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Obituaries from the week of December 12, 2001 Headlight Herald - Serving Tracy, Minnesota, since 1880

Doris E. DeWitt, 87

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 for Doris E. DeWitt at St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Balaton. Reverend Mark Zander officiated. Lois Zander was organist.

Casket bearers were Eldon Mitzner, Neil Schultz, Frank Post, Rob Goltz, Jim Wichmann and Lowell Wichmann.

Doris E. DeWitt was born March 21, 1914 to Henry and Mathilda (Mitzner) Breening in Balaton, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Balaton. She attended Balaton Public Schools and graduated from Balaton High School. She then attended Mankato Teacher's College and graduated in 1934.

Doris taught in several country schools around Balaton for five years. She also owned and operated the Style Center, a woman's clothing store in Balaton.

On June 30, 1940 Doris married William H. DeWitt at her parents' home in Balaton. The couple made their home on a farm in the Ruthton area. In 1943 they moved to a farm near Balaton where she and her husband farmed until 1978, when she and her husband retired and moved into Balaton.

Doris was a lifelong member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church and served as one of the church's first organists. She also served as aide officer, chairman of the Ladies Aide 50th anniversary and served on the Lyon County Cancer Board for more than 30 years. Doris enjoyed her flower garden, knitting, crocheting, sewing and she and her husband were members of a square dancing group in the area.

Doris became a resident of the Colonial Manor in March of 2001 and died December 8, 2001 at the Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall at the age of 87.

She is survived by one sister, Lila Lee of Balaton, MN; one niece, Kathy Swanson of Mahtomedi, MN; three nephews, Robert (Nancy) Breening of Mahtomedi, MN, Jack (Kathleen) Lee of Richfield, MN, Kent Lee of Carver, MN and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, one brother, Martin, one sister, LaDonna.

Burial was in St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery, Balaton, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton handling arrangements.

Don Burke, 83

Funeral services were held for Don Burke on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at First Congregational Church in Garvin, MN. Reverend Edsel Miller officiated. Soloist was Jerry Engesser with Doreen Brock as organist.

Casket bearers were Todd Miller, Jon Wendorff, Dale Furan, Kevin Mayer, Jim Julien and Craig Staufacker.

Honorary casket bearers were Glennis and Lois Staufacker, Ron and Kristi Krause, Darrell and Linda Wendorff, Dotty Furan, Lee Richmond, Jannie Staufacker, Steve Albrecht, Kelli Wendorff, Lori Mayer, Ryan and Jessica Wendorff, Mary Staufacker and Millie Miller.

Don Melvin Burke was born September 22, 1918 to Ben and Ruby (Beers) Burke in Lake Wilson, Minnesota. He attended country schools in Murray County and graduated high school in Lake Wilson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith. After graduation, Don moved to Sioux City, IA and attended welding school and was asked to stay on and become an instructor.

On June 8, 1944 Don married Anna Gene Johnson at her parents' farm near Balaton, MN. The couple moved to Minneapolis the first year of their marriage, where Don was employed at the shipyards in Savage, MN. The following year they returned to farming in the Balaton, Russell, Arco and Garvin areas. Upon retirement Don and Anna Gene moved to an acreage south of Tracy.

He was a dedicated Christian and a trustee of the Garvin Congregational Church. Don was a member of the Lions Club. His family and extended family were very important to him and he enjoyed spending time with them. He also enjoyed hunting, reading, playing cards and dancing. He loved to garden, especially enjoyed growing gladiolas.

Don died December 8, 2001 at The Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 83.

He is survived by his wife, Anna Gene, son Dale of Mt. Pleasant, SC, one daughter Linda (Jim) Furan of Ramsey, MN; two granddaughters, Jennifer Furan of Coon Rapids, MN and Shannon Furan of St. Cloud, MN; two brothers, Daryl and wife Lorna of Willow Lake, SD and Orval of Pipestone; one sister, Shyla Walsh of MO; nieces, nephews and many close friends.

Don is preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Wayne Beers and two sister-in-laws.

Interment was at Lakeside Cemetery in Balaton with the Almlie Funeral Home handling arrangements.

John H. Martin, 71

Funeral services were held on Friday, December 7, 2001 for John Henry Martin at the Garvin Congregational Church in Garvin. Reverend Edsel Miller officiated. Soloist was Jerry Engesser, Chris Brand provided special music and Doreen Brock was organist.

Casket bearers were Tolif Martin, Chris Brand, Jeff Martin, Dennis Engesser, Keith Engesser and David Engesser.

John Henry Martin was born September 3, 1930 to Ernest and Helen (Curtis) Martin in Garvin, MN. He was baptized and confirmed at the Garvin Congregational Church and attended the Garvin Public School. John went to work for the Tri-County Co-op in Marshall when he was sixteen and in 1948, at the age of eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Air Force.

He finished his high school education while in the Air Force and served in many overseas locations, including Guam, Korea, Japan and N. Africa, during the time of 1948 through 1956.

On April 10,1954 John married Shirley Engesser at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy, MN. Together they lived at bases around the United States. In 1956, John attended Officer Candidate School in New Mexico and then went on to manage air traffic control activities in several east coast bases from `57 to `60. He was stationed at several U.S. bases over the next 8 years as personnel and communications officer. In 1968, John became Squadron Commander and Director of Personnel for Alaskan Communications Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. In 1971 he went to Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Missouri, home of the Headquarters of Air Force Communications, as Director of Assignments. While stationed there John completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business Administration at Park College in Parkville, Missouri. John retired from the Air Force with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1975 and he and his family moved back to Balaton, MN.

John bought the Morgan Popcorn Company in 1976 and was in business until 1985 when health problems required him to retire. He had been active over the years in many programs including Little League Baseball, PTA and Junior Chamber of Commerce. John was a past member of the Balaton City Council and a life long member of the Garvin Congregational Church. He enjoyed golfing, bowling, hunting and fishing and enjoyed gardening.

John died December 3, 2001 at the Royal C. Johnson Memorial Hospital (VA) in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 71.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley; one daughter, Deb Brand of Kansas City, MO; two sons, Michael and his wife Karen of Balaton, MN, Curtis and his wife Ronda of Wasilla, AK; four grandchildren, Tolif and Candie of Denver, CO, Chris of Kansas City, MO and Cody of Wasilla, AK; two sisters, June Rupp of Choctaw, OK and Eileen Habbin of Tracy, MN; two brothers, Don of Marshall, MN and Dick of Minneapolis, MN; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His parents, one half brother, Leroy and two sisters, Joyce and Ruth preceded him in death.

Burial was at Bethel (Custer) Cemetery, Tracy, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton handling arrangements.

Viona Pagel, 82

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Friday, December 14, 2001 for Viona Pagel. Viona passed away at her home on Friday, December 7. The services will be at the Church of Christ in Tracy.

Jacobson Funeral Service is handling arrangements.

A complete obituary will be published next week.

Jolene Snyder, 46

Jolene Snyder, 46, of rural Rapidon, passed away peacefully on December 5, 2001 after a challenging battle with pancreatic cancer.

Jolene Snyder was born August 26, 1955 to Cleve and Muriel Beebout and grew up in rural Milroy. March 22, 1973 she married Dale Snyder with whom she had three children. She enjoyed reading, gardening, and spending time with her family and horses. She loved animals and it showed in her work as a self-employed pet groomer. Her sweet, gentle nature and good humor were endearing to all who knew her. She will be missed greatly and will always be remembered for her never-ending strength of character, her contagious smile and her warm heart.

A celebration of her life took place on Friday, December 7 at Mankato Mortuary. Her final resting place and ceremony was on Saturday, December 8 in Milroy.

Jolene is survived by her husband, Dale; daughter and son-in-law Nikki and Chris Roberts; son, Travis; daughter, Erin; parents, Cleve and Muriel Beebout; two sisters and their husbands, Peggy and Larry Rolland and Patty and Gary Steuerwald; two brothers and their wives, Lynn and Deb Beebout and Ron and Gwen Beebout; sister-in-law, Marianne Beebout; brother-in-law, Jim Gregor; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by her brother Doug Beebout, sister Jackie Gregor, father-in-law Gerald Snyder and her sister-in-law Gwen Scott.

Memorials may be sent to PanCAN (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network), Immanuel St. Joseph Hospice Program or the Humane Society.

The Mankato Mortuary handled arrangements.

Evangeline Wawers, 84

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 for Evangeline Wawers at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Fonda, IA. Rev. Harry McAlpine officiated with Marie Eckerman as organist, Mary Kohnen as cantor and Jeff Rudloff, soloist.

Casket bearers were Sean Deuth, Paul Deuth, Nicholas Kurtz, Nathan Greenfield, Jacob Kurtz and Darwin Saxton.

Evangeline V. Wawers, daughter of William and Veronica (Kuemper) Fritz, was born August 23, 1917 at St. Kilian, MN. She received her education at St. Kilian School and graduated from Adrian High School in Adrian, MN. She joined the U.S. Navy in May, 1944 to April, 1946. She married Edwin G. Wawers on June 2, 1948 at St. Kilian Church in St. Kilian, MN.

Evangeline worked for the Veterans Administration in Worthington, MN and then moved to Mankato, MN. She also worked at the Fairmount Bank in Fairmount, ND and the couple moved to Garvin, MN before moving to Fonda, IA where they made their home.

Evangeline passed away December 7, 2001 at the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake, IA at the age of 84 years.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three brothers, a sister and two granddaughters.
Evangeline is survived by her husband, Edwin; daughters, Patricia Deuth and husband Jack of Montevideo, MN, Joan Kurtz and husband Bruce of Storm Lake, IA and Catherine Greenfield and husband, Larry of Fonda; grandchildren Sean Deuth, Melissa Deuth, Paul Deuth, Jacob Kurtz, Nicholas Kurtz, Veronica Kurtz, Nathan Greenfield and Morgan Graaf; great-grandchildren Tyler Deuth, Colby Deuth and Ashlen Graaf; a brother, Robert Fritz of Worthington, MN and two sisters, Peggy Saxton of Garvin, MN and Mary Ann Osen and husband Arlis of Mitchel, SD.

Interment was at Mt. Zion Cemetery, Fonda, IA with Military Rites by Ray Murphy American Legion Post 114 of Fonda.

Mahaney Funeral Home of Fonda, IA handled arrangements.

Cleotha Zieske, 86

Funeral services were held on Friday, December 7, 2001 for Cleotha Zieske of Walnut Grove at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. Pastor Paul Carlson officiated.

Casket bearers were David Kamolz, Dean Kamolz, Jeff Zieske, Amy Zieske, Bryant Helgeson and Stephanie Helgeson.

Cleotha (Cleo) was born September 22, 1915 at Comfrey, MN the daughter of Charles and Ella Krueger Schneider. The family moved to Walnut Grove in 1924, where Cleo attended the Walnut Grove Schools and graduated in May of 1933.

She went to Brady Rogers Schools of Cosmetology in Minneapolis and after completing the course she was employed at Doigs Beauty Shop in Walnut Grove and then Walt's Barber and Beauty Shop in Walnut Grove.

She was united in marriage to Donald Zieske on February 25, 1939 by Reverend O.J. Govig in Walnut Grove. The couple had one son Steve.

Cleo was a member of English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.

She passed away on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 at the St. John's Lutheran Home in Springfield, MN.

She is survived by one son Steve of Bloomington, MN; two grandchildren Jeff and Amy; one sister and brother-in-law Audrey and Vince Kamolz and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Donald in 1976 and one brother Harlowe.

Burial was in the Springfield City Cemetery with the Jacobson Funeral Home handling arrangements.