Complete obituaries can be found in the Paynesville Press each week.
Dr. Lowell Gess, 100, Alexandria
Lowell Arthur Gess, 100, passed away on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in his Alexandria, Minn., home. Dr. Gess was born on July 13, 1921, in Paynesville, Minn. He attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., Evangelical Theological (Garrett) Seminary in Naperville, Ill., and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. An ophthalmology residency was completed at the University of Minnesota under Dr. John Harris. At a very early age, Dr. Gess believed God called him to be a medical missionary. Unsure if that was what he wanted, he studied to become a pastor and served congregations in rural Minnesota. But, unable to shake his sense of calling, he yielded his life and ministry to the Lord. And that made all the difference. He met and married the woman of his dreams, who also shared a similar call to medical mission work, and, together, they served in West Africa as medical missionaries for over 50 years. Beginning in 1952, Dr. Gess and wife Ruth began their service in Bambur, Nigeria. They then moved to Sierra Leone, serving in the towns of Rotifunk, Taiama, Bo, and Freetown. In Freetown (Kissy), the Gesses established one of the best eye clinics in Sierra Leone, which is still flourishing to this day. In addition to quality eye care offered there, Kissy has also become a center for research related to the Ebola outbreak led by Dr. Steven Yeh, formerly of Emory University and now at the University of Nebraska. Many of his experiences have been documented in the seven books he wrote: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (2002), Glorious Witnesses for Africa (2011), Be a Medical Missionary (2012), Ebola's Den (2015), Tender Moments in Scripture (2018), Tender Moments in Ministry (2018) and Grateful for the Holy Spirit and Angels (2022). Among his many honors, Dr. Gess received Sierra Leone's highest civilian award, the Order of the Rokel, in 1991, as well as the Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Award from Macalester College, the Helen Keller Sight Award from the Minnesota Lions Club, the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the Alexandria Lions Club, and the 2020 Chang Humanitarian Award from the ASCRS Foundation. Known for his deep commitment to the Lord, his love and concern for the welfare of others, his excellent skills as a medical doctor and surgeon, and his remarkable humility, Dr. Gess leaves a legacy that will carry on long after his "graduation" to eternal life with the Lord. Dr. Gess was preceded in death by wife Ruth Adabelle (Bradley) Gess; parents Arthur and Frances Gess; and sister, June Malin. He is survived by children Tim (Joanne) Gess, Mary (Steve) Boehlke, Elizabeth (Robert) Hopkins, John (Ruth) Gess, Paul (Arlet) Gess, and Andrew (Carrie) Gess; 16 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.
A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville for Lois A. Kulzer, 85, of Paynesville. Lois passed away on Monday, June 27, 2022, at the Paynesville Health Care Center. Burial of cremated remains will take place in the St. Louis Parish Cemetery in Paynesville. Lois was born Oct. 22, 1936, in Paynesville to Clarence and Otilla (Hartmann) Younkin. She graduated from Paynesville High School in 1954. She married Willie Kulzer on June 23, 1958, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. They raised two sons on the same property she was born. She will be remembered as the "lunch lady" at the Paynesville Middle School with her famed ticket puncher. They ran the roller rink in Paynesville from 1966-1980. She was a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, going to spring training in Mankato and bringing local students along to enjoy the experience. She is also known for her "treats"; baking was her passion. She could often be seen outdoors, tending her flower gardens and lawn. After retirement, they enjoyed going to flea markets and auctions, and cherished spending time with their granddaughters. Lois is survived by her sons Terry (Sharon) of Paynesville and Patrick (Christina) of Arden Hills; two granddaughters Molly and Katy of Arden Hills; and many nieces and nephews. Lois was preceded in death by her parents, husband Willie; and by 14 brothers and sisters. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Paynesville Health Care Center for their compassionate care.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Lake Henry for Dennis L. Olmscheid, 64, of Paynesville, formerly of Lake Henry. Dennis passed away peacefully on Monday, June 13, at the St. Cloud Hospital. Reverend Glenn Krystosek officiated. Burial was in the St. Margaret's Parish Cemetery in Lake Henry. Dennis was born Sept. 23, 1957, in Melrose, Minn., to Jerome and Lorraine (Heinen) Olmscheid. He graduated from Belgrade High School in 1975. He worked various jobs in the area, which included Spanier Welding until his automobile accident in 2003. He was a member of St. Margaret's Catholic Church. Dennis will be remembered for enjoying the outdoors, baseball, horses, hunting, and fishing. He was a devoted and faithful man. He loved to spend time with his three girls, two grandchildren, and family. Dennis is survived by his daughters Nicole "Nikki" of St. Louis Park, Raechal of St. Cloud, and Aimee of St. Louis Park; grandchildren Emmett Hansen and Ava Hansen; siblings Ron (Bernice) of Lake Henry, Diane (Robert) Pelzer of Lake Henry, Dan (Lynn) of Paynesville, Gary (Pat) of Lake Henry, Randy (Ruth) of St. Martin, Sandy (Roy) Lensing of Belgrade, Mary (Glenn) Miller of Nisswa, and Julie (Joe) Prince of Buffalo; as well as many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Preceding Dennis in death were his parents. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.
On March 7, 1943, the sun shined a little brighter as Dorothy Elizabeth Donnay was born to the parents of Henry and Susie Donnay. She grew up in Watkins, Minn., and then fell in love with Theodore Anderson, whom she married and had two beautiful children, Brett Dennis Anderson and Kara Ruth Anderson. She was a ray of sunshine for her entire 79 years. If parenting two Anderson children wasn't work enough, she spent many years educating other children in her teaching career and spent endless hours devoted to the mentoring program. She spent the rest of her time loving and adoring her grandchildren. The angels rejoiced as she rejoined them in heaven on Friday, June 10, 2022. After a short battle with cancer, the Lord has called her home. She is survived by her children, Brett Dennis Anderson (Lindsey Grace) of Rochester, Minn., and Kara Ruth Anderson of Tucson, Ariz.; her beloved grandchildren, Joshua Anderson, Mitchel Quintela, Katelyn Anderson, and Tyler Quintela; her dear friend Roy Dal Lago; numerous nieces, nephews, and family who she loved so dearly. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ted Anderson; parents; parent in-laws; siblings; and her grandson Ryan Anderson. Dorothy loved life and lived it to the fullest. There's nothing she loved more than a kitchen full of family (banging on the pots and pans). She will be remembered always for her smile and endless and unconditional love.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for Mary Kay C. Mackedanz, 66, of Paynesville, who passed away on Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the CentraCare-Paynesville Hospital. Reverend Glenn Krystosek officiated. Private interment was in the parish cemetery. Mary Kay was born April 13, 1956, in Richmond, Minn., to Leonard and Bernadine (Garding) Nordmann. She married Robert D. Mackedanz on Oct. 8, 1976, at Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church in Richmond. Mary Kay was employed by McDonalds in Paynesville until her retirement. Mary Kay is survived by her husband, Bob; children, Mandria (Barrett) Hildreth, Melanie (Andrew) Heinen, Barry (Angela), Miriah (Eric) Hartfiel, Mallory (Brandon) Ferschweiler, and Brandon (Nicole); grandchildren, Madeline and Brady Hildreth, Dylan Heinen, Autumn Mackedanz, Gabriella, Eric Jr., and Grace Hartfiel, and Kaylee and Dalton Ferschweiler; brothers, Nick, Charlie, Leonard and Jeff; sisters, Elaine Kennedy, Pat Karnik, Marilyn Schroeder and Bernice Bursch. She was preceded in death by her grandson, Domanick; father, Leonard; and brother, Mike. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville, Minn., for David Wayne Easterday, 65, of Paynesville. He died at his home on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Reverend Jill Meents of Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville will officiate. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. David was born on Feb. 25, 1957, and was adopted by his parents Harold W. and Marjorie (Fodness) Easterday on July 3, 1958. He grew up in Olivia and later Paynesville, Minn. He graduated from Paynesville High School in the Class of 1975. David then attended St. Cloud State University for a few years studying political science. He then worked many jobs throughout Minnesota. He was active all his life with the Boy Scouts of America and also earned his Eagle Scout award early in life. Scouting was his world, and he worked many years at the Boy Scout summer camps. His second love was politics, and he worked at the capital as a legislative assistant. He was a member of Grace United Methodist Church. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his sister Sue (Dick) Putzke of Paynesville; and nephews Cory Deadrick and Brad Putzke, both of Paynesville. He is also survived by his biological brothers and sisters and many friends.
Dale A. Radel, 79, of Paynesville passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, with his family by his side at his daughter's home in Atwater. Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Burial was in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery near Wanda. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory be made to (or sent to) the Paynesville Community Service Center (foodbank) or St. Croix Hospice. Dale Alvin Radel was born on Dec. 6, 1942, in rural Redwood County, the son of Raymond and Dolores Radel. Growing up in rural Sanborn, Dale attended Sanborn Public School and was a graduate of the 1960 class. In 1962, he was joined in matrimony with the love of his life Dorene Wichman, and together they farmed and raised their three children: Dawn, Daniel, and Darcy in rural Sanborn, where he was a member of the Sanborn Jaycees and the local golf club. Dorene passed away in 1978. Dale remained on the farm until 1991, when he moved to Paynesville. He worked at Master Mark from 1991 until his retirement. Dale spent much of his time with family and friends fishing, hunting, golfing, going for drives, and visiting; he never met a stranger. He also enjoyed volunteer work for the Paynesville Community Service Center (foodbank). He is survived by his three children, Dawn (Kevin) Frericks of Atwater, Dan (Kelli) Radel of Marshall, and Darcy Radel (Perry Johnson) of Salina, Kan.; seven grandchildren, Jessica Platisha, Daniell Barker, Justin Frericks, Mackenzie Lau, Madison Radel, Morgan Radel, and Chadd Johnson; 10 great-grandchildren; special friend, Wendy Lowery; three brothers, Roger Radel, Curtis Radel, and Charles Radel; sister, Helen Lange; and many nieces, nephews, and friends who he held most dear. He was proceeded in death by his wife, Dorene Radel, sister, Beverly Taylor; and parents, Ray and Dolores Radel.
Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, June 3, 2022, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Richmond, Minn., for Conrad J. Soschnik, 80, who died on Monday, May 30, 2022, at Assumption Home surrounded by his family. Entombment will be in the parish cemetery. The service was livestreamed on the church's website at www.christcatholic.com. Conrad was born on April 14, 1942, in Paynesville, Minn., to John and Albina (Hadash) Soschnik. He married Norma Hemmesch on Sept. 17, 1966, in Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Richmond, Minn. Conrad was a construction worker and enjoyed fishing, hunting, cars, old time rock 'n' roll, and Old Milwaukee Light. He loved his family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He is survived by his sons, Pat (Stephanie) and Mark (Renee); sister, Mary Auger; grandchildren, Nathan (Veronica), Mitchell, Matthew, Ryan, and Ashton; and great-grandchildren, Everett, Elijah, Lilah, and Ryder. He is preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Norma. Services were with the Wenner Funeral Home, Richmond, Minn.
Marlis C. Chesness, 82, of Hawick, died on Saturday, June 4, 2022, at her home in rural Hawick. Her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at Nordland Lutheran Church in rural Hawick. Burial will be in the church cemetery. A visitation will be held on Friday, June 3, from 5-7 p.m. at Nordland Lutheran Church and continue one hour prior to the funeral at the church. If you have received a quilt from Marlis over the years, please bring it to the funeral to display. Services are entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Marlis Colleen Fernelius Chesness was born on Feb. 4, 1940, in New London, Minn., the daughter of Marvin and Lucille (Olson) Fernelius. She was baptized and confirmed at Lebanon Lutheran Church in New London. Marlis grew up in New London, where she attended elementary and high school, graduating from New London High School with the Class of 1958. After high school, Marlis worked for Twin City Optical, the county highway department, and Woolworths in Willmar. On Aug. 29, 1959, Marlis was united in marriage to Gaylord Chesness at Lebanon Lutheran Church in New London. This union was blessed with two daughters and two sons. The family made their home in rural Hawick, where they ran a dairy farm. Marlis enjoyed volunteering at her church and in her community. She and Gaylord worked 20 years for the food shelves in the area: Paynesville, Willmar, and the Link in New London. Marlis had the honor of teaching preschool Sunday School at Nordland Lutheran Church for over 50 years. The Nordland Lutheran Church Women were very special to Marlis; she worked with such great women over the years as she served in the offices of secretary, vice president, and president and on many other committees there, including the lutefisk supper. Journaling and writing were Marlis' passions, and she was very proud to help organize and edit Nordland's 125th and 150th anniversary history books. She was constantly sending cards and letters for seemingly every occasion. Marlis loved God, Gaylord, family, friends, neighbors, and her cats (but not always in that order). She enjoyed gardening and her many hosta plants were her favorite. Marlis was an avid quilter and was always planning, working on, or finishing a quilt for someone's new baby, baptism, or wedding. She also sewed a few other things, including a couple wedding dresses. Her Scandinavian cooking was loved by everyone, especially Gaylord. She spent countless hours sitting with 'Dad' watching the birds and deer out the front window (with a cat on her lap). And at Halloween, she dressed up and greeted all her little trick-or-treaters. Marlis is survived by her husband of 62 years, Gaylord; daughters, Monica (Tom) Nelson, of Maplewood and Marcia Hunt of Youngsville, La.; sons, Gerald of Hawick and Greg of Sauk Rapids; grandchildren, Natasha (Ryan) Moravetz, Nathaniel Chesness, Peter Hunt, Andrew Nelson, Sophia (Corbin) Curtis, and Benjamin Hunt; great-grandchildren, Dexter Clayton Moravetz (four years), Madison Lily Curtis (three years), and Kyla Lucille Moravetz (nine months). She was also survived by four beloved sisters, three brothers, and all her nieces and nephews. Marlis was preceded in death by her parents, Marvin and Lucille Fernelius; paternal grandparents, V.J. and Ida Fernelius; and maternal grandparents Robert and Winnie Olson.
Sharon Carol Nelson, 78, formerly of Paynesville, Minn., passed away on Monday, May 30, after her body determined it was finally time to rest. Services will be held at Paynesville Lutheran Church, (657 Maple Street, Paynesville) on Friday, June 10, at 1 p.m. with a gathering after. Sharon was born on Sept. 7, 1943, to Arthur and Rose (Eichner) Krause of Walnut Grove, Minn. After graduating from high school, she went on to study education at Augsburg College. After graduating with a degree specializing in home economics, she started her first teaching job in Swanville, Minn., where she met and married Randall Nelson. In 1975, Sharon and Randy moved to Baudette, Minn., where they raised their three children, Darcie Rossborough of Golden Valley, Minn., Darin Nelson (Kristy) of Maple Grove, Minn., and Melanie Brown (Matt) of Blaine, Minn. Sharon taught home ec in Baudette, spent time golfing, was a member of several community organizations and enjoyed many friendships. In 2001, Sharon and Randy retired, moving to Paynesville, Minn., where Randy passed after a few short years. Sharon enjoyed volunteering for the Alldon Park retirement community board, as well as organizing the collection of box tops, Campbell Soup labels, and store receipts for the school and church. She also enjoyed playing cards with friends, shopping for good deals and most of all, loved when her family came for visits. Sharon was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Randy; and her sister, Anne Skjoiten. She is survived by her sister, Coralyn Morris (Russ); her children and their spouses; grandchildren, Ryan Rossborough, Eric Rossborough, Clara Brown, Cayli Nelson, Audrey Brown, and Kate Nelson; her brothers and sisters-in-laws; nieces, nephews, and cousins. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Lake of the Woods Dollars for Scholars, supporting students within the community where she spent many years teaching. Checks payable to Lake of the Woods Dollars for Scholars can be mailed to P.O. Box 252 Baudette, MN 56623 OR via the website https://lakeofthe-woods.dollarsforscholars.org. Sharon's family would like to give a special thank you to her wonderful friends, neighbors, and health care staff over the years that helped her when we were unable to be there. They are forever grateful.
Patricia Koski, 87, of Paynesville, Minn., passed away on Sunday, May 29, 2022. There will be a celebration of life on Sunday, June 12, 2022, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Green Roof Area Center in Paynesville. All are welcome. Pictures and stories to share appreciated. Patricia was born in San Antonio, Texas, and as a military wife traveled extensively. She later married Donald Koski (deceased) of Esko, Minn., then moved to Paynesville. Wherever she lived, Pat was always actively involved in her community. Pat loved her family and friends, crafting, and traveling. She is survived by her daughters Kristi, Debora, Tonjya, Judy, and Barbara; step-children Lynn, Terri, Vicki, Bruce, and Brian; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Patty truly will be missed by all.
Kail A. Christensen, 58, of Avon, Colo., and recently of Clear Lake, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, March 5, 2022. A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 11, for family and friends at the Prime and Wine in Mason City, Iowa, starting with a social gathering at 5 p.m., to be followed by a service and dinner. Kail Alan Christensen was born on Oct. 16, 1963, in Cresco, Iowa, the son of Larry A. Christensen and Dorothy "Dot" (Carwell) Cagle. He graduated from Paynesville (Minn.) High School a semester early and backpacked throughout Germany to learn about his heritage, visiting relatives along the way. He then entered Winona State University, where he graduated with a business degree and, from there, never looked back. After college, he made his way to Los Angeles and developed NEWS (National Employment Wire Services) Corp, one of the first online employment service companies, which he then sold to fulfil his dream to live in the Mountains. With his move to Avon, Colo., which he called home till his passing, he became involved with personal fitness and was a successful personal trainer as well as taking on real estate investments in Vail, Colo. Kail's hands were never idle; he was constantly on the move, creating the next best thing. Through a lot of research and hard work, Kail went on to create the company Believe, which boomed into a multi-functional fundraising organization, impacting countless lives around the world. Growing up in the Midwest, Kail believed in the honor of a handshake and a man's word; however, through his growth in the business world, he was soon taught differently, but he personally never backed down from that ideal. With Believe came worldwide travel. His adventures soon became monumental, as he met renowned business people and celebrities all over the globe and was able to study and confer with these many great minds. He was always the problem solver and never let "the box" define his solutions. Kail's mind was always busy, plotting his next move, planning the next investment, and he was never afraid to jump. Kail enrolled and completed a Navy Seal training camp and completed a Dale Carnegie class, always trying to improve himself and gain knowledge. He had a passion for the water and scuba-diving, spending time in Maui, as well as a love for the peaceful backdrop of the mountains and being on the ski slopes of Colorado. He spent time assisting his cousin with a Fox television show called "Pinks," which placed him on the television at times. Kail also fell in love with Vietnam and the people there, making many special friendships. Kail's family was his foundation; he looked forward to time spent with his mother and sister, niece and nephews, and his father, always making sure that every moment counted, creating wonderful memories. He cherished his four-legged companion, Yukon Cornelius, who was at his side for many years. Though our hearts ache, Kail had stated many times, "I have lived a full life and have gotten to do all I have wanted to do." We know that Kail was "bigger than life," and his legacy has just begun. Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Ginelyn (Mandal) Christensen of Maui, Hawaii; mother, Dorothy "Dot" Cagle of Clear Lake, Iowa; father, Larry (Marcia) Christensen of Mason City, Iowa; sister Kim Mitchell (David Haas) of Appleton, Minn.; beloved niece and nephews, Lane (Rachel) Mitchell, Tosh, Reis, and T.J. Mitchell; uncle, Glenn Carwell; aunt, Marilee Christensen; as well as numerous extended family members and cherished friends. Preceding him in death were his grandparents, Russ and Tekla Carwell and Chris and Marjorie Christensen; step-father, Wes Cagle; uncle, Eddie Christensen; and aunt, Eileen Carwell.
Father Richard Leisen died on Monday, May 23, 2022, at St. Benedict's Senior Community in St. Cloud. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, at St. Mary's Cathe-dral in St. Cloud with a vigil service at 7 p.m. in the upper church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary's Cathedral in St. Cloud, on Thursday, June 2, at 11 a.m. with the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler presiding. Entombment will take place in the Saint Louis Parish Cemetery Mausoleum in Paynesville, Minn. Richard Joseph Leisen was born on April 26, 1930, in Saint Cloud, Minn. He was the son of Othmar and Cecelia (Moser) Leisen. Father Leisen attended Saint Mary's Grade School in Saint Cloud and high school and junior college at Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn. His college and seminary training were at Saint John's Seminary in Collegeville, Minn. Father Leisen was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Peter W. Bartholome, at Saint Mary's Cathedral in St. Cloud on June 2, 1956. He celebrated his first Mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral on June 3, 1956. Father Leisen served in the following pastoral assignments: associate pastor, Saint Joseph, Pierz, June 1956-August 1961; Saint Mary's Cathedral, St. Cloud, August 1961-June 1963; pastor, Saint Wendelin, Luxemburg, September 1965-July 1967; pastor, Saint Louis, Paynesville, July 1987-July 2009; pastor, Saint Agnes, Roscoe, and Saint Margaret, Lake Henry, June 2007-July 2009. Father Leisen retired on July 1, 2009. Among his many accomplishments, he attended graduate school at Fordham University, New York, from September 1963 to June 1965 for studies in social work, receiving his master's of social work degree. Father Leisen then served as the director of Catholic Charities from July 1965 to July 1987, the director of Catholic Relief Services for the Diocese of Saint Cloud from 1968 until 2002, the residential director of the St. Cloud Children's Home from July 1969 until March 1970, as a consultor for the diocese from January 1982 until December 1997, and dean of the Cold Spring Deanery from 1989-1994 and 2008-2010. Father Leisen is survived by his sister Mary Leisen and his brother Donald Leisen. He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother Father Leo Leisen.
Janice A. Neu, 79, of Maple Lake died on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at her home under the care of hospice and her family. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2022, at 11 a.m. at the St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake, with Father Kevin Magner as celebrant. Burial will follow at the St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery, Maple Lake. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, and from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 2, at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, at the funeral home. The service will be livestreamed on the funeral home's website. Janice Ann Neu was born on Jan. 24, 1943, in New Ulm, Minn., to Joseph and Lucille (Walz) Lass. Janice attended school in Regal, Minn. On Oct. 2, 1962, Janice was united in marriage to Merlin "Huns" Neu in Regal. They made their home in Paynesville for a number of years, before moving to Maple Lake in 1977. While Huns worked outside the home, Janice worked hard to make their house a loving home while also raising their six children. As the children got older, Janice also cleaned houses in the area. She was a longtime member of St. Timothy Catholic Church. Janice enjoyed going to garage sales, baking, sewing, and tending to her gardens. She especially loved spending time with her family. Janice is survived by her six children, Tim (Nikki) of Brooklyn Park, Joe (Norma) of Monticello, Tom (Pam) of Maple Lake, Jeff (Irene) of Royalton, Missy (Jeff) Reilley of Maple Lake, and Jason (significant other, Becky Munson) of Montrose; 13 adoring grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson; siblings Tom (Patty) Lass of Cromwell, Arlene (John) Fitzpatrick of Brainerd, Phyllis (Brent) Thomton of Blackduck, Barb Beste of Sauk Centre, and Deb (Dave) Templeton of Cromwell; and nieces, nephews, other family members, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlin; brother, Ben; niece, Stacy Lass-Hagemeister; nephew, Adam Bieringer; and brother-in-law, Vern Beste. Chris Neu, Matt Neu, Eddy Neu, James Neu, John Reilley, Ben Reilley, Dan Reilley, and Charles Rising will serve as casket bearers. Arrangements have been entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Maple Lake. Obituary, guestbook, video tribute, and funeral webcast online at www.dingmann-funeral.com.
Dennis C. Bratsch, 96, of Spicer died on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at Carris Health Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. His funeral service was held on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at Living Word Lutheran Church in rural New London. Burial was in Burbank Cemetery in rural New London. Services were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home in New London. Dennis (Denny) Curtis Bratsch was born May 21, 1926, to Willie J. and Lillie (Lawin) Bratsch on a farm south of Danube, Minn. As Denny always said, he was #9 of 14 children. He left home at the age of 14 to work on a farm, later moving to South St. Paul to work at the stockyards. At age 16, he drove a coal truck to West Virginia to the coal mines. There he drove coal trucks until he joined the U.S. Army to serve in World War II. He was a Purple Heart veteran, wounded in action in Europe. Dennis and Eileen Robbin were married on Dec. 3, 1976, and were blessed with 45 wonderful years together. Denny and Eileen traveled 50 states and saw the South Pacific. They spent many winters in south Texas in their motorhome and summers in the New London/Spicer area. Denny enjoyed mowing grass, fishing, camping, playing Texas hold 'em, gardening, and a good steak! Most of all, he enjoyed visiting with friends and family about his lifetime of experiences while trucking. He started a successful business, Bratsch Trucking of Olivia, in the early 1960s and retired in 1983. Dennis is survived by his wife, Eileen; and their combined seven children: Denny's daughters, Linda (Terry) Harden of Green Valley, Ariz., Julie Bennington of Green Valley, Ariz., and son, Tim Bratsch of Waconia, Minn.; Eileen's children, Lexy (Agueda) Robbin of Willmar, Wendy (Gary) Steffenson of Belgrade, Ronny (Lynette) Robbin of Belgrade, and Lonny (Wendy) Robbin of New London. Together, they have 22 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, eight sisters; five brothers; a daughter, Dorie Green, in 2013; and a great-great-granddaughter, Grace Strand, in 2018. Denny passed from this life on Tuesday, May 24 He will be greatly missed by his loving wife, family, and many friends.