banner.gif (15051 bytes)

Obituaries from the week of April 1, 2009

Dale Evans, 73

Dale Evans, age 73, of rural Balaton, passed away at his home on Thursday, March 26, 2009.  Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 31 at the Grace First Church in Russell, with the burial following at the Russell Cemetery.

Dale Leroy Evans was born to Emil and Alma (Swanson) Evans on October 25, 1935 in Island Lake Township, Lyon County Minnesota.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at the First English Lutheran Church in Marshall.  Dale attended Lynd Public School and graduated in 1953.  Following graduation, he attended the Institute of Agriculture at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus.  He returned home to farm with his father in Island Lake Township.  In 1957, Dale joined the Marshall National Guard 151st A Battery and served twelve years.

On July 9, 1959, Dale was united in marriage to Beverley Kramer at the Federated Church in Marshall.  Together, they started their marriage and farming career on a farm in Rock Lake Township, Lyon County. Due to ill health, Dale retired from active farming in 1998. After retirement, he and Bev continued to raise Suffolk sheep and farm with his nephews and son, Corey. 

Dale was active throughout his lifetime in fields of farming, livestock production, and community and church activities.  He served Grace Lutheran Church Council as treasurer, recording secretary, and auditing committees.  He also was a faithful usher, maintenance man, and substitute Sunday school teacher.  During his younger years, he was involved in the 4-H program and in later years, he served as a 4-H leader and officer on the Lyon County 4-H Advisory Committee. He was a former member of the Russell Lions and Tyler Golf Club.

Spending time with his wife of forty-nine years and his family, especially his four grandsons was the highlight of his life.  His encouragement, support, and work ethic will always be cherished.  Whether it was family, relatives, or friends, Dale was there with a helping hand.  Dale found enjoyment in playing cards with family and friends, watching and participating in sports, and spending hours in his farm shop. 

He is survived by his wife Beverley of Balaton; two children, Kim (Mike) Clayton of Alexandria and Corey (Jennifer) Evans of Balaton, four grandsons; Colin Evans of Canton, SD, Derek and Colton Evans of Balaton and Austin Clayton of Alexandria, two sisters; Adeline Prahl  of Sleepy Eye and Loretta Breczinski of Marshall; two brothers; Norman (Virginia) Evans of Balaton and Kenneth (Connie) Evans of Anoka, brother-in-law; Calvin Kramer(Rhonda) of Marshall, and sister-in-law, Lorraine Evans of Russell, and many relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, infant daughter, three sisters; Mabel Vercruysse, Luella Nelson, Mae Sanderson,and three brothers; Harvid , Emil Jr., and Delbert.

Memorials preferred to the American Cancer Society and Prairie Home Hospice.

The Hamilton Funeral Home of Marshall handled the arrangements. 


Harriet Hemmingsen, 92

Harriet  Hemmingsen age 92 of Tracy, MN died Monday, March 30, 2009 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 4, 2009 at the Tracy United Methodist Church.  Visitation will be from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 3, 2009 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy, with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. and continuing one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Harriet Edith Hemmingsen was born May 18, 1916 to William and Edith (Williams) in Tracy, MN, Lyon County.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and grew up on a farm four miles west of Tracy.  She attended Tracy Public Schools, graduating from Tracy High School in 1934.  As a young woman she worked as a dental assistant for Dr. Blake in Tracy from 1936 until 1942.

On May 12, 1940 Harriet married Vernon E. Hemmingsen in Worthington, MN and they made their home in Tracy.  Harriet was a homemaker and mother to her four children and active in their many activities.  Over the years she enjoyed horseback riding, boating, fishing, reading and gardening.  She loved to garden along with her husband, Vern and always took pride in the many flower gardens they had around their home.  As a member of the Golden Gate Flower Club, her arrangements won many awards, for many years at the Methodist Church Flower Show. 

In addition to her gardening, Harriet also was a member of the Tracy Presbyterian Church and taught Sunday School and was active in the church women’s groups.  She also was a past Girl Scout Leader, a member of a Bridge Club and enjoyed twenty five years of wintering with her husband in Arizona.

In July of 2005 Harriet moved into O’Brien Court where she lived until January of 2007, when she became a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  On Monday, March 30, 2009 Harriet died there, surrounded by her loving family, at the age of 92.

Harriet is survived by her three daughters, Janet (Donald) Kamis of Minneapolis, MN, Marlene (Larry) Forstrom/Clark of Rancho Mirage, CA and Shari Allan of Parker, CO; one son, Warren (Rosemary) Hemmingsen of Tracy, MN; six grandchildren, John (Carrie) Forstrom, Angela (Sean) Ronan, Ryan Hemmingsen, Sara (Scott) Shosted, Heather Hemmingsen and Lindsay Hemmingsen; three great grandchildren, Kaylie Ronan, Cade Ronan and Avery Shosted; and many dear friends.

Her parents, William and Edith, husband, Vern, one son-in-law, Richard Forstrom and two brothers, Walter and Willard preceded her in death.

Interment will be at the Tracy City Cemetery.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at


David Manuel, 75

David Andrew Manuel, age 75 of Maple Lake died Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at his home surrounded by his loving family.  Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, March 28, 2009 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake.  Fr. Michael Izen officiated and burial was in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery. 

David Andrew Manuel was born February 1, 1934 in Watkins to Pat and El (Graf) Manuel.  He served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. 

David married Cathy Schleppenbach on October 9, 1954 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Cold Spring.  They moved to Maple Lake in 1955, where he owned and operated Manuel’s Department Store for 53 years.  David was a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, Catholic Order of Foresters, Maple Lake American Legion Post 131 and the Maple Lake Village Players (Maple Lake Community Theatre).  He also served as president of the Maple Lake Commercial Club (Chamber of Commerce), was an original board member of the Maple Lake High School and served his community in the Maple Lake Fire Department.  Dave enjoyed fishing, golfing, gun collecting, watching & playing baseball and playing cards with his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Cathy; children, Linda (John) Erickson of Fargo, ND, Jeannie (Paul) DeSmith of Walnut Grove, Pattie of Maple Lake, Mary (Jeff) Sullivan of Woodbury and Bill of Delano; grandchildren, Anna (Ian) Alexander, Rachel Kloss, Julia Bothun, David and Mark DeSmith, Aiden Sullivan, Maria and John Manuel; sisters and brothers, Deanna (Bill) Loch of Cold Spring, Kippy (Stu) Stuhr of Eden Prairie, Bob (Julie) of Bloomington, Sharon (Don) Johannsen of Walker and Joyce (Pete) Cheeley of St. Cloud.  He is preceded in death by his parents.

Urn bearers were Dale Schleppenbach and John Manuel.  Honorary urn bearers were Les Paumen, Darrell Jensen, John Manuel, Ed Raiche, Les Aretz, Ralph Kotilinek, Ken Hennen and the Maple Lake Fire Department.  The Maple Lake American Legion Post 131 and the Minnesota National Guard provided the military honors for the service.  Julia Bothun and Allison Totz provided the music for the service. 

Memorials are preferred to the Maple Lake Fire Department or the Maple Lake Library.  Arrangements were entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care, Maple Lake.


Leslie A. Onken, 73

Leslie A. Onken, age 73 of Tracy passed away on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at Sanford Hospital in Tracy, Minnesota. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at the Tracy Lutheran Church.

Les was born on December 19, 1935 in Worthington, MN to Jonas and Florence (Groninga) Onken.  He graduated in 1953 from Worthington High School. 

Les married his high school sweetheart Rose Marie Basche in March 1954.  They moved to Tracy in 1964 where he was the State Farm Agent until 1997.  He was active in the community as well as being an active member of Tracy Lutheran Church where he served on several boards.  He enjoyed spending time in the outdoors with his sons, daughters and grandchildren.  He especially enjoyed his life passion, golf.

Les is survived by his wife Rose; children: Kathy and Gary Wittnebel of Burnsville, MN, Marc and Patty Onken of Auburn, WA, Jim and Diane Onken of Eagle Lake, MN, Barb and Don McKee of Montevideo, MN, Brian and Linda Onken of Marshall, MN, Tim and Vicki Onken of Lincoln, NE; 17 grandchildren: Sarah, Beth, Ben, Dan, Ryan, Chad, Becky, Emily, Scott, Jenny, Jessica, Samantha, Matthew, Ashley, Tyler, Morgan and Mary; and two great-grandchildren Ashton and Grace. He is also survived by his sister Jo Ann Trimble of Federal Way, WA. 

He was proceeded in death by his daughter Rebecca, granddaughters Kimberly and Molly, parents Jonas and Florence Onken and three brothers: Robert, David and Raymond.

Interment was in the Tracy Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent at  Arrangements were with the Tracy Area Funeral Home.