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Obituaries from the week of Feb. 8, 2012

Ruth Anderson, 87

Ruth R. (Wegner) Anderson age 87 of Tracy, MN and formerly of Walnut Grove, MN died Saturday, February 4, 2012 at the Avera-Marshall Medical Center in Marshall, MN.  Services will be 11:00 AM Thursday, February 9, 2012 at the English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.  Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at the church on Thursday, starting at 9:00 AM.  Interment will be in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  The Almlie Family Funeral Homes of Tracy, Westbrook and Balaton is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at


Marvin Merrill, 87

Marvin Otis Merrill passed away early Tuesday morning, January 31, 2011. He was 87.

Marv was born in Tracy, MN, Sept. 8, 1924, one of three sons of Gaye and Olga (Haugen) Merrill.  Upon graduating from Tracy High School in 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served 4 years on the ammunition ship USS Wrangell AE12.  He rose to the rank of quartermaster, and was proud to have helped deliver over 6,500 tons of ammunition to 152 different ships in the Pacific Theater.  His ship was engaged in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and Marv was able to witness the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima.

After the war, he attended Macalester College, where he met his future wife, Fern Olson of Cottonwood.  Marv was working as a bank teller in Windom and Fern was teaching school in Westbrook when they were married in Cottonwood on June 30, 1951.  They settled in Mankato, where Marv began work as a teller at the First National Bank (later U.S. Bank), and he remained at the bank, rising to Sr. Vice President of the Loan Dept. at the time of his retirement in 1985.

Marv & Fern have 2 daughters; Linda (Marty) Stephens of Rochester, Michigan and Vicki (Greg) Kolbinger of Ankeny Iowa, both are graduates of Wilson High.  There are 6 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

According to Marv’s wishes, there will be no public funeral services; Internment will be at Woodland Hills.


Robert (Bob) Schaefer, 51

Robert (Bob) Eugene Schaefer, age 51, of Canby Minnesota passed away on January 28, 2012 at his home due to complications of diabetes.

Funeral service were held Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Birk Funeral Home in Canby with Pastor Jeff Cooper officiating.   Burial was in Grandview Cemetery, Gary, SD.  Online registry at

Robert was born on April 21, 1960 in Brookings, SD to John (Jack) and Ardene Schaefer.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.

The family moved around a lot when Bob was a child growing up.  They lived in Brookings, SD, Gary, SD, and Beresford, SD.  Bob attended grade school in Gary, SD. The family moved to Clear Lake, SD in 1972, where Bob attended high school.  After high school, Bob decided to go out and build grain bins.

At an early age in life, Bob had a passion for music.  He and a few high school friends established a band and they named it “Obelisk.” A few of the band members with Bob were Doug Hintz, Ed Thomas, Jon Wiitala, Justin Crume and Scotti Stroschein.  They spent some time traveling around playing in different establishments.  After the band members disbanded and went separate ways, Bob did various other means of employment including working at the Chicken Hatchery in Madison, SD and Marshall Turkey Plant in Marshall, MN.  Around this time in his life he started to develop health complications.  Even though Bob had these health issues, he valued our family ancestry.  As a child, Bob enjoyed spending time at Grandma and Grandpa Brix and Grandma and Grandpa Schaefer’s homes; and many other relative’s homes.  Learning about family history from these relatives, who he loved dearly in life, was very much treasured by him.  He also enjoyed the family vacations to the Black Hills during the summers.

In Bob’s spare time, he loved to play his music.  Bob was gifted in playing many musical instruments.  He could listen to “his tunes” and put it to music. He was a self-taught electric and acoustic guitar, bass player, drums, organ, piano, singer and song writer.  “HE LIKED TO JAM.”  Rock on Bob!!!

Various music that he wrote, ranged from hard rock, country and gospel.  Music was a “Blessing to Bob.”  He treasured every note whether it was hard or soft.  A pleasure he enjoyed was being a caretaker in an apartment complex in Pipestone, MN.  He was also on the board at the apartment complex.

Besides music Bob loved animals. As a kid, he had many pets.  The most recent love in Bob’s life was his cat named “Boobers.”  For the past 1½ years, Bob had the pleasure of spending his time in a recording studio working with music.

Our brother, Bob, will be deeply missed and in our hearts forever.  Bob is preceded in death by his parents, John (Jack) and Ardene Schaefer; his baby sister, Robin Ann; maternal grandparents, John and Anna Brix; paternal grandparents, John (Jack Sr.) and Clara Schaefer; and many other relatives and friends.  He is survived by his brother, Travis Schaefer of Mankato, MN; sister, Rita Schaefer (special friend, Chris Shymanski) of Shoreview, MN; brother, Jeffrey Schaefer of Mankato, MN; brother, Justin Schaefer of Mankato, MN; aunts, uncle, and many cousins.

The family would like to give a special thank you to Doug Hintz for always being there for Bob in his trials and triumphs in life.

Blessed be Bob’s Memory.