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Obituaries from the week of May 23, 2012

Mary Engesser, 72

Mass of Christian Burial was held for Mary C. Engesser, age 72 on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Interment was in the Calvary Cemetery in Tracy, with a luncheon served in the church social hall immediately following the burial.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be placed at

Mary Catherine Engesser was born on February 25, 1940 to Harold and Agnes (Kosse) Rolling in Tracy, Minnesota, Lyon County.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Mary attended and graduated from the Tracy public schools in 1958 and entered the religious order of The Sisters of St. Francis in Rochester, MN that summer.  Their mission statement, “O Lord make me an instrument of your peace,” led Mary at all times in her life.  Because of health reasons, Mary left the religious life which she loved very much.  She continued her college education at St. Theresa’s in Winona and Southwest State University in Marshall graduating with a Bachelor degree in Education.

On December 28, 1963 she was united in marriage to Merlin Engesser at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  They lived in Kilkenny, MN before moving back to Garvin and then Tracy.  Mary taught in the Tracy Public Schools and at St. Mary’s Elementary until she retired in 2009.  Mary was active in the Order of St. Francis, CCW, and taught CCD for many years.

Mary enjoyed teaching and spreading her faith, fishing, the outdoors, snowmobiling, horses, camping, shopping and making crafts with her grandchildren.  Mary will be remembered for her continuous, uplifting spirit and gentle nature.

On Tuesday, May 15, 2012 Mary passed away at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 72.

She is survived by her two children, Mark (Tanya) Engesser of Rose Creek, MN and Margaret (Allen Schultz) Bornitz of Tracy; seven grandchildren, Tracey, Tasha, Mark, Autumn, Chris (Wendy Gleis), Courtney and Carter; four great grandchildren, Oakley, Austin, Alyssa and Riley; one brother, Allan (Darlene) Rolling of Tracy and one sister, Betty (Verle) Bollig of Willmar.

Her parents, brother Vincent, and sister in law, Maggie preceded her in death.


Donna Mae Nicholson Hults, 84


A Tracy native has died in Eugene, OR.

Donna Mae Nicholson Hults, 84, died April 22, three days shy of her 85th birthday.  A resident of Eugene since 1946, she was a homemaker and a quality control inspector at the Agripac cannery in Eugene.  She was married to “Don” Palmer” Wilson Hultz in 1946.  They were married for 40 years until his death in 1986.   Gardening, cooking, crossword puzzles, and crafts were among her hobbies.

She is survived by her son, Dennis Hultz, of Eugene; a daughter, Debi Greeden of Cottage Grove;  one grandson, one granddaughter, and nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her twin brother, Douglas Murray Nicholson, an older sister, Betty Schillerstrom, and a younger sister, Onalea Nicholson.


Gary Pemble, 65

Gary C. Pemble age 65 of Walnut Grove passed away on Monday, May 21, 2012 at St. John’s Lutheran Home in Springfield after a long battle with Alzheimers.  Visitation will be held from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Friday at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home.  A private family service will be held.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the Alzheimers Association at the Mayo Clinic.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Gary C. Pemble was born in New Avon Township on October 15, 1946 to Glenn C. and Verna C. (Willhite) Pemble.  At the age of 12, he acquired a loving step-father, Frank Benedict.  He was a member of the Walnut Grove Methodist Church.  Gary graduated from Walnut Grove High School and then entered the Marines for 4 years, stationed in California. 

On August 8, 1965 he was united in marriage to Marlys Elias, to which union three children were born, Curtis, Wendy, and Cynthia.  Gary worked for McLaughlin and Schulz Road Construction prior to returning to Walnut Grove to take over the family farm.  He enjoyed playing softball with the 4 T’s and Old Fogies, and was an avid sports fan, enjoying the Vikings, Twins, and Nascar.  Most of all he loved watching his kids playing football, basketball, volleyball, and danceline.  Gary was a member of the Walnut Grove American Legion. 

Gary is survived by his wife Marlys; son Curtis Pemble of Mankato; daughters Wendy Fisk of Highlands Ranch, CO and Cynthia (Allen) Diel of Buffalo; 6 grandchildren: Jordan, Alexa, and Peyton Diel, John “Jack” Pemble, and Logan and Adam Fisk.  He is also survived by his mother-in-law Eileen Elias, uncle Dale Pemble of Walnut Grove, sisters-in-law Carol Pemble of Buffalo and Judy (Fred) Patricelli of Ham Lake; and many nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents, step-father, brother Melvern and sister Marvella.