Death Notices - Paynesville Press, Paynesville, Minnesota
Return to Home Page

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

July 2023

Johnson Funeral Home

June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020

Obituary Archives

David Schmitt, 61, Henderson
David R. Schmitt (Schmitty), 61, of Henderson, Minn., passed away unexpectedly on Monday, July 17, 2023. An open house Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2023, at The Ney Nature Center (28238 Nature Center Lane, Henderson). Dave was born on May 29, 1962, in Eden Valley, Minn., to parents Sylvester and Lucille Schmitt. He grew up on his mom and dad's farm and attended school in Eden Valley and graduated from there in 1980. He went on to attend the technical college in Granite Falls, Minn., and received his certification in fluid power and hydraulics technology. (According to Dave, they erected a statue in Dave's honor, but it had to be torn down to put up a Hardee's.). He spent his entire career in this industry and went on to own and operate his own hydraulics repair company. He eventually sold the company but remained on as a hydraulic engineer. He often said how much he loved his work and just enjoyed going around and talking with his customers. Dave was an expert in his field and was well known and respected across several states. Dave had quite the sense of humor and would tell stories (true or not) that would entertain people wherever he went. He had fun riding his motorcycle and enjoyed taking several motorcycle trips to various parts of the U.S. Dave also enjoyed restoring old stoves as well as his dad's Farmall tractor, puttering in his shop, fishing, listening to music in his "Man Cave," grilling the best ribs ever (debatable according to his brother Dan), and spending time with his family and friends. He truly enjoyed his life and was so much fun to have around that his absence will be hard to accept for many. He and his twin brother Dan had a very special bond and were lifelong best friends. They were the proverbial "two peas in a pod" and shared many adventures and shenanigans together. People still found it difficult to tell those two apart sometimes. Dave is survived by his wife, Jennifer; and his two children, Trevor and Kaylee, both of Mankato; as well as his sisters and brothers: Joanie (Roger) Hiljus of Cambridge, Minn., Jim (Linda) Schmitt of Litchfield, Minn., Maxine (Del) Fokken of Dalbo, Minn., Bernie (Virg) Garding of St. Cloud, Minn., Barb (David) Danielson of Rockford, Minn., Ken Schmitt of Montgomery, Minn., and Dan (Sherry) Schmitt of Farmington, Minn.; and best friend Jason Trapp. He was preceded in death by his parents Sylvester and Lucille Schmitt of Eden Valley. Memorials are preferred.

Irene Hanson, 95, Blaine

Irene M. Hanson, 95, of Blaine, formerly of Paynesville, passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at Waverly Gardens Care Center. A Memorial Service will be held at Paynesville Lutheran Church on Saturday, Aug. 5, at 11:30 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Private interment will be in the Paynesville Cemetery. Arrangements were made with Johnson Funeral Home of Paynesville. Irene Martha Heinn was born Jan. 24, 1928, in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota to August and Martha (Riedel) Heinn. She was baptized at Emmanual Lutheran Church in Parkers Prairie. Irene moved to the cities where she was confirmed on Palm Sunday at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Paul. She attended country school, McKinley School in St. Paul, Parkers Prairie High School, and Mechanic Arts in St. Paul. Irene married Donald Hanson on March 19, 1947, at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Paul. After getting married, the couple moved to Paynesville, where they raised their two daughters and lived many happy years together. Irene managed a decorating center which she and her husband Don owned. She also loved ballroom dancing, playing bridge, and traveling with friends. Irene had a love for cooking and entertaining. She was a member of Paynesville Lutheran Church and loved serving there. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and also played a major role in creating the hospital gift shop. Faith, family, and friends were Irene's priorities and how she lived her life. She was extremely social and no matter where she went, she made a point to always make friends. Irene is survived by her daughters, Jan (Gene) Ostertag of Hastings and Judy Baker of Blaine; brother, Al (Jill) Heinn of Vadnais Heights; four grandchildren, Jason (Amy) Ostertag, Erik (Holly) Ostertag, Steve (Sarah) Baker, and Jeff (Raelene) Baker; nine great-grandchildren; and best friend, Jeanette Bast. Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Hanson; parents; and 11 brothers and sisters. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Esther Magedanz, 96, Richmond

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley for Esther Magedanz, 96, of Richmond, who passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family, on Thursday, July 13, 2023. Rev. Donald Wagner will officiate and burial will be at the parish cemetery in Eden Valley. Visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley and also one hour prior to mass at the church on Wednesday morning. Christian Women prayed the rosary at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Arrangements have been entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in Eden Valley. Esther Catherine was born May 6, 1927, in Munson Township, to Ben and Frances (Koetter) Braegelmann. She married Philip Magedanz on June 4, 1947. Together they raised 10 children on their family farm near Richmond. Philip passed away on Jan. 19, 1971. After his passing, Esther and her children continued farming to provide for their family. Esther was a devoted Catholic at Assumption Parish in Eden Valley, serving wherever God called her, including teaching religion, assisting with funerals, making quilts, baking for, and serving at events. She was a member of Christian Women, Assumption Guild, and Assumption Quilting group. She dedicated many hours to praying for family, friends, a fruitful harvest, and "the ones that needed it most!". Esther enjoyed spending time with family, sharing her knowledge with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Many hours were spent with four generations quilting, embroidering, and baking together. Grandma shared her love of baking with anyone who entered her home. Everyone was welcomed with a warm smile, witty conversation, and offered a homemade meal, fresh baked bread, biscuits, or caramel rolls. Grandma's love extended beyond close friends and family, as a frequent blood donor, donating several gallons in her lifetime. When she had time to herself, she could be found praying the rosary, listening to polka music, or watching nature out her dining room window. Her pride and joy were her family and her farm. Esther is survived by her children Donna (Dwight) Christen, Judy Himango, Helen Grothe, John (Deb), Laura Skalicky, Peter (Audrey), Irene (Bruce) Anderson, Paul (Connie), Joseph (Jolene), Renee (Dale) Ludwig, 36 grandchildren, 78 great-grandchildren; sisters Rita Maus and Sylvia Johnson. Esther is preceded in death by husband, Philip, grandson Cody Hagen, granddaughter Billie-Marie Osterman, sons-in-law Ron Himango and William Grothe, sisters Hildegard Ruegemer, and Bernice Reitmeier. Memorials are preferred to the Poor Clare Monastery of Sauk Rapids or Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley.

Marian Meed, 87, Minneapolis

Marian Meed, 87 of Minneapolis, died Sunday, May 28, 2023, at her son's home near Paynesville. Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, July 29, 2023, at Faith Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church. Marian Lois Meed was born on Jan. 12, 1936, in Minneapolis, the daughter of Herbert and Bernice (Schwerdfeger) Machande. She grew up in Minneapolis attended and graduated from Patrick Henry High School. She continued her education at Wheaton College Illinois, finishing up at the U of M, receiving a degree in teaching. After receiving her degree, she worked in Albert Lea. On Feb. 20, 1960, Marian was united in marriage to Ivan Cameron Meed. They originally made their home and started their family in Southwest United States before moving to Canada in 1973. They returned to Minneapolis in 1996. They were able to share in 55 years of marriage before Cam's death on December 20, 2015. Marian was living in Paynesville to be closer to family as her health failed. Marian was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Minneapolis. She enjoyed gardening, teaching, reading, research projects for family and friends and prayer. She put her faith in Jesus Christ. Marian is survived by her children, Suzanne (Brad) Bracewell, Rapid City, S.D.; Marianne (Peter) Meed-Ward, Burlington, ON; Jonathan (Marsha) Meed, Paynesville, MN and Deanne (Jonathan) Gemmill, Park City, Mont.; 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Marian was preceded in death by her husband Cam, brother Don and her parents.

Gemella Zapf, 94, Morris

Gemella Zapf, 94, of Morris, Minn., formerly of Paynesville, passed away peacefully Dec. 7, 2022, at West Wind Village in Morris. Mass of Christian Burial was on Friday, Jan. 19, 2023, at Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Morris with Father Todd Schneider officiating. A private family burial service will be held at St. Louis Catholic Cemetery in Paynesville on Thursday, July 20, at 11 a.m., officiated by Father Glenn Krystosek. Gemella was born on May 5, 1928, in Paynesville to Charles and Hildegard (Marx) Zapf. At the age of 9, she was moved to a facility in Cambridge, Minn., due to a developmental disorder. After 29 years in Cambridge, she was transferred to Morris, spending the next 56 years living in local group homes, working at the Stevens County DAC, and finally residing at West Wind Village. Gemella touched many lives and created long and lasting friendships with her housemates and community members in Morris. She lived a long and happy life. Gemella was very loving, friendly, and content, and taught her resident friends and family love and compassion. Gemella enjoyed M&Ms, copies of her favorite photograph, and occasionally bringing red flowers to her sister, Rosemary Koshiol, at their childhood home in Paynesville. Gemella Zapf was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Elred (Marty) Zapf; and four sisters: Elaine (Richard) Becraft, Valeria (Paul) Conrey, Rita (Dale) Fredericks, and Rosemary (Milton) Koshiol.

Ernie Miller, 82, Emily

Ernie Miller, 82, of Emily passed away at his home on July 12, 2023. He was born in Granite Falls Township, Minn. on April 16, 1941, to Allen and Lorena (Kruse) Miller. Ernie wore many hats during his lifetime and whether it was overseeing an office rebuild, building Shaker reproduction furniture, managing a hydroponics greenhouse or pulling irrigation pipe for strawberries, he sank his heart and soul into each project. All of those enterprises paled in comparison to Cross the World, a ministry started in 2011 by Ernie, his wife JoAn, and 3 other friends. Small wooden crosses were made from scrap wood and given away at no cost to those wanting to know about their God and His love for them. After 13 years, 500K crosses encompassed the world with Ernie's touch on every one of them. His dedication and commitment to this ministry was tireless. Preceding Ernie in death are his parents; two brothers, and one sister. Those left to wait their turn to be reunited with Ernie include his loving wife, JoAn; son, Todd Miller; daughter, Tracy Miller and their families; stepmom, Delores Miller; sister Joyce (Jimmie) Lecy; sister-in-law, Debbie Miller, brother Terry Miller and their families that Ernie so cherished; sisters-in-law, Bonnie Schoneman, along with many, many friends. A Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 21, 2023, at the Hilltop Chapel in Palisade. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. It was Ernie's wish for no flowers but rather a donation in his name to a charity of your own choice. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.

Thomas Christle, 65, Paynesville

Thomas M. Christle, 65, of Paynesville passed away on Saturday, July 1, 2023. A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Nordland Lutheran Church. Visitation was one hour prior to the service at the church. After the service, there was coffee with a light lunch and more time for visiting. Arrangements were made with Johnson Funeral Home of Paynesville. Thomas was born on May 13, 1958, in Paynesville to Tom and Marlene (Deadrick) Christle. Thomas graduated from Paynesville High School in 1976. After graduation, Thomas became a mechanic and hobby farmer. In 1980, he married Christine Roos of Eden Valley. They went on to have four children, Maggi, Justin, Cory, and Katie. Thomas enjoyed farming, cars, and tinkering in the shop. He was an avid reader and enjoyed watching documentaries and western films. He was also a collector of toy cars, trucks, and tractors. Thomas was a very giving person. He was always very willing to help anyone that needed an extra hand and often contributed to many different charities. Thomas is survived by his children, Maggi (Brian) Haines, Justin (Emily) Christle, Cory (Kristine) Christle, and Katie Christle (Terry McDonald); grandson, James Haines; and siblings, Diane Christle and David Christle. He was preceded in death by his wife, Christine Christle; and his parents, Tom and Marlene Christle.

Carol Menk, 80, Paynesville

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13, 2023, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for Carol "Caidy" A. Menk, 80 of Paynesville who passed away on Friday, July 7, 2023, at the Paynesville Care Center. Reverend Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Burial will take place in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville and one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday. Caidy was born on June 29, 1943, in Morton, Minnesota to Robert and Alice (Hassinger) Carruth. She married Ronald Menk on June 27, 1964 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Franklin. Caidy worked various jobs throughout her life, most recently at the Koronis Manor. She always was working closely with her husband Ron. She was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church and the American Legion Auxiliary in Paynesville. She enjoyed painting, scrapbooking, crocheting, and camping. Caidy especially loved the time spent with her family. Caidy is survived by her husband, Ron; son, Brian (Wendy) of Paynesville; grandchildren, Alanna and Benjamin; sister, Nancy Johnson; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Joe, Dick, Jim, Larry, Corky and Sally. A Special Thank You to the staff of the Paynesville Care Center for all the care given to Caidy.

Joe Pung, 79, Stanchfield

Joseph (Joe) Edward Pung, 79, of Stanchfield, Minn., was called home to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at Abbot Northwestern Hospital. A loving husband, father, Opa, and friend, he was beloved by all who knew him. Joe was born to George Francis Pung and Julia Anna (nee Bueckers) Pung in Richmond, Minn., on Oct. 22, 1943. A three-sport athlete at Paynesville High School, Joe was offered a full scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota under legendary coach Murray Warmath. While at university, Joe also met the love of his life, Vicki Rubis. They married August 1966, in Anoka, Minn., and enjoyed a strong and happy marriage for 56 plus years. They had three sons, and both Joe and Vicki took immense pride in seeing their children (and grandchildren) grow and develop. During his time at the U of M, Joe formed a personal and deep relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ. Never afraid to speak about his faith, Joe and Vicki were active members of Stanchfield Baptist Church for many years, where Joe taught Sunday School and served as a Deacon. Most recently, they attended Pine City Evangelical Free Church. Joe and Vicki built a home on West Rush Lake in 1969, where Joe loved to fish and could often be found fishing early in the morning for bass or walleye. Upon his retirement, they enjoyed travelling widely, often to visit their children and connect with Joe's German heritage. Joe is survived by his wife Vicki, three sons and their wives, nine grandchildren, and members of the extended Pung, Rubis, Fron and Spanier families. A celebration of Joe's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, at Pine City Evangelical Free "Lighthouse"; 1045 Main Street South, Pine City, MN 55063 with visitation 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2023, and one hour prior to the service Saturday; all at the "Lighthouse". In lieu of flowers, donate in Joe's memory to: Kenny Danielson and the Oak Hills Center for Indian Ministries, (selecting K. Danielson on the donations page) Complete obituary may be found at www.

Marvin Walberg, 80, Paynesville

A memorial gathering to celebrate the life of Marvin L. Walberg, 80, of Paynesville was held from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Marv passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at the Paynesville Care Center from Lewy Body Dementia. A private burial took place at Assumption Cemetery, Eden Valley. Marv was born on July 22, 1942, in French Lake Township to the late Alden and Ruby (Anderson) Walberg. He attended Annandale High School. He married Joan DeMorrett on July 1, 1972, in Annandale. They resided in the Eden Valley/Paynesville area for many years, moving to St. Cloud in 1994. Marv was employed in carpentry all his life. He built many homes and apartment buildings during his career. He also worked as a union carpenter in the metro area, officially retiring after his wife passed away. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, spearing, playing cards, gardening, cooking, woodworking, and visiting with friends and family. He especially enjoyed his daily coffee group at Cashwise. Marv is survived by his daughter, Tammy (Barry) Hoekstra of Paynesville; grandchildren, Casandra (Eddie) Nawrocki of Highland, Ind., Corbin Hoekstra (fiance Austin Dufner) of Cold Spring, and Tyler Hoeksta (Emily Utecht) of Sauk Rapids; great-grandchildren, Addison and Clark Nawrocki; brother, Howard (Cheri) of Annandale; and sister-in-law, Annette Walberg. He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; and brothers, Roger and Dennis Walberg. A heartfelt thank you to the amazing staff at Paynesville Care Center for their exceptional care. They became a part of the family.

Pearl Grave, 96, Paynesville

A celebration of life for Pearl Grave will be held on Thrusday, July 20, at Nordland Lutheran Church in rural Paynesville at 1 p.m. and at Fort Snelling, Assembly Area 3, at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, July 21. Pearl Eunice Lorentzen Grave was born on Sept. 3, 1926, and died peacefully in her winter Texas home on Dec. 29, 2022, at the age of 96. She was preceded in death by her husband Earl Grave, brother Harold Lorentzen, and twin sisters Verna Lorentzen Storest and Violet Lorentzen Larson. She is survived by her children Paul Grave and Carol (Mark) Lorentz; grandchildren Andrew Grave and Christine Lorentz; three great-grandchildren; brother Ronald (Patricia) Lorentzen; sisters-in-law Muriel Lorentzen and Barbara Grave; and numerous nieces and nephews. Pearl was the oldest of five children born to Arthur Lorentzen and Ruth Lund. They lived in Minneapolis and attended Salem Lutheran Church. Pearl attended Patrick Henry High School and graduated in 1945. Her first job was an accountant at Albrecht Furs in downtown Minneapolis. She retired at the age of 60 from the Wayzata High School library department. In Pearl's early 20s, she and her cousin, Marian, were hitchhiking in northern Minnesota. Earl and Dale Grave, their future husbands, picked them up, and the rest is history. On Oct. 7, 1950, Pearl and Earl, and Marian and Dale, had a double wedding at Ebenezer Luther Church in Minneapolis. Pearl and Earl lived in Wayzata, while they raised their two adopted children, Paul and Carol. Earl often said adopting them was the best thing Pearl and Earl ever did. Pearl had various talents. Throughout their marriage, Pearl was the bookkeeper, managing the family's business, as well as the selling of all the Lorentzen family's real estate properties. She also played piano and finished the newspaper crossword, every day, in pen. She loved golfing and was in leagues in Minnesota and Texas, until three years ago. She loved baking (and made the best pie crusts in the universe), crafts, sewing, and being active. Initially in retirement they wintered in Mexico with family and spent summers at their lake home in Paynesville. When Pearl turned 73 years old, they purchased a home in Mission, Texas. For 23 years, Pearl and Earl wintered in Texas and continued to spend summers at Lake Koronis. Pearl was a kind and sweet woman. Pearl's best friend was her husband, Earl. They shared 71 years of companionship: with respect, integrity, adventure, and possibly the best division of labor. She was motivated, ambitious, optimistic, and, most of all, happy. Pearl had a great laugh, and the family can picture Earl and Pearl together again, laughing and holding hands through eternity.

Tom Burr, 89, Whigham, Ga.

Thomas Gerald Burr died on Dec. 15, 2022, at his home in Whigham, Ga., at the age of 89. Born in Paynesville in 1933 to Delia (Schmidt) and Frank Burr, Tom attended Paynesville Schools and served in the United States Air Force. He married the love of his life, Eleanor (Jacobson) of Paynesville, in 1956. The couple had four children and remained happily married until Eleanor's death in 1995. For most of his life, Tom was well known as the gregarious and good-humored barber who operated Burr's Barber Shop in downtown Paynesville. He was an active member of the community, serving on multiple committees and boards, including as an elected member of the Meeker County Soil and Water Board. He and Eleanor together were members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, campaigning for candidates and serving as delegates in the state convention. The Burrs also were longtime parishioners and members of the choir at Grace United Methodist Church. Tom had a lifelong love of the natural world and was dedicated to habitat restoration and preservation. In his free time, Tom enjoyed birding, gardening, forestry, harvesting firewood, hunting, and caring for his dog. He had a range of artistic talents, as a painter, poet, singer, and musician, playing piano and accordion by ear. Tom also enjoyed listening to old-time music and traveling. He was skilled at carpentry, fixing up several rental properties, and donating his time in missions to build a college in Romania and a Methodist church in Kimball. The Burrs had four children and resided in Paynesville until 1978, when they relocated to Park Rapids, returning to Paynesville in 1981. Tom reopened Burr's Barber Shop and continued barbering until his retirement in 2001. He remained in Paynesville until 2014, when he relocated to Georgia. Tom is survived by his children and their families: Jennifer and Lee Thompson of Minneapolis; William and Sarah of Whigham, Ga.; Annette and Robert Hendrickson of Paynesville; and Michael and Jennifer of Little Falls; as well as 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his sister Wanda "Skip" Domke of Cold Spring and his siblings' children. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Delia (both of Paynesville); his siblings James of Ashland, Ore., Robert "Bud" of Loudon, N.H., Gerald of Paynesville, Lloyd of Orlando, Fla., Donald "Stubby" of Litchfield, Violet "Bing" (Burr) Hemmingson of Bowlus, and Joseph Gieseke of Minneapolis. A private memorial gathering is planned, with interment at Paynesville Cemetery. The family requests that any gifts in Tom's memory be directed to the Arbor Day Foundation ( in honor of his lifelong love of forests and trees.

Return to Top of Page

Home | Community | Marketplace