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Obituaries from the week of April 22, 2015

Jim Anderson, 68

Jim Anderson age 68 of Rapid City, SD, formerly of Marshall and Tracy, passed away Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.  Memorial services will be at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 at the Tracy Area Funeral Home.  Visitation is one hour prior to services.  Burial is in the Tracy City Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

James Michael Anderson was born May 1, 1946 in Tracy, Minnesota to Frank and Virginia (Ewy) Anderson. 

Jim is survived by his life partner Eloyse of Rapid City, SD; children: Paul (Lori) of Rapid City, SD, Mike (Angie) of Canby, and Tom “Chopper” (Christy) of Rapid City, SD; grandchildren: Michael, Andrew, and Duka; step grandchildren: Ronnie, Sara, Josh, Destiny, Arya, Hope, Luke, and Tucker; siblings: Kathy, Karen, Karel, and John. 

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Twyla, brother Bill, and his parents. 



Thomas Lee DeBlieck, 68


Thomas Lee DeBlieck passed away on March 16, 2015, at his home in Tracy, MN.  He was born June 8, 1946 in Tracy, MN to Grace and Julius DeBlieck, the eighth of eleven children.  He attended Tracy Schools.  In 1970, Tom married Wanda Umble.  From this union, the two were blessed with their son Mark. 

Tom was a proud military veteran, serving during the Vietnam War. After his service, he returned to Tracy and worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad.  He later moved to Minneapolis and found a job working for Automotive Parts.   He then worked for Riteway Precision for 17 years.  After leaving Riteway, he went to work for Crystal Lake Cemetery for 17 years and as manager for 12 years. After his employment with Crystal Lake Cemetery, Tom moved to Indiana for 4 years.  Upon his return to Minnesota he lived on a farm site south of Spring Valley, MN for 10 years working at Weiser Vault out of Stewartville, MN until his retirement.  He moved back to Tracy in 2014.

Tom loved to cook, garden, hunt, and fish.  He spent many weekends in the fall on Clear Lake hill.  He was an auctioneer with a wit that got people to buy whether they were looking for something or not.  He was also an avid collector of antiques.  For many years in September, he did the auction for the men’s group at St. Joseph’s Church of Lino Lakes. For 28 years, every Labor Day weekend, he and his brother, Bob, did an auction for a friend who dealt in antiques.

Tom had many friends wherever he went.  People were often entertained by his sense of humor and youthful spirit.  He had a generous soul and people who knew him, never forgot him. He also had many pets; cats, raccoons, and especially his last two dogs, Spud and Spike. 

Tom is survived by his son, Mark DeBlieck, and three grandchildren, Samantha, Anna Mae, and Frank DeBlieck.  He is also survived by nine brothers and sisters; MaryAnn (Dennis) Schumacher, Andrew (Janice) DeBlieck, John (Patt) DeBlieck, Walter DeBlieck, Robert (Mary) DeBlieck, Judy (George) Wilson, Anne Dudley, Carol (Gregory) Smith, and Donald DeBlieck. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, Julius & Grace DeBlieck, brother, James DeBlieck, sister-in-law, Reba DeBlieck, nephew, Todd DeBlieck and niece, Sandra DeBlieck.  He is also preceded in death by one of his favorite dogs, Spike. 

Tom was buried with military honors at the Ft Snelling Cemetery on March 19, 2015.  A memorial for Tom will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the Almlie-Horvath Funeral Home in Tracy, MN. 



Gary Garrels, 71


Gary D. Garrels, age 71 of Tracy, passed away on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at the Tracy Alliance Church in Tracy. Interment will be in the Tracy City Cemetery.  Online condolences may be placed at  The Almlie – Horvath Funeral Service is caring for the family.

Gary D. Garrels was born on March 15, 1944 in Granite Falls, MN to Bert and Hilma Garrels.  The family moved to Balaton, MN when Gary was a young boy.  He graduated from Balaton High School.  Gary started working when he was a teenager, holding various jobs. 

Gary was united in marriage to Nancy Clark on June 18, 1965 at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Tracy, MN.  They were blessed with two daughters, Sherri and Amy.  Gary and Nancy made their home in Tracy where Gary was Plant Foreman at Homera Homes for 17 years, and in 1989, Gary accepted a position with the City of Tracy Street Maintenance Department and was the Building Inspector for a total of 22 years.  Gary was an active member of the Tracy Alliance Church and served as an Elder for many years and was instrumental in the building of the new church.

Gary loved motorcycles, working on cars, or anything with a motor.  He loved to camp, but mostly enjoyed spending time with his girls, especially the love of his life, Nancy.

Gary had Type 1 diabetes for 66 years and passed away surrounded by his family on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 71 years old.

Gary is survived by his loving wife, Nancy; daughters Sherri Bjorklund and Amy (Gary) Bruns; grandchildren Tyler Bjorklund, Shauna Bjorklund, Tanner Bruns and Jenna Bruns; siblings Ronnie (Dee) Garrels, Tamie Hoff (Verlyn), and Bruce (DeeDee) Garrels; and other extended family.

His parents Bert and Hilma Garrels preceded him in death.

Blessed be his memory.


Virgil Mathews, 79

Virgil A. Mathews age 79 of Walnut Grove passed away Monday, April 20, 2015 at Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy.  Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 24 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.  Visitation is 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home with a 6:30 p.m. prayer service.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at church on Friday.  Burial is in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Virgil Arthur Mathews was born May 14, 1935 in Shetek Township, Murray County, Minnesota to Arthur and Stella (Williams) Mathews.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, and graduated from Tracy High School.  Virgil was blessed with six children.  He began farming the family farm for many years, then went on to work at Exxon, DeSmet Welding, had a partnership in Davis and Mathews Construction, and lastly worked at the Tracy Hospital as a maintenance man (Jack of all trades) until his retirement in 2012.  Virgil was united in marriage to Deloris Jensen on November 9, 1984.  He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, and tinkering in his garage.

Virgil is survived by his wife, Deloris of Walnut Grove; children: Dale (Jennifer) Mathews of Pipestone, Nancy (Steve) Holm of Marshall, Darleen (the late Dale) Sherman of Balaton, Tamela (Kevin) Moran of Marshall, Robert of Walnut Grove, Terry (Mandy) of Garvin; step-children: Dorene (James) Jens of Currie, Doug (Paula) Bargfrede of Jackson, Cheryl (Randy) VanBrocklin of Evansdale, IA, Tamara Haug of Spicer;  29 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sisters Ruth Bartlett of Tracy and Ellen Miller of New Ulm; and sister-in-law Marjorie Mathews of Canby. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Neil and his wife Dorothy, Russell, son-in-law Dale Sherman, and brothers-in-law George Bartlett and Marlin Miller.