April 2000 Obituaries

from The Paynesville Press
April 2000

Theresa Meyer
Theresa Meyer Theresa F. Meyer, 64, of Sauk Centre, died on Tuesday, April 18, 2000, at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Ky., from injuries received in an automobile accident.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 24, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Sauk Centre, with the Rev. Timothy Wenzel officiating. Casket bearers were Jason and Michelle Sontag, Phillip and Jeffrey Benusa, Jennifer and David Russell, Jessica and Sarah Fletcher. Cross bearer was Anne Russell, scripture bearer was Janelle Meyer, and flower bearer was Lindsay Meyer. Honorary bearers were Bea Zehrer, Martha Fiedler, Regina Brooks, Marlene Otte, Pat Neal, Marilyn Middendorf, Daisy Meier, Joan Tegels, Lois Pischke, Leora Calkins, Arlis Borgerding, and Pat Borgmann.

Private interment was held in the parish cemetery.

Theresa was born on July 17, 1935, in Lake Henry to Anton and Regina (Lieser) Fuchs. She was united in marriage to Julian G. Meyer on Aug. 17, 1953, at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Lake Henry. The couple farmed in Sauk Centre Township, Stearns County until retiring and moving to Sauk Centre in 1997.

She was a volunteer at Holy Family School, a former Gopher Prairie 4-H leader, and hosted 4-H exchange students. She also hosted a fund raiser at her home for building a church in Nicaragua, Central America. She was an excellent gardener and landscaper. She was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church, Christian Mothers, and Kozy Korners Homemaker's Club.

Survivors include her husband, Julian Meyer of Sauk Centre; nine children, Elaine (Michael) Benusa of Melbourne, Australia, Kathleen Meyer Sontag of Stillwater, Diane (Michael) Russell of Rochester, N.Y., Joseph of Boise, Idaho, Mark (Lois) of Elrosa, Mary (Kevin) Fletcher of Valley Center, Calif., John of Palm Bay, Fla., Paul (Carol) of Omaha, Neb., and Michael (Amy Pfannenstein) of St. Cloud; 13 grandchildren; siblings, Alice (John) Stalboerger of Cold Spring, Bernie (Arlyn) Hedke of Grove City, George (Jeanette) Fuchs, and Urban (Doreen) Fuchs of Paynesville.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Rosemary Knobloch, and an infant sister.

Mary Yoder
Mary Yoder, 81, of rural Grove City, died Saturday, April 22, in Swede Grove Township, Meeker County, Minn.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 26, at 9:30 a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Paynesville, with Melvin Beller and Abe Yoder officiating. Bearers will be grandsons, Steve Beiler, Jethro Beiler, Thaddeus Thayer, Darrell Yoder, Randall Yoder, and Lavern Yoder.

Interment will be at Burr Oak Cemetery in Union Grove Township, Meeker County.

Viewing will be available immediately after the services at the church.

Mary Yoder was born on April 16, 1919, in Hutchinson, Kan., to William and Rebecca (Nisly) Miller. She attended school through the eighth grade at East Eureka, Reno, County, Kan. In her youth, she accepted Jesus and was baptized in the fall of 1936.

On Feb. 26, 1942, Mary married John C. Yoder of Hutchinson, Kan., at the Amish Church in Hutchinson. They moved to a small farm in rural Hutchinson. On Oct. 14, 1944, John was ordained in the ministry, and Mary was a very dedicated wife and support to his ministry, and a jewel of a homemaker and mother.

They lived in the Hutchinson area until November 1955, when they moved temporarily to North Adams, Mich. In the spring of March 1958, they moved to Swede Grove Township, Meeker County, Minn., where the family has lived since.

Mary is survived by her husband, John; children, Elizabeth (Melvin) Beiler, Orpha Yoder and Ruth Yoder, all of Grove City; Reuben (Mary Ann) of Free Union, Va., Mary Esther (Richard) Thayer of Tampa, Kan., Simon (Ruth Carol) of Sparta, Wis., Nathan (Doris) of Free Union, Va., and John Mark (Ruth Ann) of Bluffton, Ind.; 45 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Emma Miller of Hutchinson, Kan., Elizabeth (Henry) Schrock of Eden Valley, and Edna (Harvey) Nisly of Hutchinson, Kan.; and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, William and Rebecca Miller; one sister; three brothers; and three grandchildren.

Mitchell Thompson
Mitchell A. Thompson, 74, of Belgrade, died Sunday, April 16, 2000, in Paynesville.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, at Grace Lutheran Church in Belgrade, with the Rev. Carl Listug officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held in the Grace East Lutheran Cemetery in rural Belgrade. Military rites will be provided by the Belgrade VFW Post 1825 and the New London American Legion Post #537.

Mitch was born on May 27, 1925, in Brookings, S.D. He was the son of Walfred and Emma (Madsen) Thompson. Mitch was baptized and confirmed, and grew up on the family farm near Estelline, S.D. He graduated from the Estelline High School in 1943. In 1957, he graduated from the Dunwoody Institute and the Minneapolis Vocational Schools. During World War II, Mitch served his country in the U.S. Army from March 1945 to December 1946.

On Sept. 22, 1948, he was married to Irene Oswskey in Watertown, S.D. They were married 51 years. Following their marriage, they farmed for four years on the family farm near Estelline. In 1953, they moved to Fridley, Minn., where Mitch worked for the Crown Iron and Remington Rand Steel Manufacturing companies. In 1958, they moved to New London, where Mitch was foreman at the Crow River Manufacturing Co. In March 1963, he founded Belgrade Manufacturing, which was later renamed the Belgrade Steel Tank Company. In 1965, Mitch and Irene moved to Belgrade, where they have lived since. In 1987, Mitch retired.

He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, the New London American Legion Post #537, and the Belgrade VFW Post #1825, of which he was past commander.

Mitch and Irene enjoyed music and dancing. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a strong and courageous fighter, and said he was just one good doctor away from beating lymphoma.

Mitch is survived by his wife, Irene of Belgrade; daughters, Sandra (Don) Westaby of Belgrade, Linda (Greg) Mueller of Belgrade, and Peggy (Chris) Spanier of Paynesville; sons, Walfred (Maureen) of Billings, Mont., Leslie (Brenda) of Belgrade, and Larry (Michelle) of Belgrade; 27 grand-children; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather, Fred Saaranen; an infant daughter; sisters, Virginia Appel and Betty Lou DeJong; and brothers, Donlin and Jewell Thompson.

Heidi Sturges
Heidi L. Sturges, 25, of Richmond, died Saturday, April 15, from injuries received in a motor vehicle accident.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2000, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Eden Valley.

Friends may call one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday.

Heidi was born on Feb. 3, 1975, in Faribault to Edward and Beverly (Johnson) Schmitz. She graduated from high school at Belgrade and lived in Paynesville and then Rockville. She married Robert Sturges on June 29, 1996, in St. Cloud, and they have lived in Richmond since their marriage. She worked as an order processor at Fingerhut in St. Cloud.

She was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Eden Valley. She belonged to the Cold Spring Car Club and the Rockie Riders Saddle Club.

Survivors include her husband, Robert; daughter, Brittany; and son, Cory, all of Richmond; father, Edward Schmitz of Watkins, mother, Beverly Schmitz of Rockville; brothers, Robert Schmitz of Watkins, Randy Schmitz of Fort Louis, Wash., Brian Schmitz of St. Cloud, and Steven Schmitz of Hawick; and sister, Laurie Tracy of Johnson.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Alford and Lucille Johnson and Theodore and Veronica Schmitz.

Ervin Kelm
Ervin H. Kelm, 85, of Eden Valley, died Saturday, April 15, 2000, at his home.

Services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2000, at Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley. The Rev. Virgil Braun officiated. Burial was in the parish cemetery.

Ervin was born on May 10, 1914, in rural Paynesville to Edward and Emma (Blaruck) Kelm. He married Mary Ellen Cashman on Feb. 4, 1939, at the Church of Our Lady in Manannah. He lived and farmed in rural Eden Valley until retiring in 1981, when they moved into Eden Valley. He was a member of Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley.

Survivors include children, Mary Jane (Jack) Fortman of Crystal, Edward (Carol) of Eden Valley, Harold (Betty) of Eden Valley, Margaret (Orville) Evens of Avon, LaVonne (Douglas) Kenning of Hutchinson, and Donald (Irma) of Paynesville; sisters, Lillian Wendroth of Eden Valley, and Miranda Smith and Esther Kalkbrenner, both of Litchfield; 16 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Ellen on Aug. 31, 1988; brother, Clarence Kelm; and grandson, Chad Evens.

Richard Schmidt
Richard Schmidt Richard Schmidt, 89, of Paynesville, died Thursday, April 13, 2000, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 17, at 10:30 a.m., at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville, with the Rev. Ric Koehn officiating. Interment was held in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Richard Schmidt was born on Aug. 16, 1910, in Graf Township, near Streeter, N.D. He was the son of Ludwig and Katherine (Graf) Schmidt. Richard grew up on a family farm near Streeter, where he attended a country school.

On Sept. 28, 1940, he married Ellentina "Ella" Martin in Medina, N.D. Following their marriage, they farmed on Richard's homestead. From 1943 to 1977, they farmed on Ella's homestead near Streeter. In 1977, he retired and they moved to Paynesville, where they have lived since.

Richard was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, and had a strong faith. He enjoyed farming and singing in the men's quartet and the church choir while living near Streeter.

Richard is survived by his wife, Ella of Paynesville; daughter, Berniece (Art) Voss of Paynesville; two grandsons; brothers, Art (Marvel) of Aurora, Colo., David (Alice) of Jamestown, N.D., Edmund (Reba) of Sioux City, Iowa; and sister, Cecelia Rivinius of Streeter, N.D.

He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother; brother, Ephriam; and sister, Lea Schmidt.

Donald Stern
Donald J. Stern, 75, of Prairie Farm, Wis., died Friday, April 7, 2000, at the Pioneer Nursing Home in Prairie Farm.

Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 10, at United Lutheran Church in Prairie Farm, with the Rev. Oz Twedt and Father Dennis Bauer officiating. Interment was in Vanceburg Cemetery in Sheridan. Graveside military rites were accorded by Holum-Waite American Legion Post 259.

Don was born Oct. 14, 1924, to Peter and Joahanna (Gysberg) Stern at Belgrade, Minn. He was raised and attended school in Paynesville, Minn. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

On June 24, 1945, he was married to Eleanor Hausken at Paynesville. They moved to Prairie Farm in 1949 and operated the theater there and later Don's Surplus, which they ran until retiring in 1979.

Don was very active in the community. He was a member of the Holum-Waite American Legion Post 259 of Prairie Farm for over 50 years, and the founder of Circle of Hope, a group home that he started for his daughter.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Richard and Alphonse.

He is survived by his wife, Eleanor of Prairie Farm; daughters, Patricia (James) Chuchwar of Cumberland, Wis., Linda (Terrance) McConnell of Blair, Wis., Debra Stern of Prairie Farm, and Diana (Marc) Wiesner of Prairie Farm; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters, Regina Reigert of Rosemount, Minn., Cecelia Bauer of Melrose, Minn., Anita Orbeck of Paynesville, Minn., Gertrude Clark of Burlington, Wis., Eleanor Gavin of St. Paul, Minn., Loraine (Delton) Oehlert of Dawson, Minn., and Dorothy Eberle of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Raymond Covert
Raymond E. Covert, 80, of Watkins and formerly of Eden Valley, died Tuesday, April 4, 2000, at the Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield.

Funeral services were at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, 2000, at the Assumption Catholic Church in Eden Valley.

Ray was born on Nov. 24, 1919, in Eden Valley to Howard and Hilda (Friedman) Covert. He was an Army veteran of World War II. After his discharge, he worked for the Red Cross for two years.

He married Coletta Braegelmann on April 21, 1956, in Des Moines, Iowa. He worked as a Star Route driver for the U.S. Postal Service all his adult life, retiring in 1990. He was a member of Assumption Catholic Church and Kimball American Legion Post #261.

Survivors include daughters, sons, and their spouses, Sandy Oestreich of Jordan, Rae Ann Brutger of Litchfield, Howard (Penny) of Eden Valley, Harold (Eva) of Willmar, Mark of Vancouver, Wash., Shelly (Russ) Brenny of St. Cloud, Kevin (Roxanne) of Willmar, Ronda (Eric) Amundson of Richfield, and Brenda (Daniel) Holthaus of Richmond; sisters, Edith Gibney of Minneapolis, Ruth Thonander of Chanhassen, and Mary Jane Cheney of Motley; 15 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Colletta, on June 29, 1997.

Norma Miller
Norma D. Miller, 82, of Paynesville, died Friday, March 31, 2000.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 6, at Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville, with the Rev. Ric Koehn officiating. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday at Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville, and one hour prior to the services at the church. Interment will be in the Salem Cemetery in rural Paynesville.

Norma Dorothy (Heitke) Miller, the daughter of Amandus and Bertha (Schalinske) Heitke, was born on Aug. 2, 1917, in Zion Township, Stearns County. She attended District #139, the Harding School in Zion Township, and graduated from Paynesville High School in 1937.

Norma was baptized and confirmed in Salem Evangelical Church in rural Paynesville. She was an active member of that congregation and later of Grace United Methodist Church in Paynesville. She taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school, and was active in the ladies aid and later a member of the Mary Circle of Grace Church. She was also a member of the Rebekah Lodge.

On Sept. 27, 1944, Norma was united in marriage to Orion E. Miller. They lived and farmed on the Miller family farm until 1994, when they moved to 700 Stearns Place in Paynesville.

She loved music, played the piano, and sang in the church choir. She also enjoyed gardening and entered an arrangement each year in the annual flower show in Paynesville, as well as serving as a judge for that event for many years. As a young woman, Norma worked at Feeman's Department Store in Minneapolis, and at the Super Value grocery store, the Paynesville Greenhouse, Jack's Outlet, and Easterdays Department Store, all in Paynesville.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Michael (Nancy) of Circle Pines, Richard (Connie) of St. Cloud, and Christine Miller (Greg Corner) of Albuquerque, N.M.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Orion; and sister, Fern Heitke Krupke.

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