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Obituaries from the week of May 29, 2002

Esther Fitch, 96

Funeral services were held on Friday, May 24, 2002 at Price Helton Funeral Home, Auburn, WA for Esther Alice Fitch.

Alice was born on March 29, 1906 in Tracy, MN.

She is survived by her daughters, Marilyn Rice, of Auburn, WA and Janice Ramsey of Burbank, CA; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Seldon H. Salisburg and Fred Fitch and one brother Orville Gullickson.

Interment was at Mt. View in Auburn, WA with the Price-Halton Funeral Home of Auburn handling arrangements.

Joyce L. Grinde, 87

Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 25, 2002 for Joyce Grinde at Tracy Lutheran Church, Tracy, MN. Reverend Stephen Olson and Reverend Marlene Elmstrom officiated. Eulogy was by Connie Meyer and organist was Richard Stelter.

Casket bearers were Todd Grinde, Lee Grinde, Joe Basil, Herb Dahl, Marlin Peterson, Harlan Campbell, Taylor Basil and Tony Basil.

Joyce Lucy (Nelson) Grinde was born on September 23, 1914 to Robert and Edna (Brown) Nelson on the family farm in Gales Township, Redwood County, MN. Joyce was baptized October 29, 1936 and confirmed December 13, 1936 in the Lutheran faith at Tracy Lutheran Church, Tracy, MN. She attended Country School District 35 in Redwood County and later Tracy Public Schools, graduating in 1933. During her high school years Joyce worked for her room and board, cooking and cleaning in several homes in Tracy. Following graduation she worked for Zeke's Cafe in Tracy.

On June 21, 1937 Joyce married Olando (Ole) I. Grinde in Tracy Lutheran Church and the couple lived on a farm near the Nelson family farm. They later lived on various farms in the area between Garvin and Tracy, MN. In 1940 they moved into Tracy and Joyce was a housewife, until the 1950's when she went to work for JC Penney's for almost 10 years.

Joyce was a member of Tracy Lutheran Church, the ladies' aide and various circle groups. She was also a member of the couples' card club and enjoyed ballroom dancing with Ole, and volunteered for delivering Meals on Wheels. She enjoyed spending time with her family and caring for her home.

She died Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 87.

She is survived by two daughters, Connie (Wayne) Meyer of Eden Prairie, MN, Carol (Ronald) Dahl of Currie, MN; two granddaughters, Kelli Meyer of Bloomington, MN, Kathy (Joe) Basil of Bloomington, MN; two great-grandchildren, Tony and Taylor Basil; two sisters, Olive Bangasser of Tracy, MN, Catherine (Darold) Short of Cottage Grove, MN; one brother, Henry Nelson of Denver, CO; one sister-in-law, Doris Onken of Slayton, MN; one brother-in-law, Vernon Grinde of Tracy, MN; and many nephews, nieces and cousins.

Joyce is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ole, and one brother, Robert.

Interment was in Willow Lake Cemetery, Shetek Township, MN, with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling arrangements.

Walter Mann

Funeral services will be held on Tues., June 4, 2002 at 11 a.m. for Walter Mann at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, MN

Willis J. Mariner, 79

Funeral services were held on Thursday, May 23, 2002 for Willis J. Mariner at Lake Sarah Lutheran Church, Garvin, MN. Reverend Melba Smith officiated. Darwin Smith was the organist.

Casket bearers were Keith Strom, Larry Strom Sr., Mike VanMeveren, Joe VanMeveren, Carl Pamp and Lee Hanson.

Willis Jay Mariner was born August 1, 1922 to Wilson and Myrtle (Welsch) Mariner in Mason City, IA. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Willis attended public school in Iowa. After his schooling, he moved to California and worked as a longshoreman. One of the highlights of his life was being a sparring partner for the then boxing champion of the world, Max Baer.

In August of 1940 Willis enlisted in the US Army, where he served his country until 1944, when he moved back to the Midwest area.

On May 28, 1953 he married Lula Van Meveren and the couple moved to California, where Willis became a master brewer for the Anheuser Busch Company. In 1970 they moved back to Minnesota and made their home in Garvin. Willis worked as a laborer in construction and was co-owner of the Mariner Fishing Guide Services.

He was a member of the Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin and the Disabled American Veterans. Willis enjoyed fishing, playing cards, gardening, pitching horseshoes and watching boxing and the Vikings on TV, he also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

He died Monday, May 20, 2002 at the Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall at the age of 79.

Willis is survived by his wife, Lula; two sons, Paul (Tonja) of Lexington, KY, Jeff of Garvin, MN; one daughter, Sally (Keith) Strom of Garvin, MN; one step-daughter, Patricia (Larry) Strom of Tracy, MN and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one sister, Darlene Heller of Tracy, MN; one half-brother Pete Mariner of Mason City, IA; two half sisters, Virginia Blakesly of Mason City, IA and Leanna Wihler of Garner, IA; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, first wife Iris, two sons, Larry and John; one grandchild; four brothers; one sister and one half-brother.

Burial was in the Tracy City Cemetery with arrangements handled by Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy, MN.

Emma Oberg, 92

Funeral services were held on Thursday, May 23, 2002 for Emma Oberg at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, MN. Rev. Terri Skildum officiated. Mary Malmberg was organist with special music by Marilyn Donner.

Casket bearers were Richard Swanson, Darin Donner, Calvin Gilbert, Donald B. Johnson, Vernon Krentz and Gary Drever.

Emma Martha Oberg was born April 23, 1910 to Herman and Gertrude (Habben) Steuck at Shelburn Township, Lyon County, near Florence, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended country grade school.

On May 2, 1928 she was united in marriage to Arthur S. Oberg. They farmed west of Balaton until 1938 then moved north of Walnut Grove, where they also farmed. Emma entered the Tracy Nursing Home on May 10, 1997. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove and its Ladies Aid, and a member of the Walnut Grove American Legion Auxiliary.

Emma Martha Oberg died on May 20, 2002 at the Tracy Nursing Home in Tracy, MN at the age of 92 years and 27 days.

She is survived by her sons Wilbur of Walnut Grove, Marvin and wife Marge of Milroy, Vernon and wife Judy of Central Point, OR, and David and wife Jean of Littleton, CO; daughter Diane and husband Vernon Krentz of Hutchinson; seven grandchildren; Marilyn Donner, Mark Oberg, Sue Bohnsack, Duane Dungann, Jessica, Jeanette and Tim Oberg; ten great-grandchildren; sister Leona Locy and brother Edwin Steuck both of Marshall.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband on May 19, 1962, sisters Marie, Elsie and Helen.

Interment was in the Walnut Grove Cemetery with the Walnut Grove Funeral Home handling arrangements.