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Obituaries from the week of June 24, 2009

Darrel F. Larsen, 90
Oscar Steffen, 81
David Sturges, 69
Alice J. Tadd, 84

Darrel F. Larsen, 90

Darrel F. Larsen age 90 of Tracy, formerly of the Walnut Grove area passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, June 20, 2009 at his home due to heart failure.  Funeral services will be held today, Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.

Darrel Francis Larsen was born to Hans Christian Frantz (Francis) and Martha Olsen Rogne (Grindeland) Larsen on July 7, 1918 at Lohrville, Iowa.  He and his family later moved to the Lucan and Walnut Grove, Minnesota rural areas where his parents farmed for their living. Darrel attended school, and was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith while living in these two rural areas.

On August 30, 1942 Darrel was united in marriage to Arlene Brokke at the English Lutheran Church of Walnut Grove.  They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in August of 2005.  Darrel was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and provider for his family; helping to raise two sons, Larry and Randy.  Darrel and Arlene made their home on a farm located four miles southwest of Walnut Grove for 52 years before moving into Tracy, Minnesota in 1993.  Arlene passed away in September of 2005.  Darrel continued living in their home until 2006 when he suffered a serious car accident.  He then made his home at the Tracy Prairie View and Lamberton Valley View Nursing Homes while recovering from his accident.  He was able to return to his home in Tracy for some periods of time in 2007, 2008 and 2009.  On May 1, 2009 he moved into the O’Brian Court at Tracy, MN.  On June 20, 2009 he passed away after suffering heart failure at his apartment in O’Brien Courts.  He enjoyed a long and full life of almost 91 years of age.

Darrel and Arlene enjoyed much old time dancing with their friends in their years together. They traveled with their 5th wheel camper to many states, wintering in Arizona during the cold weather months of Minnesota. They enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren; taking them camping and fishing.  Darrel spent many hours a month traveling to the surrounding area Nursing Homes and Senior Citizen locations playing the accordion for their enjoyment, and sharing of the healing power of Music.  He played his music by ear, and when asked one time, how can you play without knowing one note of music?  His answer was just listen - then play.  Darrel was a member of the English Lutheran Church of Walnut Grove, Lions Club, and was a very active member of the National Farmers Organization (NFO) for many years.  He also was a member of and played with the South Dakota Old Time Fiddlers, for many years at locations in South Dakota and Minnesota.  He captured 1st place in the button accordion bracket at the South Dakota Fiddlers State Contest, in Yankton, South Dakota three years in a row before his car accident in 2006.  After his recovery, his accordion playing became his major healing medicine and motivation. It gave him the reason to keep going. Sharing his music with others was always his goal in life. 

His hobbies included hunting, trapping in his early years, and much fishing all seasons of the year. Darrel enjoyed visiting and drinking coffee with his friends, shaking dice with the guys at the Walnut Grove and Tracy area restaurants, playing accordion, concertina, fiddle, and the rattle bones while attending music jams anytime he could find one going on, and of course much old time dancing.  He also enjoyed fish fries, some fence checking at times, and loving his Christian Brothers. 

Darrel is survived by his son Randy (Darla) Larsen of Walnut Grove, MN; grandchildren: Jason (Nicole) Larsen of Tracy, MN, Brock Larsen of Mankato MN,  and Crystal (Chad) Schultz of Belle Plaine, MN; great grandchildren: Walter and Elle Schultz of Belle Plaine, and Ella Larsen of Tracy; daughter-in-law Sharon Larsen of Balaton, MN, step grandchildren: Larry Larsen (Karisa) of Florence, MN, Lori Duscher (Dean) of Milroy, MN; and step great-grandchildren Brandon and Kendra Duscher.  Darrel was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and son Larry.

All who knew Darrel were greatly blessed by his music, friendship, and happiness. Long live his memory in all of our hearts as we celebrate his life and time given to us.  May God bless and keep his music alive in each of us.

Interment is in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  Email condolences may be sent via  The Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements


Oscar Steffen, 81

Oscar W. Steffen age 91 of Walnut Grove passed away on Friday, June 19, 2009 at the Valley View Manor in Lamberton after a brief illness.  Funeral services were held on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at Trinity Lutheran Church with interment in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  

Oscar W. Steffen was born September 4, 1917 on the family farm in Granite Rock Township, Redwood County, MN to Henry and Anna (Rinderman) Steffen.  He was baptized and confirmed at Johnsonville Lutheran Church of rural Lucan.  He attended country school district 58 near Lucan, and later attended Dunwoody Institute for 2 years.  Oscar worked for the Redwood County REA for a couple years. 

On June 27, 1941, Oscar entered the US Army.  During WWII, Oscar served in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and in Central Europe where he worked as a truck driver for heavy equipment.  He received his honorable discharge October 6, 1945.  After the war, Oscar returned home. 

On June 19, 1948, Oscar was united in marriage to Lorraine Kopperud at Old Westbrook Lutheran Church.  Together the couple lived in their home in Walnut Grove that they built in 1948.  Oscar resided there ever since.  Oscar and his brother Emil started working as electricians in the Walnut Grove area in 1939.  The business continues to operate in the family 70 years later.  Oscar was very active in his church where he sang in the choir, and served on the church council.  He enjoyed gardening, reading, wood working and working on new ideas and inventions.

Oscar is survived by his sons: Leland and wife Pam and Errol Steffen both of Walnut Grove; grandchildren: Dustin (Jessie) Van De Wiele of Walnut Grove & Nicole (James) Marsh of Walnut Grove; great grandchildren: Dylan, Garrett, and Cole, Porter and Leah; brother Louis (Cora) Steffen of Alpine, CA; and numerous other relatives and friends. 

Preceding him in death are his parents, wife Lorraine; five brothers: Emil, Alfred, Albert, George and Otto and a sister Emma.

Email condolences may be sent to the family via  The Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 


David Sturges, 69

Services were held on Sat., June 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm at Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory, Greenwood Chapel, 481 W. Main St. Greenwood, IN for David L. Sturges.

David L. Sturges, 69 of Greenwood, formally of Valparaiso, IN died June 16, 2009 at St. Frances Hospital South Campus.

He was born Nov. 8, 1939 in Slayton, MN the son of Russell and Marion (Nelsen) Sturges. He married Judy Kauzlarich on December 28, 1965. She survives.

Other survivors include 3 daughters, Sharon Sturges of Greenwood, Susan Howard and husband Rex of Bloomington, and Sonja McLain and husband Joe of Indianapolis, 3 brothers Leroy Sturges and wife Sue of Ames, Iowa, Terry Sturges and wife Jeane of Brooklyn Park, MN and Jerry Sturges and wife Jenny of Parker, CO, one sister Bonnie Noding and husband Louis of Phoenix AZ and 7 grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Dean Sturges.

Mr. Sturges grew up in Currie, MN, where his father, Russell Sturges worked at the Silvernale Tile Factory.  He attended the public grade school in Currie then attended Tracy High School in Tracy, MN where he graduated in 1958.

He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the United States Army. He was the coach, manager and officer at South Haven Little League. He enjoyed gardening, bowling, photography, golfing, and his family, especially his children and grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Cure PSP, Executive Plaza III, 11350 McCormick Road Suite 906, Hunt Valley, MD 21031. Online condolences may be sent to the family at


Alice J. Tadd, 84

Alice Jane Tadd, age 84 of Tracy, MN formerly of Walnut Grove passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2009 at Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Balaton. Funeral services were  held on Monday, June 22, 2009 at the Walnut Grove United Methodist Church. 

Alice Jane Tadd was born April 19, 1925 to Herbert and Flora (Irwin) McDonald in Tracy, Minnesota. She attended school in Walnut Grove.

Alice was united in marriage to Wyman Tadd on October 11, 1941 at the Methodist Church Parsonage in Springfield, MN. They couple lived in Worthington, MN for awhile before moving to Utah and Nebraska. Later the couple settled in Walnut Grove.

Alice was a member of the Ladies Circle at the Methodist Church for many years and the Legion Auxiliary. She was also a Girl Scout Leader and Den Mother for Cub Scouts. Alice enjoyed looking for arrowheads, fishing, cooking, canning, bird watching, and feeding the chipmunks and birds at the lake. She also enjoyed helping Wyman in the garden and painting the crafts and figurines he had made.

Alice is survived by her children: Allan (Vicky) of Truman, MN, Roland (Laurel) of Vandalia, OH, Lynette (Harold) Giesler of Osakis, MN, Nanette (Don) Gregoire of Tracy, MN, and Kevin (Karen) of Montevideo, MN; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Orville (Lorraine) Tadd of Minneapolis, MN; and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husband Wyman.

The Walnut Grove Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Email condolences may be sent via