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Obituaries from the week of Dec. 1, 2010

June Fogelson, 86

Funeral services for June V. Fogelson of Westbrook were held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook   The interment was in Sillerud Cemetery, south of Balaton, MN. 

June Violet Fogelson was born June 18, 1924 to James and Jennie (Mattson) Carlson in Slayton, MN, Murray County.  She was baptized on October 4, 1925 and confirmed on June 4, 1939 in the Lutheran faith.  June attended District #9 Country School before attending Tracy High School, graduating in 1943. 

On September 23, 1944 June married Donald Fogelson at the Lutheran parsonage in Slayton.  They made their home on a farm south of Balaton, MN until 1953, when they moved to a farm near Amiret, MN.  In 1958 they moved into Balaton when Don went to work for the bank and then moved to Westbrook, MN in 1967.  Through the years June was a housewife and mother to three children.

She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook and in the past active in the church women’s groups.  She enjoyed art work, painting, working with ceramics, dancing, sewing, decorating her home and especially loved family get-togethers.

In February of 2008 June became a resident of the Westbrook Good Samaritan Center in Westbrook, where she died Saturday, November 27, 2010 at the age of 86.

June is survived by her husband, Donald Fogelson of Westbrook, MN; two daughters, Aloha (David) Buchert of Brooklyn Center, MN and Vangie Nielsen of Lino Lakes, MN; one son, Steven (Pam) Fogelson of Fairmont, MN; three grandchildren, Brandi Jo Poellinger, Mathew Fogelson and Bruce Buchert; three great grandchildren, Chase and Adam Buchert, and Danielle Poellinger; one brother-in-law, Frank (Mary Jo) Myer of Dodge Center, MN; nieces, nephews and many friends.

Her parents, Jim and Jennie Carlson, son-in-law, Don Nielsen, sister, Rose (Myron) Cox, brother, Roy (Lorraine) Carlson, and two brothers-in-law and their wives, preceded her in death.

The Almlie Funeral Home of Westbrook handled the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at


Henry Koetje, 78 

Henry Koetje, 78, of Willmar, died Thursday, November 18, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, November 22, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar. Burial was in Cloverleaf Memorial Park Cemetery in Willmar. Military Honors were provided by the Finstad-Weeks V.F.W. Post 1639 of Willmar. 

Henry Koetje was born July 22, 1932, in Raymond, Minnesota, to Jacob, Sr. and Dora (Schlaak) Koetje. He grew up in Raymond and worked on the family farm near Raymond and later near Brooten and also worked on the neighboring farms. In May 1956, he entered the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. He was honorably discharged in April 1958. Henry then worked in construction in Montana for a short time before returning to Willmar where he drove taxi cab and city bus.

On April 30, 1961, he married Janice Mae Brede at Trinity Lutheran Church near Hector and they made their home in Willmar. Henry was baptized on October 7, 1961 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar. In 1961, he and his brother, Jake, bought into the taxi business and formed Courtesy Taxi. They were later joined in the business by their brother, August. Henry also operated a service station with the taxi business and worked as a mechanic. In the late 1960s, they sold the taxi business and Henry worked as a mechanic and hauling fertilizer for Cenex for a few years. In November 1970, he began working as a contract driver for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980 and was forced to retire in 1990 due to progression of the disease. His wife, Janice, cared for him at home until November 1997 when he entered the VA Medical Center in St. Cloud. On December 2, 1998, he moved to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis and had resided there since.

Henry was a member of the V.F.W., the Disabled American Veterans, and the Paralyzed American Veterans. He was one of the most active residents of the Veterans Home and took part in nearly every activity that took place there, including physical therapy, cooking group, playing Bingo, and making poppies in the work room. He enjoyed crafts, leatherwork, ceramics and models. He also enjoyed the VA trips to Camp Courage and the State Fair, where he enjoyed eating foot long hotdogs. He was an avid Minnesota Twins fan and loved teasing or a good joke.

He is survived by a daughter: Cheryl (and Thomas) Lenertz of Tracy; three grandchildren: Kimberly (and Scott) Torkelson, Michael Lenertz and Michelle Lenertz, all of Tracy; a great-grandchild: Gabriel Torkelson; a sister: Henrietta Naber of Renton, WA; a sister-in-law: Arlys Schmeling of Hector; several nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife: Janice in 2007; four brothers: Garrit (and Jennie) Koetje, Harold (and Alice) Koetje, August Koetje and Jake Koetje, Jr.; and two brothers-in-law: LeRoy Naber and Elmer Schmeling.



Ruth O’Donnell, 83

Ruth E. O’Donnell age 83 of Tracy,  died Friday, November 26, 2010 at Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  Services were held  11:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Interment was in the Calvary Cemetery in Tracy.

Ruth Elaine O’Donnell was born December 28, 1926 to Charles and Martha (Haberman) Rasche in Heron Lake, MN, Cottonwood County.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Heron Lake and attended Sacred Heart Catholic School through 8th grade and graduated from Heron Lake High School in 1944.  She then attended the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis, MN for two years.   She then moved to Mankato, MN for a short time before her marriage.

On June 16, 1951 Ruth married Raymond O’Donnell at St. John’s Catholic Church in Mankato, MN.  They made their home in Tracy, MN and Ruth was a homemaker, actively participating in her children’s activities when they were young.  Ruth first worked with her husband Ray at the Jewelry store they owned and operated in Tracy.  After selling the Jewelry store, she worked as a bookkeeper at JC Penny’s, then as a manager at The Tracy Fabric Center before going to work as the bookkeeper at the John Deere Implement in Tracy until her retirement.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy and very active in the Alter and Rosary Society.  She enjoyed sewing, golfing, Bridge Club and following Tracy Scrapper/Panther athletics.  Ruth also was an avid Minnesota Twins and Vikings fan.  For many years, Ruth and her husband Ray enjoyed wintering in Texas.  She also enjoyed watching her grandchildren growing up and attending their sporting events and other activities.

In November 2005 Ruth became a resident of Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy, where she died surrounded by her loving family on Friday, November 26, 2010 at the age of 83.

Ruth is survived by her one son, Kevin O’Donnell of Little Canada, MN; two daughters, Colleen (David) Erickson of Eau Claire, WI and Kathy (Rick) Kleve of Maplewood, MN; three grandsons, Mike, Brian and Matt Erickson; one sister, Betty Thoreson of Laurel MD; sister-in-law, Lucille O’Donnell of North Mankato, MN; brother-in-law, George (Jo Cleta) O’Donnell of Glencoe, MN; nieces, nephews and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray, parents, brother-in-law, LeRoy Thoreson, and brother-in-law and wife, Don and Viola O’Donnell.

The family requests that memorials be given to Prairie Home Hospice.

The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handled the arrangements.  Online condolences may be placed at .