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Obituaries from the week of Dec. 16, 2009

Amy Arneson, 42

Amy Beth (Knudson) Arneson, age 42 of rural Buffalo, MN. passed away at her home December 9, 2009 after a lengthy illness of A.L.S.

She was born on April 25, 1967 to Harold & Mavis Knudson at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea, MN. She was baptized & confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. She attended K-10 in Albert Lea. She moved with her parents to Tracy, MN in 1983 and graduated from Tracy High School in 1985. She graduated from Mankato State University with a BA in 1990. She was employed at Long Lake Bank. She married Anthony Arneson in 2005 in Hawaii & they have resided in Rockford, MN since their marriage.

Amy is survived by her husband, Anthony Arneson; her mother, Mavis Knudson; brother, Scott (Lisa) Knudson; sisters, Lynn (John) Bucka, Mary (Doug) Dion, Jane (Duane) Sultze & Karen (Ed) Treat; step-children, Maynard (Melisa), Anthony Jr. (LaVerne) & Amanda Arneson; six grandchildren; nineteen nieces & nephews; brothers & sisters-in-law, Linda (Dennis) Duff, Cathey (Veryl) Fulwiler, Ann (Troy) Beckler, Dave (Shelly) Arneson & Mark (Heidie) Arneson; uncle, Dennis (Jeanne) Morreim; aunts, Helen Aase, Arlys (Reuel) Thompson, Ona (Don) Meyer & Margaret (Roald) Tweet and many other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by her father, Harold Knudson; grandparents, Ole & Hilda Knudson and Peter & Mabel Morreim.

Funeral services were held Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 3:00 P.M. at St. John’s Lutheran Church (2451 Fairview Lane) in Mound, MN. 

Graveside service were held on Monday, December 14, 2009 at the Hartland Cemetery in Hartland, MN.

We want to thank the amazing and loving care of the nurses from Accurate Home Care of Elk River, MN.

In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to The ALS Association, MN Chapter 333 N. Washington Ave. Suite 105, Mpls., MN 55401 or a fund has been established at Bank West, PO Box 219 Rockford, MN 55373.

Online Condolences:  The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo handled the arrangements.


Earl Busch, 94

Funeral services for Earl Andrew Busch were conducted at St. Ann’s Catholic Church Slayton Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009 with Fr. Patrick Arens officiating.   Interment was at St. Ann’s Catholic Cemetery Slayton, MN. 

The son of Andrew and Louise Bongartz Busch, was born on Sept.  2, 1915 in Worthington.   He grew up on farms in the Nobles and Murray Counties area.  Earl attended grade school at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School in Fulda, MN. He moved with his family to a farm north of Slayton, MN when he was in his mid teens. 

Earl was united in marriage to Evelyn Severson on Oct. 11, 1939 in Slayton.  After their marriage they lived in Slayton and Earl worked for Oak Grove Dairy as a delivery driver and later as an area supervisor.  Earl remained working and living in Slayton after Evelyn’s death on Feb.  19, 1978 until his retirement from Oak Grove Dairy in 1980. 

Earl was united in marriage to Agnes Wyffels in Sept. of 1980 and they made their home in Tracy, MN.  While they were married they wintered in Arizona every year until 2008. Agnes passed away in 2009 and Earl remained at his home in Tracy.  In June of 2009 Earl entered the Golden Living Center in Slayton and passed away there on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 at the age of 94.  He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy,  and former member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Slayton.  Earl belonged to the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion and VFW.  

Survivors include his two sons and their spouses, Doug (Joanne) Busch of New Brighton, MN and Tom (Loraine) Busch of Slayton, MN; foster daughter, Susan Pinak; two grandchildren, Andrew Busch of Slayton, MN and Brianne (Jeremy) Sellman of Fridley, MN; one great-grandchild, Logan Sellman of Fridley, MN and brother-in-law, Clarence Eich of Slayton, MN. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Evelyn and second wife, Agnes, three sisters, Mildred Sieve, Catherine Eich and Dorothy Pinak and two brothers, Walt and Don Busch.



Erma Hatch, 79

Erma Hatch age 79 of Tracy, MN died Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at her home in Tracy.  A memorial service was held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the Tracy United Methodist Church.

Erma Maxine Hatch was born May 2, 1930 to Fred and Ilo (Moore) Kassel in Holly Township, Murray County, MN.  She was baptized and confirmed at the Holly Methodist Church, rural Walnut Grove, MN.  As a young girl she attended Walnut Grove Public Schools and graduated from Tracy High School in 1948.  After high school Erma attended Mankato Beauty College and then returned to Tracy, MN.  In 1951 Erma was crowned Miss Tracy during the annual Box Car Day celebration.

On July 25, 1952 Erma married Robert D. Hatch at Tracy United Methodist Church.  They made their home in Tracy and Erma worked as a beautician in Tracy for a local hairdresser from 1949 until 1952, when she opened her own business called Jolene’s Beauty Shop.  She continued to operate the business until her death.

She was a member of the Tracy United Methodist Church and active in the church women’s groups.  Besides her business that kept her busy all these years, her greatest love was spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

On Tuesday, December 8, 2009 Erma died peacefully at her home in Tracy at the age of 79.

Erma is survived by her two daughters, Jolene (Jim) Ott of Urbandale, IA, Mari Jo (Paul) Johnson of Brookings, SD; one son, Duane (Denise) Hatch of Bull Head City, AZ; five grandchildren, Brad (Erin) Ott and Marc Ott, Justin Johnson, Jessica Shaw, and Heather Stanaway; one great granddaughter, Lydia Gay; two sisters, Bev (Melvin) Hubbard of Tracy, MN and Melba Carlson of Concord, CA; one brother, Francis (Ludema) Kassel of Tracy, MN; one sister-in-law, Eunice Kassel of Walnut Grove, MN; one brother-in-law, Dale (Maureen) Hatch of Tracy, MN; nieces, nephews and friends.

Her husband, Bob of 52 years, her parents, one brother, Dale Kassel and one brother-in-law, Ed Carlson preceded her in death.

Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in the spring of 2010.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handled the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at



Earlene Hesse, 83

Earlene H. Hesse age 83, formerly of Waterloo, IA, died Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at the Prairie Home Hospice House in Marshall, MN.  Services will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, December 21, 2009 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Klinger, IA.  Visitation will be from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. Sunday, December 20, 2009 at the Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Denver, IA.  Interment will in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.  The Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home of Denver is handling the arrangements.

Earlene H. Hesse was born November 26, 1926 to Earl and Janet (Zuehlke) Chapman in Waterloo, IA.  She attended Waterloo Public Schools and graduated from East High in 1944.  As a young woman she worked as a telephone operator for seven years.  She met Walter L. Hesse at the Electric Park and they were married on December 30, 1951.  They farmed northeast of Waterloo till her husband’s retirement in 1985.  In January of 2006 she moved to Tracy, MN and was a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center.

Earlene was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Klinger, Ia and was active in the Ladies Aid for many years.  She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Recently Earlene became a resident of the Prairie Home Hospice House in Marshall, MN where she died Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at the age of 83.

Earlene is survived by her five children, Tom (Deb) Hesse of Tracy, MN, Karen Davis and (Steve) Pierskalla of Farmington, MN, Jan (Oscar) Wooldrik of Denver, IA, Gerrie Cisneros of Mesa, AZ, and Chris (Ranee’) Freeman of Waterloo, IA; one brother, William (Lois) Chapman of Barrington, IL; one sister, Mary (Bob) Johnson of LaPorte City, IA; thirteen grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; nieces, nephews and friends.

Her husband, Walter, her parents, two sons-in-law, Mike Davis and Henry Cisneros and a great grandson, Ethan Cole preceded her in death.

The family requests memorials to be made out to the Prairie Home Hospice of Marshall, MN.



Loretta Utsler, 55

Loretta Utsler, age 55, of Backus, MN, and formerly Tracy, passed away Sunday, December 13, 2009, at her home.  She was born August 9, 1954, in Tracy, to Dale and Doris Scott.

Loretta is survived by her daughters:  Melissa Utsler, Lisa Taylor (Craig), Heather Erickson, Sarah Gentry (Shawn); parents, Dale and Doris Scott; grandfather, Bill Scott; sisters:  Deb, LeAnne, Christina; brother, Chuck; and 13 grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Robert.

Services will be 2 p.m. on Friday, December 18, at Riverview Church, Pine River, MN.  Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Backus.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.  Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.