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

March 2023


Johnson Funeral Home


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Obituary Archives

Anne Lauer, 70, Hugo, Minn.
Anne Catherine Lauer, 70, of Hugo, Minn., passed away on Friday, March 10, 2023. She was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She touched many lives and will be missed greatly. Anne was born after a March snowstorm to Ada and Edwin Schlick. She had three older brothers (Jim, Joe, and John), and she grew up on the family farm just outside of St. Martin. Anne graduated from Paynesville High School and then earned a degree in textiles at the University of Minnesota. On June 9, 1973, she married her college sweetheart, Gary Lauer, and they rode off from the church on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Anne launched her career but then paused to start a family. She was devoted to her sons, Greg and Steve, and made many sacrifices for them. When the boys were older, Anne returned to the workforce and became a dedicated public servant. She retired as a program manager for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Anne had many hobbies and interests. She and Gary enjoyed traveling and spending time at their lake cabin. She was an avid quilter, gardener, and reader. She was an accomplished cook who won multiple recipe contests and also edited the Minnesota Sesquicentennial Cookbook. She was a master judge for the Kansas City Barbeque Society and served the local BBQ community. What Anne liked most of all was grandkids! She was grateful to her daughters-in-law, Mai and Jen, for blessing her with seven loving grandchildren: Vivi, Jacki, Izzi, Sam, Alex, Hanna, and Adrianna. From diapers to babysitting to homework to entertaining, Anne was tremendously involved with her grandkids. She hosted "Camp Lauer" every summer and was delighted whenever they visited. Anne was preceded in death by her parents, Ada and Edwin; and by her stepdad, Henry. She is survived by her husband; both sons and daughters-in-law; seven grandchildren; her three brothers; and many friends. A celebration of Anne's life will take place on Sunday, June 4. Details are pending and will be announced later.


Dr. John Welle, 89, Paynesville

Dr. John O. Welle, DDS, 89, of Paynesville, Minn., passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at his home in Paynesville. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Rev. Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Burial will take place in the St. Mary Parish Cemetery in Melrose. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services on Thursday at the church, with a Knights of Columbus rosary prayed at 9:30 a.m. in the church. John was born in Melrose, Minn., on April 15, 1933, to Ambrose and Ursula (O'Keefe) Welle. He was united in marriage to JoAnn (Petermeier) Welle at St. Boniface (now St. Mary's) Catholic Church, in Melrose in 1956. John attended the University of St. Thomas as an undergraduate and ultimately graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1958. Together John and JoAnn started raising a family in Milwaukee, Wis., and eventually moved to Bloomington, Minn., where John began practicing general dentistry and orthodontics. In 1970, John and JoAnn moved to Paynesville, where he ran a successful, solo dental practice for nearly 50 years and retired from dentistry/orthodontics in 2007. John loved spending time with family and friends and making memories. He was often the life of the party and a real character. Some of John and JoAnn's greatest family memories were created at their lake cabin on Big Birch Lake, north of Melrose. John spent as much time as he could with family and friends sailing on Big Birch Lake. He was also an avid snow skier and often traveled to Colorado on ski trips with family and friends. One of John's other passions was youth hockey. He and his wife JoAnn were instrumental in the formation and development of Paynesville Youth Hockey, starting in 1972. He spent numerous years as president of the association and assisting with coaching of his son's various hockey teams. John and JoAnn developed many lifelong friendships during their years of service to Paynesville Youth Hockey. John was also involved in the St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for many years. His catholic faith was a very important part of his life. John sang in the church choir for many years and taught catechism to children from the church on Wednesday nights. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. John is survived by his wife JoAnn (Petermeier) Welle; his children Lisa (Michael) Case, Mark Welle, Christopher (Grace) Welle, Gregory (Lynn) Welle, and Thomas (Kelly) Welle; sister Joan (Welle) Dougherty of Long Prairie, Minn.; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his parents Ambrose and Ursula (O'Keefe) Welle. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Catholic Charities. Their web-site is www.support.crs.org. Donations can be made in memory of John O. Welle.


Shawn Bruntlett, 52, Indiana

Shawn Bruntlett, 52, passed away from a heart attack at his home in Cormel, Ind., on Monday, March 13. He was the son of Craig and Angela Bruntlett and big brother to Eric Bruntlett; husband to Amy; and father to Kenny. Shawn was born in Minnesota on Sept. 18, 1970, and came to Indiana when his father began graduate work at Purdue. He attended Tippecanoe County Schools (Harrison High School), Indiana University. and Purdue University. Shawn was a standout student and athlete. His football and baseball endeavors resulted in numerous awards and recognitions; he was the first athlete inducted into the Harrison High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He never sought the spotlight, but it often found him. Shawn had an entrepreneurial spirit and owned a Chicago restaurant, the Jazzy Cafe, for several years before moving back to Indiana and settling in the Indianapolis area. He joined forces with Martha Hoover and assisted in growing the Cafe Patachou restaurant business, where he worked for 25 years. Friendships grew from his food community too╔employees and customers both demonstrated loyalty and love to him and now to his appreciative family. Shawn married the love of his life, Amy Hill, in 2002. Only recently sharing the comment, "I still really love that girl." They have a son, Kenneth James, now 18 years old and a senior at Carmel High School. Shawn was immediately proud of Kenny, who is so like his father. They share academic savvy, athletic drive, the ability to spin a tale, and intense loyalty to family and friends. Nothing made Shawn happier than watching Kenny in action. Shawn was also an avid bass fisherman, loved competition fishing, and the friends around it. He was his brother's best friend and best fan. He and Amy followed Eric's baseball career with passion buying every hat, jersey, and shirt, and traveling to the big-moment events. Theirs was a beautiful relationship. Shawn was proceeded in death by his grandparents, Ken and Eileen Flanders of Paynesville, Minn., Dale and Evelyn Bruntlett of Paynesville, Minn., and James Dailey of Chilicothe, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Amy; son, Kenny; his parents, Craig and Angela Bruntlett of Lafayette, Ind.; and his brother Eric and wife Eden; and nieces Kathryn and Elaina and nephew Hayes of Santa Rosa, Calif. Also by his loving sister-in-law, Karin Combs, her husband Jeff, and their daughter Ann Ulerick; brother-in-law, Matthew Hill, of Frankfort, Ohio; grandparents, Billie and Jack Hill, and Donna Dailey of Chilicothe Ohio; and by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. The family reflects on this life, gone too soon, with gratitude for the color and fun and love he brought for those 52 years. Services were held on Sunday, March 19, with visitation from 3 to 4 p.m., and the funeral service at 4 p.m. at the Indiana Funeral Care, Indianapolis, Ind. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a college account for Kenny at https://gofund.me/26550cd4 or to your favorite charity.


Dr. Richard Swenson, Eden Valley

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley for Dr. Richard John Swenson, 95, who passed away on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at the CentraCare Hospital in Paynesville. Rev. Aaron Nett officiated, and burial was in the parish cemetery. Richard John Swenson was born July 27, 1927, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Elmer Carl Swenson and Lois Eileen Glatzmaier. He grew up on a farm near Grove City, Minn., and graduated as valedictorian from high school. Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army and went through Officer Candidate School and Infantry School Class #543, and honorably served as a second lieutenant during Korea, with the 7th Infantry Division, 32nd Infantry. He came home and went to dental school, graduating from the University of Minnesota in 1953. He was united in marriage to Janet Kay Paschke from 1953-1963 and later married Mary Isabella Ouellette from 1964-1996. Richard practiced dentistry in Eden Valley for 50 years (1953-2003). He was awarded Dentist of the Year and Who's Who in 2001. He was a member of Assumption Catholic Church, American Dental Association, American Endodontic Society, West Center District Dental Society (board directors 1984), 2M Dental Study Group, Minnesota State Dental Society (certified 1955, 69), the Tri-County Dental Society (program director, 1961, and president, 1963-1966), president of the Eden Valley School Board, University of Minnesota Alumni Association and Dentistry Club, the Eden Valley American Legion Post #381, Wat-Kim-Valley VFW Post #5460, Knights of Columbus, Apache Junction Lions Club, and Koronis Hills Golf Club. Survivors include his children, Mary Swenson Schreiber, Ph.D., Colonel Richard (Tanya) Swenson, John (Margaret) Swenson, Catherine Isabella (Chuck) Sirvio, Christopher Swenson, Debra Lynn (Steve) Ewens, Lori Kay (David Mark) Anderson, and Barbara Jean Swenson (Syd Ewens); siblings, Marge Borgerding, Mary Joe Dauherty, and Greg (Jeanette) Swenson; grandchildren, Zachary, Matthew, and Elizabeth Schreiber, Hope, Reece, and Aaron Swenson, Thomas Hiemenz, Carlos Sirvio, Marty and Leslie Ewens, and Hannan Lisa and Chase Anderson; great-grandchild, Isla Kitchak; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Elizabeth Swenson; brothers-in-law, Jim Borgerding and Jim Dauherty; and nieces, Molly and Ann Borgerding. Arrangements were entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home in Eden Valley. Obituary, guest book, and video tribute are available online at: www.williamsdingmann.com.


Dr. John Welle, 89, Paynesville

Dr. John O. Welle, DDS, 89, of Paynesville, Minn., passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at his home in Paynesville. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Rev. Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Burial will take place in the St. Mary Parish Cemetery in Melrose. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services on Thursday at the church, with a Knights of Columbus rosary prayed at 9:30 a.m. in the church. John was born in Melrose, Minn., on April 15, 1933, to Ambrose and Ursula (O'Keefe) Welle. He was united in marriage to JoAnn (Petermeier) Welle at St. Boniface (now St. Mary's) Catholic Church, in Melrose in 1956. John attended the University of St. Thomas as an undergraduate and ultimately graduated from Marquette University School of Dentistry in 1958. Together John and JoAnn started raising a family in Milwaukee, Wis., and eventually moved to Bloomington, Minn., where John began practicing general dentistry and orthodontics. In 1970, John and JoAnn moved to Paynesville, where he ran a successful, solo dental practice for nearly 50 years and retired from dentistry/orthodontics in 2007. John loved spending time with family and friends and making memories. He was often the life of the party and a real character. Some of John and JoAnn's greatest family memories were created at their lake cabin on Big Birch Lake, north of Melrose. John spent as much time as he could with family and friends sailing on Big Birch Lake. He was also an avid snow skier and often traveled to Colorado on ski trips with family and friends. One of John's other passions was youth hockey. He and his wife JoAnn were instrumental in the formation and development of Paynesville Youth Hockey, starting in 1972. He spent numerous years as president of the association and assisting with coaching of his son's various hockey teams. John and JoAnn developed many lifelong friendships during their years of service to Paynesville Youth Hockey. John was also involved in the St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for many years. His catholic faith was a very important part of his life. John sang in the church choir for many years and taught catechism to children from the church on Wednesday nights. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. John is survived by his wife JoAnn (Petermeier) Welle; his children Lisa (Michael) Case, Mark Welle, Christopher (Grace) Welle, Gregory (Lynn) Welle, and Thomas (Kelly) Welle; sister Joan (Welle) Dougherty of Long Prairie, Minn.; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. John was preceded in death by his parents Ambrose and Ursula (O'Keefe) Welle. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Catholic Charities. Their web-site is www.support.crs.org. Donations can be made in memory of John O. Welle.


Louis Mayer, 93, Paynesville

Louis John Mayer, 93, of Paynesville passed away peacefully with family by his side on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. Visitation was held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud. Private burial will be in St. Louis Parish Cemetery. Louie was born on Aug. 5, 1929, in Richmond, Minn., to William and Helen (Feldhaus) Mayer. He married Lillian R. Mayer on Oct. 14, 1950, in Paynesville. Louie was employed as a custodian with Paynesville Schools for 42 years, retiring in 1992. He took great pride in his work and enjoyed the staff and students. He was a member of St. Louis Parish. Louie loved all types of fishing, traveling with Lil, tinkering in his shop, going to auctions with his brothers, and going to the thrashing shows in Albany. Above all, he treasured spending time with family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Lil; children, Karen (Dwight) Skillings, Diane Mayer, Brenda Mayer, and Daryl (Di) Mayer; grandchildren, Missy (Jason), DJ, and Chelsea; great-grandson, Riley; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; grandsons, Brandon and Justin; and siblings, Albert, Julius, Danny, Ray, Luvern, Delores, Millie, Lucille, Bennie, and Bernie.


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