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Obituaries from the week of November 22, 2006



Vera Johnson, 85

Vera Johnson, age 85, of Hutchinson, Minnesota, passed away Saturday, November 11, 2006, at Cosmos Assisted Living in Cosmos, Minnesota. Funeral services were held 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 16, 2006, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson with interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pastor Paulus Pilgrim and Pastor Scott Grorud officiated. Organist was Shirley Holtz.

Honorary Casket Bearer was Sierra Christensen.

Casket bearers were Cameron Christensen, Mitchell Christensen, Greg Danielson, Rodney Krasen, Gordy Tritz, Rich Tritz

Vera Lydia Johnson was born October 22, 1921, in Greenleaf Township, Meeker County, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Carl and Minnie (Roepke) Koepp. Vera was baptized as in infant at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Acoma Township, McLeod County, Minnesota. She was later confirmed in her faith as a youth at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Litchfield, Minnesota. Vera attended school in Litchfield and was a graduate of the Litchfield High School Class of 1940.

On July 9, 1951, Vera was united in marriage to Junior Johnson in Tracy, Minnesota. This marriage was blessed with one daughter, Dixie and one son, who passed away in infancy. Vera and Junior resided in Tracy until 1984, when they moved to Hutchinson, Minnesota. They shared 33 years of marriage until Junior passed away April 29, 1985.

Vera and Junior owned and operated the Clover Leaf Grocery Store in Tracy and Vera also worked as a dispatcher for the Tracy Police Department. She was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Vera was active in the American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary in Hutchinson and Tracy. She was also a member of the Hutchinson 8/40 and the Greenleaf Goodwill Club. Vera enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She especially loved spending time with her daughter and grandchildren.

When Vera needed assistance with her daily care, she became a resident of Cosmos Assisted Living on June 18, 2004. She passed away there on Saturday, November 11, 2006, at the age of 85 years.

Vera is survived by her daughter, Dixie Christensen and her husband, Daniel of Andover, MN; grandchildren, Cameron Christensen, Mitchell Christensen, and Sierra Christensen; siblings, Violet Danielson and her husband, Charlie of Atwater, MN, Lilly Kerkvliet of Cottonwood, MN, Elizabeth Krasen and her husband, Donald of Hutchinson, MN; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Vera is preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Minnie Koepp; husband, Junior Johnson; a son in infancy; siblings, Robert Koepp, Frank Koepp, Carl Koepp, David Koepp, Martin Koepp, Helen Barrick, Elsie Hoerneman, Frieda Schultz, and Esther Knetel.

Arrangement by the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online condolences may be directed to Please click on online condolences.


Everal McDaniel, 89

Services for Everal Faye McDaniel, were held today, Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at Tracy United Methodist Church, Tracy, MN.

Everal was born Oct. 15, 1917, to Harry and Pearl (O’Neal) Kennedy in La Moille, Ill. In 1918, she moved with her family to a farm north of Marshall. Everal was baptized and confirmed at Wesley United Methodist Church in Marshall and walked into Marshall to attend Marshall Public Schools. As a young girl, she helped her mother sell produce to Marshall residents during the Depression. Everal graduated from Marshall High School in 1936 and then attended Mankato Teachers College for two years. During her school years Everal made trips to Washington, D.C. and to the World’s Fair in Chicago, IL.

On July 9, 1944, Everal and Arnold McDaniel were married in Marshall at Wesley United Methodist Church and they made their home on a farm near Tracy. Everal first taught school in 1937 until 1939 in Lewisville then in Darfur from 1939 until 1943. In 1943, Everal and her sister, Grace, moved to Las Vegas where they taught school on a military base for two years. In 1955 she started teaching first grade in Tracy Grade School and continued there until her retirement in 1973. During her years in Tracy, she returned to college at Mankato State and received her bachelor’s degree in education. Everal pioneered the Transition Room concept, which gave children needing readiness and maturity an extra year to bridge the change from kindergarten to first grade.

Everal was a member of Tracy United Methodist Church and was active in Abigail Circle as a Sunday school and Bible school teacher. She also was very active in “Master’s Workers” at the church, working with parishioners with handicaps. Everal loved to paint, bake, garden and travel. She and her husband spent 18 years wintering in Arizona.

In October of 2000, Everal became a resident of the Southview on Main facility in Revere, MN where she died Sunday, November 19, 2006 at the age of 89.

Survivors include her husband Arnold of Tracy; son Ron (and Marcia) McDaniel of Tonka Bay; daughter Nyla (and Ragnar) Nordvik of Seattle, Wash.; three grandchildren Markus, Ryan and Kari Nordvik; two brothers-in-law; five sisters-in-law; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her parents, one sister, Grace, and husband, Leo Balle, preceded her in death.

Everal’s life stood for faith, family, education and the cheerful giving of her talents.

Burial was in the Tracy City Cemetery with the Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handling the arrangements.

The family would like memorials issued to the Parkinson’s Research Center and mailed to the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy.


Louella Helgeson, 95

Services for Louella A. Helgeson, 95, of Tracy were held Monday, November 13 at Tracy Lutheran Church, Tracy, MN. Burial was in the Hoiland Cemetery, west of Tracy. She died Thursday, Nov. 9, 2006, at the Tracy Area Medical Services in Tracy.

Louella Andrene Helgeson was born April 11, 1911, to John and Hattie (Holm) Rialson on the Rialson farm in Monroe Township, Lyon County. She was named after her two grandfathers, Louis Rialson and Andrew Holm. Louella was baptized May 7, 1911, at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tracy and confirmed there on Aug. 3, 1924. She attended Tracy Public Schools and graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1928. Louella attended teacher training in Tracy and taught at District 72 country school west of Tracy.

On Oct. 2, 1934, Louella and Oscar J. Helgeson were married at her parents’ home, southwest of Tracy. They made their home on the Helgeson family farm southwest of Tracy, where they farmed until their retirement in 1969. In 1975 they moved to Tracy, where Louella resided until the time of her death.

Louella was a past member of the Hoiland Lutheran Church and was active in the past as a Sunday School teacher and Sunday School superintendent for many years. For several years she also was in charge of Vacation Bible School, which was at the Garvin Chapel. She was a current member of the Tracy Lutheran Church where she had been active in Circles, Tracy Lutheran Church Women and Altar Guild, which she considered her highest calling.

Before she experienced diminished eyesight, Louella enjoyed sewing and embroidery. She attended many Do-Days at Tracy Lutheran Church to make quilt tops. Louella was an excellent cook, who could single-handedly make dinner for a combining or baling crew or for a family holiday meal. She was known for her hospitality, always welcoming those who stopped in and having homemade pie, cake, donuts, or cookies to serve.

Survivors include her four daughters Elaine (and Jim) Kerr of Russell, Janice (and Jay) Fillmore of Coon Rapids, Marlene (and Bernie) Pecha of New Brighton, and Eunice Helgeson and special friend, Helge Nordby of Minneapolis; five grandchildren Paul (and Melinda) Fillmore, David (and Elena) Fillmore, Kristen (and Lance) Peitso, Diane Kerr and Kyle (and Kristen) Pecha; eight great-grandchildren, Adam Nelson, Nicholas and Nathan Fillmore, Bethany and Brianna Peitso, Kaelyn, Margaret and Marrah Pecha; one brother Marvin (and Arlene) Rialson of Tracy; one sister, Lucille Ingebretson of New Ulm; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Oscar, one daughter Arlene, one grandson Michael Kerr, one great-grandson Matthew Pecha, one sister Margrethe and one brother Julius.


J. Robert McLeod, 83

J. Robert McLeod, 83, of Camden, Maine died on November 14, 2006.

He was born on June 3rd, 1924 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Emile and Olga McLeod. Raised in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, he graduated from high school there, attended the University of Wisconsin, then joined the Army in 1944. He served in the 99th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge as an infantryman. In December of 1944 his position was overrun by the German army. He remained a POW for six months until being liberated by advancing Russian forces. After his return, he attended the University of Minnesota, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

In 1948 he refused to allow a pretty, hazel-eyed Margaret Starr from Tracy, MN backstage at a piano concert. Days later, they happened to meet again on a blind date, and as he walked home that night he saw written in the sky, “Don’t let this one go.” They married three months later in Tracy.

After graduating from college, Bob became editor of the St. Charles [Illinois] Chronicle and proceeded to courageously support causes he believed were right. He was subsequently employed by the Office of Naval Research in Washington, DC where he wrote Admiral Rickover’s speech for the launching of the USS Nautilus, America’s first nuclear submarine. He then moved to Massachusetts to work for AVCO/RAD during their development of the heat shields for America’s space program. He left AVCO/RAD to become a Vice President with Hill & Knowlton in New York City. He lived in Wilton, CT for twenty years where, with his wife Margaret, he raised four sons.

Bob retired to Camden, ME from H&K in 1986. During his retirement he and Margaret enjoyed traveling to Europe many times. Shortly after moving to Camden he became a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. He delivered friendship and food for 20 years up until four days before his death.

A voracious reader, he enjoyed music, woodworking, ice-cream, and telling stories. Bob could regularly be found on the Camden waterfront with a cup of coffee, a donut and numerous tales to tell. He is remembered for his sharp wit and sense of humor.

Bob was predeceased by his son Lawrence. He is survived by his wife of 58 years Margaret, his brother Neil, his sons Bradley (Debbie), Jack (Eve) and Iver (Barbara), and his five grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bob’s name would be appreciated and can be sent to:
Knox County Meals on Wheels, 46 Summer St., Rockland, ME 04841.