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Obituaries from the week of January 7, 2004

Donald Blake, 88

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Sat., Jan., 3, 2004 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall for Donald Richard Blake. Rev. Father Gerald Meidl officiated.

Don Blake was born on January 31, 1915 to Sylvester and Denage (Gregoire) Blake.

He married Mary Dierickx in 1940. Mary died in 1979. The couple had one daughter Rose Marie.

In 1980 Don was united in marriage to Lucille Evans Blake.

Don died on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2003 at Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall, MN.

He is survived by his wife, Lucille, four grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson; one sister Angela Nelson of Missouri Valley, I; one brother Ray (Darlene “Skeeter”) Blake of Lansing, MI and one son-in-law Hank (Lorraine) Goblish.

He was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Rosie Goblish, wife Mary, two brothers and one sister.

Interment was in Calvary Cemetery, Marshall, MN with the Rehkamp-Horvath Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Walter Gregoire, 82

Funeral services were held for Walter J. Gregoire at Tracy Lutheran Church, Tracy, MN on Mon., Jan. 5, 2004. Rev. Stephen Olson and Rev. Gary Gabel officiated. Richard Stelter was the organist.

Casket bearers were Dan Lanoue, Greg Lanoue, Rick Gisch, Don Gregoire, Troy Gregoire and Les Wakefield.

Walter Joseph Gregoire was born October 19, 1921 to Harvey and Rose (Pommier) Gregoire in Currie, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended Currie Public School. As a young man he worked on several area farms as a hired man.

In November of 1939, Walt enlisted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Snelling in Minnesota. He was assigned to the Cavalry and trained at Ft. Mead, SD. Walt fought in the “Battle of the Bulge” in Belgium and served in Central Europe, the Ardennes and in the Rhineland. He was honorably discharged in November of 1945, having reached the rank of Staff Sergeant and returned home to the Tracy, MN area.

On April 19, 1947 Walter married Frances Selck in Westbrook, MN and they made their home in Tracy. He was working for Tri-County Co-op for a short time and then went to work for Minngas in Tracy, MN. In the early 1950's they made their home on a farm north of Tracy and farmed there for close to 30 years, until his retirement in 1980 when they moved into Tracy.

Walt was a member of the Tracy VFW and the Tracy American Legion, serving as part of the Color Guard for many years. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed playing baseball in his youth. He later participated in softball, bowling and horseshoe leagues.

On December 31, 2003 Walter died at the Weiner Memorial Medical Center in Marshall, MN at the age of 82.

Walt is survived by his wife, Frances of Tracy; two sisters, Millie Sheets of Tracy and Noritta Gisch of Mountain Lake, MN; two brothers, Emery of Tucson, AZ and Elrick of Burnsville, MN; four sister-in-laws, Sally Gregoire of Tracy, MN, Helen Gregoire of WV, Jean Barrie of Rockford, IL and Irene Retzloff of Tracy, MN; one brother-in-law, Tony Breczinski of Minneapolis, MN; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Douglas Howe, 57

Douglas K. Howe, 57, of 47781 253rd Street, Baltic, SD, died Monday, January 5, 2004 at his residence after a four month battle with cancer.

Services will be 6:30 p.m., Wed., January 7, 2004 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church at 2600 S. Sycamore Ave., Sioux Falls, SD. Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. at the church. Interment will be at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 8 at Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery at Lakefield, MN.

Survivors include his wife, Merla Jean Howe, Baltic, SD; six daughters, Sunday (Bruce) Roozenboom, Sioux Falls, SD, Stacey (Chad) Hokeness, Adrian, MN, Melissa (Travis) Woosley, Lewisville, TX, Allison Howe, Andrew Howe, Alexis Howe, all of Baltic, SD; and a son Ryan (Lisa) Howe, Brandon, SD; 10 grandchildren; two brothers, Jerry (Maxine) Howe, Gibbon, MN, Mike Howe, Mankato, MN.

His parents, four brothers and three sisters preceded him in death.

Lewis Kor, 72

Funeral services were held on Friday, January 2, 2004 for Lewis T. Kor at Tracy Lutheran Church, Tracy, MN. Rev. Stephen Olson and Rev. Gary Gabel officiated. Eulogist was Henry Kor. Bonnie Kor was soloist with Richard Stelter as organist.

Casket bearers were Tacy Knoblauch, Marcy Fedde, Dale Kor, Lynn Pauly, Dennis Kor and Al Stoltenburg.

Lewis Thomas Kor was born September 14, 1931 to Jerry and Grace (Visker) Kor in White, SD. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Tracy, MN. He attended Tracy Public Schools and graduated from Tracy High School.

On November 1, 1975 Lewis married Muriel Stoltenburg in Colman, SD and the couple made their home in Tracy. He worked for the Amiret Elevator and the 7-Up Bottling Company. Lewis was a member of the Tracy American Legion and enjoyed gardening. He will always be remembered for his love of children and great sense of humor.

Lewis died Tuesday, December 30, 2003 at the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 72.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel; three sons, Tom (Sue) Kor of Montrose, CO, Tim Kor of CA and Dave (Patricia) Stoltenburg of Milwaukee, WI; two daughters, Sue (Galen) Anderson of Garden Grove, CA and Sally (Ron) Nichols of Montrose, CO; 12 grandchildren, Bob and Dan Anderson, Caty Miller, Sherri, Christopher, Daniel, Darren and Kirsten Kor, John and Mike Nichols, Jennifer and Mark Stoltenburg.

His parents, four brothers, Joe, Klaus, Jennings and Gerald and one sister, Beverly preceded him in death.

Interment was in the Tracy City Cemetery with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

Interment was in the Tracy City Cemetery with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

Dr. Robert Olson, 73

Funeral services for Dr. Robert T. Olson, 73, of Canby, were held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 5, a the First Presbyterian Church in Canby. Rev. Joel Reed was officiant, assisted by Rev. Don Davis. Burial was in the Tracy City Cemetery.

Dr. Olson died on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at Sioux Valley Canby Campus.

Robert Thomas Olson was born on January 24, 1930 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Arthur O. and Matilda L. (Peterson) Olson. Following graduation from Edison High School in 1947, he received his bachelor's degree in Biochemistry in 1950 as well as his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1956. He was a member of the Minneapolis Signal Corps National Guard, and was called up in January of 1951 during the Korean War.

Bob met Joan “Jody” Nelson at the St. Paul U. of M. Campus Wesley Foundation. They were married in 1954 in Tracy, Minnesota, and moved to St.. Paul where Richard was born. After completing his internship at the Charles T. Miller Hospital in St. Paul in 1957, Robert joined Dr. L.J. Monson and Dr. John Myers at the Monson Clinic on St. Olaf Avenue in Canby. The rest of their children, Paul, David and Ann were all born in Canby.

Many organizations and groups have been the beneficiaries of Bob's involvement and generosity: Rotary (with 44 years of perfect attendance) , Jaycees, Boy Scouts and Many Point Scout Camp, where he served as volunteer Camp Doctor, Canby High School Wrestling, Yellow Medicine County Fair, U. of M. Master Gardeners, R.E.M. Human Rights Committee, among others. In the early 1960's Dr. Olson, along with other community members, was instrumental in the formation of the Area Vocation-Technical School in Canby.

Sioux Valley Canby Campus has been especially blessed with Dr. Olson's time, talents, gifts, and service: patient care from OB to geriatrics, medical directorship, on-call for ER, and support for the SVCC Foundation. Staff also enjoyed the bounty of the Olson garden produce, which they brought to the clinic and hospital each year. He served on the Clinical Faculty of the U. of M. Medical School's Rural Physician Associate Program, the Lyon-Lincoln County Medical Society, and the Minnesota Medical Association. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder.

Dr. Olson's avid intellect was tireless in pursuit of knowledge in areas as diverse as travel, photography, computer technology, woodworking, electronics, amateur ham radio, politics, and finance. Bob and Jody traveled to six continents, including two trips to the Galapagos Islands and three birding trips to Costa Rica. Bob also had an interest in astronomy, and in his lifetime he witnessed six total solar eclipses. Most of all he loved and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Joan “Jody” Olson of Canby; his children and grandchildren: Richard (and Terri) Olson of Gainesville, GA, and their children Stephanie, Andrew, Jonathan, and Michael, Paul (and Deb) Olson of Grand Rapids, MN, and their children Jennifer (and Marc) Lane and Sara, David (and Tami) Olson of Houghton, MI, and their daughter, Samantha, and Ann Olson of St. Louis Park, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Willard and Wendell.

The Birk Funeral Home of Canby handled the arrangements.

Joseph Ripka, 74

Funeral services were held Thursday, December 11, 2003 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose for Joseph E. Ripka. Burial was in the Greenwood Cemetery, Sauk Centre with military honors by the Melrose Veterans Honor Guard.

Joseph Ripka was born on March 15, 1929 in Getty Township, Stearns County, MN to John, Jr. and Veronica (Spaeth) Ripka. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

He was united in marriage to Madeline R. Stockman on August 13, 1955 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Melrose. They lived in Melrose where he was employed by Kraft Foods for 44 years.

He is survived by his children, Deb Meyer (Paul) of Grey Eagle, Danny Ripka (Patricia) of Minneapolis, Chuck Ripka (Kathi) of Big Lake, Russ Ripka (Lisa) of Rice and June Spanier (Scott) of St. Cloud; sisters, Marion Froehle (Wally) of Brooklyn Park, Gladys Haugen (Roland) of Plymouth, Marge Schleppenbach (John) of Tracy and Tootsie Schumacher (Ron) of Sauk Rapids; sister-in-law, Alice Ripka of Holdingford; 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Madeline R. Ripka on July 12, 1982; and a brother, Ken Ripka.

The Patton-Schad Funeral Home of Melrose was in charge of the arrangements.

Thomas Rothwell, 85

Funeral services were held on Sat., January 3, 2004 at Tracy Lutheran Church in Tracy, MN for Thomas J. Rothwell. Reverend Stephen Olson officiated. Richard Stelter was organist.

Casket bearers were Allan Clauson, Denny Campbell, Stanley Osland, Alf Vasvik, Al Fincher and Ray Sartorius.

Honorary casket bearers were Richard Clauson, Mike Ritzko and Burton Meyer.

Thomas John Rothwell was born March 20, 1918 to Burt and Mae (Manar) Rothwell in Clinton, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Tom attended District #8 Country School and graduated from Clinton High School in 1936. Following graduation he spent one year in California attending school for Diesel

Engineering, after which he returned home to work on the family farm.

On August 30, 1938 Tom married Pearl Okeson in Clinton, MN. The couple made their home in several southwestern Minnesota communities and in 1948 settled in Hadley, MN where Tom managed the Hadley Creamery for 12 years. In 1960 the couple moved to Tracy, MN where he started his own service station, Tom's Mobile, which he operated until his retirement in 1983.

Tom was a member of the Tracy Lutheran Church where he served on several committees and in his spare time enjoyed woodworking, traveling and reading.

On December 30, 2003 Tom died at the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 85.

He is survived by his wife, Pearl; daughter-in-law, Elaine Ault of AZ; granddaughter, Lisa Rothwell Horvath of AZ; great-granddaughter, Trisha Horvath of AZ; sister, Lois Corley of Bothel, WA; special nephew, Theron (Sue) Gove of Sun City West, AZ and four more nieces and nephews.

His parents, one son, Larry and sister Gail Gove preceded him in death.

Burial was in Tracy City Cemetery with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling arrangements.

Ruby Qualey, 89

Services for Ruby Qualey, 89, of Tyler will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 8, 2004 at the Ellsborough Lutheran Church in rural Balaton. Visitation at the Tyler Area Funeral Home will be from 3-7 p.m. today, Wed., Jan. 7, 2004. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at the Ellsborough Lutheran Cemetery in rural Balaton.

She died Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, at the Tyler Hospital.

She was born June 11, 1914, on the family farm near Lake Wilson to Carl and Ida (Gernentz) Eisfeld.

Survivors include two daughters, Ruth Herrmann of Eden Prairie, and Susan Morin of Tracy; a son, Allen of South Bend, Ind.; seven grandchildren; and two brothers, Albert and Elwin Eisfeld both of Slayton.

Andrew Wixon, 91

Andrew V. Wixon, age 91 of Tracy, died Sunday, January 4, 2004 at the Tracy Nursing Home in Tracy. Services will be at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, January 8, 2004 at the Tracy United Methodist church.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 7, 2004, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy and also one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Tracy City Cemetery. The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.