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Obituaries from the week of July 11, 2007

Lori Bangasser, 44

Funeral services were held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie, MN on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 for Lori Ann Bangasser. Fr. Bob Horihan officiated. The organist was Patty LeClaire. The song leader was LuAnn Hansen.

Pallbearers were George Hebig, Richard Swan, Mike Holland, Paul Holland, Brian Peterson and Greg Vosberg. Honorary pallbearers are Mary Sundquist, Destiny Vosberg, Dayna Vosberg, Courtney Schmitz, Rachel Schmitz, Brooklyn Schmitz, Bo Holland, Carly Holland, Haley Hebig and Anna Peterson.

Lori Bangasser was born on November 8, 1962 in Rock Rapids, Iowa to Alfred and Arliss Lursen Gertsema. She grew up in Ellsworth, MN and in 1972 she moved with her family to Slayton, MN. Lori graduated from Slayton High School in 1980.

On November 27, 1982 she and Curt Bangasser were married at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie, MN. Following their marriage they farmed by Lake Sarah near Garvin, MN.

She has worked at the Slayton Manor, Enderson Clothing in Tracy and most recently she was employed at Minnwest Bank South in Tracy, MN.

Lori passed away on July 7, 2007 at the Sanford Health Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD at the age of 44.

She was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Currie. Lori enjoyed spending time with young children and also working with the girls at the Miss Tracy Pageant. She was an active member of the Tracy community. Lori enjoyed spending time with her family and many friends. Lori also enjoyed scrap-booking, boating and animals.

Survivors include her husband, Curt Bangasser of Garvin, MN, one son, Chris Bangasser of Garvin, MN, parents, Alfred and Arliss Gertsema of Slayton, MN, three brothers, Dean Gertsema of Slayton, MN, Jay Gertsema of Slayton, MN and David Gertsema and his wife, Corrine of Redwood Falls, MN, one sister, Sandy Lau and her husband, Jack of Tracy, MN, mother–in-law, Fran Busch and her husband, Ray of Fulda, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her grandparents.

Interment at Calvary Cemetery, Currie, MN. The Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton handled the arrangements.

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Florence Gritman, 93

Funeral services were held Friday, July 6, 2007 at the Tracy Presbyterian Church for Florence Gritman.

Florence Ruth Gritman was born October 20, 1913 to Heye and Martha (Fry) Grave on a farm in Holman Township, Oseola County, IA. She was baptized in the Presbyterian faith and attended country school in Lyon County, IA. Her family moved to the Woodstock, MN area where she completed her education.

On June 17, 1936 Florence married William R Gritman in Pipestone, MN. They farmed in Iowa for seven years before they moved to Minnesota in 1943 and later purchased a farm near Amiret, MN. They continued farming until their retirement and following William’s death in 1977 Florence remained living on the farm.

Florence had an endearing love for farming and considered it the only respectable vocation in life. Besides working tirelessly with chores and in the field she also enjoyed fishing, crafts, painting, raising a garden and exhibiting at fairs. She also loved music and taught herself to play the organ and the piano. Florence also worked part-time for Carrows’ Cleaners in Marshall, MN.

She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, first in Iowa where she was baptized, was a member of Young Christian Endeavor and sang in the choir and later in Tracy, MN where she was an active member of the Women’s Association. She was also a member of the Amiret Extension Club for several years.

In August of 2001 Florence became a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy where she died Sunday, July 1, 2007 at the age of 93.

Florence is survived by one son, Robert (Marjorie) Gritman of Cottonwood, MN; one daughter, Betty (Francis) Stassen of Tracy, MN; nine grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; one great, great- grandchild; nieces, nephews and cousins.

Her husband, William, one granddaughter, Shelley Gritman, one grandson, Brian Gritman, two sisters, Lena Kruger and Nellie Giles, and two brothers, Bernard and John Grave preceded her in death.

Interment was at the Tracy City Cemetery. The Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy handled the arrangements.

John Johnson, 64

Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 30, 2007 for John Johnson, age 64 of Ramsey, MN. Pastor Jeff Gustafson officiated. Pallbearers were Art Prouty, Ronnie Johnson, Dennis Matheisen, David Forrette, Jeff Kjenstad and Jason Anderson.

John Charles Johnson, passed away from cancer on June 25, 2007 at his home surrounded by his family. He was born and raised in Tracy, MN. He wrestled and played football for the Tracy Scrappers and was very active in the high school band playing the clarinet and saxophone. His musical talents were highlighted when playing with the Rythemaires. His passion for music was prominent through his life and he continued to play piano and sing in the church choir.

John married Connie Steinberg in 1962 and from this marriage four daughters were born; Cindy, Sheri, Kelli and Angela. John and his family moved to Brookings, SD in 1972 where he owned and operated John C. Johnson Construction specializing in masonry.

In 1978, John moved to Des Moines, IA where he met and married Debra Cocking. He and Debby moved to Minneapolis in 1979 when he returned to the Minnesota Bricklayers Union. He and Debby have two children, Dan and Katey. They moved to Ramsey in 1984. During this time, John continued his career as a masonry contractor and foreman.

Throughout John’s life, he was active in his children’s and grandchildren’s activities. He was a volunteer for the Ramsey Youth Athletic Association and a member of the Lord of Life Church and choir. John enjoyed hobbies such as woodworking, gardening and, of course, sports and music. He focused on spending time with his family and volunteered his time after retirement to Anoka County mowing lawns and other handy work for shut in residents.

John’s main passions in life were his family and sharing his love of music.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Marie Johnson.

He is survived by his wife, Debra; children, Cindy (Dennis) Mattheisen of Gilbert, AZ, Sheri (David) Forrette of Milbank, SD, Kelli (Jeff) Kjenstad and Angi (Jason) Anderson both of Brookings, SD, Dan Johnson and Katey Johnson both of Ramsey, MN; grandchildren, Heather, Brittney, Ashley, Hannah, Tanner, Jani, Ben, Trase, Josi and Andrew; great-granddaughter, Alexia; sisters, Karen Odegaard of Bloomington, MN and Phyllis (Ken) Nyberg of Vining, MN.

Agnes Pederson, 90

A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 7, 2007 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Balaton for Agnes Pederson.

Agnes Muriel Pederson was born December 13, 1916 to Mike and Bertha (Stokke) Carroll in Balaton, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and grew up on a farm north of Balaton. Agnes attended Balaton Public Schools, graduating from Balaton High School in May of 1934. She graduated from Mankato Teachers College in 1936 and continued on to receive her Bachelor of Science Degree and her Masters Degree in Education in 1937. During her years in college she participated in Girls College Basketball.

On June 16, 1940 Agnes married Merrill J. Pederson in Balaton, where they made their home for a short time. She taught school for six years in rural schools near Balaton, then in the Balaton Public School and later for one year in St. Louis Park, MN, before moving to Redwood Falls, MN. There she taught school for one year before becoming the Elementary Principal for the next ten years. Agnes and her husband then moved to Faribault, MN where she ended her career as an Elementary Principal.

Agnes and her husband spent two years in Georgetown, British Guiana in South America where they were Fulbright Exchange Teachers. They then retired to Crane Lake, MN where they lived for thirty three years before moving to Rushford, MN in 1994. After her husband’s death in July of 1999, Agnes moved to Marshall, MN until December of that same year when she became a resident of the Tracy Nursing Home until in November of 2006 when it closed, and she moved to the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.

She loved people and was truly a Christian in her approach to life. While living in Crane Lake she owned and operated a ceramic business and she also taught painting to many. Agnes enjoyed knitting and all kinds of crafts, as well as traveling, spending twenty five winters in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

On July 4, 2007 Agnes died at the Prairie View Healthcare Center at the age of 90.

Agnes or “Auntie”, as she was known by, is survived by her three nieces, Marlene (Harold) Halfmann of Tracy, MN, Diane (John) Woodhall of Spicer, MN and Lori (Ken) Amundson of Sacramento, CA; one nephew, Gary (Sally) Carroll of Vancouver, WA; one sister-in-law, Vivien Carroll of New London, MN; two great nieces; seven great nephews; two great-great nieces; two great-great nephews and other family members and countless friends.

Her husband, Merrill, parents, one brother, Robert Carroll and two infant brothers preceded her in death.

Interment was at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Balaton. The Almlie Funeral Home of Balaton was in charge of arrangements.

Edna Weidauer, 94

Funeral services were held Monday, July 9, 2007 at the Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin for Edna Weidauer.

Edna Adelie Weidauer was born February 25, 1913 to Ole and Angeline (Johnson) Peterson on a farm south of Garvin, MN. She was baptized and confirmed at Hoiland Lutheran Church, rural Garvin and attended Garvin Public Schools, graduating from Garvin Secondary School. While still a young girl, Edna’s mother died and she worked hard around the house, cooking and cleaning, until her marriage.

On November 23, 1934 Edna married Edward Weidauer in Tracy, MN and they made their home on a farm south of Garvin that her grandparents originally homesteaded in the late 1800’s. Her husband and brother, Arthur, farmed together until the mid 1940’s when Edna and her husband moved into Garvin, where they owned and operated “Ed and Art’s Place”. It became a center of social activity throughout the surrounding area for many years. In the early 1950’s they sold the business. Edna was also an Avon Sales Representative through the 1950’s and 1960’s and acquired many friendships.

After Hoiland Lutheran Church closed Edna became a member of the Lake Sarah Lutheran Church in Garvin and was very active over the years in the Esther Circle and WELCA, as her church was the center of her life, and she remained a devoted Christian until her death. She enjoyed entertaining and visiting with friends and playing cards. When she was able, she also was an active member of the Senior Citizens Center.

In September of 1995 she moved into Tracy to the Twin Circle Apartments and later became a resident of the Prairie View Healthcare Center. On Thursday, July 5, 2007 Edna died at the Sanford Tracy Medical Center at the age of 94.

Edna is survived by her one son, Darrell (Ruth) Weidauer of Kalispell, MT; one granddaughter, Elizabeth Schoenborn of Golden Valley, MN; one great granddaughter, Annika Schoenborn; nieces, nephews and many cousins.

Her husband, Edward, parents, and one brother, Arthur Peterson preceded her in death.

Interment was at the Hoiland Cemetery near Garvin. The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handled the arrangements.