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Obituaries from the week of March 25, 2009

James “Dean” Mortland, 76

James “Dean” Mortland of Marshall, MN, formerly of Tracy, MN died Thursday, March 19, 2009 at the Avera-McKennan Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD. Funeral services were held on Monday March 23, 2009 at the Tracy United Methodist Church.

James Dean Mortland was born February 12, 1933 to James A. and Anna “Berniece” (Hind) Mortland on a farm in Ellsborough Township, Murray County, MN. He was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist faith and grew up on a farm near Russell, MN, where he attended Russell Public Schools. His family then moved to a farm near Lake Benton, MN and he attended country school before Lake Benton High School, graduating in 1951. Dean then enrolled in Mankato State College and graduated with a BA degree in Education. While in college he was given a deferment from the draft board to finish his degree, so upon graduating in 1954 he entered into the U. S. Army. He was stationed in Baltimore, MD and attached to military intelligence.

On Nov. 7, 1954 Dean married Marilyn Stoltzman on his parent’s farm near Lake Benton. As Dean was still in the Military they made their home in Baltimore for a short time before his station to St. Paul, MN. He received his honorable discharge in 1956 and they moved to Los Angeles, CA that year. They moved back to Russell, MN where Dean got his first teaching job in 1957 and they lived there until 1959 when they moved to Atwater, MN from 1959 to 1962. In 1962 they moved to Tracy, MN where Dean taught 29 years until 1991 when he retired from full time teaching. After 34 years of Teaching, they moved to Marshall, MN, where he was a substitute teacher for over 15 years, besides several other surrounding communities. He taught mostly 7th grade English and Geography and was the Golf Team Coach for many years in Tracy. During the summer months he also was a truck driver for Northstar Concrete of Mankato, MN, Rupp Construction of Slayton, MN and most recently, for Helena Chemical Company of Marshall, MN.

He was a past member of the Tracy United Methodist Church, the NEA and MEA. He enjoyed reading, quoting poetry, driving truck and spending time with his grandchildren. Besides coaching golf, Dean also loved basketball, and he kept the stats for Tracy High School and Southwest State University Basketball teams for many years. He will also be remembered by family and friends for his love of story telling, of which, his tale of Swen Swenson, holds a special place in their memories.

On Thursday, March 19, 2009 Dean died, surrounded by his loving family, at the Avera-McKennan Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 76.

Dean is survived by his one daughter, Sandy (Jeff Williams) Sik of Marshall, MN; three sons, Jim (Mary) Mortland of Marshall, MN, Dave Mortland of Sioux Falls, SD and Tom (Niki Anderson) Mortland of Colton, SD; nine grandchildren, James Mortland III, Jennifer Tuffs, Dustin Hoffman, Mitchell, Dylan, Malia, and Zachary Mortland, Cassidy Nelson and Staci Lubben; five great grandchildren, Riley and Jessica Tuffs, Abigail and Felicity Mortland and Sebastian Kron; one brother, Daniel (Priscilla) Mortland of Chicago, IL; two sisters, Virginia Yearous of Balaton, MN and Ann (Henry) Petersen of Hardwick, MN; one brother-in-law, Bill (Rita) Doyscher of Tyler, MN; nieces, nephews and many friends.

His parents, loving wife, Marilyn, one infant grandson, one infant granddaughter, one sister, Lorraine Doyscher and one brother-in-law, Delmar Yearous preceded him in death.

Interment was at the Tracy City Cemetery. The Almlie Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.