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Obituaries from the week of January 12, 2005

Dick Bleil, 77

R.T. “Dick” Bleil, age 77 of Balaton, MN died Monday, January 10, 2005 at the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. Services will be at 1 p.m. Thurs., January 13, 2005 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton. Visitation will also be Thursday, January 13, 2005 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton. Interment will be at the Lakeside Cemetery in Balaton. The Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton is handling the arrangements.

A complete obituary will be published next week.


James Cook, 76

James R. Cook, age 76 of Crystal, MN. originally of Tracy, passed away December 22, 2004 at North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale. A funeral Mass was said on December 27th at 10 AM at The Church of St. Raphael, Crystal MN. Burial was at Ft Snelling National Cemetery, Mpls. Visitation was Sunday Dec. 26 at Gearty Delmore Funeral Chapel Robbinsdale MN.

Jim was born July 5, 1928 in Tracy MN to parents Cleon and Gladys Wiesner Cook. He graduated from Tracy High School. After serving in the U.S. Army he moved to Minneapolis. He married Catherine Duevel on June 27, 1953 in St. Paul MN. He was employed by Crystal State Bank for 32 years, retiring in 1987 as Sr. Vice President. He was a long-time member of the MN. Bankers Assoc.and the Men’s Club of St. Raphael Church, Crystal, MN.

Survivors include his loving wife of 51 years, Catherine and 7 children Mary (Doug) Hagen, of Tokyo, Japan; Michael (Anita) Cook, Hopkins, MN. John (partner Joan Soranno) Cook of Minneapolis, Robert (Karen) Cook, Chelsea, Michigan, Stephen (Valerie) of Tucson, AZ., Theresa of Robbinsdale and Anne of Crystal, MN.; 14 grandchildren; brother John (Aggie) of Grand Forks, ND and sister Barbara (Mike) Nilles of Eden Prairie, MN.

Jim was preceded in death by parents Cleon and Gladys Cook of Tracy, MN.

Arrangements were with Gearty Delmore Funeral Chapel, Robbinsdale MN


Ellsworth Gullickson, 80

Funeral services were held on Friday, January 7, 2004 for Ellsworth “Buster” Gullickson at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove, MN. Rev. Bonnie Lomen officiated. Organist was Nancy Harnack with Robert Heggerston as soloist.

Honorary casket bearers were Tim and Karen Anderson, Steven and Sheila Anderson, Jeffrey and Stephanie Anderson and Tricia and Paul Froiland.

Casket bearers were Rodney Maguire, Dave Frankman, Dean Rys, Ed Erickson, Scott Parker and Mike Anderson.

Ellsworth “Buster” Donald Gullickson was born December 29, 1924 in Walnut Grove, Minnesota to Henry Richard and Alma (Larson) Gullickson. He attended Country School District #42.

Ellsworth “Buster” was united in marriage to Goldie Converse on April 7, 1945. Following their marriage they settled in Walnut Grove where they farmed and raised cattle. Buster loved to farm, never retiring. His hobbies included farming, farming and farming.

Ellsworth Donald Gullickson passed away January 3, 2005 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 80 years, 1 month and 4 days.

He is survived by his wife Goldie of Walnut Grove, and daughter Karen (Gary) Anderson of Walnut Grove and Kathy (Larry) Anderson of Brandon SD. four grandchildren Jeffrey and Steven and Tim and Tricia; six great grandchildren Courtney, Ashley, Jacob, Abby, Grant and Laurel; three brothers: Darold “Buddy” of Walnut Grove, Lloyd of Slayton, Sterling of Iowa and one sister Norma Jean Slotsve of Lakeville.

He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Richard, Leonard, Emerald, Clifford, Mildred, Beatrice and Ardys.

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


Paul Lamfers, 86

Funeral services were held on Monday, January 10, 2005 for Paul Lamfers at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy, MN. Fr. Brian Mandel officiated. Organist was Brenda Lenertz with Judy Lenertz as Cantor.

Honorary casket bearers were Jeff Mumm, Mike Mumm, Jason Blaylock, Dwayne Fedde, Travis Terrell, Albert Terrell and Blake Chandler.

Casket bearers Josh Mumm, Terry Fedde, Justin Swenhaugen, Larry Fedde, Mike Lamfers, Rick Wakefield.

Paul Lamfers was born May 19, 1918 in Mountain Lake, Minnesota to Benjamin and Gazena (Schmidt) Lamfers. He attended country school near Mountain Lake. Following school he began farming.

Paul was united in marriage to Celestine “Sally” Lenertz October 8, 1940 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy. He worked for the State Highway Department, then the Lyon County Highway Department, where he worked for 30 years. He retired in July of 1983. Paul and Sally moved to Amiret in 1950, where he lived until his death. Paul enjoyed woodworking, fishing, gardening, bird watching and he operated his own greenhouse.

Paul passed away January 6, 2005 at his home in Amiret at the age of 86 years.

He is survived by his wife Sally of Amiret; three daughters Susan (Leon) Mumm of Lake Shetek, JoAnn (Johnnie) Matthews of Ft. Gibson, OK, and Darlene (Wade) Rasmussen of Tracy; nine grandchildren, 13 great-grand-children, four great-great grand-children and one great great great granddaughter; one brother Heye (Virginia) Lamfers of Tracy and one sister Martha (Chester) Lindquist of St. James.

He is preceded in death by his parents, one grandson Scott, two brothers Danny and John, and two sisters Minnie and Hattie.

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


Gale LeClaire, 53

Funeral services are scheduled for Gail LeClaire on Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 10:30 a.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie, MN with Fr. Brian Mandel officiating. Visitation will be on Wednesday at the church in Currie from 4-8 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. Prayer Service. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the services on Thursday.

Organist is Patty LeClaire with Kayo Silvernale as song leader. Joe Schreier will be the lector.

Pallbearers are Rick LeClaire, Paul LeClaire, Adam LeClaire, Matt Schreier, Dan Schreier, and Jacob Hektner.

Honorary pallbearers are Luke Noerenberg, Kyle Sherby, Jenn Wendland, Nicki Cose, Katie Sherby, Heather LeClaire, Gina Hektner and Christina LeClaire.

Gail LeClaire was born March 14, 1951 on a farm near Currie, MN to Donald and Darlene Beach LeClaire. She grew up on the family farm, attended Worthington Crippled Children’s School and graduated from Tracy High School in 1972. She attended Southwest State University for one year.

She lived in several locations before she became a resident of the Prairie View Nursing Home. She was recently hospitalized at Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD and passed away there on January 9, 2005 at the age of 53.

She was a member of IHM Church. Gail enjoyed collecting angels, painting ceramics for family and friends, caring for her dog, “Dash”, attending family activities and visiting with loved ones. She would play cards with anyone who would play and would write poems and play on the computer.

Survivors include her son, Chris LeClaire of Fairfield, IL; parents, Donald and Darlene LeClaire of Currie; three brothers, four sisters and their spouses: Jim and Mary LeClaire of Lake Benton, MN, Diane and Don London of Rapid City, SD, Theresa and Ray Zeller of Redding, CO, Lori Hektner and her fiancÚ, Andy Rhoades of Brandon, SD, Marcia and Joe Schreier of Currie, Dave and Patty LeClaire of Currie, Doug LeClaire and his fianceÚ, Jodi Lehnhoff of Walnut Grove, MN; brother-in-law Tom Noerenberg of Currie; and nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her grandparents.

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


Helen Lovald, 86

Helen F. Lovald, age 86 formerly of Wabasso, MN died Monday, January 10, 2005 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy, MN. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 15, 2005 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Lucan, MN. Visitation will be at the trinity Lutheran Church in Lucan on Friday, January 14, 2005 from 4 until 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Interment will be at Our Savior’s Lutheran Cemetery in Milroy, MN. The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

A complete obituary will be published next week.


Rachel Oestreich, 84

Rachel Oestreich, 84, of Marshall formerly of Walnut Grove, passed away on Sunday, January 9, 2005 at Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall, MN. Services will be held on Friday, January 14 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Walnut Grove. Interment will be at Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 13 from 5-8 p.m. at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church. Arrangements are with the Walnut Grove Funeral Home.

Rachel Oestreich was born 3:20 a.m., March 10, 1920 in Lamberton, Minnesota to George and Ella (Nichols) Baum. She attended schools in Lamberton, Minnesota and Pontiac, Illinois.

Rachel married Richard Oestreich on July 13, 1939 in Spencer, Iowa. Richard’s job required the family to move several times and they had residences in Marshall, Montgomery, Minneapolis, Benson, Revere and back to Marshall. They retired to Rachel’s family farm near Revere until Richard’s ill health caused them to move into Walnut Grove. Due to Rachel’s health, she moved again to Marshall in 1996 where she continued to live until the present time.

Rachel was an Avon Representative for 10 years. She was also very active in the Ladies Guild at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Walnut Grove. Her greatest joys were her children and grandchildren. She enjoyed travel and was fortunate enough to spend nine winters in Texas with family. She had fond memories of a Caribbean cruise, a visit to Hawaii, and many other trips with family members.

Rachel is survived by her children: James (JoAnn) of Onalaska, TX, Robert (Laurel) of East Moline, IL, Stanley (June) of Black Hawk, SD, Cathy Standaert and Judy Curwick both of Marshall, MN; eleven grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Richard, son Martin Paul, and three sisters: Helen Bartlett, Evelyn Lundblad, and Ferne Gordon.

Donations preferred to Prairie Home Hospice.


Mary Van De Wynkel, 89

Funeral services for Mary Van De Wynkel were held on Saturday, January 8, 2005 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy, MN. Rev. Brian Mandel officiated. Organist was Ann Przybilla with Carol Cooreman as Cantor.

Honorary casket bearers were her great-grandchildren, Brandon Vik, Tyler Vik, Adam Vik, Matthew Vik, Amanda Schwartz, Rachel Schartz, Anthony Vik and Henry Arlt.

Casket bearers were her grandchildren, Kevin Vik, Greg Vik, Kathleen Schwartz, Stacie Vik, Michael Hewitt, Kimberly Hewitt, Ryan Van De Wynkel, Jodi Arlt and Katy Van De Wynkel.

Mary Augusta Van De Wynkel was born July 10, 1915 to Hypolite (Paul) and Sylvia (Putte) Verstraete in Annawan, IL. She later moved with her family to the Walnut Grove, MN area. Mary was baptized in the Catholic faith and later received her first Holy Communion at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Walnut Grove in May of 1928. She attended country school with her siblings and worked on the family farm in both the Walnut Grove and Tracy areas.

On February 24, 1941 Mary married Louis E. Van De Wynkel at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy. They made their home on a farm near Walnut Grove all their life together. After Louis died in July of 1991, Mary stayed on the farm until September of 1994 when she became the second tenant to move into O’Brien Court in Tracy. She resided there until she chose to live at the Tracy Nursing Home in January of 2003.

Mary was a past member of the St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Walnut Grove and currently a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy. Mary’s life revolved around being a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and especially enjoyed family gatherings. She was a great cook and spent many hours over the years tending her vegetable and flower gardens on the farm. Her grandchildrens’ favorites were her jams and jellies. She also had a passion for doing embroidery and cross-stitch projects for her family. Mary was very fond of the staff and residents at Tracy Nursing Home and since her move to the nursing home she enjoyed all the activities and especially playing cards with her friends there.

On Wednesday, January 5, 2005 Mary died at the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 89.

Mary is survived by one son, Darrell (Treacy) of Minnetonka, MN; two daughters, Jeanine (Jim) Vik of Redwood Falls, MN and Nancy (Harold) Hewitt of Walnut Grove, MN; nine grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two sisters, Clara Andrews and Gussie Shaw both of Tracy, MN; two sisters-in-law, Irene Verstraete of Minneota, MN and Madeline Verstraete of Tracy, MN; special family friend. Fr. Samuel Perez of New Ulm, MN; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her parents, husband, Louis, one son, Francis, two sisters, Margaret Maeyaert and Minnie Cooreman and five brothers, Gus, Louie, Jack, Frank and Raymond preceded her in death.

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