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Obituaries from the week of December 4, 2002

Edwin Gray, 95

Edwin A. Gray, 95, Brainerd, died Friday, November 29 at Bethany Good Samaritan Village, Brainerd, MN.

He was born May 20, 1907 on a farm in Ashley Township near Sauk Centre, MN. He graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 1926, and the University of Minnesota in 1932 with a secondary education degree in vocational agriculture and mathematics. In 1942, he married Florence (Chute) Alcott and taught in Tracy, MN until 1945 when they moved to Brainerd.

He taught agriculture until 1960 at the Washington High School, and then moved to Franklin Junior High where he taught mathematics until he retired in 1973.

Over the year he was active as a leader in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Golden Kiwanis, the Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts, Young Farmers, Northland Arboretum, Brainerd Nordic Ski Club and the men's Garden Club. He received state and national honors for his work including an Honorary American Farmer degree at the FFA national convention in Kansas City in 1953.

Survivors include his children, Bruce of Clovis, New Mexico, Marian of Prescott, AZ, Loren of Ft. Atkinson, WI and Mark of Brainerd, MN; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife on November 13, 2002 and two sisters, Evelyn and Winifred.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 7 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church with a visitation one hour before the service.

Memorials are preferred to the St. Paul's Episcopal Church Columbarium Fund or to the Northland Arboretum, Brainerd.

Arrangements are with Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home, Brainerd.

Florence Gray, 89

Funeral services were held Saturday, November 23, 2002 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brainerd for Florence C. Gray, of Brainerd.

She was born April 13, 1913 in Fairmont to Ernest N. and Grace (Martin) Chute. She married Edwin A. Gray on June 20, 1942 in Fairmont. She graduated from the University of MN in 1939 as a Commercial Teacher, and taught in Howard Lake and Tracy before coming to Brainerd in 1945. She then did substitute and night school teaching, was a Laubauch Tutor, and was a member of the AAUW.

She belonged to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brainerd, where she was a substitute organist and Sunday School teacher. She was a Gray Lady at St. Joseph's Medical Center for 35 years and had over 2000 hours as a Volunteer Visitor at the local nursing homes.

Florence died Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at Bethany Good Samaritan Village.

Survivors include: her husband, Edwin; three sons Dr. Mark Gray, Brainerd, Loren Gray, Ft. Atkinson, WI, Bruce Gray, Clovis, NM; one daughter, Marian Sundquist, Prescott, AZ; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Her parents and her brother, Newton Chute, preceded her in death.

Memorials are preferred to St. Paul's Columbarium Fund or Bethany Good Samaritan Village.

Arrangements were with the Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home, Brainerd.

Delmar V. Yearous, 67

Delmar V. Yearous, age 67, died Tuesday, December 3, 2002 at the Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall, MN. Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2002 at the Balaton United Methodist Church in Balaton, MN. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. and a Masonic Service at 7:30 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the Church on Friday.

Interment will be at the Lakeside Cemetery in Balaton. The Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton is handling arrangements.

A complete obituary will be printed next week.

Signe Ziemke, 90

Signe Lennia Ziemke, age 90 of Tracy, died Monday, December 2, 2002 at the Tracy Nursing Home. Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2002 at Tracy Lutheran Church. Reverend Stephen Olson and Reverend Gary Gable will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy with a Prayer Service at 7 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation prior to the service at the church on Friday. The interment will be at the Tracy City Cemetery. The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

Casket bearers are Paul Nackerud, Rick Ziemke, Carol Ziemke, Zindie Meyers, Nancie Ziemke, Pam Peterson and Keith Peterson.

Signe Lennia (Meld) Ziemke was born November 25, 1912 to Ernest and Tekla (Evarson) Meld in Rock Island, IL. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. While still an infant, Signe's family moved to a farm in the Walnut Grove, MN area and she attended country school southwest of Walnut Grove. As a young woman she moved to Minneapolis and worked as a housekeeper and then moved back to Tracy, MN where she worked as a cook at the Exchange Hotel.

On November 6, 1937 Signe married George Ziemke at the Trinity Lutheran parsonage in Walnut Grove. They made their home on a farm outside Walnut Grove. They farmed until 1971 when they retired into Tracy and in 1994 became residents of O'Brien Court. In 1999 they moved into the Tracy Nursing Home where her husband died that year.

Signe worked along side her husband on the farm and raised chickens for “egg money.” She enjoyed bowling and hosting parties and family gatherings on Christmas, Easter and 4th of July. Also, after they had moved into Tracy, a large gathering for Labor Day weekends Box Car Day parade.

She was a past member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, where she sang in the choir and also a current member of the Tracy Lutheran Church. She was active in the church women's groups.

Signe is survived by her one daughter, Sue (Doug) Nackerud of Tracy; one son, Elverne (Laurie) Ziemke of Tracy; one very special niece, Elaine Seidl of Sleepy Eye, MN; 10 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Her husband, George, her parents, one grandson, Brian, two brothers and two sisters preceded her in death.