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

January 2024

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Obituary Archives

Leo Leyendecker, 97, Cold Spring
Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 29, at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roscoe, Minn., for Leo Leyendecker, 97, who died Monday, Jan. 22, at his home in Cold Spring. Burial was in the parish cemetery. Visitation was held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Wenner Funeral Home in Richmond. The St. Joseph Society, Paynesville Knights of Columbus, Richmond Catholic Order of Foresters, and Catholic United Financial prayed a rosary at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continued Monday before the funeral. Leo was born in Roscoe to John and Mary (Kirchner) Leyendecker. He married Dorothy Mackedanz on June 1, 1954, in St. Agnes Church, Roscoe. Leo and Dorothy had a dairy farm southeast of Roscoe where they raised their nine children. Leo loved fishing, hunting, yodeling, bird watching, trips to the casino, and his chocolate labs. He had a good sense of humor and truly enjoyed being with his family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; children, Linda Granville, Shirl (John) Stone, Bob (Lisa), Deb (Mike) Tessmer, Laura (Dan) Venske, Janice (Jim) Klassen, Bruce (Robin), Lisa (Steve) Dropps, and Sandy (Roger) Leyendecker; brother, Raymond; 28 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and three on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents; 10 brothers and sisters; grandson, Christopher Berg; and granddaughter, Kimberly Leyendecker. Arrangements were with the Wenner Funeral Home, Richmond, Minn.

Cassie Mithaugen, 41, Belgrade

Cassie E. Mithaugen, 41, of Belgrade died on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident near Belgrade. A public visitation was held from 2 to 5 pm. on Sunday, Jan. 28, at the Johnson Funeral Home in Belgrade. Funeral services will be private. Burial will be in South Lake Johanna Cemetery near Brooten. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Learn more at Cassie Evelyn Mithaugen was born on Aug. 2, 1982, in Paynesville, the daughter of Donald and Mary Kay (Pauly) Mithaugen. She grew up in rural Belgrade and attended Belgrade High School, graduating in 2001. She lived in St. Cloud for four years following high school, later moving to Paynesville. In 2011, she moved back to Belgrade and worked for over 10 years at Stang Precision in Paynesville. Cassie enjoyed gardening, animals, playing cards with family, reading, spending time with her cats, and watching cartoons. She loved spending time with her family and was always up for the next adventure. Cassie is survived by her daughter, Kora Martinez; son, Karsten Lundstrom; fiance, Ramiro Martinez; step-daughter, Elvira Martinez; mother, Kay (Ron) Halvorson; father, Donald (Mary) Mithaugen; sister, Jamie (Matt) Moe and their children, Mason, Paige, and William; and numerous step-siblings. Cassie was preceded in death by her grandparents and brother, Jesse Mithaugen, in 2004.

Sheila Faulkner, 57, Osakis

Sheila Marie Faulkner was born on Aug. 27, 1966, in Paynesville, Minn. Residing in Osakis, Minn., at the time of her death, she was the daughter of John L. and Diane (Schramel) Beckius of Paynesville. Sheila was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in her faith at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Regal, Minn. Sheila passed away on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at Stanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D., from respiratory issues due to her battle with cancer. Sheila took great pride in her work. For over 35 years, as a cosmetologist, she owned and operated several salons throughout Minnesota and Arizona. Her current and long-time business being at Grand Arbor Retirement Community in Alexandria, Minn. She connected really well with her elderly clients, and they loved her bubbly personality. She loved to travel and experience new things. She loved anything sweet, especially her husband, of almost 15 years, Jeff Faulkner. Sheila is survived by her parents, John L. and Diane Beckius, of Paynesville; her wonderful and caring husband, Jeff Rene Faulkner of Osakis, Minn.; and two children, Peyton Dodd and fiancé, Alex,and Zachary Dodd and girlfriend Maddie, all from Appleton, Wis. She is also survived by seven siblings: Jake and Rita Beckius of St. Joseph, Minn.; Peter and Kathy Beckius of Mahnomen, Minn.; Daniel and Chong Beckius of Cold Spring, Minn.; John and Pam Beckius of St. Cloud, Minn.; Tamara and Ted Culley of St. Cloud; Eric and Amy Beckius of Alexandria, Minn.; and Sarah and Russ Smith of Norwood Young America, Minn.; along with many nieces and nephews. Sheila was incredibly loved and will be greatly missed. There will be a celebration of life held in the spring. The location will be announced when the date is determined.

Ralph Schramel, 80, Richmond

Ralph "Popcorn" Schramel, 80, of Richmond passed away peacefully at the family farm on Friday, Jan. 26, 2024. He was surrounded by family and friends who gathered bedside to share stories and express their love. Ralph cherished and was a proud father to his four children. He adored his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and children-in-laws. Most of all, Ralph was a devoted husband and partner to his loving wife of 56 years, Ann.  Ralph was born on Nov. 28, 1943, in Richmond, Minn., to Raymond and Lucille (Schlangen) Schramel. He attended Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary School in Richmond and graduated from St. Boniface High School in Cold Spring in 1961. After high school, Ralph enlisted in the United States Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1965. Ralph was united in marriage to Ann Spanier at St. Martin Catholic Church on June 3, 1967.    Whether it was carpentry, farming, stonework, gardening, or landscaping, Ralph's strong work ethic was a trait admired by all who knew him. Over the years Ralph worked at Cold Spring Granite, Wolf Lumber, and as a dairy farmer. When Ralph wasn't working, he could be found fishing in a boat or on the ice, hunting, woodworking, and helping his children with home building and remodeling projects. Ralph is survived by his wife Ann; daughter-in-law Bobbi; granddaughter Tyler (Brandon) Walz; great-grandchildren Brock and Dylann; granddaughter Hunter (Beau Kohorst), great-grandchildren Remington and Nova; granddaughter Brooke; son Brad; son Mark (Maria); grandson Chance; granddaughter Erin; daughter Stacy (Dennis Berg); in-laws Ruby (Andy) Anderson; Kathy Spanier; Lin Spanier; Peggy Spanier; and Leon (Julie) Spanier; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.  Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; son Barry; sister Lorraine (Jerry) Rausch; and brother in-laws Denis Spanier and Chris Spanier. Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 12 noon, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Richmond. A visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Wenner Funeral Home in Richmond. Inurnment will occur at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery on Saturday, June 1, at 3 p.m. Arrangements are with Wenner Funeral Home, Richmond.

Bernard Stang, 87, Paynesville

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for Bernard L. Stang, 87, of Paynesville. Bernard passed away on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024, at the St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by family. Reverend Glenn Krystosek officiated. Entombment took place in the St. Louis Parish Mausoleum in Paynesville. Visitation was held on Sunday, Jan. 21, and again after 10 a.m. on Monday, both at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Bernard was born June 30, 1936, to Henry and Margaret (Hemmesch) Stang. He grew up on the family farm in Zion Township, Stearns County. On Sept. 2, 1957, Bernard and Ramona Burg of St. Martin were united in marriage. They farmed in Zion Township where they raised three sons Marvin, Duane, and Steve. He was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church and St. Louis Knights of Columbus Council #3820. Bernard will be remembered for his love of farming, hard work, and a good cold beer with his boys. He enjoyed good times with his brothers and sisters and the Burg family. He liked to watch sports, listen to old-time music, and for a few years went to We Fest. In his early years, he liked bowling with his buddies in the Super Six League in Paynesville. His prize possession was his Ram truck, which he loved to drive. Bernard is survived by his wife of 66 years Ramona; his sons Marvin of Paynesville, Duane (Donna) of Sauk Centre, and Steve (Chris) of Richmond; his eight grandchildren: Shaun (Tarah), Tifani (Dustin), Brittany (Collin), Dalton (Monica), Brandon (Kristen), Sheri (Mike), Nicole, and Courtney (Andy); and several great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings: Richard (Joann) Stang of St. Cloud, Irene Menke of Cold Spring, Rosie Sauer of St. Cloud, Lee (Bernice) Omann of Minneapolis, Wally Stang of St. Cloud, Virgil (Lavonne) Stang of Cold Spring, Shirley (Ray) Rausch of Richmond and Sr. Clara Stang OSF of Little Falls, as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Bernard was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters Irmalinda Kaiser, Catherine Gruenes, and Darleen Bell.

Jesse Bahner, 40, Paynesville

Jesse L. Bahner, 40, of Paynesville died after a tough battle with cancer on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the St. Cloud Hospital. His memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Visitation will be Monday, Jan. 22, from 5-7 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville and one hour prior to the service at the church. Funeral arrangements were with Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Jesse Lee Bahner was born Aug. 30, 1983, in Paynesville, Minn., the son of Robert and Darlene (Rudy) Bahner. He graduated from Paynesville High School in 2002. Jesse was a truck driver and a farmer. He loved to work and help anyone else with their work. Though his passion was working and keeping busy, his daughter, Kiera, was his pride and joy. Jesse also enjoyed trips to the casino with friends. Surviving is his daughter, Kiera Meadows of Paynesville; mother, Darlene Bahner of Paynesville; sister, Tanya Bahner of Lowry; nieces, Summer Lundberg and Shelby Cole of Lowry; as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Jesse was preceded in death by his father, Robert Bahner; his grandparents; and some aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Eugene Martinson, 81, Paynesville

Eugene L. Martinson, 81, of Paynesville, died Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at the Paynesville Care Center in Paynesville. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at Nordland Lutheran Church near Paynesville. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at the Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville and for one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls at a later date. Services will be live streamed from the church website. Eugene Lester Martinson was born on Dec. 6, 1942, on the family farm near Paynesville, the son of Lester and Mona (Bliven) Martinson. He attended country grade school in Dist. #19, attended Paynesville School in 7th grade, then graduated from John Marshall High School in Rochester in 1960. He continued his education at the Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, receiving a draftsman degree in 1962. He worked for Prestressed Concrete in Anoka before being drafted into the US Army, serving in Fort Hood, Texas from 1964 to 1966, where he met many lifelong friends. On May 13, 1967, Eugene was united in marriage to Kathee Louise Brown. This union was blessed with two daughters and a son. They made their home in Mounds View before moving to Paynesville in 1975. He worked as a Master Electrician and later opened Current Electric with his brother-in-law. Later in his career he served as maintenance director at the Paynesville Area Hospital until his retirement in 2004. Eugene was a life-long member of Nordland Lutheran Church. He enjoyed softball, camping, motorcycling, and bowling, with a high game of 299. He especially loved and enjoyed his family. He was an avid hunter with both bow and gun. He was proud to share this interest with his son, grandsons and granddaughters. He spent his retirement agate hunting and serving the Paynesville American Legion in many ways, but especially enjoyed serving on the Honor Guard. Eugene is survived by his wife of 57 years, Kathee; children, Edith Buermann of Paynesville, Laura (Jaime) Schmidt of Big Lake and Darrin Martinson (Cody Hoff) of Sauk Rapids; 10 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren (and one on the way); 3 brothers; 5 sisters and numerous special nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant twin sisters; and son-in-law, John Buermann.

Stacy Mathiowetz, 37, Sleepy Eye

Stacy Suzann Mathiowetz took her final leap to be in the arms of Jesus just two hours into Christmas Day on Monday, Dec. 25, 2023, at the age of 37. She was at her parents' home holding hands with her mom and dad. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sturm Funeral Home, Sleepy Eye Chapel with the Rosary at 3:30 p.m. and Parish Prayers at 3:45 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Church of the Japanese Martyrs in Leavenworth. Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, at 11 a.m. at Church of the Japanese Martyrs. The clergy will be Fr. Mark Steffl. Interment will be at the Japanese Martyrs Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. Online condolences may be left for the family at In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Tim Orth Memorial Foundation. Stacy Suzann Mathiowetz was born Dec. 10, 1986, in the Sleepy Eye Hospital. She was the third child of Brian and Ronda Mathiowetz of Leavenworth, Minnesota. At an early age in life, it was discovered that Stacy was indeed special and different. Discovery found that she had a deletion of her number 3 chromosome and that was a rare and mostly uncharted condition. Being a developmentally disabled child did not hold Stacy back in life. She began to attend the MSAB ...The Academy for the Blind Faribault, Minnesota from the age of 5 until the age of 21. Essentially becoming a college student early, coming home for weekends and summers with her family. Graduating from MSAB in 2007, she began living at the first group home in Sleepy Eye. She lived in HOPE HOME with great housemates and caregivers for 16 years while spending her days at programming at Enterprise North in New Ulm and most weekends with her family. Stacy was a social butterfly and got to many events and trips and outings. Though she was mute her entire life, she touched hearts with her loving presence and crooked little smile. Her favorite activities were Can-Am riding, boating, swimming, and being with her family. She was a loving member of the Church of the Japanese Martyrs Catholic Church community. She is survived by her parents, Brian and Ronda Mathiowetz of Leavenworth, Minn.; siblings, Brett Mathiowetz of New Ulm, Minn., Rachel (Brent) Kucera of Leavenworth, Minn., and Chad (Cortnie) Mathiowetz of Leavenworth, Minn.; grandparent, Mary Lou Mathiowetz of Leavenworth, Minn.; MANY aunts and uncles; former sister-in-law, Lori Mathiowetz; and 11 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Harold and Hazel Moll and Richard Mathiowetz; uncle, Leon Mathiowetz; and aunts, Janet Moll and Lila Hollmer. Stacy's full story is on Caringbridge/Stacy Mathiowetz. Saint Stacy pray for everyone in this time.

Connie Backes, 71, Richmond

A Celebration of Life will be at Noon on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, at River of Life Assembly of God Church in Cold Spring, Minn., for Connie K. Backes, 71, who died Monday at her home surrounded by her family. Visitation will be from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Friday at River of Life in Cold Spring, Minn. Connie was born in Fargo, N.D. to Ingvald and Eunice (Knudson) Iverson. She was married to her loving husband, Roger, for 39 years and was a devoted mother to three children and a wonderful grandmother to four grandchildren. Connie was a teacher at Paynesville Elementary for 35 years. She enjoyed spending time at the cabin, sewing, book club, gardening, Bible study, and visiting with friends. Connie is survived by her children, Jay (Ann), Katherine (Rob) Nichols, Jennifer (Dylan) Eldridge; siblings, Elvie Iverson, Sondra Iverson, Ron Iverson; four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Roger (2018) and her parents. Arrangements are with the Wenner Funeral Home, Richmond, Minn.

Janet Ampe, 57, Paynesville

On Friday, Dec. 29, Janet Catherine Ampe, 57, of Paynesville, Minn., passed away after a battle with Parkinson's Disease. She passed peacefully in her sleep. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Jan. 12, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Maple Grove, Minn. Visitation will begin after 10 a.m. Friday at the church. Donations in memorial can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. On-line condolences can be submitted at if you cannot attend. Janet was born in Golden Valley, Minn., on Jan. 20, 1966 , to Paul Rebelein and Catherine Carr. She graduated from Mounds View Senior High and then the University of Minnesota. Janet married Peter Lawrence Ampe in 1988, they would eventually raise three sons together. After living in Colorado for three years, she moved back to Minnesota to raise her family and to pursue her ambitious goal of becoming a lawyer. She earned a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, and she enjoyed a successful career as an attorney before Parkinson's Disease forced her to retire. Janet simply loved life. She lived each day with passion. She was a loving wife, a fierce mother, a devoted daughter, a tender sister, and a dear friend. She was a light everywhere she went, endlessly giving her love and kindness to the world. She was a gift, with the most beautiful soul. Her strength, along with her selflessness, were perhaps her most admirable traits. It didn't matter what type of adversity she faced, she still would always put the ones she loved first, and there was nothing that could stand in her way. With family and friends, Janet enjoyed playing cards, skiing, boating, and going out on the town for food and drink, especially the Cadillac margaritas from El Rodeo. She also had a passion for her work, and enjoyed volunteering her time to a number of different organizations. Some of her favorite memories include cheering on high school football games and traveling with family, and she loved to spoil her granddaughter. Janet was most proud of her three sons, especially when they all stayed with her and took care of her in the month following her husband's passing. In her later years, she enjoyed having weekly dinners with her family, shopping, and getting out of the house as often as possible. She kept the busiest social calendar of anyone we knew. With her children, Janet taught empathy, compassion, and kindness. She would always ask us "how do you think that made the other person feel?" She welcomed everyone into our home and our family, and was always eager to spread love and kindness at every opportunity. Janet always emphasized that life isn't about what happens to you, it's how you deal with and react to it that defines you. Preceded in death by her husband, Peter, and father, Paul, Janet leaves behind a legacy of love. Janet is missed by her three adoring sons, Peter, Preston, and Will; her proud mother, Catherine; her step-mother, Dana; her two brothers, Robert and Drew; her daughter-in-law, Hannah; and her granddaughter, Daphne. Janet had countless friends and caregivers who are grieving her passing as well. As the family say their goodbyes, let everyone remember Janet for the joy she brought into each life. Her spirit will forever be etched in everyones hearts, a testament to a life well-lived and love well-shared.

Elda Krupke, 86, Paynesville

Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville for Elda Mae Krupke, 86, of Paynesville. Elda Mae died on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023, at the CentraCare Care Center in Paynesville. Burial will take place in the Grove Cemetery, Roseville Township, near Paynesville. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Elda Mae was born on May 22, 1937, her father's birthday, in Forest City Township, Meeker County, to Otto and Rose (Schultz) Rosenow. She attended country school in Forest City and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1955. She was united in marriage to Merlin W. Krupke on Dec. 3, 1955, at St. Matthew's Evangelical and Reformed Church in Forest City. She will be remembered as a hard-working farm wife and a sweet and loving mom, grandma, and great-grandma and a breast cancer survivor. Elda Mae enjoyed bowling, playing cards, motorcycle trips with Merlin, and other family trips. She also made trips to the casino and an occasional Elvis impersonator with her daughters. She enjoyed watching the sports of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and was named Fan of the Year in 2003 by the Bulldog Booster Club. Elda Mae is survived by her daughters Lori (Kenny) Rohe of Hawick, Kristi (Ken) Wendlandt of Paynesville, Kari (Ozzy) Osendorf of St. Martin, Cindi (Randy) Schoenberg of Spring Hill, and Tami (Aaron) Swanson of New London; daughter-in-law Jeanne Olmscheid; 23 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren (with two on the way); sister Ardie; and brother Fritz. Preceding Elda Mae in death were her parents; husband Merlin; son Randall; brothers Harold and Hank; sisters Leona, Pearl, Gloriette, and Rosie; and two infant grandchildren. A special thank you to the staff of Koronis Manor and Moments Hospice (especially Jordan) for the wonderful care given to Elda. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Jim Goerger, 79, Watkins

James Carl Goerger died peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023 at the St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by his family. Jim was born Aug. 6, 1944, in Richmond, Minn., to Lawrence and Loretta Goerger. Jim graduated from St.Boniface High School in Cold Spring. He enlisted in the Army in 1967 as a cook and was discharged in 1971. He worked a variety of construction jobs and then finished out his working career at Cold Spring Granite. Jim married Renee (Bauman) on June 24, 2000, and they created their blended family. They lived in Richmond until moving to Garden View Assisted Living in Watkins, Minn., in April 2022. Jim is survived by his wife Renee of Watkins; son Mark of Foley; daughter Lisa (Tim) Schutz of Cold Spring; stepchildren, Bryan (Melody) Bauman of Raleigh, N.C.; Julie (Chuck) Swenson of Albany; Ben (Angel) Bauman of Fort Morgan, Colo.; 11 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and sibilings Gerald (Doris) Goerger, Fran (Dennis) Nilsson, and Cathy Goerger. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; daughter Amy; sister Rose Tibbits; and brother-in-law Dale Tibbits. Jim was a very kind, generous, and easy-going man who loved life and his family unconditionally. Jim was always the jokester and had a great sense of humor. Jim loved the outdoors and his cabin up north was always a special place for him. Jim had a big voice and presence in a room and an even bigger heart and will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Private services with family will be held at a later date. The family would like to thank the staff at Garden View Assisted Living and St.Cloud Hospital for the kind and compassionate care they provided to Jim.

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