banner.gif (15051 bytes)
banner_family.gif (1261 bytes)

Obituaries from the week of February 10, 2016

Leo “Mick” Hansen, 98


Funeral services for Leo Hansen, age 98, Tracy were held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Currie, MN at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 with Msgr. R. Paul Heiting officiating.  The organist was Patty LeClaire. The song leaders were LoAnn Hansen and Kristin Hansen. The soloist were Noah Tiegs and Marissa Hansen. The pallbearers were his grandchildren. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery Currie, MN.

Leo “Mick” John Hansen, the son of Peter and Ellen (Flynn) Hansen, was born on November 26, 1917 in Currie, MN. He grew up on the farm near Currie and attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School.

Leo was united in marriage to Mary Leonard on January 4, 1939 at IHM Catholic Church in Currie. After their marriage they lived and farmed near Currie. In 1989 they retired and moved into Currie. Mary passed away in June of 2009. He moved to the O’Brien Court in Tracy in 2010. In February of 2015, he became a resident of the Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy, MN.

Leo passed away on Friday, February 5, 2016 at the Prairie View Senior Living at the age of 98. He was a lifetime member of IHM Church in Currie. Leo also belonged to several farm organizations over the years. He enjoyed helping on the farm, watching the Minnesota sports teams, working and being outdoors, even while at the nursing home he would sit by the window to see what was going on.  Leo also loved spending time with his family, especially his grandkids.

Survivors include his six children, Richard (Marilyn) Hansen of Currie, MN, Mary “Fran” (Ray) Busch of Fulda, MN, James (LoAnn) Hansen of Currie, MN, John (Kristin) Hansen of Currie, MN, Patricia (Lawrence) Carlson of Westbrook, MN and Herb (Marsha) Hansen of Dovray, MN; 22 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Mildred Hansen of Currie, MN and Theresa Hansen of Tracy, MN and many nieces, nephews other relatives and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, sons-in-law, Hugh Bangasser and Donald Kramer, grandson, Brian Carlson, granddaughter-in-law, Lori Bangasser, great-grandson, Nick Hanson, brothers, Ray, Edward, LeRoy “Herb” and Jerome “Pi” and sister, Jean Stephens.

The Totzke Funeral Home in Slayton is assisting the family with arrangements. Send condolences online at


Mary LeClaire, 86


Mary Isabelle LeClaire age 86 of Tracy passed away Thursday, February 4, 2016 at Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy.  Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 am Monday, February 8 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Interment was in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Mary Isabelle LeClaire was born September 5, 1929 in Iona, Minnesota to William and Nellie (Ellefson) Arkell.  She graduated as valedictorian of her class at St. Columbia High School in Iona.  After graduation, Mary worked at the Slayton Bank.  On July 17, 1954 she married Vernon LeClaire at St. Columbia Catholic Church in Iona.  Together the couple farmed in the Currie area and raised five children.  They moved to Tracy in 1972.  Mary then worked in retail until her retirement.  She was able to continue living in her home, thanks to her good friends and neighbors, until entering the nursing home in November 2012.   Mary received great care at Prairie View thanks to the great staff.  She was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  In her younger years, Mary enjoyed tennis and bike riding.  She also spent her time gardening, baking, and walking.  Mary loved animals, especially her dogs, cats, and parrot.

Mary is survived by her children: Dale LeClaire of Iowa, Craig (Stacy) LeClaire of Rogers, Brian “Tony” LeClaire of Decatur, NE, and Kristen (Bob) Atkinson of Savage; grandchildren: Jake, Caleb, Jared, and Marissa LeClaire, Ashley LeClaire, Brian, Kalley, and Chloe Atkinson; and many other relatives and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Vernon in 2005, daughter Mary Lynn Kirkhart in 2006, and brothers Kelly and Maurice Arkell. 


George R. Zender, 83


Mass of Christian Burial for George Zender was held on Monday, February 8, 2016, at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Fergus Falls.  Father Alan Wielinski, Deacon Chuck Kampa and Father Bill Gamber officiated the service.

George Richard Zender, 83, of Venice, FL and Battle Lake, MN, died peacefully on Friday, January 29, 2016, at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital, with his wife Phyllis Jean (Strand) Zender and children at his side.

Born February 22, 1932, to Albert and Catherine (Keenan) Zender in Tracy, MN, George graduated from Tracy High School in 1950.  George married Phyllis, his hometown sweetheart and they went on to raise eight children.

Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Zender; seven children, Rebecca (Steve) Ogaard, David Zender, Catherine (Mark) Welle, Mary (Mark) Johnson, Martha Zender, Joseph (Emily) Zender, and Nancy (Kent) Mattson; his 29 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren, and a sister, Colette (Tom) Norman. 

He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Albert Zender Jr.; sister, Julia; son, Michael; grandson, David Johnson, and great-granddaughters, Ayana and Ayla Alt.

Memorials are preferred to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or Boys Town in lieu of flowers.

Interment was in St. Otto’s Catholic Cemetery in Fergus Falls

Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls handled the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to