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Obituaries from the week of May 12, 2004

Lawrence Boelke, 86

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, May 10, 2004 at St. Paul's Catholic Church, Walnut Grove, MN, for Lawrence L. Boelke. Fr. Brian Mandel officiated. Kerry Knakmuhs was songleader and guitarist.

Casket bearers were Steve DeBates, Jim DeBates, Jim Wilson, Chris Jensen, Dean Rys and Gary Nelson.

Honorary casket bearers were John DeBates and Dick DeBates.

Lawrence Louis Boelke was born on April 13, 1918 to Otto and Mabel (Conrad) Boelke in Lamberton, Minnesota. He moved to Walnut Grove as a small child, where he attended public school and graduated in 1936. Lawrence served in the United States Army from August 22, 1942 until December 15, 1945, when he received his honorable discharge.

Lawrence was united in marriage to Florence DeMoore on October 15, 1954. He operated the Walnut Grove theatre for twenty-five years and was a self-employed carpenter for many years. Florence passed away on February 22, 1976. On April 15, 1978, Lawrence was united in marriage to Avenell (Berberich) Jensen. The couple lived in Walnut Grove. Lawrence was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Walnut Grove and a fifty-year member of the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing, reading, sports, dancing, playing cards, and loved the outdoors.

Lawerence passed away on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 at the Tracy Hospital in Tracy, MN at the age of 86 years.

He is survived by his stepchildren Jim (Konnie) Jensen of New Ulm, MN, Mary Lou Meling of Las Vegas, NV, Marcia (David) Wilson of Bloomington, MN, and Mona Conway of Centennial, CO; fifteen step-grandchildren and 18 step-great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Florence, second wife Avenell, step-sons-in-law Milo Meling and William J. Conway, stepdaughter Mary Johnson, and sister Margaret DeBates.

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

James Smith, 77

James Francis Smith, 77, of Grants Pass, OR died Tuesday, April 27, 2004, at Spring Pointe Memory Care.

A memorial services was held on Thursday, April 29, 2004 at Spring Pointe. Private inurnment will be at the Tracy Cemetery in Tracy, MN.

Smith was born April 26, 1928 in Tracy, MN one of nine children. He grew up on the family farm. He served in the U.S. Army after World War II and was stationed in Germany. He worked as a roofer in Southern California for 22 years and moved to Grants Pass in September 1978.

Survivors include his companion, Jacqueline Held of Grants Pass; one son, Darrell J. Smith of Grants Pass; a daughter Sherry Byron of Simi Valley, CA; five grandchildren; three nieces, Lois (Jerry) Dwyer of Carson City, NV, Doris (Jerry) Holm of Grants Pass and Karen (Herman) Baertschiger of Grants Pass and many nieces and nephews around Tracy, MN.

Patricia Knuth, 82

Patricia M. Knuth, age 82 of Tracy, MN, died May 10, 2004 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 13, 2004 at the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy. Visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12 at the Almlie Funeral Home, Tracy with a 4 p.m. Rosary and a 7 p.m. Prayer Service.

Interment will be in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Tracy. The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

A complete obituary will be published next week.

Steven A. Rolland, 51

Steven A. Rolland, 51, of 611 Chestnut Street, La Porte City, died Wednesday, May 5, 2004, at his home from interstitial lung disease.

Steve was born October 16, 1952 in Tracy, Minnesota, the son of Leif and Mary Marks Rolland. He graduated from Tracy High School in Tracy, Minnesota in 1970 and after returning from Viet Nam he attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota for radio broadcasting. He then attended the University of Iowa for two years before transferring to the University of Northern Iowa where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations in 1981.

He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Viet Nam during 1971. He remained in the National Guard and the Army Reserves for 13 years as a helicopter crew chief.

Steve married Rebecca Reisetter on July 7, 1979 at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Steve worked as a radio announcer in several markets including Tucson, Arizona, Sioux City, Iowa City and Cedar Falls, Iowa. Later he worked in the insurance industry as an agent and district manager for Farmland Insurance and a pension administrator for Principal Financial Group. He also owned and operated Rolland Music Service.

Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Keri Marie Rolland, both of Iowa City; three brothers, Jim (Lois) of San Jose, California, Gene of Warden, Montana, Dennis of Kingman, Arizona; two sisters, Barbara (Austin) Molitor of Spring Valley, Minnesota and Carol (Joe) Cooreman of Tracy, Minnesota.

His parents preceded him in death.

Steve had been active in the La Porte City Lions Club, Golf Club and the UNI Athletic Club. He was a member of American Lutheran Church, American Legion Post #207 and V.F.W. Post 3983. Steve was also a private pilot and occasionally played guitar for Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls.

Services were held May 10, 2004 at American Lutheran Church with burial in West View Cemetery, both of La Porte City.

Memorials may be directed to the family.