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Obituaries from the week of August 10, 2005


Lucile Miller, 85

Services for Lucile Miller, 85, of South St. Paul were held Monday, July 25, 2005 at Grace Lutheran Church in South St. Paul. Lucile passed away on Thursday, July 21, 2005, after several weeks in the hospital.

She was born on April 26, 1920 in Granby Township of Nicollet County, MN and was the youngest of four children. She attended a one-room country school through 8th grade and graduated from New Ulm High School in 1937.

Lucile was united in marriage with Clarence (Butch) Miller on June 28, 1939 in New Ulm, MN. Their marriage was blessed with five children. In 1953, Lucile and Butch moved into a house that Butch built on 14th Avenue in South St. Paul. She lived there with Missy, her beloved Sheltie, until her death.

Lucile loved to sew and made most of her family’s clothing when her children were young. She was a faithful and active member of Grace Lutheran Church for over 60 years and was their official “bread baker” for the Golden Agers monthly dinners. She was well known for her baking and baked bread twice a week for her family as they were growing up. On entering her house, even in later years, you were always greeted by the aroma of fresh-baked bread and coffee cake. She had a big garden and canned jams, jellies and the produce from that garden. Her sweet-sour dill pickles were a favorite among the grandchildren. She was also an avid bird-watcher.

She is survived by three sons, Ted (Adela) of Inver Grove Heights, Tom (Karen) of Inver Grove Heights, Jack (Sandy) of Garvin, and a daughter, Jean (Scott) Butenhoff of South St. Paul; 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Mildred Cordes of New Ulm and Esther Schedler of Butler, WI.

Lucile was preceded in death by her husband, Butch, her daughter, Suzanne and one brother Elden.

Lucile devoted herself to her family and to her church. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Blessed be her memory

Velma (Dottie) Furan, 82

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, August 9, 2005 at 11 a.m. at Lake Sarah Lutheran Church, Garvin, MN for Velma Furan. Rev. Melba Smith officiated. Organist was Darwin Smith with Jerry Engesser as soloist and Debbie Miller as accompanist.

Casket bearers were Bob Furan, Harris Haugen, John Meyer, Randy Furan, Dennis Mohr and Ronald Gempler.

Velma Marcilla (Dottie) Furan was born October 10, 1922 to Charles and Edith (Walter) Mohr on the family farm near Amiret, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended both country school by Amiret and Tracy Public School. As a young woman she helped on the family farm and also for some of the neighbors.

On March 24, 1944 Dottie married Rudolph L. Furan in Tracy, MN and they made their home on the Furan farm near Garvin, MN. She was a member of the Lake Sarah Lutheran Church and was active in the women’s groups, including the quilting group. Dottie was also a member of Birthday Club, The Nivrag Doll Club and Primetimers in both Tracy and Slayton, MN. She enjoyed cooking, baking, flower gardening, quilting and her family and friends.

On Saturday, August 6, 2005 Dottie died at her home on the farm south of Garvin at the age of 82.

Dottie is survived by one daughter, Diane (Ray) Gould of Zimmerman, MN; two sons, Dale of Garvin, MN and Jim (Linda) of Anoka, MN; four grandchildren, David (Tami) Gould, Kelly (Jim) Beck, Jennifer Furan, Shannon Furan and fiance Jason Hoheisel; two great-grandchildren, Cole and Cassie Gould; one sister, Violet Weaver of Anoka, MN; two sisters-in-law, Wilma Furan and Lorraine Meyer both of Tracy, MN; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her parents, husband, Rudy, one sister and three brothers preceded her in death.

Interment was in Modum Cemetery, Garvin, Minnesota with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

Dr. James Sawyer, 84

Dr. James Sawyer died at his home in Allyn, Washington on July 24, 2005. He was 84 years of age. A private family service was held at Rivers End in Washington on July 29, 2005.

Jim was born to E.N. and Ada Sawyer in Tracy, MN and lived in Revere, graduating from the Lamberton High School in 1929. He attended the University of Minnesota earning a degree in organic chemistry. He then attended the University of Minnesota Dental School earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He had a dental practice in Walnut Grove for 34 years retiring in 1983.

Jim served in the United States Army as a Captain in Frankfurt, Germany from 1949-1953. He received a Letter of Commendation for his service.

Jim enjoyed all types of hunting and fishing and was a master furniture builder. While living in Walnut Grove, he built a boat in his garage to sail in Puget Sound in Washington. Even after his retirement and move, he was always interested in the happenings in Walnut Grove and of his former patients.

Jim is survived by his wife, Yvonne of 62 years; daughter Sue and her husband Ron Zastrow of Avon, CO; son James II (Chip) and his wife Vicki Sawyer of Shelton, WA; sister Jean Crumlett of Minneapolis; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Bob.

Lawrence ‘Laurie’ Thoma, 72

Funeral services were held Wednesday, August 10, 2005 for Lawrence Thoma at the Church of Christ in Tracy, MN. Rev. Edsel Miller officiated. Eleanor Hewitt was the organist.

Casket bearers were Randy Stephens, Brad Stephens, Lewis Swoboda, Roger Stephens, Bruce Thoma and Lynn Thoma.

Lawrence L. “Laurie” Thoma was born February 2, 1933 to Melvin and Bertha Thoma in Springfield, MN. He moved with his family as a young boy to Redwood Falls, MN and attended Redwood Falls Public Schools. In 1950 his family moved to Tracy, MN and he graduated from Tracy High School in 1951.

On August 12, 1953 Laurie married Carol Ann Jensen in Ivanhoe, MN and they made their home in Pierre, SD until 1954 when they moved back to Tracy. Laurie worked for the 7-Up Bottling Company in Tracy for over 30 years. He drove school bus for Tracy Public Schools for over 30 years and managed the Tracy Amoco Station for many years before his retirement.

Laurie was an active member of the youth baseball program in the Tracy area, coaching VFW baseball for 25 years and umpiring baseball for 30 years. Over the years he enjoyed fishing, following both college and professional sports and was also active in bowling leagues and the Tracy Horseshoe League.

On Saturday, August 6, 2005 Laurie died at his home in Tracy at the age of 72.

Laurie is survived by his one daughter, Becky (Dave) Scott of Oakdale, MN; one son, Scott (Nancy) Thoma of Willmar, MN; two granddaughters, Hillary and Heather; one sister, Evelyn Stephens of Redwood Falls, MN; nieces, nephews and cousins.

His parents, wife, Carol, and one brother Elston preceded him in death.

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

Service notice

Doris & Woodrow Prouty

Two former Tracy residents Woodrow Prouty and his sister Doris Prouty Philillippe will be laid to rest on Sat., August 13, 2005 at 1 p.m. in the Prouty burial plots at the Tracy City Cemetery.

Reverend Homer Dobson will officiate the services. Military honors for Woodrow will be provided by the Tracy American Legion Honor Guard.