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Obituaries from the week of July 18, 2012

Ruth M. Johnson, 88

Ruth Marie Johnson age 88 of Walnut Grove passed away unexpectedly Friday, July 13, 2012 at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls.  Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.  Interment was in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery north of Walnut Grove.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Walnut Grove Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. 

Ruth was born April 19th, 1924 to Charles M. and Anna (Bergblom) Benson on a farm northwest of Walnut Grove. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith and was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Ruth graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1942 and Gustavus Adolphus College in 1945, majoring in social work. On June 1st, 1952 Ruth wed Donald B. Johnson at Trinity Lutheran Church and recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. After their marriage, she moved to the farm with Donald. They were blessed with six children. She was devoted to her children, gardening, and helping on the farm. She was very active in her church teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, quilting and active in the ladies aid. Her interests also included traveling, especially spending time in Mexico, playing scrabble, and doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She was an avid reader, collector of recipes, and loved to cook and bake.

Survivors include her husband Donald B.; sons: Brian (Sue), Bruce, Eric (Judy), Bradley (Laurie); daughter Linnea (Matt) Surprenant; nine grandchildren: Kaylan (Nathan) Pool, Anna, Ben, Alison, Boyd, Nicole, Caitlin Johnson, Rebecca and Megan Surprenant; and half siblings Judy Glass and Charles Benson.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Emma Benson, Lucy (Dale) Bolling, Edith (Charles) Carter, brother-in-law Morris Johnson and son Steven.


Willis Scott, 101

Willis I. Scott age 101 of Tracy, MN died Sunday, July 15, 2012 at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy.  Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 28, 2012 at the Church of Christ in Tracy.  Visitation will be from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Friday, July 27, 2012 at the Almlie Funeral Home in Tracy.  Interment will be in the Tracy City Cemetery, with a luncheon served immediately following the burial in the church social hall.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be placed at


Leota Silver, 87

Leota C. Silver age 87 of Tracy, MN died Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at her home in Tracy.  Services were held Saturday, July 7, 2012 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Currie, MN.     Interment was in the Calvary Cemetery in Tracy.  The Almlie Funeral Home of Tracy handled the arrangements.  Online condolences may be placed at

Leota Catherine Silver was born January 29, 1925 to Valentine J. and Katherine (Potthoff) Ruppert on the family farm south of Currie, MN, in Murray County.  Some of her best memories as a child were growing up and playing with her brothers and sisters.  She was baptized and confirmed in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Currie.  Leota attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, graduating in 1942 as Valedictorian of her class.  She was a cheerleader and played the trombone in the Currie Community Band.  Leota then attended St. Theresa’s College in Winona, MN, graduating in 1946 with a degree in Education and again was Valedictorian of her class.

On October 9, 1948, Leota married Thomas J. Silver at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and they made their home in Tracy, MN.  Prior to her marriage, Leota taught school at Milroy High School.  She took leave from teaching to raise her children, before continuing her career in the Tracy Public School system.  She later became the Director of the Title I program at Tracy. 

Leota was a member of both St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  She was active in her church circle group and enjoyed attending both parishes throughout the years.  Leota and her husband were instrumental in the founding of the ARC program in Lyon County and dedicated much of their time to this important organization. 

She enjoyed playing cards, word and jigsaw puzzles, searching for arrowheads, and bird watching.  Leota also loved to read, ballroom dancing with her sweetheart, Tom, and spending time with her family.

After her husband’s death in 2003, Leota remained in her home until her death on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at the age of 87.

Leota is survived by her three sons, Thomas L. Silver of Glenwood, MN, John (Betty) Silver of Tracy, MN and Randy (Sande) Silver of Glenwood, MN; three daughters, Cathy Johnsen of Pequot Lakes, MN, Mary Jo (Ric) McClellan of Fargo, ND and LuAnn Silver of Fulda, MN; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth, Thomas J. II and Michael Silver, Jessica and Patrick McClellan, and Nicholas and Andrew Johnsen; one sister, Marcella Cummisky of Currie, MN; one brother, Herbert Ruppert of Currie, MN; brother-in-law, Wayne (Rosemary) Carlson of Slayton, MN; three sisters-in-law, Dorothy Ruppert of Currie, MN, Judy Ruppert of Alexandria, MN and Theresa (Ed) Hansen of Tracy, MN; nieces, nephews and friends.

Her husband, Tom, infant son, Michael, grandson, Dustin Thompson and her parents, three sisters, Lil (Ray) Busch, Irma Carlson, and Julia (Wayne) Peltola, four brothers, Harold (Marcella), Raymond, Orville, and Louis Ruppert, one brother-in-law, Donald Cummisky preceded her in death. 


John Wreath, 85

John R. Wreath, age 85, of rural Balaton, passed away at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy on Monday, July 9, 2012. Funeral services were held Thursday, July 12th at the Balaton United Methodist Church.  Burial was in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery.  The Hamilton Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to

John Robert was born on June 1, 1927 in Tracy to John Logan and Lena (Pryor) Wreath.  He attended school at Amiret and was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist faith.

 On February 17, 1950, John was united to marriage to Marilyn “Rusty” Meyer in Marshall.  They farmed near Amiret for a number of years and then moved and continued farming in Custer Township.

John was active member of community serving as a board member of the Balaton-Ruthton-Arco Farmers Co-op; Custer Township Board and was a Lyon County Commissioner for six years. 

John’s love of his life was his family.  His other enjoyments were farming, hunting, fishing, dancing, and playing cards.

John passed away at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy on Monday, July 9, 2012.  He had reached the age of 85 years, 1 month and 8 days. 

John is survived by four children, Katherine Ruud and Sue Olson both of Marshall, Mike (Colleen) Wreath of Balaton, and Julie (Roy) Revel of Lynd; nine grandchildren, Krista (Nate) VanNote, Mark (Heidi) Ruud, Eric (Emi) Olson, Tom (Nicole) Ruud, Jill Wreath, Nate Olson, Hiliary (Terry) Kesteloot, Kayla Revel and Michael Revel; five great grandsons, Austin, Terry, Gunnar, Riley and Finn.

John was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Marilyn on August 5, 2001, son, Douglas Robert, nine siblings, and a son-in-law, Terry Olson.   

Blessed Be The Memory Of John Wreath.