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Obituaries from the week of August 31, 2005


Harold “Whitey” Engesser, 81

Memorial services were held today, Wednesday, August 31, 2005 for Harold W. “Whitey” Engesser at Tracy Lutheran Church in Tracy. Rev. Gary Gabel officiated. Organist was Richard Stelter. Honorary casket bearers were his grandchildren Nicole Phelps, Jason Deming, Shawn Deming, Amber Engesser, Heather Engesser and Andrew Engesser.

Harold W. “Whitey” Engesser was born February 1, 1924 to Peter W. and Pearl (Olson) Engesser in Garvin, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended Garvin Public Schools and Tracy High School in Tracy, MN. As a young man he moved to Seattle, WA and worked in the shipyards. He returned to Tracy and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. He served in Company D, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division and was stationed in the Pacific Theatre. His unit was part of the occupational forces of Japan in 1945. Whitey was Honorably Discharged from service as a Sergeant in 1946 and returned to Tracy.

On January 7, 1956 Whitey married Betty Bielenberg Hess and they made their home in Tracy. After his military service Whitey worked for Hemmingsen Motors and Brinkman Auto in Tracy. Then in 1947 he opened Whitey’s Body and Glass Shop which he owned and operated for 31 years until his retirement in 1980, when he sold the business to his son, Keith.

He was a member of the Tracy Lutheran Church, past member of the Tracy Volunteer Fire Department from 1956 to 1977, serving also as Secretary/Treasurer, member of the Tracy American Legion, Tracy VFW and the Tracy Country Club. Whitey enjoyed many years of bowling and currently an active golfer and fisherman.

On Saturday, August 27, 2005 Whitey died at the Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 81.

Whitey is survived by his wife, Betty of Tracy, MN; two sons, Keith (Linnae) and David (Amy) both of Tracy, MN; one daughter, Diane (Al) Deming of Tracy, MN; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; two brothers, Earl and Gerald both of Tracy, MN; two sisters, Verna Swift and Shirley Martin, both of Balaton, MN; one brother-in-law Dale (Mae) Bielenberg of Inglewood, CO; two sister-in-laws, Marlene (Curly) Baer and Arliss Schultz both of Schleswig, IA; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

His parents and one sister, Vesta Almjheld preceded him in death.

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

Henry D. Epp

Henry D. (Hank) Epp, 83, of New Ulm, died Thursday, August 18, 2005, at the New Ulm Medical Center.

Funeral services were held Saturday, August 27 at the United Church of Christ in New Ulm with Rev. Henry Campbell and Rev. Gene Alms officiating. Burial with full military honors was conducted by the New Ulm National Guard Unit and New Ulm Veterans Organizations in the Jerusalem Cemetery, rural Lake Crystal. Schmucker Funeral Service of New Ulm handled arrangements.

Henry was born January 20, 1922, in Cottonwood County, MN, to Daniel and Susan (Flaming) Epp. He grew up in Mountain Lake and played center on their 1939 Minnesota State Championship Basketball team. He graduated in 1940.

Henry attended Mankato State Teachers College for two years before entering the service as a Navy cadet. He received his gold wings and was commissioned as a United States Naval Aviator Ensign on July 10, 1943, in Corpus Christi, TX. He was married that afternoon to Elvira Grace Jones of Lake Crystal, MN.

After college graduation in 1947, Henry taught industrial arts and coached basketball four years at Tracy High School, Tracy, MN. He attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota. In 1952 he began his thirty-year teaching career in New Ulm. Henry taught industrial arts and electronics. He retired from teaching in 1982.

Following World War II, Henry belonged to the Naval Reserve Unit in Mankato. In 1982, Henry concluded twenty years of United States military service.

Henry is survived by his wife Elvira of New Ulm; daughters Gloria Jeanne Epp of New Ulm and Judy Olson of Cloquet; grandchildren Melissa Olson of St. Paul and PFC Sven Olson of Fort Polk, LA; great granddaughter Gabrielle Olson of Steilacoom, WA; foster son Mike Gentz of Wayzata; many nieces and nephews; brother-in-law Eldon D. Jones (Helen C.) of Lake Crystal; sister-in-law, Ardella Von Ohlen (Lynnis) of Clarkson, WA; sisters Clara Paulsen (Harold) of Mankato and Elizabeth Dick of Mountain Lake; sisters-in-law Mavis Epp of Virginia and Vivian Epp of Asheville, NC.

He was preceded in death by four brothers, two sisters, two brothers-in-law and a grandson.


Eugene Abernethy, 91

Eugene A. “Gene” Abernethy, 91, of West Salem and Marshall, MN, died Thursday, August 25, 2005, at Mulder Health Care Facility, West Salem. Funeral services were held Tuesday, August 30, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Marshall, MN. Pastor Robert Dahl officiated. Burial was in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Balaton, MN.

Mr. Abernethy was born January 5, 1914, in Williston, N.D., the son of David and Minnie (Johnson) Abernethy. After his mother’s death in 1914, Gene returned to Tracy, MN with his father. He lived in Lyon County for the rest of his life except for the last three years when he resided at the Mulder Health Care Facility in West Salem. On June 16, 1935, he married JoAnn Breening in Balaton, MN, and she preceded him in death on July 18, 2003. They lived in Tracy and Marshall, and were married for 68 years. Gene managed the co-op station in Tracy, Minn. and also a service station in Marshall, Minn. for several years. He served in maintenance with the Marshall Public Schools for 25 years. After retirement from the schools, he maintained the Fairway Apartments in Marshall finally retiring at age 85.

Mr. Abernethy was a longtime member of First Lutheran Church in Marshall where he sung in the choir and served as president. He also served on the church council and participated in Bible study groups. Gene had a great love of music and was part of a men’s quartet for a number of years and also sang in a number of community groups. As a real people person, he had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh. Gene had a passion for art and loved being able to express himself in that way. With a wonderful sense of curiosity, he was always learning new things. Gene loved and cherished his family and the time he spent with them.

Survivors include two children, Charles (Peg) Abernethy of Coupeville, Wash. and Mary Jo (David) Bersagel of West Salem; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; three brothers, David (Betty) Abernethy of Apple Valley, Minn., Raymond (Rosalie) Abernethy of Castro Valley, Calif., and James Abernethy of Alexandria, Va.; special friends, Vel and Mary Orth and Scott, Pam, and Josh Bruley; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Harry; and a sister, Eunice.

Pao Moua, 28

Pao Moua, age 28 of Green Bay, WI died Saturday, August 27, 2005 at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Green Bay, WI. Services will be held at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2005 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy, MN. Visitation will be from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 3, 4 and 5 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy with a prayer service each day at 9:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Interment will be at the Amiret Cemetery in Lyon County. The Almlie Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

Nora Silver, 97

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. today, Wednesday, August 31, 2005 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy for Nora J. Silver. Arrangements are with the Tracy Area Funeral Home.

Nora Julia Silver was born February 7, 1908 to John and Isabelle (Nelson) Bustad in Harris, Iowa. She moved with her family to Slayton, MN in 1922. She was baptized and confirmed in the Evangelical LUtheran church. She graduated from Slayton High School in 1926 and attended Slayton Normal School for teacher’s training, graduating in 1927, and then teaching several years in District School 15, Murray County.

On November 15, 1932, after her conversion to the Catholic faith, Nora was united in marriage to Bernard J. Silver at St. Mary’s Parish House in Tracy, MN by Fr. Henry Cahill. The couple lived several places in the Tracy area while raising their five children. Bernard served with the Army Air Corps in 1944-46 and then Nora worked at Dietz’s Drug Store and many years for John Schleppenbach at John’s Drug. Nora retired in 1966 and took care of her husband during his years of illness until his death on April 27, 1981.

Nora was a member of the VFW Auxiliary in Tracy, St. Mary’s Ladies Aid and Women’s Guilds. She enjoyed reading, bird-watching, handiwork, sewing and gardening. Nora’s family was all important to her and she loved her many travels for long visits with them. This remarkable woman was also extremely proud of her Norwegian heritage.

Nora Silver passed away following a stroke, at the Tracy Nursing Home on August 29, 2005, at the age of 97 years, 6 months and 22 days.

She is survived by her children: James (Regina) Silver, Las Vegas, NV, Jerome (Cecilia Jane) Silver, Antelope, CA, Patty (Jack) Misenti, St. Cloud, FL, Connie Silver, Eagan, MN, Don (Jessica) Silver, Olympia, WA; there are 14 beloved grandchildren (James) Maile, Moana, Gregory, Talu, James; (Jerome) Barry, Tony, Chris, Danny, (Patty) Michael, (Connie) Patrice, Dominic, (Don) Shaena, Lisa and 14 great-grandchildren, Leiana, Deryck, Nanea, Kela, Alana, Brendon, Kyle, Kiana, Cody, Alex, Sean, Colin, Ryan, Noelle; two sisters-in-law, Leota Silver and Theresa Hansen, one brother-in-law, Ed Hansen; numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and two sisters: Anna and Selma.