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Obituaries from the week of January 29, 2004

Emilia “Millie” Sheets, 88

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, January 26, 2004 for Emilia M. Sheets at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy, MN. Fr. Brian Mandel officiated. Cantor was Carla Vandewiele with Shannon Benson as organist.

Casket bearers were Shawn Sheets, Brian Bruder, Jay Swanson, Dean Grams, Robert Bruder, Andrew Maas, Dan Salonek, Herbert Rosin and Dean Bruder.

Emilia M. “Millie” Sheets was born December 2, 1915 to Harvey and Rose (Pommier) Gregoire in Currie, MN, Murray County. She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith and attended school at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School in Currie. One of a family of twelve, Millie helped raise her siblings as a young girl.

On November 1, 1934 Millie married Oscar Sheets at the Currie parsonage and they made their home in Tracy, MN. Over the years Millie worked at Tracy Produce, Russ Brown's Clothing, Tracy Liquor Store and Johnson's Fairway. She also did domestic housework for many years in the Tracy area.

Millie was a past member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Currie and a current member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Tracy. She cleaned and cooked for many years for Fr. Platte, while he was in Tracy. She enjoyed sewing and crocheting, baking and dancing.

In March of 1994 Millie became a resident of the Tracy Nursing Home and on Wednesday, January 21, 2004 she died there at the age of 88.

Millie is survived by one daughter, Muriel Bruder of Tracy, MN; one son, Gary (Shirley) Sheets of Rogers, MN; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one sister, Noritta Gish of Mountain Lake, MN; two brothers, Emery of Phoenix, AZ and Elrick of Burnsville, MN; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her parents, husband, Oscar, one grandson, Randy, one son-in-law, Romaine Bruder, six brothers and three sisters preceded her in death.

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

Ralph Tyler, 95

Ralph Valentine Tyler age 95 of Tracy, formerly of Walnut Grove passed away Sunday, January 18, 2004 at the Tracy Nursing Home. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 24, 2004 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church south of Walnut Grove. Interment was in the church cemetery. The Walnut Grove Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Ralph Valentine Tyler was born February 14, 1908 in Webster City, Iowa to Sanford and Elizabeth (Baity) Tyler. He was baptized and confirmed. In 1914 they moved to Cottonwood, MN, where Ralph graduated from high school in 1927. Lack of funds prevented him from pursuing a desired career in veterinary medicine. However, his love of the outdoors was a part of many of his subsequent jobs. For a time after high school, he worked on the family farm near Cottonwood. Then worked with his brother, Earl, installing oil burners in Minneapolis. During the mid-thirties, he worked in a CCC Camp near Ely, where he was the head cook for a group of over 200 men. He worked at Ford Motor Co. in St. Paul from 1935-1941 at which time he became a civil service employee working for the Navy at Pearl Harbor. Ralph was there during the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, at which time he and his crew fought fire on ships in dry dock, including the Pennsylvania. He received several commendations and citations for his service. He continued his work with the Navy working in the shipyards at Hunter's Point in San Francisco from 1943-1949.

On June 12, 1945, Ralph was united in marriage to Olga Pauline Steen. They moved back to begin farming the Steen family farm from 1950-1972. He then retired and moved to Walnut Grove. Ralph held several positions on the St. Olaf church council. He was a member of the Walnut Grove Lion's Club, a 40+ year member of the Masonic Lodge, and an early member of the Walnut Grove Development Corporation. Ralph & Olga enjoyed traveling and made several trips to the Hawaiian Islands, California, New England, and a memorable trip to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. He was an avid sports fan, and enjoyed watching football, basketball and baseball on TV. He kept up to date on current events by reading the papers and watching news programs. Ralph was a gentle man. He easily made friends and made others instantly feel comfortable. He loved and was loved by children. He especially enjoyed his nieces and nephews and their children. The light of his life was his wife of almost 59 years, Olga, and his daughter Mary.

He is survived by his "sweatheart" Olga, daughter Mary, nephews: Dr. Ted (Iva) Tyler, Don (Charlene) Olson, Bud (Muriel) Lohmann, and Sanford (Eleanor) Tyler; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Samuel, Earl, & Lee Tyler; sisters: Elsie Lohmann, Olive Johnson, & Zella Olson; nephews: Warren Tyler, Glenn Lohmann, & Raymond Lohmann; nieces: Janice Kimble, Lois Tyler, Helen Yahnka, & Gloria Abrahamson.