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Obituaries from the week of April 26, 2000Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Violet E. Balko, 93

Services for Violet E. Balko were held on Wed., April 26, 2000 at Tracy Lutheran Church.

Officiating were Rev. Stephen Olson and Rev. Marlene Elmstrom. Soloist was Bill Elmstrom and organist was Dick Stelter. Casket bearers were Brad Johnson, David Johnson, Fred Brown, Tom Connors, Keith Johnson and Mathew Tufto.

Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handled the arrangements and interment was at the Tracy City Cemetery.

Violet Ellen Balko was born September 2, 1906 at Sanborn, Minnesota to George and Sarah (Busick) Fox.

She attended public schools and graduated from Sanborn High School.

Violet was married to Herman Johnson and they made their home in Tracy. To this union two sons were born, Leslie and James. Herman died in 1963.

Violet married Herman Balko on June 29, 1967 at Tracy Lutheran Church. They made their home in Tracy.

Violet was baptized into the Christian faith and later affirmed her baptismal convenant in the Rite of Confirmation. She was a member of the Tracy Lutheran Church and had served as president of the Ladies Aid and had taught Sunday School.

She served as the first president of the Tracy Hospital Auxiliary in 1961 and was the Chairman of the Lyon County Red Cross during the Vietnam War. Violet was also a member of the Garden Club, Sunshine Study Club, Degree of Honor and a Monday Morning Coffee Group.

Violet enjoyed playing cards especially Bridge and 500; traveling and spending time in their winter home in Sebring, Florida.

Violet was a loving wife and grandmother.

She became a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center six years ago and it was there that she died on Friday, April 21, at the age of 93 years.

Violet is survived by her husband, Herman; one son and daughter-in-law, James and Donna Johnson of Fairmont, MN; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and many friends.

Her parents, first husband, one son and one brother preceded her in death.

Blessed be her memory.

Richard Carlson, Sr., 65

Richard “Dick” Carlson, Sr. of New Ulm, died on Monday, April 24 at his home. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Ulm. Burial with full military honors conducted by the New Ulm Veterans Organizations will follow in the soldier's rest section of the New Ulm City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Firle Funeral Home in New Ulm and one hour prior to services at the church.

Richard Duane Carlson, Sr. the son of Fred and Margaret (Peterson) Carlson was born June 8, 1934 in Tracy, MN. He grew up in Walnut Grove and attended Walnut Grove High School. In 1953 he entered the Air Force in Salina, KS. Following his honorable discharge in 1957 from Pease Air Force Base in NH as an Airman 1st Class, he married Barbara Hutchins in Portsmouth, NH.

From 1958-1959 he attended Hansen Technical School in Fargo ND for Auto Body Repair. In 1959 he moved to New Ulm. On June 1, 1959 he started as an auto body repairman for New Ulm's Chuck Spaeth Ford. He retired April 12, 2000 just shy of 41 years with Ford. He was a member of Turner Hall and the American Legion. He greatly enjoyed old cars, doing stain glass work and woodworking, especially toys for his great-grandson.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of New Ulm; daughters Deb Fortwengler and husband Roger of Bloomington, MN, Kathy Jones of Corinth, MS, Tricia Rickman and her husband Jeff of Adamsville, TN; son, Richard Carlson, Jr. and his wife Leslie of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Heather and Keith Berndt, Jaime and Eric Cichon, Cortney Jones, Chad Carlson, Trinity & Trellany Rickman; great-grandson and special buddy, Dalton Berndt; mother Margaret (Mrs. Fred) Carlson of Walnut Grove; brother Roger Carlson and his wife Ellen of Sioux Falls, SD; brothers-in-law Leslie Hutchins and his wife Lynn of Port Royal, SC, John Hutchins and his wife Mary of Exeter, NH, Richard Hutchins and his wife Susan of Seabrook, NH; many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by a granddaughter Brandy Nicole Jones of Adamsville, TN, father Fred Carlson of Walnut Grove, MN and mother and father-in-law Leslie and Phyllis Hutchins of North Hampton, NH.

Allen Melligan, 76

Allen Melligan was born March 28, 1923 in Tracy to John and Edith Schafer Melligan and passed away at his home in Roseville, CA on April 19, 2000.

Allen attend school in District 40 in Gales Township. After school he went to Seattle, WA where he was employed at Boeing Aircraft. During World War II Allen was a Medic in the Army and took his training in the Army hospital at Fort Sam, Houston, TX, and was assigned to the 1st Infantry in Japan.

After the service he worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Roseville, CA for 30 years. He was a brakeman and conductor. After retirement he received letters from the railroad that he worked 30 years without an accident or injury.

Allen leaves to mourn his death, his wife, Betty of Roseville, two sons Dan of Sante Rosa, CA and Mike of San Jose, CA; one daughter Sheryl of Pasa Robles, CA; six grandchildren; two sisters, Myrna Anderson, Garvin, MN and Eunice Smith, Knoxville, IA; one brother Delbert Melligan of Acampe, CA.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Isabelle Abbot of Torrance, CA and one brother Carl Melligan of San Jose, CA.

Allie Witt, 76

Allie Witt, 76, died on Friday, April 21, 2000 at Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls, MN.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, April 25, at Black River Lutheran Church, St. Hilaire, MN with Reverend Galen Sylvester officiating. Burial was at Black River Lutheran Church Cemetery, Polk Centre Township, Pennington County, MN.

Allie Leona June Nelson was born on January 15, 1924, the daughter of Christ and Josephine “Josie” (Bendickson) Nelson in Agder Township, Marshall County, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Newfolden, MN. She grew up and attended school in Agder Township.

On November 16, 1942, she was united in marriage to Herman Witt at Holt, MN. The couple moved to Minneapolis where they lived for a few years. They returned to Dorothy, MN area and farmed. In 1950 they moved toward St. Hialire, MN and farmed in the area. Herman died on March 30, 1987. Allie continued to live on her farm. She worked making Lefse in St. Hilaire and for many years at Detroiter Mfg. in Red Lake Falls, MN, retiring in 1988.

Allie was a member of Black River Lutheran Church and the Ladies Aid. She loved to bowl and go dancing and was active in the Senior Center in Thief River Falls. She enjoyed traveling, working with flowers, vegetable gardening, crafting and was an excellent seamstress.

She is survived by daughter, Karen Bennett (Ernest Lothamer) of Fort Wayne, IN; two sons Kenneth (Linda) of Tracy, MN and Robert (Sherry) of Fairbanks, AK; seven grandchildren, Troy and Tanya Branstrator, Angela Reynolds, Daniel, Cory, Jason and Justin Witt; five great-grandchildren, Terra Lee Roling, Tyler Wiseman, Desmond and Dennis Reynolds and Wyatt Witt; special friend, Bentley Paulson, a sister-in-law, Jean Nelson of Thief River Falls, MN and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband; two sisters, Edith Miles and Sybil Knutson; four brothers, Lloyd, Seymore, Clifford and Vearl Nelson; nieces and nephews, Jerry Knutson, Leland Knutson, Jeanette Schwartz, Shirley Hagerness, Glenn Nelson and Vernon Nelson.

Melvin Berg, 94

Funeral services for Melvin Berg of Balaton will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 29, 2000, at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton. Burial will be in the Ruthton City Cemetery. Visitation at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, April 28th and on Saturday from 9 a.m. until time of service.

Mr. Berg died on Sunday, April 23, 2000, at the Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall.

Melvin Berg was born March 2, 1906 in Lyon County, Minnesota to Andrew and Marit (Almjeld) Berg. He was the second of six children. The family lived three miles north of Florence until 1915 when they moved into Florence. He attended rural school north of Florence. He enjoyed sports and as a young adult was a baseball pitcher on local town teams.

He worked on several farms in the Balaton and Florence areas.

He also worked at the Ruthton Elevator until it burned and then at the Florence Elevator.

He married Lucile (Oldenburg) Schenck on June 9, 1945. They lived on a farm west of Balaton until their retirement. In 1987, they moved to the Circle Pines Apartments in Balaton where they lived until Lucile's death in 1993. In 1994, he moved to the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton, where he lived until his death.

He is survived by a step-son, Clellan Schenck of Minneapolis, MN; three sisters, Connie Stromberg of Lake Benton, MN; Peggy Gray of Mankato, MN and Laura Abraham of Lake Benton, MN; nieces and nephews.

His parents, wife, one brother, Albert and one sister, Mabel Green preceded him in death.

Onie Schmitz, 68

Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Friday, April 28, 2000 at 10:30 a.m. for Leona “Onie” Schmitz at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 at the church and also one hour prior to the service. There will be 4:30 p.m. Catholic Daughters Rosary and 7:30 p.m. Prayers Service Thursday evening at the church.

Officiating will be Msgr. Paul Evers and Fr. Mike Schmitz. The organist is Pattie LeClaire. Special music by the IHM Church Choir.

Pallbearers are Shaun Polk, Matthew Polk, Steve Schmitz, Dave Rolfes, Darrell Sitzmann and Billy Ludwig.

Onie Schmitz was born on January 24, 1932 on a farm near LeMars, IA to Joseph and Rose Langel Rolfes. She grew up on the family farm and attended St. Joseph High School in LeMars and graduating in 1950.

On February 10, 1953 she and Norbert Schmitz were married at St. Joseph's Church in LeMars. Following their marriage they farmed for 38 years south of Currie. In 1970, they purchased the grain elevator in Currie and operated it as Schmitz Grain Co. until their retirement in 1991. Onie became a resident of Slayton Manor in February 1999 and passed away there on April 24, 2000 at the age of 68.

She was a member of IHM Church in Currie and had served as president of the W.C.C.W., was song leader, sang in the choir and belonged to Catholic Daughters of America. She belonged to the Currie Town and Country Club and had served as secretary. Onie loved people. She enjoyed bowling, gardening, singing, dancing, decorating and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Norbert Schmitz of Currie; seven children and their spouses: Barb and Gary Polk of Lake Zurich, IL, Mary Lynn and Quentin Fabro of Eagan, MN, Nancy Schmitz Adelmann of Apple Valley, MN, Doug and Karen Schmitz of Slayton, MN, Becky and Brad Ankrum of Farmington, MN, Sandy and Larry Jarmer of Westbrook, MN and Dan and Sue Schmitz of Currie, MN; 20 grandchildren: Shaun, Matthew, Sarah and Kelli Polk, Ashley, Cole, Whitney and Garrett Fabro, Annie Adelmann, Brooklyn and Rachel Schmitz, Christopher, Lindsey and Samantha Ankrum, Michael, Kassandra, Molly and Mitchell Jarmer, and McKenzie and Riley Schmitz; two brothers, six sisters and their spouses: Al and Kitty Rolfes of Des Moines, IA, Ann and Gus Puetz of LeMars, IA, Wally and Terry Rolfes of LeMars, IA, Rosie Sitzmann, Kingsley, IA. Esther and Ron Kurt of Primghar, IA, Betty Wolbers of LeMars, IA, Jeannie Ludwig of Indianola, IA and Lois and Paul Woll of Worthington, MN.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and two sisters, Rosela and Florence.

Interment is at Calvary Cemetery in Currie, MN with Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton in charge of arrangements.

Evelyn Schentzel, 87

Funeral services for Evelyn Schentzel, of Balaton, will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2000, at St. Peter's Ev. Lutheran Church in Balaton. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton will be from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, April 27 with a 7 p.m. prayer service and a time for sharing. Visitation will continue on Friday at the church one hour prior to services.

Mrs. Schentzel died on Saturday, April 22, 2000 at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton.

A complete obituary will be published later.