June 2001 Obituaries
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from The Paynesville Press
June 2001

Johnson Funeral Home

Verdon Skoglund
Verdon E. (Butch) Skoglund, 71, of Willmar, was found dead on Monday, June 11, 2001, at his home near Eagle Lake.

Funeral services were held on Monday, June 18, at the Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar with Rev. Steven Knudson officiating. Interment was in the Union Cemetery in Atwater. Military honors were provided by the Atwater American Legion Post.

Verdon Skoglund was born on Aug. 10, 1929, in St. Paul, the son of Victor and Olga (Larson) Skoglund. He grew up in St. Paul and at the age of 15, moved with his family to Atwater. Verdon was baptized in Amery, Wis., and confirmed in St. Paul. He graduated from Atwater High School in 1947. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict and served as a MP stationed in Germany.

On May 5, 1956, Verdon married Marlene Everson in Atwater. For several years he was employed as a brakeman and conductor on the Burlington-Northern Railroad, re-tiring in 1992.

Survivors include his son, Bradley (Terry) Skoglund of Paynesville; two granddaughters; and his mother, Olga Skoglund of New London.

He was preceded in death by his father; wife, Marlene; and son, Steve.

Marlene Skoglund
Marlene S. Skoglund, 67, of Willmar was found dead on Monday, June 11, 2001, at her home near Eagle Lake.

Funeral services were held on Monday, June 18, at the Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar with Rev. Steven Knudson officiating. Interment was in the Union Cemetery in Atwater.

Marlene Skoglund was born on Aug. 27, 1933, to Alexander and Elsie (Johnson) Everson at Litchfield. She grew up in the rural Atwater community, was baptized and confirmed at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, and graduated from Atwater High School in 1951. She received training as a lab technician in Minneapolis.

On May 5, 1956, she married Verdon E. Skoglund in Atwater. She was employed as a lab technician at the Willmar Clinic and later at the Willmar Regional Treatment Center. She was a member of the Vinje Church Altar Guild, the garden club, the Bremer Friends, and the Good Neighbor Club.

Survivors include her son, Brad (Terry) Skoglund of Paynesville; two granddaughters; and brothers and sister, LeRoy (Barbara) Everson of Atwater, Ronald (Linda) Everson of Atwater, JoAnne (Edward) Anderson of Tucson, Ariz.; her mother-in-law Olga Skoglund of New London; and a brother-in-law Peter Miller of Weston, Conn.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband, Verdon; son, Steve; a sister, Gloria Miller; and a nephew, Toran Everson.

Clara Burg
Clara Burg, 89, died Friday, June 15, 2001, at St. Benedict's Center, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Funeral services were at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 18, at St. Martin Catholic Church. Burial was in the St. Martin Catholic Cemetery.

Clara Burg was born in St. Martin to Peter J. and Mary (Mohs) Schaefer. She married Leo Burg on June 29, 1932, in St. Martin. She was a longtime employee of St. Rafael's Home, St. Cloud. She was a member of the St. Mary's Ladies Society, St. Cloud, and the St. Ann's Society, St. Martin.

Survivors include her children: Virgil (Rose) of Upsala, Romona (Bernard) Stang of Paynesville, Marilyn (Donald) Neary of Edina, Beatrice (Ken) Schmidt of Lincoln, Neb., David (Sharon) of Bloomington, Victoria (Guenther) Burg Schmidt of Kent, Wash., Victor (Evelyn) of St. Cloud, Dennis (Wynn) of Burnsville, and Harvey (Jan) of St. Cloud; brothers, Matt Schaefer of St. Cloud, Benedict Schaefer of Minneapolis, Herman Schaefer of St. Martin; sisters, Susan Kuhl of St. Cloud, Gertrude Hellmann of Melrose, Margaret Kinzer of Gilman, and MaryAnn Lauer of St. Martin; 19 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.

Sally Nistler
Sally T. Nistler, 87, of Paynesville and formerly of Grove City, died Monday, June 11, 2001, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, June 19, at the Church of Our Lady Catholic Church in Manannah with the Rev. Francis Garvey officiating. Burial was in the Burr Oak Cemetery in rural Paynesville.

Sally was born March 14, 1914, in Jacob's Prairie to Joseph and Helen (Schmidt) Weidert. She was raised in the Rockville area. She married Frank X. Nistler on April 21, 1936, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Rockville. They lived and farmed in Eden Valley until 1944. They moved south of Lake Koronis where she continued to live and farm until 1998 when she became a resident of the Koronis Manor. Frank died in 1986. She enjoyed flowers and gardening and was a long time member of the Church of Our Lady in Manannah.

Survivors are her children: Linus Nistler of Paynesville, Mary Herbert of Hutchinson, and Tony Nistler of Grove City; 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters Lee Weidert of Ripon, Calif., Joseph Weidert of Ripon, Calif., Richard Weidert of Colbert, Wash., Clarence Weidert of Minneapolis, Erma Weidert of Sun City, Ariz., Marie Elliot of Sun City, Ariz., and Alvina Theisen of St. Joseph.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband; sons Francis and Lester; grandson Patrick Nistler; and brothers, Al and Leo Weidert.

Robert Landgraf
Robert K. Landgraf died on April 23, 2001. A private interment was held on April 26 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Robert was born in Canby, Minn., on May 15, 1919, to John and Vina Landgraf. The family moved to Paynesville when he was in fourth grade. He entered the military in 1940 and married Wilma DeBlois of Paynesville in 1942.

Of his five years in active duty, three years were spent in foreign combat. First Lieutenant Landgraf was in battles and campaigns in New Britain, Panoy, Luzon, and New Guinea. He received the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with four Bronze Stars, American Defense Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, American Theater Ribbon, and Purple Heart.

Bob returned home in December 1945. He started his career in the restaurant business at Nash-Finch in St. Cloud. In 1960, Bob and Wilma moved to Roseville with their two sons, Toby and Steven, where he started his own business, the Minneapolis Restaurant Supply. After 30 years in business, Bob retired at the age of 55 upon the sale of his company to Super Valu. At retirement he was able to enjoy his family, friends, golf, and travel.

He is survived by is wife, Wilma.

He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Toby; and brother and sister, Arnold Landgraf and Lorraine Nehring.

Gerald Thomes
Gerald Thomes Gerald F. Thomes, 51, of Paynesville, died Saturday, June 9, 2001, in Osakis, Minn., while fishing with his friends.

Funeral services are 10:30 a.m. today, Wednesday, June 13, at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville, with the Rev. Richard Leisen and Rev. Richard McGuire officiating. Burial will take place in the St. Agnes Parish Cemetery in Roscoe with full military honors provided by the Paynesville American Legion Post 271.

Gerald was born Aug. 9, 1949, in Richmond, to Joseph and Gertrude (Mackedanz) Thomes. He graduated from Paynesville High School in 1967. He attended Redwood Falls Vocational and Technical College to become an electrician. He served in the United States Army from 1969-1971, serving one tour of duty in Vietnam. He retired from the Air National Guard in 1999, after 20 years of service. He worked at Fingerhut, Cold Spring Granite, and later at Jennie-O Foods as an electrician. He married Theresia Decker on May 24, 1980, in Willmar.

He was a member of the St. Louis Catholic Church, St. Louis Knights of Columbus, Paynesville Catholic Aid Association, and the Paynesville American Legion Post 271 where he was commander from 1998-2001, overseeing the construction of the new legion hall.

Surviving Gerald are his wife, Theresia of Paynesville; daughter, Tamara Thomes of St. Stephen; mother Gertrude Thomes of Roscoe; step-children, Linda (Greg) Grange of Portal, N.D., Kevin (Sharon) Schmitz of Richmond, James (Brenda) Schmitz of Paynesville, Wayne (Joan) Schmitz of Sartell, Theresa (Paul) Braegelmann of Cold Spring, and Janet (Chad) Laughlin of Pennock; nine grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Judith (Ken) Erkens of Champlin, Ken (Diane) Thomes of Andover, Jeanne (Gene) Harter of St. Joseph, Alice (Wayne) Teicher of Eden Valley, Annette (Rick) Fahnhorst of St. Cloud, Karen (Tim) Schleicher of Albany, Grace (Todd) Jelle of Champlin, Joseph (Debra) Thomes of Cold Spring, Wally (Sandy) Thomes of Cold Spring, and Jim (Brenda) Thomes of Brainerd.

Preceding him in death were his father (1999); brother, John; and granddaughter, Courtney Schmitz.

Lester Morgan
Lester John Morgan, 83, of Paynesville, died Sunday, June 3, 2001, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, at the Paynesville Lutheran church with Rev Jeff Bergman and Rev. Dave Nelson officiating. Visitation will be held 5 to 9 p.m. tonight at Johnson Funeral Home in Paynesville and one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Lester Morgan was born Oct. 27, 1917, in Tracy to William and Hannah (Lewis) Morgan. Lester was baptized at a Welsh country church near Tracy and later confirmed. He grew up on a family farm near Tracy where he attended a country school. In 1935, he graduated from Tracy High School. On Nov. 18, 1948, he married Esther Menk at the Zion Lutheran Church in Tracy. Following their marriage they farmed the family farm, which was the original homestead, near Tracy. In 1986, Lester retired from farming. In 1989, they moved to Paynesville where they have lived since. Lester has been a resident at the Koronis Manor since 1995. He was a member of the Paynesville Lutheran Church.

Lester was a Monroe Township election clerk while living near Tracy. He enjoyed farming, fiddle music, and the Grand Ole Opry.

Survivors include his wife, Esther of Paynesville; sons, Bruce (Anne) of Eagan and Dennis (June) of Nashville, Tenn.; daughter Julie (Pat) of Eagan; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and infant brother Cecil.

Irene Mohr
Irene Mohr Irene Mehr, 85, of St. Martin, died Saturday, June 2, 2001, at Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Funeral services are today, Wednesday, June 6, at 11 a.m. at St. Martin Catholic Church with Rev. Michael Kwatera OSB officiating. Burial is in the parish cemetery.

Irene was born Sept. 4, 1915, in Richmond to Herman and Catherine (Niehaus) Vogt. She married Benedict Mehr on Nov. 26, 1940, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Richmond. The couple farmed near St. Martin most of their married lives. She moved to the Koronis Manor in Paynesville in May 2001. She was a member of St. Martin Catholic Church and St. Anne's Christian Mothers.

Survivors include her children: Roger Mehr of St. Martin, and Audrey (Joe) McCoy of Long Prairie; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren She was preceded in death by her parents, husband on April 6, 1986, and 10 brothers and sisters.

Gerald Kohnen
Gerald Kohnen Gerald Walter Kohnen, 69, of Paynesville, died on Friday, June 1, 2001, at the Paynesville Area Hospital.

Services are today Wednesday, June 6, at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roscoe with Rev. Leo Leisen officiating. Burial is in the St. Agnes Parish Cemetery in Roscoe.

Gerald Walter Kohnen was born on Sept. 12, 1931, in Minneapolis, to Walter and Florence (Wachtler) Kohnen. He was a 1949 graduate of Mound High School. He farmed in Maple Plain and Rockford. He married Alicia R. Steffens on June 14, 1952, at St. Michael's Catholic Church in St. Michael. He was employed by REA Express for seven years. He moved to a farm in Zion Township in March 1973. Since 1992 Gerald and Alicia have spent their winters in Mesa, Ariz. Gerald was a member of St. Agnes Parish and Mission Group.

Survivors include his wife, Alicia of Paynesville; children, Mary Ellen (Arnold) Bechtold of Rogers, Debra (James) Novacek of South Haven, Donald (Carol) of Paynesville, Karen (Joe) Fleischhacker of Watkins, James (Dotzie) Kohnen of Paynesville, Robert (Tina) Kohnen of Paynesville, and Terri (Glen) Fleischhacker of Freeport; 23 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Carol (LeRoy) Taylor of Hamel, and Diane (Jim) Keeley of New Hope.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and one granddaughter, Brenda Kohnen.

Frances Seifert
Frances Seifert Frances Seifert, 94, of Paynesville, died June 1, 2001, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Services were on Monday, June 4, at St. Louis Catholic Church with Rev. Richard Leisen officiating. Burial was in the St. Louis Parish Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Steven Olson, LuVerne Olson, Richard Neudecker, David Neudecker, Ray Plotz, and Leo Plotz. Honorary pallbearers were Mathias Neudecker, Lois Goblirsch, and Adrian Hyde.

Frances was born on Nov. 10, 1906, in Willow Lake Township to Frank and Mar (Dussl) Bruckbauer. She married Frank Seifert on May 10, 1932, at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Wanda, Minn. After their marriage they moved to Paynesville where they owned and operated Frank's Cafe for 37 years, retiring in 1969. She was a member of St. Louis Parish, ladies aid, Little Flower Mission Group, and the Daughters of Isabella. She was a charter member of the Paynesville Lions Club and was active in various Lions Club projects.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband on April 14, 1971; three brothers, Frank, Andrew, and Joseph; and four sisters, Bertha Plotz, Rose Neudecker, Clara Neudecker, and Elsie Olson.

Ralph Runge
Ralph Runge, 95, Paynesville, died Thursday, May 31, 2001, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Funeral services were Monday, June 4, at the Paynesville Lutheran Church with Rev. David Nelson and Rev. Jeff Bergman officiating. Interment was in the Paynesville Cemetery.

Ralph Henry Runge was born April 25, 1906, in Elgin, Ill., to Albert and Louise (Hendricks) Runge. At a young age Ralph moved with his family to a farm near St. James, Minn., where he grew up. He attended District 22 school in Watonwan County and the Mankato Business School. On Dec. 28, 1929, Ralph married Helen Laura Moss in Elgin, Ill. Following their marriage they lived in St. James where Ralph owned and operated Runge's Plumbing and Heating for several years. During this time Ralph was the plumbing contractor for the new Paynesville High School and for one of the additions to the Paynesville Hospital. They later moved to Paynesville and lived on Rice Lake. Helen died Aug. 22, 1998.

Ralph was a member of the Paynesville Lutheran Church, Masonic Lodge, and Shriner's. He was formerly the state president of the Minnesota Senior Federation, a St. James city council member, a St. James volunteer fireman, and a member of the St. James Lutheran Church where he had served on the church council. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening.

Survivors include his daughter, Lois Runge of Paynesville; and a sister, Ione (Eugene) Stein of Minneapolis.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and sisters, Ethel Koenig and Blanche Hudson.

Alois Wensmann
Alois Wensmann, 91, of Albany, died on Sunday, May 27, 2001, at Mother of Mercy Nursing Home.

Funeral services were Wednesday, May 30, at Seven Dolors Catholic Church of Albany with interment in the parish cemetery.

Alois Wensmann was born Aug. 3, 1909, in Freeport to Bernard and Elizabeth (Hoppe) Wensmann. He married Elizabeth Rademacher on Oct. 20, 1936, in Melrose. Together they farmed south of Freeport until 1972 when he retired. In the early 1970s, he worked for Sand's Construction, later for Spanier Construction, and in the early 1980s, for Green Thumb.

Alois received the outstanding senior citizen award from Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson. He spent the last 12 winters in Arizona. He was a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church, St. Joseph's Catholic Aid Society, New Munich Foresters, Seven Dolors Church choir, and the Albany Senior Citizens.

Survivors include his children: Lawrence Wensmann of St. Joseph, Ronald Wensmann of Richmond, Mike Wensmann of Cold Spring, LuAnn Schaefer of Paynesville, Kathy Spanier of Mesa, Ariz., Irene Cornelius of Detroit Lakes, Marilyn Juen of Hayward, Wis., and Sue Shay of Albany; brother Paul Wensmann of Sauk Rapids; 22 grandchildren; and longtime special friend, Dorothy Haberman of Slayton.

Alois was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth, in September of 1985; an infant son, Ervin; and sisters, Minnie Job and Clara Fitzgerald.

Jacob Ries
Jacob M. Ries, 92, of Paynesville, died Sunday, May 27, 2001, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Mass of Christian burial was Thursday, May 31, at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville with Father Richard Leisen officiating. Entombment was in the parish mausoleum.

Jacob Michael Ries was born Sept. 6, 1908, to John and Agatha (Koehn) Ries in Fern Valley, Iowa. At a young age Jake moved with his family to the Madelia-St. James area where they farmed.

On Jan. 18, 1943, he married Marion Davis in Madelia. They farmed in the Madelia, Fulda, Grove City, Elrosa, and Padua areas. In 1965, he retired from farming and they moved to Paynesville where he worked for the Fullerton Lumber-yard. He also worked at the Sonstegard Turkey Farms near Paynesville for several years. Marion died June 28, 2000. Since then, he has lived at the Good Samaritan Care Center in Paynesville.

Jake was a member of the St. Louis Catholic Church. He loved fishing, playing cards, and mowing his lawn.

Survivors include his children: Barbara Moritz of West Fargo, N.D., Sharon (Art) Weber of Blooming-ton, Jean (Donnie) Lahr of Sauk Centre, and Mary Anne (Clyde) Westbrock of Holdingford; 14 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; sisters, Cecelia Wolle of Mountain Lake, and Margaret Mathistad of Portland, Ore.; and a brother, Lawrence Ries of Madelia

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and six sisters.

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