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Obituaries from the week of December 29, 2004


Merlyn D. Caron, 74

Funeral services were held on Monday, December 27, 2004 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for Merlyn D. Caron. Fr. Jerry Meidl officiated. Organist was Shannon Benson with Carol Cooreman as cantor.

Honorary casket bearers were Kenneth Drever, Eugene Buyck, Dave Bosacker, Chris Kamrud, Jeff Lanoue and Dick Kelley.

Casket bearers were Bryan Hillger, Eric Fultz, Darcy Szarzynski, Greg Lanoue, Gary Kass and Bill Chukuske.

Merlyn D. Caron was born March 24, 1930 to Levi and Blanche (Gregoire) Caron in Marshall, MN, Lyon County. He was baptized and confirmed at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall and attended both grade school and high school there as well. He grew up on a farm outside of Marshall and was also a Golden Gloves contender in his youth.

In November of 1948 Merle enlisted in the US Army Reserve and entered active duty in October of 1950. He was stationed over seas in Korea for thirteen months and returned to the United States and finished his service in the Reserves. He was given his Honorable Discharge in 1955 with the rank of Corporal.

On February 16, 1953 Merle married Agnes Kass in Tracy, MN and they made their home on a farm near Marshall. They later moved to Tracy and continued farming. Merle was also a livestock equipment dealer and owned and operated Caron’s Fuel in Tracy for many years.

Merle was a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy where he served as usher, cemetery board member and caretaker of Calvary Cemetery. He was also a member of the Tracy VFW and American Legion. Merle enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and was an avid sports enthusiast.

On Tuesday, December 21, 2004 Merle died at the McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 74.

Merle is survived by his wife, Aggie; one daughter, Connie and husband, Glen Moon of Woodbury, MN; one son, Robert and wife Donna of Tracy, MN; five grandchildren, Bailey, Jayde, Sawyer, Clay and Cayla; two brothers, Leroy “Pete” of Perham, MN and Harold “Butch” of Edina, MN; one sister, Yvonne Tillemans of Amarillo, TX; nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

His parents, three sisters and one brother preceded him in death.

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

Minnie Cooreman, 94

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church for Minnie M. Cooreman. Father Paul Evers and Rev. Mr. Richard Cronican officiated. Soloist was Carol Cooreman with Shannon Benson as organist. Readers were Rhonda Bosacker and Alisa Lickteig.

Casket bearers were Donald Peterson, Kendall Cooreman, Tom Noyes, Gary Bjorklund, John Griffith and Luke Cooreman.

Philamena M. “Minnie” was born March 19, 1910 to Hypolite (Paul) and Sylvia (Putte) Verstraete in Annawan, IL. As a young girl she moved with her family to Walnut Grove, MN. She was baptized in the Catholic faith and made her first Holy Communion at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy, MN, where she was also a member of the first Confirmation class in the new church on September 24, 1921, the day of the church’s dedication. Minnie attended country school District #77 and 36 in Redwood County and later stayed home to help the family with housekeeping and farming. The family then moved to Tracy in 1931.

On April 5, 1932 Minnie married George Cooreman at St. Mary’s in Tracy and they made their home on a farm east of Tracy until 1935. After two years they moved to a farm west of Tracy until 1939 when they purchased a farm north of town and lived there for 35 years until their retirement in 1974 when they moved into Tracy.

Minnie was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and active in the CCW. She also was a member of the Twin Lakes Club, Birthday Club and several card clubs. Minnie enjoyed playing cards, gardening, fishing, wallpapering, cooking, canning and baking. She also enjoyed bowling, which she did until age 85 and winning the Tracy City Tournament at age 80.

In April of 1999 Minnie became a resident of the Tracy Nursing Home. On Friday, December 24, 2004 Minnie died at the Tracy Area Medical Services Hospital at the age of 94.

Minnie is survived by two sons, Robert and friend, Donna of Tracy, MN and Al and wife, Jan of Cannon Falls, MN; five daughters, Jean (Dennis) Peterson, Arlene West and Janet (Sam) Griffith all of Tracy, MN, Joanne Smith and friend, Bob of Rice Lake, WI and Pat (Tom) Noyes of Pittsboro, IN; 29 grandchildren; 53 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; three sisters, Clara Andrews, Mary Van De Wynkle and Gussie Shaw all of Tracy, MN; three sister-in-laws, Alice Nelson of Mesa, AZ, Lorraine Cooreman and Madeline Verstraete both of Tracy, MN; many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Her parents, husband, George, one daughter, Marjorie, two sons, Jim and Donald, three grandchildren, Kevin Cooreman, Leon Peterson and Sherri Bjorklund, one sister, Margaret Maeyaert, five brothers, Gus, Louis, Jack, Frank and Raymond, and three son-in-laws, Joe West, Kenny Bjorklund and Bill Smith preceded her in death.

Burial was in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Tracy, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

Elizabeth Knudson, 91

Funeral services were held on Monday, December 27, 2004 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook for Elizabeth Knudson, age 91. Officiant was Rev. William Klavetter. Organist was Jocelyn Wester. Tributes were given by Seth Schmidt and Sharon Knudson.

Honorary casket bearers were Art Wiggins and Ted Buhr. Casket bearers were Lee Madson, Richard Madson, Keith Carey, Dennis Anderson, David Baune and Seth Schmidt.

Elizabeth was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota on November 10, 1913. She was the daughter of Peter and Helena Derksen. As a teenager, she was baptized at the First Mennonite Church. Her grade school education was done in German, as that was the commonly spoken language in that community. Following graduation from Mountain Lake High School, she completed the two-year Rural Teacher Course at Mankato State Teacher’s College. She then taught country schools in that area of the state for nine years.

Elizabeth married Emerald Knudson of rural Westbrook in 1944. For most of their married life, they lived and farmed one mile north of Westbrook. They were blessed with five children: Bob, Janice, Marilyn, Betsy and Jon. After Emerald passed away in 1959, Elizabeth returned to teaching. She taught at the Westbrook Elementary School for 21 years. She also continued her education, completing her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1966.

Elizabeth (Betty) greatly enjoyed her teaching and the Westbrook community. She had many great times during her retirement years visiting with her many friends, and especially her children and grandchildren. She also did some traveling within the U.S. and to Europe. She was very active at Trinity Lutheran Church as long as her health allowed. Her Christian faith was most important in her life. Prior to her time at the Tracy Nursing Home, she enjoyed living for three years at the Peterson Estates assisted living facility in Westbrook. She always kept a sense of humor and liked to play dominoes.

Elizabeth Knudson passed away on December 24, 2004 at the Tracy Nursing Home in Tracy, Minnesota at the age of 91.

She is survived by her sons Robert of St. Paul and Jon of Rosemont, daughters Marilyn Carey of Westbrook and Elizabeth Schmidt of Tracy, and grandchildren Kari (Baune) Skinner, Craig Baune, Daisy (Schmidt) Christopherson, Alana Knudson, Raleigh Schmidt, Brady Schmidt, Johanna Schmidt, Katie Baune, Ashley Knudson and Maria Schmidt. Other living relatives are an uncle, Ted Buhr of Brooklyn Park, sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Derksen of Hunting Beach, CA, Betty Derksen of Dinuba, CA and Evelyn Madson of Westbrook; sons-in-law David Baune of Minnetonka, Keith Carey of Westbrook and Seth Schmidt of Tracy, and daughters-in-law Sharon Knudson of St. Paul and Sheila Knudson of Rosemount.

Preceding her in death were her parents Peter and Helena, her husband, Emerald, two brothers, Albert and Louis, a nephew, Peter Derksen and her daughter, Janice Baune.

Interment was in the Westbrook Cemetery, Westbrook, MN with the Westbrook Funeral Home handling the arrangements.

Agnes Rolling, 93

Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 31, 2004 at 11 a.m. for Agnes Rolling at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy. Visitation will be at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy on Thursday, December 30, from 4-8 p.m. with a rosary at 4 p.m. and Prayer service at 7 p.m.

Agnes passed away on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2004 at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, Tracy, MN with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

A complete obituary will be published next week.

Lorraine Steffen, 86

Funeral services were held Thurs., Dec. 23, 2004 for Lorraine Steffen, 86, of Walnut Grove, MN. Rev. Terri Skildum officiated. Organist was Lynn Swanson.

Casket bearers were Gordon Kopperud, Brian Kopperud, Duane Kopperud, Rev. Richard Steffen, James Steffen, Mark Warner.

Lorraine Evangeline Steffen was born January 4, 1918 in Brush Prairie, Washington to Eimer and Linda (Mathiason) Kopperud. She was baptized at the Lutheran parsonage in Brush Prairie by Pastor Hans Hjertaas. The family moved to Minnesota in 1926, where she attended rural school at District #4 in Cottonwood County. Lorraine was confirmed at Old Westbrook Lutheran Church and graduated from Westbrook High School. She attended “Teachers’ Training” for one year at Windom, and taught in rural schools in Cottonwood County for 11 years.

Lorraine was united in marriage to Oscar Steffen on June 19, 1948 at Old Westbrook Church. She taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and was active in WELCA and quilting at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, where she was a member. She also raised African violets and collected poems. Lorraine was active in Steffen Electric, the family business.

Lorraine Evangeline Steffen passed away December 21, 2004 at Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy at the age of 86 years, 11 months and 17 days.

She is survived by her husband Oscar of Walnut Grove; children Leland (Pam) Steffen and Errol Steffen of Walnut Grove; Step grandchildren Nicole (James) Marsch and Dustin (Jessie) Van DeWiele and step great grandchildren Dylan Albertson and Cole VanDeWiele; three brothers Konrad and Roger of Westbrook and Eli of Ely, one sister Anna Margaret Warner of Walnut Grove.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brothers Marlin and Truman and sister Eldora.

Burial was in the Walnut Grove Cemetery with the Walnut Grove Funeral Home handling the arrangements.

Sadie Swanson, 89

Funeral Services for Sadie Swanson will be Friday 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. Visitation will be Thursday 5 -8 p.m. at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home and will continue on Friday one hour prior to the service at the church.

Burial in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.

Walnut Grove Funeral home in charge of arrangements.

A complete obituary will be printed next week.