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Obituaries from the week of June 19, 2013

Arlene Swanbeck Crawford, 91


Arlene was born on September 5, 1921 in Tracy, MN to Algott and Anna Swanbeck and died on October 2, 2012.

She married Charles Crawford on February 21, 1967.  At the age of 19 she went to work for Northwestern Bell and worked there until her retirement in 1981.

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

Survivors include her brother and sister-in-law, David and Sheryl Swanbeck of Enumclaw, WA; three nieces and one nephew along with many great and grand nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at the River Towers Condomniums in Minneapolis MN on October 30, 2012.


Lula Mariner, 85

Lula Isabelle Mariner age 85 of Garvin, MN died Sunday, June 16, 2013 at the Avera-Marshall Medical Center.  Services will be 11:00 AM Thursday, June 20, 2013 at the Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.  A luncheon will be served in the church social hall immediately following the service, after which the interment service will take place at the Tracy City Cemetery.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at


Blanche Swan, 95

Blanche Swan age 95 of Tracy, formerly of Balaton, passed away Thursday, June 13, 2013 at home surrounded by her family.  Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Sillerud Lutheran Church, rural Balaton.  Burial was in the church cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Blanche (Kadolph) Swan was born in Lowville Township on April 27, 1918, to Harry and Anna (Ost) Kadolph.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and attended country school.  Blanche was united in marriage to Hilding B. Swan on March 31, 1943.  They were married at her brother, Elmer’s, home.  They made their home on the Swan family farm where they raised their two daughters, Betty Jean and Phyllis Kay.  Blanche cared for their children, their home, and served daily homemade meals to many hired men and foreign exchange students whom resided with them.  Blanche and Hilding retired from farming in 1969 and moved to Balaton, MN.  They were the caretakers of Sillerud Lutheran Cemetery for many years.  They refinished furniture and enjoyed helping family and friends.  Blanche and Hilding drew large crowds having been known for their barbecue pork roasts, feeding hundreds at a time.  They also loved to travel, taking trips to see all 50 of the United States and 24 foreign countries.  Blanche enjoyed gardening and quilting during retirement. 

In 2003, Blanche moved to Tracy after surviving a heart attack.  There she helped care for her husband who was on home hospice care at their daughter, Phyllis’s home.  She continued living with Phyllis as her caregiver until June 13, 2013, when she passed away at the age of 95.

Blanche is survived by her daughter, Phyllis (Gary) Hansen of Tracy, MN; son-in-law: Don Westphal; four grandchildren:  Lynn (Rick) Miller of Garvin, MN, Todd Westphal and Scott Westphal of Brookings, SD, and Heather (Kevin) vanKoeverden of Rochester, MN;  four great-grandchildren:  Ryan and Jessica Miller, Ana and Elsa vanKoeverden. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Anna and Harry Kadolph; her husband, Hilding; her daughter, Betty; her brothers Elmer and Alvin; 10 brother-in-laws and 12 sister-in-laws.



Marlene “Tiny” Torkelson, 72

Marlene “Tiny” Torkelson age 72 of Tracy, MN died Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  Services were held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at Tracy Lutheran Church.  Interment was in the Restland Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Slayton, MN following a luncheon served, immediately after the service, in the church social hall.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at

Marlene “Tiny” Olivia Torkelson was born October 28, 1940 to Morris and Frances (Visker) Johnson in Tracy, MN.  She was baptized at the Tracy Lutheran Church and confirmed in the Zion Lutheran Church in Iona, MN.  Marlene attended Tracy Public Schools, graduating from Tracy High School in 1958.

On November 25, 1961, Marlene was united in marriage to Ray Ernest Torkelson at the Tracy Lutheran Church.  They made their home in Iona, before moving to Currie, MN in 1971.  In 2006, they moved from the farm into Tracy and shortly after her husband’s death in 2010, Marlene moved into Boulder Estates in Marshall, MN.

In the past Marlene worked for Tony Down’s Produce in St. James, MN, and later at Campbell’s Soup Company in Worthington, MN.  Then after her marriage she became a homemaker caring for her nine children.  She returned to work in 1985 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy, as a dietary aide in the kitchen and later into the housekeeping department, where she became director of the housekeeping department until her health forced her to retire in 2001.

Marlene enjoyed being a homemaker.  She loved cooking, gardening, and watching and feeding birds.  She also liked doing crafts with the grandchildren and great grandchildren.  It was the time spent with her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren that she truly loved the most.

In 2012, Marlene became a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center, where she died, surrounded by her loving family, on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the age of 72.

Marlene is survived by her three sons, Greg (Lori) Torkelson of Tracy, MN, Kenny Torkelson of Adrian, MN and Steve (Roxanne) Torkelson of Olivia, MN; six daughters, Marie (Charlie) Bjorklund and Lynn (Dave) Petersen, both of Tracy, MN, Lori Carlson of Jackson, MN, Shari Thomas of Currie, MN, Amy Lamfers of Marshall, MN, and Kari Torkelson of Excelsior, MN; twenty five grandchildren; eighteen great grandchildren; two brothers, Keith (Jackie) Weinberg and Larry (Pam) Weinberg; eight sisters, Janice Dunk, Terie Johnson, Clarice “Punky” (Dallas) Norstegard, Eunice (Rodney) Behrends, Kay (Clayton) Paczkowski, Lauretta “Gretch” (Dale) Danielson, Debra (Greg) Daniels, and Karen (Randy) Peterson; many nieces, nephews and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Ray E. Torkelson, son, John Charles Torkelson, great granddaughter, Madyson Stirn, her parents, Morris Johnson and Frances Weinberg, step-father, Art Weinberg, two brothers, Robert Johnson and Kenneth Weinberg, and two sisters, Dorothy McWhirter and Linda Johnson.