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Obituaries from the week of May 2, 2012

Gordon Blanchette, 82
Sophie Buysse, 90
Floyd Larson, 78
Orville Ruppert, 82
Leo St. Pierre, 60

Gordon “Gordy” Blanchette, 82


Gordon Albert “Gordy” Blanchette age 82 of rural Tracy, formerly of Amiret and Ashton, IA, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at his home.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Visitation is 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Tracy Area Funeral Home.  A CCW Rosary service will be at 5:00 p.m. and a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. with a 3rd degree Knights of Columbus Rosary to follow.  Visitation will then continue one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.  Interment is in Calvary Catholic Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Gordon Albert Blanchette was born May 30, 1929 on the family farm near Green Valley, MN, to Archie and Cordella (Dandurand) Blanchette.  He received the Sacraments at St. Clotilde Catholic Church in Green Valley.  Gordy graduated from Marshall High School in 1947.  On August 30, 1949 he was united in marriage to Mary Ann Kack at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.  Together they lived in Amiret for a year before moving to Ashton, Iowa.  In 1956 they moved back to Minnesota, north of Tracy, where they’ve resided since.  Gordy also worked at the locker plant in Garvin for many years.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus serving as Treasurer, District Deputy for 6 years, and State Church Chair for a year.  Gordy was also a member of the Holy Name Society and the Gales Township Board from 1988 to the present, serving as Treasurer for 27 years.  He was also the Treasurer of Golden Age in Tracy.  Gordy enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling, dancing, and playing cards, especially Pinochle.  He loved spending time with friends and family, especially the grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Gordy is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary Ann; children: Joan (Roy) Woodford of Garvin, Jeff (Anita) of Albuquerque, NM, Robin (Randy) Hudson of Luverne, Kevin (Donna) of Richmond, Kerry (Shawn) Bonk of Appleton, Kristine (Randy) Tietz of Walnut Grove, and Rebecca (Dean) Fredericks of Mankato; grandchildren: Jennifer (Terry) Tucek, Sherry (Brad) Ilse, Jason Woodford, Jami (Shaun) Wahl, Sara and Andrew Blanchette, Jill (Josh) Arnold, Brad (Lisa) Bonk, Laura (Tim) Peterson, Dustin (Darci) Tietz, Darren (Nicole) Tietz, Denise Tietz, Ian and Derek Fredericks; great grandchildren: Ashley Johnson, Amber Hammer, Adryen, Landry K., Hayden and Quintin Tietz, Oakley Wahl, Isaiah Arnold, Sydney Bonk, Dawson and Jacey Ilse.  He is also survived by his sisters Beatrice Apger and Alice (Jim) Bjorklund, both of Gold Canyon, AZ; and many other relatives and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his parents.


Sophie Buysse, 90

Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 30, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy for Sophie L. Buysse, age 90, of Tracy.   Interment was in the Calvary Cemetery in Tracy, with a luncheon served immediately following in the church social hall.  The Almlie Family Funeral Homes of Tracy, Balaton and Westbrook is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be placed at

Sophie Julia Buysse was born September 26, 1921 to August and Rose (DePope) Labat in Milroy, MN.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended country schools near Cottonwood and Marshall, MN.

   On February 12, 1941 Sophie married Cyril Buysse at St. Clotilde Catholic Church in Green Valley, MN and they enjoyed 67 years of marriage before Cyril’s death.  They farmed near Minneota, Marshall and Tracy, MN, and in 1978 they retired into the City of Tracy.

   Sophie was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a past president of Catholic Christian Workers.  In April of 2000 she was awarded the Bishop’s Medal of Service for her work as a welcome person for the parish, a member of the church restoration committee, her ministry to the shut-ins and elderly of the parish, a council of Catholic Women president and Guild chairperson.  She was also president of the Tracy Senior Citizens Golden Age Club and a 4-H leader.

  Sophie died on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy at the age of 90.

   Sophie is survived by her children, Kathleen (Ken) Garrett of Wilmington, NC, Carole (Bill) Craig of Dassel, MN, Dan (Deb) Buysse of Tracy, MN, Bev (Myron) Kovash of Livingston, MT and Cheryl (Mike) Eischens of Minnetonka, MN; one daughter-in-law, Sue Buysse of Tracy, MN; 15 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; one sister, Mary Buysse of Minneota, MN; two sisters-in-law, Julia Labat of Minneota, MN and Rosie Labat of Marshall, MN; nieces, nephews and friends.

   Her husband, Cyril, son David, infant son Roger, grandson Brian, her parents, two brothers, Peter and Henry and one brother-in-law, Harry Buysse, preceded her in death.

Floyd Larson, 78

Floyd Larson, age 78 of Redwood Falls, formerly of Marshall, passed away Saturday, April 28, 2012 at his home, following complications from a fall.  Funeral services were held at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls.  Interment was in the Tracy City Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Floyd Larson was born July 25, 1933 in Tyler, Minnesota to Pontus and Bessie (Roberts) Larson.  He was baptized July 8, 1934 and confirmed April 25, 1948, both at Bethany Lutheran Church in Arco, Minnesota.  Floyd attended country school District 18 in Lincoln County near Arco.  On October 28, 1962, Floyd married Mary Lou Hook at the Tracy United Methodist Church.  The couple made their home in Marshall, Minnesota for 11 years.  In 1973, Floyd and Mary Lou moved to Redwood Falls where they became members of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Floyd served as an usher.  Floyd worked for Central Bi Products as a truck driver, retiring in 1998.  He enjoyed fishing and spending time at their lake home on Lake Shetek.  Floyd loved gardening both vegetables and flowers, and always kept a large flower garden at the lake home.  He was a very loving and caring person, enjoyed spending time with his family, and was a very proud Grandpa.  Floyd was quiet and reserved, but was known for his well-timed, witty remarks.

Floyd is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Mary Lou of Redwood Falls; daughter Susan Jean (Dominic) Ehman of New Richmond, WI; grandchildren Gabriella and Matthew Ehman; brother-in-law Eugene Hook of Tracy; nieces and nephews: Tom (Shannon) Hook of Tracy, Patti Hook (Arden Virnig) of Onamia, MN; many other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

Floyd is preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Rachel Gislason, Florence Possail, and Arlene Peterson, brother Alvin Larson, sister-in-law Mary Alice Hook, niece Mary Catherine Virnig, and parents-in-law Bert and Agnes Hook.


Orville Ruppert, 82

Orville Vincent Ruppert was born on August 12, 1929, in Currie, Minnesota the son of Valentine and Catherine (Potthoff) Ruppert.  He graduated from Currie High School in 1947.  Orville served his country from 1951-1953 in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.

On September 16, 1954 Orville was united in marriage to Judith Keeler in Pipestone, MN.  To this union nine children were born.   The Ruppert family lived in Currie where Orville farmed until 1967 when he bought a Coast to Coast Hardware Store in Tracy, Minnesota.  In 1975, the family moved to Fergus Falls where he sold farm products and in 1986, Orville had to semi-retire due to a farm accident.  Orville and Judy moved to Holmes City where they bought a hobby farm.  During this time he worked part time for Fleet Farm in Alexandria and as caretaker of St. Mary’s Cemetery for several years.

Mr. Ruppert was a member of the Knights of Columbus and American Legion while living in Currie and was President of Kiwanis in Tracy, MN.  Orville was also involved in League Bowling all his adult life.  He  enjoyed a game of scrabble, poker, pool, horseshoes.  He loved time out on the water fishing and in his retirement years he enjoyed writing stories and poetry.  

Orville cherished time spent with family whether it was holiday gatherings or a road trip with his wife, Judy.  He was a great man who will be truly missed.

Orville died on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at his home surrounded by his family.  He is survived by his wife, Judith; five sons: Dennis of Sauk Centre, MN, Dean of Spearfish, SD, Bill of Fergus Falls, Brian of Alexandria, Joe & fiance’ , Jamie Regier of Omaha, NE, four daughters: Lynn Solberg of Alexandria, Jane  (Carl) Burton of Fergus Falls, MN, Hope (Benet) Schulz of Hoffman, MN, Tammy Ruppert & significant other, Brandt Johnson of Alexandria; twenty two grandchildren, three great grandchildren, brother, Herb Ruppert of Currie, MN; sisters: Leota Silver of Tracy, MN, Marcella Cummiskey of Currie, MN.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Harold, Raymond, Louis; sisters Lillian Busch, Julia Peltola, Irma Carlson; two sisters-in-law and three brothers-in-law.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria.  Honorary Casket Bearers were his grandchildren and Casket Bearers were Dennis Ruppert, Dean Ruppert, Bill Ruppert, Brian Ruppert, Joseph Ruppert, Carl Burton.  Military Honors were by the American Legion Post 87, VFW Post 936 and the MN National Guard Honors.   Arrangements were with the Anderson Funeral Home.


Leo St. Pierre, 60

Leo H. St. Pierre age 60 of Tracy, MN died Sunday, April 29, 2012 at the Sanford-Tracy Area Medical Center.  Services will be 2:00 PM Friday, May 4, 2012 at the Tracy United Methodist Church.  Visitation will be from 4:00 until 8:00 PM Thursday, May 3, 2012 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy, with a prayer service at 7:00 PM and continuing one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.  Interment will be in the Tracy City Cemetery, with a luncheon served immediately afterward in the church social hall.  The Almlie Family Funeral Homes of Balaton, Tracy and Westbrook is handling the arrangements.  Online condolences may be placed at

Leo Henry St. Pierre was born January 22, 1952 to Lawrence and Florence (Blomquist) St. Pierre in Tracy, MN, Lyon County.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and attended both Tracy and Walnut Grove Public Schools, graduating from Walnut Grove High School in 1970.

On September 22, 1973 Leo married Joyce Rykhus at the Tracy United Methodist Church and they made their home in Tracy.  He entered the National Guard in the fall 1973 and served 21 years before his retirement in 1994.  Leo worked for Tracy Bottling Company, Viking Coke and Speedy Delivery Service of Marshall prior to in the Maintenance Department at Southwest Minnesota State University where he worked for sixteen years until his health required him to take a leave of absence in June of 2011.

Leo was a member of the Tracy United Methodist Church.  He was a member of the AFSCME Union and a past member of the Tracy Eagles Aerie #3918.  He enjoyed caring for his vehicles and his home, both inside and out, especially lawn work.  He also enjoyed western movies and was Clint Eastwoods biggest fan, collecting books, movies and memorabilia, which included a signed photograph that he received from his granddaughter, Shelby, who sent a letter requesting the picture, on the day he received the call on his lung transplant.  He and Joyce loved to travel and vacation together and he loved spending time with his family, friends and especially time with his grandchildren.

On Sunday, April 29, 2012 Leo died, surrounded by his loving family, at the Sanford-Tracy Medical Center at the age of 60.

Leo is survived by the love of his life, his wife, Joyce St. Pierre of Tracy, MN; two sons, Travis (Amy) St. Pierre of Cottonwood, MN and Cory (Stacey) St. Pierre of St. Joseph, MN; six grandchildren, Shelby, Taylor, Ayden, Ethan, Ashton, and Mylah; one brother, Marvin (Patty) Wigton of Bloomington, MN; three sisters, Janet (Dennis) Schoeberl in Richland Center, WI, Mary (Jim) LeClaire of Lake Benton, MN and Leola (Rich Jones) St. Pierre of Spirit Lake, IA; one aunt, Joan St. Pierre of Richfield, MN; one sister-in-law, Jennie (David Ziemke) Bruss of Tracy, MN; five brothers-in-law, David (Linda), Harvey (Ina), and Rick (Dawn) Rykhus all of Tracy, MN, Jeff (friend, Donna) Rykhus of Brookings, SD, and Todd (Kelly) Kopischke of Vernon Center, MN; many nieces, nephews and friends.

His parents, Lawrence and Florence and one nephew, Larry Eggen preceded him in death.