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Obituaries from the week of April 24, 2002

Gordon C. Holland, 79

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 22, 2002 at Lake Sarah Lutheran Church for Gordon C. Holland. Reverend Melba Smith officiated. Soloist was Debra Janssen with Lois Robinson as accompanis and Darwin Smith as organist.

Casket bearers were the Garvin American Legion Post #273. Military Honor Guard was the Tracy American Legion Post #173.

Gordon Coyle Holland was born June 23, 1922 to George and Viva (Coyle) Holland in Tracy, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Gordon graduated from Tracy High School and then attended 2 years of Agriculture School in St. Paul.

After completion of school he continued farming with his family on various farms in the Garvin area. he helped with the building of Lake Sarah Lutheran Church where he was an active member. As a young man Gordon became a part-time rural mail carrier out of the Garvin Post Office. On March 9, 1945 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Japan as part of the Occupational Forces. He was discharged in December of 1946 and returned to the Garvin area. He became a full time rural mail carrier for Garvin and also worked part-time for the Garvin Grain Elevator.

Gordon was a member of his church council, the Garvin American Legion Post #273 and a charter member of the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum, serving as treasurer for all three organizations. He prepared hand made crosses for many area cemeteries for their memorial celebrations, he taught Sunday School, was a member of the choir, taught confirmation, was a Boy Scout leader and assisted with several 4-H groups. Gordon was also an active member of Kiwanis and enjoyed photography, woodworking, reading, collecting Zane Grey and Louis LaMour books, stamps and completing jigsaw and crossword puzzles.

On September 18, 1988 Gordon married Inez Struble at Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin. The couple made their home in Tracy, MN. They enjoyed traveling to many places including Alaska and especially wintering in Arizona where he enjoyed bowling, shuffleboard, billiards, playing cards and socializing with neighbors.

Gordon died Tuesday, April 16, 2002 at the Odyssey Hospice in Mesa, AZ at the age of 79.

He is survived by his wife, Inez; one son, Loren (Janet) Struble of Huron, SD; one daughter, Sharon (Ronald) Smithberg of Fargo, ND; five grandchildren, Lance and Derek Struble, Lissa, Tara and Amber Lockwood; one great-grandson, Austin Lockwood; one sister, Marjorie Hengeveld; three nephews, four nieces and many cousins.

Gordon was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Ronald.

Burial was in the Modem Cemetery, Slayton, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling arrangements.

William Leysen, 90

Funeral services were held on Wed., April 24, 2002 for William Leysen, at the First Presbyterian Church in Slayton, MN. David Erickson officiated. The organist was Wendy Steffen and the pianist was Deb Bassett and the soloist was Ron Moffitt.

Pall bearers were Jerry Cochran, Lonnie Cochran, Nathan Leysen, Erick Jorgenson, Scott Jorgenson, David Renschler, Todd Gilb, Kevin Engelkes, Joshua Hoit, Chris Emerson, Kurt Baird and Samer Alamy.

Honorary pall bearers were Jerry Nord, Harold Schafer, Frank Lessman, Robert Rykhus, Bob Silvernale, Carl Forsberg and Don Cochran.

Bill Leysen was born on May 13, 1911 on a farm near Hartford, South Dakota to John and Kathryn Meisenhelder Leysen. He grew up in the Hartford area and attended Hartford school.

In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 57th Signal Battalion as a telephone and telegraph lineman. He received service medals for being involved in the European, African and Middle Eastern Theaters. He also received badges for Rifle, Pistol and Carbine marksmanship. He received the Bronze service Arrowhead 45 and various good conduct medals. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to Slayton.

On March 7, 1948 he and Hermina Tuin were married at the United Methodist Church in Slayton. Following their marriage they farmed the Seven Gables farm for 36 years. In 1983 they retired and moved to Slayton.

Bill passed away on April 21, 2002 at the Murray County Hospital in Slayton at the age of 90.

Bill was a member of the Currie Presbyterian Church in Currie where he served as an Elder and a Trustee. He was a member of the Currie American Legion, and served on the Sunrise School Board. His greatest joy was having his family around him. Bill enjoyed bowling, fishing, hunting, repairing and refinishing antique furniture, and gardening especially growing flowers and roses.

Survivors include his wife Hermina of Slayton, MN; four children and their spouses: Gerald and Sandy Cochran of Mesa, AZ, Ralph and Kay Cochran of Tracy, MN, Bill and Becky Leysen of Farmington, MN and Laurel and David Jorgenson of Westbrook, MN; 13 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Margaret Mangeldorf of Slayton, MN.

He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, Henry, Glenn, Raymond and Norman.

Interment was at the Slayton Memorial Gardens, Slayton, MN with military honors provided by the Currie American Legion. Arrangements were handled by the Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton.

Hattie Larson, 97

Hattie B. Larson, a geography teacher at Tracy High School during the 1930s and early 1940s, died in Sauk Rapids, MN. last week at the age of 97.

Funeral services were April 20, 2002, at the Benson Funeral Home Chapel in St. Cloud. Burial was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis. She died Wednesday, April 17, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Home, Sauk Rapids.

Mrs. Larson taught seventh grade geography and penmanship. Former students remember the “six columns” of information she required students to learn about countries around the world.

Born Nov. 19, 1904 in Chokio to Lewis L and Berthan (Hagen) Larson. Hattie attended Chokio Public Schools and completed high school there. She earned her two-year diploma from St. Cloud Teachers' College on June 2, 1927, and her four-year-diploma in 1939. She taught country school near Chokio and Sandstone before coming to Tracy. She also taught at St. Cloud State Teachers' College. On June 23, 1942, she married Orville J. Larson.

She was also employed by Fandel's Department Store.

She is survived by a brother, Leonard Larson; and five sisters, Alma Robinson, Dorothy Wilkinson, Lois Norlander, Lorayn Disosway, and Evelyn Larson. Orville Larson died on Jan. 23, 1983.

Memorials are preferred to Bethlehem Lutheran Church or the American Cancer Society.