in marriage to Suzanne Winter at St. Louis Catholic Church. Following their marriage, Alfred worked the majority of his career in road construction starting out in the Cosmos/Grove City area and later with Lunda Construction Company, where he retired from in 1991. While working and after retirement, Alfred always enjoyed his animals and his hobby farms, raising cattle, pigs, and chickens, as well as other animals. Following his stroke, he took up woodworking and made many craft items including birdhouses, which he sold in the area and around the world. When he wasn't "doing something," he could be found shaking dice, having coffee with friends, and playing solitaire with his wife, Suzanne. When he was younger, he also enjoyed deer hunting. Surviving are his daughters, Sheila (Paul) Shepherd of Paynesville, Lisa (Jim) Winkels of Albany, and Kim (Terry) Johnson of Paynesville; 10 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and one on the way; brothers, Carl Holstad of New London and John (Marge) Holstad of Prior Lake; and sister-in-law, Lilah Klaphake of Pierz. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Suzanne; son, O'Dean; brothers, Helge, O'Dean, Henry, Ilerd, and one in infancy; and sister, Agnes Swanberg. Funeral arrangements were with Harvey Anderson Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville:

Mary Jan Eickhoff, 91, Belgrade

Mary Jane Eickhoff, 91, of Belgrade, died on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at St. Cloud Hospital. Her Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, Jan. 7, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Belgrade with interment in the church cemetery later this spring. Mary Jane was born Sept. 24, 1931, in Crow River Township, rural Belgrade, Minn., the only daughter of Tony and Florentine (Rose) Stern. She grew up on a dairy and crop farm and attended country school in District #75 (Knutson School) and graduated from Belgrade High School in 1949. Following graduation, she worked at the Belgrade High School, Superior Feeds, and for most of her life at North American State Bank. On June 22, 1957, she was united in marriage to Ervin Eickhoff at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. Following their marriage, they continued to work and live in the Belgrade area. She was a lifelong member having been baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Francis de Sales. Mary Jane was also a life member of the VFW Auxiliary. She was a kind, generous, and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who demonstrated her strong and devote faith to her family. She enjoyed a good card game, especially Skit, of which she played to win. Surviving are her children, Steven (Marilyn) Eickhoff of Moorhead, Barbara (David) Hess of Paynesville, Mark (Laurie) Eickhoff of Watertown, and Amy (Tom) Porwoll of Rockville; seven grandchildren: Christy Eickhoff, Amanda (Jerad) Eback, Jen (Antonio Vega) Hess, Kim (Paul) Meirick, Adam Porwoll, Erin (Bill) Utter, and Eli Porwoll; great-grandchildren: Vincent, Fiona, and Luca Vega, Sophie and Ella Meirick, and one on the way. Also surviving is her sister-in-law, Sandy Eickhoff; brother-in-law, Larry Allmaras; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Ervin. Funeral arrangements were with Harvey Anderson/ Johnson Funeral Home in Belgrade: Memorials are preferred to St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in lieu of flowers.

Ludvina O'Brian, 86, St. Cloud

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, at the Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in St. Cloud for Nina O'Brian, 86, of St. Cloud, who died Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, at St. Benedict's Senior Community in St. Cloud. Burial will be at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Waite Park. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the funeral home in St. Cloud. Nina was born Feb. 6, 1936, in Holdingford to John and Dorothy (Ziemba) Gallus. She was a proud farmer's daughter and enjoyed farm life, except for the chickens! She had a special place in her heart for all creature's big and small and loved feeding the birds, squirrels, ducks, and even giraffes. Nina was a devout Catholic and shared her love for the Lord with all, blessing anyone in her path. She was a breast cancer survivor, a talented musician, involved volunteer in her community, and an avid reader. Education was very important to her as well. She enjoyed puzzles, playing cribbage, cards, bingo, praying the rosary, and watching the Twins. Her greatest accomplishment was being a dedicated and loving mother. She is survived by her children, Greg (Joan) O'Brian of St. Cloud; Lisa (O'Brian) Jones of St. Cloud; Chris O'Brian of Fargo, N.D.; Cathy (O'Brian) Meyer of Belgrade, Mont; Patty (Steve) Kerfeld of St. Cloud; and Jenni O'Brian of Bozeman, Mont; brothers and sisters, John Gallus of St. Cloud; Gene Gallus of St. Cloud; Jim Gallus of St. Joseph; Tim Gallus of St. Joseph; Delphine Fenlason of Anchorage, Alaska; Carol Krystosek of Fort Meyers, Fla; Ellie Wrobel of Zimmerman, Minn.; Pat Steven of Fulsklar, Texas; 7 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Mary Marsolek, Angie Buettner, Theresa Stevens, Diane Sellers and infant sister, Agnes Gallus. Special thank you to the staff at St. Croix Hospice and St. Benedict's Senior Community.

Dewey Buerman, 73, Paynesville

Duane "Dewey" Martin Buermann, 73, of Paynesville, died on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at his home. His Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Visitation was from 4 at 8 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 9, at the church. Duane Martin Buermann was born July 18, 1949, to Edmund and Viola (Doll) Buermann in St. Cloud. He was baptized and later confirmed at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roscoe. Duane grew up on the family farm, where at a young age he learned the chores on the dairy farm and by nine years old he was driving tractor! Duane attended school in Paynesville and graduated from Paynesville High School in 1967. He enlisted in the National Guard and served honorably for six years. On Nov. 18, 1972, Duane was united in marriage to Susan Gottwald at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Willmar. To this union three children were born: Annie, Beth, and Nick. They made their home in Paynesville and continued to live for 44 years. During this time, Dewey worked as a mechanic for Paynesville Implement from 1979-1998 and then worked for A&C Farm Service from 1999-2015. Duane loved being busy. Most years he would help his daughter and son-in-law on their farm planting, harvesting, and many other tasks. He also enjoyed spending time on his lawn and traveling with Sue. Some of the more memorable places they traveled to were California, Washington, D.C., and a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea. Dewey had a great sense of humor, was always willing to give the shirt off his back to someone in need, and sometimes he was even a little stubborn! He was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, and friend. Duane is survived by his wife, Susan; children: Annie (Keith) Mackedanz of Fridley; Beth (Kevin) Young of Avon; and Nick (Amy) Buermann of Zimmerman; six grandchildren; and siblings: Dennis (Sharon) of Detroit Lakes, Vern (Luann) of Paynesville, Gary (Janice) of Sauk Rapids, Judy (Stephen) Gottwald of Paynesville, Dale (Yukiho) of San Diego, Calif., LeRoy (Lynda) of Federal Way, Wash., Cedric (Lois) of Henning, and Kevin (Julie) of Lakeville. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Gordon. Burial will be at a later date at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Arban. Arrangements were with Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville:

James Beckstrand, 75, Paynesville

James W. Beckstrand, 75, of Paynesville, lost his battle with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at his home in Paynesville surrounded by his family. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 14, 2023 at the Catholic Church of St. Boniface in Cold Spring. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday, January 13, 2023 at the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville and for one hour prior to the service at church. Interment with military honors will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. James Wendell Beckstrand was born on May 29, 1947, in Litchfield, the son of Wendell and Genevieve (Manning) Beckstrand. He grew on the family farm near Litchfield and attend a one room schoolhouse until sixth grade. Upon graduation he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and he served his country during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan working on motor vehicles. After he returned from Vietnam, he was united in marriage to Sondra Kay Fletcher. This union was blessed with a daughter, Heather; son, John James and Sondra's sons, Wade and Kelly. Sondra died Jan. 25, 1988. Jim worked as a farmer and drove semi-truck until entering Willmar Community College where he earned his degree in Chemical Dependency. On July 31, 1992, Jim was united in marriage to Denise Bogar. They were blessed with raising daughters, Cahlean and Allyson. They made their home in Paynesville where he worked for Presbyterian Family Foundation, Steffl Well and Ted's RV. In retirement he did odd jobs for friends and neighbors. Jim enjoyed being part of community plays, fix things, maintenance on his cars, traveling, making and donating cat trees to the Tri County Humane Society and feeding and watching the birds. He was known for his compassionate and giving spirit, always wanting to help someone and take nothing in return. Jim is survived by his wife of 30 years, Denise; children, Cahlean Klenke (Kris Johnson), Allyson (Ashley) Pattain, Heather (Russ) Thyen, John James Beckstrand; numerous grandchildren; siblings, Phil (Bev) Beckstrand, Sara (Ben) Remondi, Naomi (Bob) Zyonse, Sue (Mortie) Berg, Jennifer (Gerald) Schwartz, Patty (Neil) Herzberg, Richard (Loriee) Barnes, Gary Barnes and Bobby Barnes, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Lois; first wife, Sondra; and brother; John.

Julie Moorhead, 83, Minneapolis

Julie Ann Moorhead, 83, of Minneapolis, Minn, formerly of Paynesville, Minn. and Ortonville, Minn., peacefully died on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at Chapel View Care Center, Hopkins, Minn., in the presence of her three surviving children. Julie was born on January 9, 1939 in Breckenridge, Minn., the daughter of Joseph and Avis Brown Palmer Staber. She spent her childhood living on a farm near Wyndmere, ND and graduated from North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND. Julie spent most of her career as the dietician at Ortonville Area Health Services in Minnesota. She loved her international and domestic travels, many trips with her camper, square dancing, and most recently, spending her winters at Bentsen Grove Resort in Palmview, Texas. She was an active participant in the Council of Catholic Women, P.E.O., the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Daughters of Isabella. Most of all, she loved her family. She will be greatly missed. She was preceeded in death by her mother Avis Staber; her father Joe Staber; her husband Donald Moorhead; her daughter Lesley Moorhead; her fiance Lee Hoffman; her husband Marvin Miller; two infant brothers; an infant sister; her brothers Joseph "Ronnie" Staber and Loris "Tony" Staber; and her sister Jacquie Staber. Julie is survived by three of her children: Ellen (Eric Larson) Hansen, Hopkins, Minn.; Kirk (Jessica Maynard) Moorhead, Salt Lake City, Utah; and John (Clare) Moorhead, Coseley, England, UK; step-daughters: Sandi (Scott) Andreasen, St. Joseph, Minn. and Sue (Brian) Lemke, Avon, Minn.; four grandchildren: Zachary (Sydnee McMullen) Hansen, Aroma Park, Ill.; Jacob (Mary) Hansen, Medford, Minn., and Imogen and Felix Moorhead, Coseley, England, UK; and two great grandchildren: Kai'den and Xaine Hansen, Medford, Minn.. She is survived by her siblings, Chris Jane Peterson, Bonita Springs, Fla.; Joyce (Ronnie) Lee; Brooklyn Center, Minn.; Lisa Staber, M.D.; Grand Rapids, Minn., Joann (Jeff) Jodarski, Berlin, Wis.; Mark (Tara) Staber, Pillager, Minn.; step grandchildren (8); step great grandchildren (10); along with many nieces, nephews, cousins; along with and foreign exchange children, Fernando Vela, Ecuador; Cedric Roh, Switzerland; Paulo Loureiro, Brazil; and Lucy Tousignant, Canada. Condolence cards and letters may be mailed to her address in Minneapolis: 3750 Harriet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409 Her funeral mass will be held Saturday, Jan. 7, 11 a.m. at St. Louis Catholic Church, 505 Burr St., Paynesville, Minn. 56362 with interment to follow at St. Louis Catholic Cemetery. The mass will be livestreamed via the churches website, In lieu of giving flowers, memorials are preferred to the church or for those who are able, instead donate to Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis or other charity of choice. Arrangements by Harvey Anderson & Johnson Funeral Homes, in Paynesville, Minn.

Margaret Scherer, 92, Freeport

Margaret L. Scherer, 92, of Freeport, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Dec. 27, surrounded by family at the beautiful Quiet Oaks Hospice House in Saint Augusta, Minn. A Mass of Christian Burial was held 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Freeport with Rev. Daniel Walz officiating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation was held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose and from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the church in Freeport. Parish prayers were at 4 p.m. immediately followed with a rosary by the Christian Women Friday evening. Margaret Lorraine Scherer was born March 12, 1930, in St. Martin to Joseph and Catherine (Heinen) Rausch. She married Cyril George Scherer on June 4, 1957, at the Saint Martin Catholic Church in Saint Martin Minnesota. They farmed together in St. Joseph until 1973, at which time they moved the family farm to Freeport where she lived until recently moving to Park View Senior Assisted Living in Melrose. Throughout her life, Margaret was a loving wife, caring mother, grandmother, and great grandmother as well as a devoted sister. Faith, family, and farm meant everything to her. Her strong work ethic and independent nature were evident as a homemaker and business partner on the farm. She enjoyed being informed about current events and discussing topics of importance to her, as well as baseball games, gardening, cooking, baking, and playing card games. Margaret graduated as valedictorian from Melrose High School in 1949. She then cared for her aging grandmother in Saint Martin before attending St. Cloud Business College and working as a bank teller, bowling, and attending Rox games. She attended the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Freeport, where she volunteered in the Christian Women's Group and served for many years providing leadership in the Freeport MCCL chapter. She was also very actively involved in 4-H while her children were young. Survivors include her children, Jim Scherer of Freeport, Diane Scherer of St. Joseph, Lorna (Rob) Hammer of Coon Rapids, Theresa (Mark) Pearson of San Diego, California, Tom (Jenni) Scherer of Paynesville, Sandy (John) Von Wahlde of St. Rosa, Linda Scherer (Andy Opatz) of Sauk Rapids, and Karen Scherer of St. Joseph; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; sisters and brother, Dorothy (Tom) Koshiol of St. Cloud, Jeanette Steichen of St. Joseph, Donald (Maggie) Rausch of St. Martin, and Catherine Meierhofer of Eden Valley. Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Catherine Scherer; husband, Cyril Scherer on February 24, 2007; infant daughter, Barbara Scherer; sisters, Mildred Meierhofer and Arlene Meyer; and brothers-in-law, John Steichen, Harold Meierhofer, and Aloys "Red" Meyer. Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Freeport.

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