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Obituaries from the week of January 15, 2014

Jerome Christensen, 70


Jerome Christensen, age 70, of Milroy, MN passed away on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at the Prairie Home Hospice Cottage in Marshall, MN surrounded by his family. Services were held on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at Our Savior’s Lutheran church in Milroy, MN. Online condolences may be placed at  The Sunset Funeral and Cremation Association is caring for the family.  Memorials are preferred to the Milroy American Legion Post, the Our Savior’s Church cemetery board in Milroy, or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Southwest Great Divide Chapter.  

Jerome T. Christensen was born May 31, 1943 to Roy and Myrtle (Johnson) Christensen in Tracy, MN.  He was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milroy, MN.  Jerome graduated from Milroy High School in 1961 where he was active in football and FFA.  After graduation he entered the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Springfield, stationed in Nice, France.  During his time in the Navy, he traveled extensively throughout Europe.

After he was honorably discharged from the Navy, Jerome began working for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad and then began farming with his dad and uncles.  On October 21, 1967, he was united in marriage to Loris (Pixie) Holmberg at Christ Lutheran Church in Cottonwood. They were blessed with four children and three granddaughters.

In addition to his life dedicated to farming, Jerome was also active in his community. He served on the boards of directors of the Farmers Cooperative of Milroy, Tri-County Coop, Westline Township, and  Our Savior’s cemetery board. He was very proud to serve as Sergeant of Arms of the Earl Christopherson American Legion Post #274 for two decades. His many years of service to the Honor Guard were honored by his recent promotion to Master Sergeant of Arms.

Jerome loved spending time with his family and friends, and thoroughly enjoyed being grandpa to his three granddaughters.  Jerome’s other passions included hunting and fishing. He spent years walleye fishing in Canada, elk hunting in Montana, goose hunting in western Minnesota, deer hunting in northern Minnesota, and duck hunting on the farm marshlands.  He shared his love of the outdoors with so many people, teaching firearm safety for 35 years. Jerome was a founding member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Southwest Great Divide Chapter, and was a past member of the Minnesota Whitetail Association, Ducks Unlimited, and Pheasants Forever.  Jerome’s other interests included bowling in a Men’s league and a Mixed Doubles league, collecting Native American artifacts, studying U.S. and military history, and spending time with many family pets throughout the years. 

Jerome is survived by his wife, Pixie, of Milroy; and his children, Christina (Mike) Marron, of Sioux Falls, SD; Canute (Cheryl) Christensen, of Safford, AZ; Jennifer (Steve) Shirley of Valley City, ND; and Bjorn Christensen of rural Milroy; granddaughters Miranda and Breanna Marron; and Anna Shirley; sister Diana (Jon) Beebout of Underwood, MN. He is also survived by step grand-children Gene (Candace) Kuehn, and Katelynn Kuehn; and a step great-grandchild Aiden Kuehn. Jerome is welcomed home to the Heavenly Kingdom by his parents and sister Janyce Brtna. 


Robert Dayland, 71


Robert N. Dayland age 71 of Balaton, MN died Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the Sanford-Tracy Area Medical Center.  Services were held Sunday, January 12, 2014 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Balaton.    Interment will be at a later date in the spring of 2014.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton is handling the arrangements.

Robert Newton Dayland was born April 24, 1942 to James and Gladys (Hively) Dayland in Tyler, MN, Lincoln County.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Presbyterian Church in Balaton and attended Balaton Public Schools.  In April of 1960, just prior to graduating Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army and received his GED while in basic training.  He trained in the technical corp. as an engineer and was assigned to the 10th Engineer Battalion.  He served over seas in Germany until his honorable discharge in April of 1963 and returned to Minnesota.

He lived in Minneapolis, working for Control Data Corp. and that is where he met his future wife.  On May 20, 1967 Robert married Betty Kersten in Minneapolis, where they made their home.  In 1969, they moved to Arizona, where he worked for Motorola.  In 1970 they moved to Balaton, MN and Robert returned to farming.  They moved to the family farm in 1974 and remained on the farm until his death.  

Robert raised sheep until 1990 and also was a salesman for Pioneer and Legend Seed Companies, until he retired in 2004.  He was a past member of the National Wool Growers Association and the Balaton School Board.  He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, bowling, golf, and Big 10 Basketball.  He also loved playing cards and games with his family.  Robert was very proud of his family’s farm being recognized as a Century Farm by the state of Minnesota.

Recently his health required him to become a patient of the Sanford-Tracy Area Medical Center, where he died, Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at the age of 71.

Robert is survived by his loving wife, Betty Dayland of Balaton, MN; one son, Chris Dayland of Balaton, MN; one daughter, Denise (Jerry) Gladis of Tracy, MN; six grandchildren, Kirsten and Lily Gladis, JJ (Kami) Gladis, Jesse (Lori) Gladis, Jeni (Josh) Davidson, and Josh (Jodie) Gladis; one brother, Gordon (Judy) Dayland of Peterson, MN; one sister, Bonnie (Marvin) Dwire of Marshall, MN; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and many friends.

His parents, James and Gladys Dayland, one son, James Dayland, one brother, Darwin Dayland and one sister, Linda Laursen, preceded him in death.


JoAnn Johnston, 62


JoAnn Colleen Johnston age 62 of Slayton, MN, formerly of Tracy, died Sunday, January 5, 2014 at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD.  Services will be held 1:30 PM Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the Presbyterian Church in Tracy.  Interment will be in the Tracy City Cemetery.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

JoAnn Colleen Johnston was born October 16, 1951 to Gordon and Bettie (Rea) Johnston in Tracy, MN.  She was born prematurely and was very small.  She had three heart defects, scoliosis, and a cleft of the soft palate.  At the time there was no surgery available for her heart issues. The first open heart surgery at the University of Minnesota was not performed until 1952 by Dr. John Lewis, formerly of Tracy. On July 23, 1962 when JoAnn was ten, she had the surgery done in Rochester.  She was given a poor chance of success, but she made it through.  Her recovery nurse happened to be Mrs. Weaver, also formerly of Tracy, who brought her fresh flowers from her garden every day.

JoAnn began her education at the Tracy Public School, but her health and speech difficulties made it tough for her to keep up.  The school assigned Mrs. Harold Hook as JoAnn’s tutor, who helped with her education through the 12th grade.  She also took piano lessons from Mrs. Hubbard, who taught her the chords, but she learned the notes more by ear than by reading them.  She even made up several songs of her own.

After completing school JoAnn lived with her grandmother, Hattie Rea.  She helped her clean and made sure she took her proper medications.  JoAnn, her grandmother Hattie, great aunt Nyna, and neighbor Jessie had coffee almost every afternoon together.  When her grandmother, great aunt and neighbor all died within a short time span, it had a dramatic effect on JoAnn’s mental health and dealing with the fear of loss. This caused her to need care in the Willmar State hospital.  She then lived in group homes in Lindstrom, Marshall, and most recently Slayton, MN.  In the last few years her health deteriorated and caused her to become a resident of the Prairieview Care Center in Slayton.

JoAnn enjoyed reading, watching TV shows: Captain Kangaroo, Miss Frances, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson were some of her favorites.  She also loved listening to music and wore out many phonographs in her childhood.

On Sunday, January 5, 2014 JoAnn died at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 62.

JoAnn is lovingly remembered by her mother, Bettie Johnston of Tracy, MN; one sister, Jeanette Marshall of Superior, WI; four brothers, Alan (Judy) Johnston of West St. Paul, MN, Steven (Connie) Johnston of Rochester, MN, Philip Johnston of Minneapolis, MN, and Kent (Julie) Johnston of Tracy, MN; six nieces, four nephews, four aunts, three uncles, and fifteen cousins.

Her father, Gordon Johnston, her grandparents, brother, Paul, three uncles, two aunts and two cousins, preceded her in death.


Arnold McDaniel, 95


Arnold K. McDaniel age 95 of Tracy, MN died Sunday, January 5, 2014 at the Sanford-Tracy Area Medical Center.  Services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Tracy Methodist Church.  Visitation will be from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Friday, February 7, 2014 at the Almlie Funeral Home, with a prayer service at 7:00 PM.   Interment will be in the Tracy City Cemetery with a luncheon served in the church social hall immediately following the burial.  The Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy is handling the arrangements.  The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made payable to the Tracy Masonic Lodge’s Tracy Matched Funds Food Shelf Drive.  Please mail to either Dave Hicks or Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy.

Online condolences may be placed at