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Obituaries from the week of January 9, 2008

Edward Atkins, 88
Funeral services were held Monday, January 7, 2008 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church south of Walnut Grove for Edward H. Atkins.
Edward Atkins was born February 12, 1919 in Washington Township, Buena Vista County, Iowa to Will and Mary (Stein) Atkins. He was baptized on October 25, 1925 at St. Barnabas Church in Slayton. Edward was united in marriage to Evelyn Weis on December 29, 1944. Edward was confirmed along with his wife on May 1, 1949 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in rural Walnut Grove. Together the couple lived in Holly Township in Murray County where they farmed until 1991. When they retired, they moved to a small acreage near Walnut Grove, where they resided since.
Edward was a member of St Olaf Lutheran Church where he was active on the church council and served as an usher. He also was a member of several card clubs. Edward loved telling stories about the “old days.” He enjoyed farming, gardening and fishing with his grandchildren. His family was his greatest joy and he loved spending time with them; especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Edward is survived by his daughter Linda and special son-in-law Roger Engler of rural Walnut Grove and son Wayne Atkins of Redwood Falls; three grandchildren: Sherri (Jay) Hupp of Mankato, Rick (Lori) Atkins of Rapid City and Jamie (Kim) Atkins of Cottage Grove; great grandchildren: Cole and Claire Hupp, Ben and Chris Atkins and Gabe, Dominic and Noah Atkins. He is also survived by brother Harry (Patty) of Lake Wilson, sisters: Annie Hegwood of California and Mary Swenhaugen of Tracy; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Evelyn, siblings: Bill Atkins, Jennie Bucholz, John Atkins, Tina Peterson, Nellie Atkins, Grace Schottenbauer and Elsye Swenhaugen.
Interment was in the church cemetery. The Walnut Grove Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

John Moon

Services for John Moon, 95, of Tracy will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Tracy Lutheran Church in Tracy. Visitation will be on Thurs., Jan. 10 from 4-8 p.m. at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy with a 7 p.m. prayer service, and will continue Friday, one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be at the Tracy City Cemetery. He died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2008, at the Sanford-Sioux Valley Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. A complete obituary will be published in next week’s paper.

Shirley Flesner, 87
Shirley Arthur Flesner age 87 of Tracy passed away on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at the Valley View Manor in Lamberton. Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, January 6, 2008 at the Tracy Alliance Church.
Shirley Arthur Flesner was born October 20, 1920 to Heye and Pauline (Schmidt) Flesner in Gales Township, Redwood County, Minnesota. He attended School District #40 and later graduated from Milroy High School in 1938.
Shirley was united in marriage to Marie Hoffrogge on September 21, 1943 at Nettiewyynnt Methodist Church in Gales Township. He farmed in several communities before moving back to Gales Township in 1965 where he lived for years until moving into Tracy in 1995. On April 19, 1953 he committed his life to Jesus and determined to live a life pleasing to God.
Shirley was an active member of the Tracy Alliance Church where he taught Sunday School, served as Sunday School Superintendent and was treasurer for 30 years. Shirley’s hobbies were fishing, hunting and reading. He enjoyed football and baseball. He also loved music and playing the accordion. Shirley enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
Shirley is survived by his wife Marie of 64 years; children: Barbara (James) Rightler of Victoria, MN, Bruce (Anna Jeanne) Flesner of rural Tracy, Terry (Carol) Flesner of Walnut Grove, Timothy Flesner of St. Peter, MN and Brian (Donna) Flesner of Bixby, OK. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, infant son Jonathan, two sisters and ten brothers.
Interment was in the Gales Cemetery. The Tracy Area Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

Hilma Garrels, 92
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 for Hilma Garrels at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton, MN.
Hilma Garrels was born December 10, 1915 to Olai and Gunild (Askdalen) Gautefall on a farm near Hazel Run, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and grew up in the Hazel Run and Hanley Falls, MN communities. Hilma attended country school and Hanley Falls Public Schools. As a young woman she did housework for many families before going to work at Dr. Gray’s Hospital and then later Weiner Memorial Hospital in Marshall, MN.
On June 27, 1941 Hilma married Bert Garrels at the parsonage in Hanley Falls by Rev. Alf Jorgenson and they made their home on the family farm near Hanley Falls. Shortly after their marriage her husband entered the military and they moved to Alabama and Arizona where he was stationed. During that time Hilma worked at several clothing stores until after the war, when they returned to live in the Balaton, MN community.
Hilma was a past member of the Presbyterian Church until it closed and was a current member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton. Over the years, she was very active in her church as part of Ladies Aid, her Circle and quilting. She also was a member of several Birthday Clubs, one of which she was a part of for over 50 years. Hilma enjoyed many crafts, sewing, flower gardening and playing her organ and key board, but she truly loved spending time with her many friends and family.
In 1991 Hilma and Bert celebrated their 50th anniversary and after his death in 1992 she continued to live in her home till her health failed in 2007. On Friday, January 4, 2008 Hilma died, surrounded by her loving family, at the Sanford Hospice Cottage in Luverne, MN at the age of 92.
Hilma is survived by her three sons, Gary (Nancy) Garrels of Tracy, MN, Ronnie (Dee) Garrels of Huron, SD and Bruce (Dee Dee) Garrels of Balaton, MN; one daughter, Tamie (Verlyn) Hoff of Luverne, MN; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one sister, Geneva “Babe” Herberg of Redwood Falls, MN; nieces, nephews and many friends.
Her husband, Bert, her parents, one brother, Edgar and three sisters, Gena Leupke, Odella Aakvik and Erva Folstad preceded her in death.
Interment was at the Trinity Cemetery in Balaton. Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton handled the arrangements. Online condolences may be placed at