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

June 2024

Johnson Funeral Home

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Obituary Archives

Harlow Olson, 88, New London
Harlow Olson, 88, went to his heavenly home on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at GlenOaks Care Center in New London. Funeral Services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at Nordland Lutheran Church in rural Paynesville. Visitation was from 5-8 p.m. on Monday night, June 24, at the church and for one hour prior to the service. Burial was in the church cemetery. Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in New London: Harlow James Olson was born July 25, 1935, in New London to Casper and Louise (Michaelson) Olson. He grew up on a farm near New London and attended New London High School, graduating in the Class of 1953. Harlow was united in marriage to Doris Newberg on June 28, 1957, at Svea Lutheran Church. Harlow and Doris operated their dairy farm together for 65 years. He served on the Irving Township board for 25 years. He was also very involved in the church, including serving on the church council, singing in the choir, serving as deacon and usher, and performing custodial work. Harlow and Doris were able to share in 65 years of marriage before her death on April 11, 2023. Nothing made Harlow happier than spending time with family and friends, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed Canadian fishing trips, traveling with Doris to visit family in Oregon and Ohio, attending monthly card club with neighbors, being a part of his children's and grandchildren's deer hunting, and operating his own farm and then watching his son carry out his legacy. He was dedicated to his wife and so graciously cared for her in the same manner she had cared for him and their boys all of her life. He will be remembered for his easy-going demeanor, quick wit, one-liners, sarcasm, and he was sure to brighten up a room. Harlow is survived by his four children, Brian Olson, Ross Olson (Melissa), Kevin Olson (Melissa), and Paul Olson (Darcy), all of whom reside in New London; six grandchildren Kayla Richards, Tonya Ferrell (Spencer), Krista Schlitter (Benjamin), Tyler Olson, Amber Herem (Dillon), and Taylor Olson (Lucas); nine great-grandchildren, Kaiya Gotvald, Carson Olson, Amanda Gotvald, Allison Gotvald, Penelope Ferrell, Bryson Schlitter, Hudson Herem, Treyton Schlitter, Lucy Ferrell, and Haven Herem. He is preceded in death by his wif,e Doris; his parents, Casper and Louise Olson; six siblings, Lucille Petersen, Violet Green, Arnold Olson, Florence Thompson, Orlean Olson, and Pearl Sohlberg; and his granddaughter, Brooke Gotvald (Alan).

Vernon Welle, 91, Spring Hill

Vernon J. Welle, 91, of Spring Hill, Minn., died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Monday, June 10, 2024, at his home in Spring Hill. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, June 14, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Spring Hill with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Interment was held in the parish cemetery. Visitation was held on Thursday, June 13, and Friday, June 14, at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose. Vernon Joseph Welle was born June 14, 1932, in Sauk Centre, Minn., to Henry and Erma (Meyer) Welle. He was united in marriage to Genevieve "Gennie" Lieser on July 17, 1956, at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Lake Henry, Minn. Vernon farmed all of his life northwest of Spring Hill. He was a member of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Spring Hill and the St. Michael's Men's Society. Vernon truly loved farming, draft horses, and water witching. He enjoyed going to Iowa for the draft horse sale and taking an occasional trip to the casino. Survivors include his loving wife of 67 years, Gennie Welle of Spring Hill; children, Debbie (Steve) Christians of Montevideo, Bobby (Donna) Welle of Spring Hill, Danny (Deanna) Welle of Spring Hill, and Kathy (Pete) LeClaire of Spring Hill; 12 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren with three on the way; brothers and sisters, Alice (Herb) Peters of Sauk Centre, JoAnn Middendorf of Sauk Centre, Henry "Sunny" (Bunny) Welle of Winona, and David (Marilyn) Welle of Greenwald; sister-in-law, Lillian Welle of Sauk Centre; brother-in-law, Gerald Lieser of Spring Hill; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Vernon was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, John Paul LeClaire; brothers, Al Welle, James Welle, and Charles Welle; and sisters, Carol Pelkey and Marlene Lieser. Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral and Cremation Services of Melrose.

Allen Hess, 85, Cold Spring

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Saturday, June 15, 2024, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Cold Spring, Minn., for Allan J. Hess, 85, who died on Saturday, June 8, at the St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Inurnment was that day, too. Al was born on June 23, 1938, in Paynesville, Minn., to Claude and Rose (Lenz) Hess. He married Lucy Schaefer on May 5, 1962, in St Martin Catholic Church. He worked at Eye Craft Optical and later was co-owner/executive of Schmidt Labs. Al loved Big Fish Lake and was able to live there for over 50 years. He played baseball and was an avid fan of the Lake Henry Lakers. He enjoyed fishing, bowling, and Al was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, and was truly adored by his grandchildren and never missed one of their events. Al was a member of the Lake Henry American Legion. He is survived by his wife, Lucy; sons, Greg (Deborah), Tim (Lori), and Tom (Melanie); grandchildren, Jessica (Jake) Schumacher, Cory, Samantha (Eric) Versluis, Cara, and Anthony; great-grandchildren, Ava and Aria; and siblings, Dan and Joan Johnson. He was preceded in death by his parents; and siblings, Delores Kampsen, Alice Younkin, Jeanette Ramler, Floyd Hess, and Luverne Hess. Services were with the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring, Minn. The service was also live streamed at

Elaine Vanderpool, Paynesville

Elaine Vander-pool was born on April 1, 1924, and left this earth on Wed-nesday, June 12, 2024, shortly after her 100th birthday celebration with family and friends. She was born in Tolley, N.D., to George Jenkins and Gladys (Polley) Grinnell Jenkins. Elaine spent her childhood years in Grand Forks, N.D., in Cold Spring, Minn., and then graduating from Elk River High School at the age of 17. After a year at St. Cloud State, she moved to Minneapolis, where she earned her nursing degree at St. Barnabas and met her future husband. Elaine married Thomas E. Vanderpool in June 1947. Elaine and Tom had four children - Tom, Gini, Bruce, and Joan. They raised their children in Paynesville, Minn., with many happy years at Lake Koronis. Elaine had a passion for golf, bridge, her dogs, books, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, and Lake Koronis, with her family and friends at the top of the list. She was a committed mother and member of the Paynesville community. Elaine felt that she had been blessed with a wonderful life and was grateful to have reached her goal to become a "centurion." Elaine was predeceased by her parents; her husband; her son Tom; her brother (Gary Jenkins); and sisters (Donna Wilson and Colleen Spadaccini). Surviving family includes daughters (Gini and Joan); son (Bruce); son-in-law (Jerry Mobley); daughter-in-law (Susan Vanderpool); grandchildren and their families (Jennifer Vanderpool Groettum, Jason Vanderpool, David Vanderpool, Tory Vanderpool Mobley, Eric Vanderpool Ohman, Claire Vanderpool Ohman, and Bradley Vanderpool); and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by all. Private funeral services were held at Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home on Monday, June 17, 2024. Elaine wanted all donations to be given on her great-grandson Gavin Groettum's behalf to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation - Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter, 100 N. Sixth Street #604A, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Paul Aas, 56, Chanhassen

Paul Aas, 56, of Chanhassen, Minn., passed away on Thursday, May 23, 2024, after a brief illness. Paul was a funny, smart, and devoted family man. He was the ultimate outdoorsman with a passion for fishing, hunting, and camping. He loved hockey. Playing hockey, watching hockey, and endlessly discussing hockey. Paul was an excellent cook and loved entertaining and cooking for friends and family. He was known for his grilling skills and his spicy chili. Paul was a music lover. He could find the best new bands and was always up for a concert. He was preceded in death by his mother, Alicia Aas; and his beloved dogs, Meg, Molly, Lilly, Mo, and Tillie. He leaves behind his wife, Ann Eichers Aas; children, Ellie and Sam; and his hunting dogs, Maddie and Mia, as well as his father, Paul Arthur Aas (Bev); sisters, Teresa Ripple (Stephen) and Valerie Aas (Aaron Blechert); in-laws, Joel, Melissa, and Christy Eichers; and many nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Chaska Event Center. In leiu of flowers, please consider donating blood.

Mary Swenson, 85, Paynesville

Mary Jane (Jurgens) Swenson, 85, of Paynesville, Minn., passed away on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at her home with loving family at her side. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, July 27, at 11 a.m. in the garden at her home in Paynesville, with the Rev. Tom Roy as celebrant. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service in the garden and a time of fellowship and reflection will continue after the service. Inurnment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Algona, Iowa, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Animal Humane Society. Mary Jane was born on Oct. 20, 1938, in Kanawha, Iowa, the daughter of Floyd and Marjorie (Striley) Jurgens. The family moved to a farm near Willmar, Minn., when she was a young child. She attended country school and graduated from Willmar High School in 1956. Mary Jane married Howard Swenson on Dec. 7, 1963. She made her home in Lake Lillian, Minn., New London, and eventually Paynesville. Mary Jane was a lifelong caregiver to many, especially her precious daughter, Kristine. Mary Jane enjoyed freelance photography, gardening, and was an avid quilter and textile artist. Many quilts were made with love for family and friends. Mary Jane had a personal ministry in the making of liturgical quilts to tell of Christ's love and sacrifice for him. Mary Jane would spend time in prayer and study of the Bible while working on each piece. The quilts were not just ordinary pieces of cloth sewn together, but a point of contact to the presence of God. Mary Jane always said her quilts were made "For Glory and for Beauty," Exodus 28.2. Mary Jane is survived by her daughter Kristine; son Clyde (Arturo) of Paynesville, Minn., son Clayton (Laura) of Baldwin, Wis.; four grandchildren, Gerald, Carl (Kaitlyn), Kathryn, and Jessica; three great-grandchildren, Howard, Myron, and Isaac; one brother, and several nieces and nephews. Blessed be her memory.

John Cook, 97, Minnetonka

Funeralservices for John G. Cook, 97, of Minnetonka, Minn., will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. John passed away peacefully on Friday, May 31, 2024, at the Maple Grove Hospital in Maple Grove. Burial will take place in the Paynesville Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the funeral home on Thursday., June 6. John was born on June 20, 1926, in Manannah, Minn., to John R. and Evelyn V. (Almquist) Cook. He grew up in Manannah, working on a farm, general store, and in the tavern his dad built. He graduated from Litchfield High School at age 16. He joined the U.S. Navy at 18 and served during WWII from 1944-1946 as a radioman on a destroyer in the Pacific. After returning home, he attended Minnesota Business School for business administration and commercial law. He married Lois Haines of Paynesville in 1947. They welcomed two daughters into the world and lived in Richfield a few years before relocating to Minnetonka, where he lived for the last 65 years. John worked with several different companies over his career as a treasurer, director, controller, and trouble shooter. He spent two months in Ethiopia investigating the feasibility of a business venture for a group of investors. He was a meticulous recordkeeper and able to make good business decisions for those he helped. While working for an architect firm that built Metropolitan Stadium, he had access to Vikings tickets that eventually became his. He and his wife were among the first faithful tailgaters at the games. He loved watching football at any time. He also loved hunting, fishing, bowling, working outside around the yard, and spending time with their good friends, the Betty and Dave Strate family. Above all, he was a devoted family man. He was always there for his family, whenever they needed guidance or help. He will be greatly missed. John is survived by his daughters Lynne (Don) Carlson of Crystal and Kathy Cook of Big Lake; grandson David (Kelly) Carlson; and great-grandson Drew Carlson. Preceding John in death was his wife of 57 years, Lois (Haines) Cook; his parents; and grandson Jeffrey Carlson.

Vivian McMillan, 88, Paynesville

Vivian Jane McMillan, 88, of Paynesville, passed away on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at the Paynesville Health Care Center in Paynesville. A Celebration of Life will be held at Paynesville Lutheran Church on Friday, June 21, at 3 p.m. A gathering will start at 2 p.m. at the church. Vivian Jane Delgehausen was born on Dec. 25, 1935, on a farm in Shible Township, Minn., to Albert and Verda (Fischer) Delgehausen. The family moved to the Monticello area and then to Elk River. Vivian graduated from high school in 1953 and attended nursing school in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minn. She was united in marriage to Arthur 'Bud' McMillan, also of Elk River, on Nov. 24, 1956. They have four children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Vivian worked as a nurse and then as a school administrative assistant. In retirement, she enjoyed many summers on Lake Koronis and winters 'snow birding' to the south in a motorhome. She had many talents, especially in crafting, and loved teaching her skills to her grandchildren. Vivian is deeply missed by her loving family and friends. Vivian is survived by her husband, Bud McMillan of Paynesville; four children, Scott (Andrea), James, Nancy (Dennis), and Paul (Beatrice); eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and siblings, Yvonne Sappenfield, Inez Rydeen, and Daniel Delgehausen. She was preceded in death by her parents, Verda and Albert Delgehausen.

Lowell Ziemann, 85, Gilbert, Ariz.

Lowell Albert Ziemann of Gilbert, Ariz., passed away after a brief illness on Friday, May 24. He was born to Albert and Olga Ziemann in Fairmont, Minn., on Sept. 14, 1938. Along with his sister Marilyn, the family resided and worked the family farm. He loved baseball and basketball and played on the Fairmont High School teams, including the 1955 squad that went to the state tournament. He graduated from Augsburg College in Minneapolis in 1960 with a degree in mathematics. While at Augsburg, he played for four years on the baseball and basketball teams and served as team captain. He was the starting pitcher on the MIAC championship team his junior season at Augsburg. He married Janet (Haeckel) Ziemann in September 1960, and the young couple resided in Paynesville, Minn., where Lowell taught math and coached the basketball team from 1960-64. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Jay and Suzanne. In 1964, the young family moved to Marshall, where he continued to teach and coach for another 13 years. In 1970 and 1974, he took Marshall Tiger basketball teams to the state tournament. Lowell's athletic achievements earned him a spot in three Halls of Fame. A career change to the insurance industry brought the couple to Arizona in 1985. After Janet's death in 1987, Lowell married Margery Jean (Capewell) Ziemann, and they were a devoted couple for 36 years. In retirement, he found creative outlets for his love of the Old West, doing wood carving and publishing more than a dozen collections of short stories under his pen name, A.L. Shane. Lowell was a faithful member of his church, a loving and caring friend, and mentor, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Lowell was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Olga; his wife Janet; his son-in law-Dean Schulz; and grandson Joshua Schulz. He is survived by his wife Jean; his sister Marilyn Stuckwisch; his children Jay (and Lisa) Ziemann and Suzanne (and Ron) Propoggio; his grandchildren Daniel (and Kaitlyn) Ziemann, Sarah Ziemann, Zachary Schulz, and Jacob Schulz; and his great-grandson Finley Ziemann. Blessed be his memory. In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family asks that donations be made to the 1970 Best Teammate Scholarship at the Pride in the Tiger Foundation ( or to a favorite charity.

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