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Obituaries from the week of January 29, 2014

Curt Brasket, 81


Curt Justin Brasket, Jr., 81, passed away in his sleep January 24, 2014. Born in Tracy, MN on December 7, 1932, Curt was the sixth of eight children. He graduated valedictorian from his high school and furthered his education at the University of Minnesota and St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, earning degrees in mathematics and French. Upon completing college, Curt enlisted in the US Army and served two years overseas in Japan. After being honorably discharged, Curt gained employment with Univac/Unisys as a computer programmer for which he continued to work his entire career.

In 1963, Curt married Rita Bronk, and they resided in Bloomington, MN. They were married 50 years and together had three daughters and sons-in-laws, and eight grandchildren.

Curt had many interests including Gene Autry, candy, comic books, and big little books, but his greatest passion was chess. He was the US National Junior Chess Champion, the MN State Chess Champion 16 times, and an International FIDE Master. This past summer Curt was awarded the US Chess Federation Outstanding Career Achievement Award.

For almost 40 years Curt suffered with Parkinson’s Disease for which we never heard him mention or complain, and for the past three years he was under the attentive care of the MN VA Home’s staff.

Curt was preceded in death by his parents, Curt and Mary, and siblings Clement, Estella, Cyril, and Denis. He is survived by his wife, Rita, of Bloomington, MN; daughters, Monica (Chuck) Wedin of Litchfield, MN, Barbara (Dan) Romanelli of Edina, MN, and Rebecca (Joseph) Leahy of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Charissa, Curt, Ella, Matthew, Nate, Lily, Justin, and M’adeline; siblings, Doris Peluzzo of Washington, D.C., Richard (Lorraine) of Eden Prairie, MN, and Patricia (Gene) Klawitter of Champlin, MN; and many other nieces, nephews, and relatives.

Visitation was held at St. Bonaventure Church in Bloomington, MN on Tuesday, January 28th at 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00. 


Norman Johnson, 67

Mass of Christian Burial for Norman Johnson, 67, of Minneota, will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at St. Edward Catholic Church in Minneota.  Visitation will be Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. with a Parish Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. at Rehkamp – Horvath Funeral Home in Minneota.  Visitation will continue from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.  Interment will follow the service at St. Edward Catholic Cemetery in Minneota.  Military honors provided by U.S. American Legion Post 199 of Minneota.

Norman Eugene Johnson was born on August 19, 1946, in Tracy, MN, to Norman and Anna (VanEverment) Johnson.  He grew up in Tracy and graduated from Tracy High School.  Norman served in the U.S. Army.  After his discharge, he was united in marriage to Mary Maertens on November 7, 1970, at St. Edward Catholic Church in Minneota.  Norm did construction until Minnesota Corn Processors opened in Marshall.  He worked for MCP, and later ADM, until his retirement in 2011. 

Norm and Mary hosted foreign exchange students and the couple enjoyed traveling to visit them.  Norm also enjoyed fishing and daily coffee with his friends.  He was most passionate about spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.  He was very fond of following their sporting activities.

Norman died unexpectedly on Monday, January 27, 2014, at his residence in Minneota. 

He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Minneota, children Norman “Bill” (and Angie) Johnson of Waseca, DeAnn Johnson of Minneota, Dana (and Carlos) Preston of Sioux Falls, SD, grandchildren Emily and Norman “Jacob” Johnson of Waseca, Taylor and Justin Johnson of Minneota and Reanna Johnson and Mikah Linke of Sioux Falls, by brothers Duane (and Virginia), Gene, Terry (and Barb), Joey (and Carol), Eddie (and Mary), Gary (and Brenda), Mike, Kent (and Sue), nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ron and niece Krista.

Arrangements with Rehkamp & Horvath Funeral Directors Minneota, Minnesota
(507) 872-6119


Ardis Lang, 94


Ardis M. Lang, age 94 of Paynesville, formerly of Marshall, died on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at Koronis Manor in Paynesville.  A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Marshall and Paynesville. 

Ardis Mae Lang was born on May 28, 1919, in Tracy, Minnesota the daughter of Ole and Anne (Nybo) Gubrud.  She was baptized on July 13, 1919, and confirmed on June 24, 1934, both at Zion Lutheran Church in Tracy.  Ardis attended Tracy Elementary School and graduated from Tracy High School with the class of 1937. 

On December 26, 1941, Ardis was united in marriage to Emil I. Lang in Springfield, MN.  This union was blessed with two daughters.  The family made their home in Marshall, MN.  Emil passed away on September 12, 1986; they were able to share in 44 years of marriage before his death at the age of 66. 

Ardis was a member of Holy Redeemer Catholic church in Marshall.  She was active in the Bible Study Club, as a member of Funeral Choir, and teaching elementary catechism.  Ardis also was a member of the 500 Card Club, Marshall Senior Center, and a troop leader for the Marshall Girl Scouts.     

Ardis M. Lang died on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at Koronis Manor in Paynesville. 

She is survived by her daughters, Carol Ann (Paul) Lura, of Paynesville, and Mary Pat (Marcia Pelley) Lang of Seattle, WA. 

Ardis was preceded in death by her parents, and siblings, Ann (Louis) Kemp of Springfield, Marie (Clarence) Johnson of Redwood Falls, Arnold (Sylvia) Gubrud of Redwood Falls, Olive (John) Selmser of San Mateo, CA, Sally (Ray) Nelson of Sauk Rapids, Oscar (Lillian) Gubrud of Redwood Falls, Esther (Joel) Herbert of Portland, OR, Milton who died as an infant and Rudolph who died at the age of two. 


Jacqueline Hess Coplin Nelson, 69


Jacqueline Kay Hess Coplin Nelson was born January 30, 1944 in Granite Falls, Minnesota, and died January 19, 2014 at N.C. Little Hospice in Edina, Minnesota.  Although her life ended too soon, she survived many adventure-filled years beyond her doctors’ predictions.  Jacque loved to read, swim, golf, cross-country ski, bike, play racquetball, practice yoga, kayak and take hikes with her dog.

She was preceded in death by her parents Allan P. and Helen (Cheeseman) Hess, and brother Phillip Hess.  Jacque is survived by her husband Jim Nelson; sister Pat (Hess) Fritz; sons Tac (Anjie) Coplin and Wade (Kara) Coplin; grandchildren Booker, Jaley and Calvin; stepsons Greg (Debbie) Nelson, Steve Nelson, and Brian (Dana) Nelson; grandchildren Brianna, Trevor, Bailee, Tucker, Shelby and Jennie; and great-grandchildren Jaxon and Chase.  Jacque also leaves behind her loyal Labrador retriever, Deuce.

Jacque was the daughter of a baker and grew up in Tracy, Minnesota.  She earned her degree from Macalester College and became a physical education teacher, and later a business manager.  She raised her sons in New Brighton and retired in Tower.  She loved the north woods but spent much of her time away visiting grandchildren and traveling, frequently to Montana.  Jacque most loved spending time with family on Lake Vermilion.  She wore her heart-shaped rock on her sleeve.

A memorial open house will be held at Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Rd in Bloomington, MN on Saturday, February 1st from 3:30 to 6:30pm.  Another memorial will be held in northern Minnesota; date and location have not been determined yet.

Any donations in Jacque’s honor are requested to be made to the family, and we will forward on to the N.C. Little Hospice, American Cancer Society and the Richardson Nature Center.  For further info, please call the Cremation Society, Edina Chapel at 952-924-4100.


David Smith, 53


David Dean Smith, age 53, of Dovray MN passed away peacefully January 17, 2014 in hospice in New Hope MN.

David was preceded in death by parents Charlotte and Duane Smith.  He is survived by daughter Jessica Smith, sons Cody, Dillon and Matthew Smith, sisters Kathy (Michael) Fiala, Belinda (John) Henle, brothers Blair (Tania) Smith, Guy (Elizabeth) Smith, Steven (Anne) Smith, and Jeffrey Smith, grandchildren Kierra, Callie, and Eva Smith, and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

David was born in Tracy MN April 7, 1960.  He graduated high school in Walnut Grove.  Following high school, David enrolled in the undergraduate program at the University of Minnesota.  While there, he teamed up with his brother Guy in a business venture called Republic Precious Metals, a retail/wholesale buyer and seller of silver.  Guy and David took the business to Chicago in 1983, renaming it Your Majesty’s Service.  David was a man who always loved ‘a bargain’, which helped him be successful in acquiring silver for resale in the retail market.  Guy and David remained partners through 1989, after which David returned to the family farm near Walnut Grove to help his parents run that business.  Following Charlotte and Duane’s retirement, David was the principal operator of the family farming operation until 2011.

David served with the Minnesota National Guard and was an active member of the Dovray Booster Club.

A Memorial Service celebrating David’s life will be held at the Log Cabin in Dovray MN Friday, January 31 at 3:30 pm, followed by a reception at the same location. Private interment will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Walnut Grove Saturday, February 1.  Memorials preferred to the David Smith Family or the charity of your choice.

Stephens Funeral Service, Walnut Grove MN is handling the arrangements.