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Obituaries from the week of June 15, 2005


Christopher Vacca, 25

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, June 16, 2005 at 11 a.m. for Christopher F. Vacca at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy, MN. Visitation will be held one hour before services at the church.

Christopher F. Vacca was born March 13, 1980 to James and Vickie (Knopf) Vacca in Watertown, SD. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church at Our Redeemer in Watertown. He attended Watertown Public Schools and graduated from Watertown High School in 1998. While in high school, he excelled in vocal music, band and drama. He played major roles in several musicals and plays. He was selected two consecutive years for SD All State Choir and also selected for the Tri-State Honor’s Choir in 1998.

In 1999, Chris moved to Apple Valley, MN and also attended community college. He recently moved to Farmington, MN. Chris enjoyed and was gifted with computers. He worked for Q-Con Express as a route courier. Chris currently had been working for the Goodrich Corporation as a Contract Administrator.

On Saturday, June 11, 2005 Chris died in Watertown, SD at the age of 25.

Chris is survived by his mother, Vickie Vacca of Fargo, ND; one sister, Stacie (Chad) Buysse of Tracy, MN; maternal grandparents, Gene and Aleda Knorf of Sioux Falls, SD; one niece, Alexis; one nephew, Cayden; several aunts, uncles, and cousins; and his special long-term friend, Gary Smith.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Vacca, and paternal grandparents, Felice and Donna Vacca and one cousin, Rocco Vacca.

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

Richard Whipple

Richard E. (Dick) Whipple, a 1951 graduate of Tracy High School, died May 18 in Abbot Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis following a massive stroke. He was a resident of Eagan.

Dick moved with his parents Blaine and Pearl and siblings to Tracy in 1948 when his father became Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and later an editor of the Tracy Headlight-Herald. He was a letterman on the football team and worked at the Tracy dairy.

He joined the U.S. Navy following graduation and served 12 years before leaving the service to pursue a degree in pharmacy at the U. of Minnesota School of Pharmacy. He was a hospital corpsman and served with the Fleet Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, Calif, the 3rd Marine Division in Japan, and with the Naval Medical Unit at Tripler Army Hospital on Oahu, Hawaii.

Whipple attended the Advanced Hospital Corps School in Portsmouth, Va., the Basic Nuclear Power School and Radiation Control & Health Physics School at New London, Conn., took Advanced Nuclear Power Training at Nuclear Power Training Units in Idaho Falls, Idaho and West Milton, N.Y. and was then assigned to the nuclear powered cruiser USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25). He was assigned duty in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Lebanon, and Turkey. His rank was Master Chief Hospital Corpsman.

He retired in June 2004 after 35 years as a pharmacist with Walgreens at Edina, New Hope, and Minneapolis, with Dayton’s in Minneapolis, with Campus Drugs in Stadium Village and Dinkyktown adjacent to the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, and with Snyder Pharmacies in South Minneapolis.

Memorial service for Cecil Buzzell

A memorial service for Cecil Buzzell will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2005. The service is planned at 11 a.m. at the Tracy Presbyterian Church with lunch to follow.

Kathryn Simpson, 36

Kathryn “Kathy” C. Simpson, age 36, passed away suddenly in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 7, 2005. A funeral service was held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, June 11, 2005 at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Marshall, MN. Pastor Homer Dobson officiated. Burial was in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Tracy.

Kathryn “Kathy” Christine Simpson was born to Bruce and Janet (Dalke) Simpson on January 3, 1969 in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended Sycamore Elementary School and Ruskin High School, both in Kansas City.

Kathy passed away suddenly in Minneapolis on Tuesday, June 7, 2005 at the age of 36 years, 5 months and 4 days.

She is survived by her parents, Bruce M. Simpson of Harrisonville, Missouri and Janet Dalke-Hall of Tracy; a sister, Theresa Lynne Starforth of Kansas City, Missouri; and a niece and nephew, Rebecca and Bradley Starforth; an aunt Janine Kerr Loomer.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents.