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Obituaries from the week of November 10, 2004

Frank Gardner, 92

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, Nov. 8, 2004 for Frank W. Gardner with Monsignor Paul Evers officiating. The organist was Patty LeClaire with special music by the IHM Choir.

Pallbearers were Bill Gardner, Mark Gardner, Joel Gardner, Ben Cox, Danny Gardner, Matt Castle and Steve Gardner.

Frank Gardner was born on April 30, 1912 at Elma, IA to William and Mamie Butler Gardner. He grew up on the family farm and lived near Elma until 1935. He attended Immaculate Conception High School, graduating in 1928. He continued his education at Loras College where he graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1933. After completing his education, Frank returned to the family farm.

On December 14, 1937 he and Harriet B. Bradfeldt were married at St. Martin's Church in Woodstock. Together they operated a produce store in Kenneth, MN for 17 years.

In 1954 they moved to Currie where they ran Gardner's Department Store until they retired in 1976. The spent many winters in Rockport, TX. Harriet passed away on September 23, 1992. Frank continued to live in Currie.

In March 2004, Frank moved to the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy, MN and passed away there on November 4, 2004 at the age of 92.

He was a member of IHM Church in Currie and played the organ for many years. Frank had been a member of the Knights of Columbus and belonged to the Currie Town and Country Club. Frank enjoyed his long career in business, music, especially the organ, fishing, he was a Twins baseball fan.

Survivors include four children and their spouses: Jim and Betty Gardner of Albertville, MN; Judy Campbell of Shakopee, MN, George and Joann Gardner of Bemidji, MN and Bob and Sandy Gardner of Worthington; six grandchildren: Susan, Mark, Laurie, Steve, Jenny and Joel; two step-grandchildren: Melissa and Angela; four great-grandchildren: Ben, Meghann, Molly and Hannah; and four step-great-grandchildren: Jaysen, Jacob, Isabela and Tomas; brother, Fred Gardner of Elma, IA and a sister, Sister Lenore of Cedar Rapids, IA.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Harriet, son John, brothers, Linus, Joe, John and George, and a sister, Marie.

Interment was in Calvary Cemetery, Currie, MN with the Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton handling the arrangements.

Mae E. Radtke, 87

Funeral services were held today, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004 for Mae E. Radtke at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, MN. Rev. Bonnie Lomen officiated. Organist was Nancy Harnack.

Casket bearers were here grandchildren: Deb Johnson, Brent Wahl, Greg Radtke, Brad Wahl, Monica Wambeke, Bob Radtke, Lisa Siverson, Jennifer Radtke, John Radtke, Paula Smith and Gwen Bremen.

Mae Elaine Radtke was born February 10, 1917 to Howard and Ida (Fredericks) Hudson in La Crosse, WI. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith. The family moved to Tracy, MN when she was an infant. She attended Tracy Public Schools and as a young woman began working at Tracy Produce.

On December 8, 1937 Mae married Earl Radtke in Brookings, SD. They made their home in Walnut Grove, MN for a short time and moved to Tracy when her husband entered military service. In 1945 they moved to Balaton, MN and in 1974 returned to Walnut Grove.

Mae also worked in the produce department for Wilbur Paetzel and later Don Engelkes. In 1974 both Mae and her husband went to work for Tracy Municipal Hospital, where she worked in housekeeping. After her husband's death in 1989 Mae remained in Walnut Grove until 1998 when she moved to an apartment in Marshall, MN. She became a resident of Tracy Nursing Home in 2000 and transferred in 2004 to the Good Samaritan Home in Westbrook, MN where her daughter works.
She was as past member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton and was a current member of English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. Mae enjoyed her many years of work at the hospital, her gardening, both vegetable and flower, puzzles, cooking and especially spending time with her family and grandchildren.

On Friday, November 5, 2004 Mae died at the Good Samaritan Home in Westbrook at the age of 87.

Mae is survived by one daughter, Lorelie (Merrill) Wahl of Currie, MN; three sons, Gerald (Mary) of Marshall, MN, Robert (Nancy) of Spring, TX and William (Carol) of Vesta, MN; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Lela Longstrom of Mound, MN; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her parents, husband, Earl, one infant son, Earl Jr., two brothers Howard and Charles and one sister, Dorothy preceded her in death.

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

Donald Thom, 79

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2004 at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Mankato for Donald "Don" Elmer Thom. Rev. Gary Wong officiated.

Donald was born September 6, 1925 in Nicollet to August and Esther (Kettner) Thom. He was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Nicollet. He attended Trinity Parochial School in Nicollet and worked on the family farm until he entered military service in 1945. He served in the U.S. Army in the South Pacific until his Honorable Discharge in October 1946.

On June 9, 1948 he married Irene Marie Fluegge at Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brighton Township, Nicollet County. They lived in Mankato until 1951 when they moved into a home he constructed in North Mankato. Irene died from cancer on January 25, 1975. On May 1, 1976 Donald married Orloene O. (Radel) Fossen at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Mankato. They resided in North Mankato until the time of his death.

Donald worked as a house builder for E.H. Hermel Construction for many years. He later worked for George Carlstrom Construction and finally with A.J. Hoffman as a finish carpenter until his retirement. He was an active member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served in various capacities, including Board of Deacons and Board of Trustees.

He was an avid bowler and also enjoyed traveling, dancing, playing horseshoes, golf, card games, and doing special woodworking projects for his family. He donated his special carpentry skills to many projects at his church and the WELS Lutheran Student Center at MSU-Mankato. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post #950. He especially enjoyed attending the sporting events and school activities of his children and grandchildren.

Donald died Saturday, October 30, 2004 at his home after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Donald is survived by his wife, Orloene of North Mankato; daughter, Janel (Bob) Rau of Tracy; three sons, Kevin (Nancy) Thom, Alan (Cynthia) Thom all of Mankato, Michael (Mary) Thom of Rochester; three step-sons, Larry (Linda) Fossen of St. Anthony, Mark (Pat) Fossen of Owatonna, Thomas (Delores) Fossen of Ocean Springs, MS; stepdaughter, Janelle Fossen and special friend, Douglas Buckner of Clarksville, TN; sister, Phyllis (Bob) Olsen of Mankato; brother, Wallace (Shirley) Thom of Granite Falls; 18 grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parent; first wife, Irene; two brothers, Gene and Edward.

Interment was in Pilgrim's Rest Cemetery, Mankato, with the Mankato Mortuary handling the arrangements.