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Obituaries from the week of November 12, 2003

Victor Check, 84

Memorial services were held today, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2003 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove for Victor Check.

Honorary pall bearers were Robert Check, Charlotte Miller, Gary Check, Arthur Bakker, Warren Bakker, Rosemary Bakker, Allen Nordsiden, Richard Check, Steven Check, Kenneth Nordsiden, Steven Nordsiden and Larry Nordsiden.

Victor Herbert Check, son of Fred and Alvida Check of Walnut Grove, died Friday, Nov. 7, 2003 in Tracy, MN.

Victor was born on December 28, 1938 in Walnut Grove where he lived most of his life. He helped his father with their trucking business during his earlier days. He liked to go fishing and would hold out his hands to show how big the fish was he just caught. He was active with his parents in craft activities, the prime one was making quilts, one of which is going to be included in a soon to be released quilters book of Minnesota. He loved to get and wear caps especially red ones. He liked flower gardens and had his own flower garden at the Tracy Nursing Home.

Later in life, after the death of his parents, he lived at the Tracy Nursing Home. Although Victor could not speak, he could make himself understood by those who cared for him. He received excellent loving care from the staff at the Tracy Nursing Home and at the Day Activity Center that he attended for many years. A special thanks to all those who gave Victor the respect, assistance and help that he needed.

Victor is survived by sisters Bernice (Dwayne) Bakker of Detroit Lakes, Luella (Floyd) Nordsiden of Westbrook, brother Don (Jan) Check of Shorewood and sister-in-law Gladys (Carl) Check of Escondido, CA. Victor also has many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Carl, Clarence and brother-in-law Dwayne.

His was a long time member of Tracy Lutheran Church of Walnut Grove.

Interment was in the Walnut Grove Cemetery. The Walnut Grove Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Hazel Firebaugh, 91

Hazel Anna Firebaugh, age 91 of Greeley, CO passed away on October 25, 2003 at the Bonell Good Samaritan Center in Greeley. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Hazel was born July 19, 1912 in Minneapolis, MN to Carl Arvid Hall and Emilie Amantha Escen. She attended school in Minneapolis, MN.

On September 30, 1937 Hazel married Alfred Raymond “Ray” Firebaugh in Litchfield, MN. Hazel and Ray lived in Tracy, MN for seven years before moving to Owatonna, MN. During her adult life, she served in various church organizations. She enjoyed cooking, caring for her family, gardening, fishing, crocheting, crossword puzzles, and dancing with Ray. She and Ray also delivered for Meals on Wheels.

She is survived by her husband, Ray of Greeley, sons Ron Firebaugh and wife Norma of Milliken, CO and Jim Firebaugh and significant other, Rachel Tester of Aurora, CO; 5 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; niece Marcy Schramm and husband Fred of Plymouth, MN.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Charlotte Painter and one niece Russy Campbell.

The Stoddard Funeral Home of Greeley, CO handled the arrangements.

Dorothy Knakmuhs, 72

Funeral services were held on Monday, Nov. 10, 2003 for Dorothy Knakmuhs at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Walnut Grove, MN. Fr. Brian Mandel officiated. Soloist was Kerry Knakmuhs.

Honorary casket bearers were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Casket bearers were John Knakmuhs, David Knakmuhs, Thomas Knakmuhs, James Knakmuhs, Zach Knakmuhs and Christian Batalden.

Dorothy Mae Knakmuhs was born February 24, 1931 in Storden, MN to Ben and Phoebe Ann (Gefler) Lehnhoff.

Dorothy was married to Edward Knakmuhs on April 7, 1948 at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Walnut Grove. They settled in Walnut Grove and later moved to Clinton, MN, returning to Revere in 1962, where they farmed and ran the True Value Hardware Store in Walnut Grove for a number of years. They moved into Walnut Grove in 1993. Edward passed away in 2001 and Dorothy moved to Sioux Falls in 2002. She was active in the Legion Auxiliary, St. Paul's Catholic Church and CCW, taught CCD, participated in the religious education program and made baptismal gowns for St. Michaels in Sioux Falls.

Dorothy Mae Knakmuhs passed away November 7, 2003 at the Sioux Falls Good Samaritan Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 72 years, 8 months and 13 days.

She is survived by her children Michael and wife Diane (Annie) of Brainard, Bernice and husband Jerome Batalden of Thief River Falls, Paul and wife Nancy of Lamberton, Mark and wife Jody of Cottage Grove, Steven of Tyndal, SD and Julia and husband Roger Paluch of Sioux Falls; 20 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren; one sister Evelyn Murphy of Truman and one brother LeRoy Lehnhoff of Thief River Falls.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Edward and son Todd in 1969.

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

Warner Lessman, 78

Funeral services were held today, Wed., Nov. 12, 2003 for Warner (Fritz) W. Lessman at Tracy United Methodist Church. Rev. Alan Bolte officiated. Organist was Allen Pierson. Soloist was Tom Hook.

Casket bearers were Randy Lessman, Jon Lessman, Brett Lessman, Jay Lessman, Bruce Lessman, Paul Lessman, Steve Lof and Rodney Lof.

Honorary casket bearers were Fordyce Ankrum, Bill Tauer, Bill Bolin, Clair Baker, Curt Reinert, Dick Hyllested, Harlan Campbell, Clayton Campbell, Donald Scott, Lloyd Goltz, Richard Krueger, LaMoine Meyer, Dale Menk, Charles Abrahamson, Herb Dahl, Eddie Deutsch, Bill Manor, Laurie Thoma, Garry Hippe, Linus Dardis, Bob McCoy, Kenny Drever, VFW Baseball coaches and players.

Warner Workman “Fritz” Lessman was born November 21, 1924 to John and Josie (Knott) Lessman on a farm in rural Tracy, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist faith. He attended the Amiret Public School. As a young man he worked on the family farm and other area farms. In 1944 he enlisted in the United States Army and served in the European Theatre until his discharge in 1951. He returned to Tracy and continued farming until 1953 when he was called back to active duty in the Korean Conflict and served in the Medical Corp until being discharged in 1955. Fritz returned to farming until 1957 when he went to Montana and worked as a lumberjack for one year.

On September 13, 1960, Fritz was united in marriage to Doris Willhite at the Walnut Grove Methodist Church. They made their home in Tracy and raised their three children. In 1963, Fritz began his own canvas repair shop which he operated until the mid 90's. In 1969, he began opening graves for Tracy and surrounding communities. He drove school bus for 38 years and as a 30 year member of the Southwest Minnesota Umpire Association serving as an umpire for many baseball games. In 1952, he began working with the football chain gang and received a 20 year award plaque in 1972 from Leo Sebastion. In 1989, he received a 37 year award plague from coach Gale Otto and in 1997 he received the outstanding volunteer award plague from Superintendent Remme. Fritz was the treasurer for 50 years of the old Booster Club.

Fritz served 20 years and four months in the National Guard. He was a 57 year member of the Tracy American Legion and served as a past commander. He was a lifetime member of the Tracy Veterans of Foreign Wars and had served as its commander on and off for 20 years. In 1977 and 1978, Fritz was named to an All-State Commander's Team by the State of Minnesota. He served as the VFW District Poppy Chairman for 20 years and for 40 years as the District Manager of VFW Baseball program and also managed the local VFW Baseball Team.

Fritz was an active member of the Tracy Lions and the Degree of Honor for many years. A charter member of the Tracy Ambulance Service, he served as a board member and did volunteer work.

Fritz was a member of the Tracy United Methodist Church and served on church boards, prayer chain and as an usher for many years.

His hobbies included softball, coaching, umpiring, deer hunting, woodworking, cooking, gardening and especially spending time with his grandchildren and their activities.

In 2003, Fritz and his wife moved into O'Brien Court to make their home. Fritz died on Saturday, November 8, 2003 at the Tracy Nursing Home at the age of 78 years.

He is survived by his wife, Doris; three children and their spouses, Jeffrey and Karla Lessman of Omaha, NE, Jeri and Keith Schons of Tracy, MN, Thad and LuAnn Lessman of Tracy, MN; eight grandchildren, Josh, Kristine, Kaitlyn, Nick, Tori, James, Kylie and Jadyn; four brothers, Frank of Tracy, MN, Dick (Margaret) of Prescott Valley, AZ, Bill (Grace) of LaPorte, MN, Henry (Elaine) of Walnut Grove, MN; two sisters, Louella Lof of Park Rapids, MN and Edith Lessman of Tracy, MN; one sister-in-law, Edna Lessman of Walnut Grove, MN.

His parents, one brother, one sister, two nephews and one sister-in-law preceded him in death.

Interment was at Bethel Cemetery, Tracy, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handled the arrangements.

Robert Oslund, 81

Funeral services were held on Monday, Nov. 3, 2003 for Robert Alfred Oslund of Dresser, WI Alfred died October 31, 2003 at United Hospital in St. Paul, MN. He was 81 years old. Rev. Wayan Deloach officiated.

Robert was born September 26, 1922 to Amy Horveda Engerbritson and Eric John Helmer Oslund in Madison.

Welcoming Robert to Heaven were his parents, brother Gordon, daughter Roberta Jean.

Robert is survived by his wife Leota of 54 years, daughter Sharon (Jim) Koepple, son Michael, son Wayne (Suzanne) sister Lois Reinhold of Sweet Home, OR; sister-in-law Edith Oslund of Slayton, MN, sister-in-law Elaine Engen and brother-in-law Harold Leversedge of Tracy; eight grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; many relatives and friends.

Interment was in the church cemetery with arrangements by the Grandstrand Funeral Home of Osceola, WI.

Guy Salmon, 91

Funeral services for Guy Salmon were held on Monday, Nov. 10, 2003 at Tracy United Methodist Church in Tracy. Rev. Al Bolte officiated. Organist was Dick Stelter and Tom Hook as soloist.

Active casket bearers were his grandchildren, Jesse Wiskochil, Isaac Wiskochil, Jeffrey Salmon, Wendy Haney, Bradley Salmon, Tammy Larsen, Todd Salmon and Scott Salmon.

Guy Salmon was born June 12, 1912 at Spencer, SD to Sankey M. and Gertrude (Tompkins) Salmon. He graduated from Spencer High School as class valedictorian and completed one year at South Dakota State University in Brookings and two years at Whapeton, North Dakota Technical College.

Guy was united in marriage to Marllys Ruth Campbell on June 10, 1936 at her parents' home in Beresford, SD. They lived in Steel, ND, where Guy worked for the Chevrolet dealer as the mechanic and service manager. They moved to Watertown SD in 1941 where he continued to work in the service department for the Chevrolet dealer. While there he moved through the different dealership departments and became the general manager before leaving and purchasing the Chevrolet dealership in Tracy in 1952. Guy was active in the scouting program as Cub Scout leader and committee chairman leader for the Boy Scouts. He was a member of the Methodist Church in both Watertown and Tracy, and served in positions of leadership, as Sunday School teacher, lay leader, administrative board chairman, finance chairman, chairman of church education building program. He served as head usher for several years and felt most important that the family went to church together on Sunday morning. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for 55 years, a Kiwanian for 45 years, honored as the Chamber Outstanding Citizen. Active as both a leader and financial supporter in the economic development group of Tracy Enterprise and Tracy Economic Development Corp. He served as a board member for the Tracy Country Club and on both the Chevrolet and Oldsmobile zone dealer advisory boards. Guy enjoyed wood working projects in his later years, did many wood carvings of birds, animals and characitures, and he and Marllys took up the game of golf at age 60, a past time they both enjoyed.

Guy Salmon passed away November 6, 2003 at the Tracy Nursing Home in Tracy, Minnesota at the age of 91 years.

He is survived by his children Dean (Judy) of Tracy, Roger (Susan) of Alexandria, and Marilyn Salmon of St. Paul; grandchildren Jesse and Isaac Wiskochil of St. Paul, Jeffrey (Kris) Salmon of Tracy, Wendy (Kevin) Haney of Tracy, Bradley (Jennifer) Salmon of Apple Valley, Tammy (Kelly) Larsen of Colorado Springs, CO, Todd (Lori) Salmon of Fargo, ND, Scott (Patty) Salmon of Battle Creek MI; 13 great grandchildren; one sister Elda Harberts of Sioux Falls, SD

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, son Gary and one brother who died in infancy.

Interment was in the Tracy Cemetery with the Tracy Area Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.