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Obituaries from the week of March 12, 2003

Gladys Johnson, 94

Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 8, 2003 for Gladys M. Johnson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton. Pastor Steven Quist officiated. Soloist was Michele Wood with organist Lisa Parker.

Casket bearers were Richard Johnson, Rodney Johnson, Lonny Johnson, Ronald Johnson, Evan Johnson, Terry Johnson and Daniel Stewart.

Gladys Marie (Johnson) Johnson was born October 17, 1908 to Oliver and Mary (Page) Johnson in Opstead, MN, Mille Lacs County. She grew up on a farm outside of Opstead where she was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended country school. As a young girl she moved to Balaton, MN to live with Harold and Hazel Nash and attended Balaton Public Schools.

On July 25, 1927 Gladys married Evert F. Johnson in Walnut Grove, MN and they made their home on a farm south of Balaton. They lived on the farm until 1979 when they moved into Balaton. In December of 1999 Gladys became a resident of Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton.

She was a past member of Zion Lutheran Church, where she and her husband were custodians. Gladys was a current member of Trinity Lutheran Church and was involved in many of the church women's activities. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting, knitting and both flower and vegetable gardening. Gladys also raised chickens through the many years on the farm.

On Thursday, March 6, 2003 Gladys died at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton at the age of 94.

Gladys is survived by two sons, Everette (Mavis) of Balaton, MN and Darvin (Beverly) of Slayton, MN; 11 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; one sister, June Pearson of Foreston, MN; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her parents, husband, Evert, one daughter, Vivian, one great-granddaughter, Gretchen, three brothers and three sisters preceded her in death.

Burial was in Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery with the Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton handling arrangements.

Brian Peterson, 43

Brian "Ed" Peterson, 43, formerly of Slayton, died Saturday, March 1, 2003, at his home in Clear Lake.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 8, at Christ Lutheran Church, Slayton.

Totzke Funeral Home, Slayton, handled funeral arrangements.

James Sorensen, 86

Services for James Norman Sorensen, 86, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at the Danebod Cemetery in Tyler.

He died Thursday, March 6, 2003 at the Tracy Nursing Home.

Kenneth L. Stafne, 83

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 for Kenneth L. Stafne at Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton. Pastor Steven Quist officiated. Soloist was Geneva Swan with Lisa Parker as organist.

Casket bearers were Einer Mattson, Roland Dobberstein, Jason Anderson, Daryl Swan, Wallace Runia, Arnold Van Winkle and Richard Evans.

Kenneth Leonard Stafne was born December 9, 1919 to Andrew and Ann (Fjelstad) Stafne on a farm near Florence, MN, Murray County. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Opdahl Lutheran Church. He attended Florence Public School, after which he farmed along with his family.

On August 15, 1941 Kenneth married Esther Blomquist at Sillerud Lutheran Parsonage in rural Balaton, MN. They lived a short time with her parents until his enlistment in the US Army where he served for four years. After he returned home he purchased the Phillips 66 Gas station in Balaton. In 1946 he and Esther moved into Balaton and they continued running the station and bulk fuel service, known as Balaton Oil Company for 38 years. He retired from the service station when he sold the business to his son in 1985, but continued to run the balk service until the late 90's when he sold that to his grandson.

Ken was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton where he served on the church council for many years. He was also an active member of the Balaton American Legion, Sons of Norway, Lions Club and the Balaton Chamber of Commerce. Ken served on the Balaton Fire Department for over 20 years. He enjoyed playing golf, bowling, playing horseshoes and spending time with his family.

On Friday, March 7, 2003, Ken died at the Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton at the age of 83.

Kenneth is survived by his wife, Esther; one daughter, Linda (Roscoe) Lockwood of Balaton, MN; two sons, Lee (Jeanne) Stafne of Balaton, MN and John (Gwen) Stafne of Ankeny, IA; 10 grandchildren, Rick (Kari) Karbo, Chad Karbo, Amanda (Jesse) Johns, Todd (Julie) Stafne, James (Jamie) Stafne, Jill (Brad) Runia, Randi, Molly, Jackie and Christopher Stafne; eight great-grandchildren; one sister, Ruth Carlson of Slayton, MN; many nieces and nephews, along with many friends.

His parents and six brothers preceded him in death.

Burial was in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Balaton, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton handling arrangements.