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Obituaries from the week of Oct. 3, 2012

Tom Reinarts, 67

Tom Reinarts, 67, of New Ulm, MN died on Oct. 1, 2012 from complications of diabetes. He was a brother of Ken Reinarts of Tracy. Private burial is being held.


Clarice Joy Nelson Rose, 87

Clarice Joy Nelson Rose died on September 24, 2012, in Rochester, Minnesota.   She was born on March 24, 1925 in Tracy, Minnesota and graduated from Tracy High School in 1943.  She joined the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) after high school, earned a pilot’s license, and was stationed in Los Angeles, California and Custer, Montana during the Second World War.  Clarie corresponded with her one true love, Howard Coburn Rose (a combat paratrooper), throughout the war.  They were married on August 17, 1946, and their marriage sustained them through triumphs and tragedies.  Together they had four children, Terry, Nancy, Steven, and Douglas. 

Clarie supported Howie and her growing family during frequent moves and career advancements.  With Clarie’s assistance, Howie received master and doctoral degrees that supported his appointment to the faculty and administration of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, as President of Valley City State College in Valley City, North Dakota, and as Dean and Graduate Dean at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse. 

Clarie had an adventurous spirit who chose to support her country during World War II through service in the CAA rather than attend college.  However, she highly valued education and elected to pursue advanced degrees as an adult.  She received bachelor and master degrees at the University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse and was thrilled to receive her diploma from her husband, Howie, who served as dean of the university at the time.  

After they retired, Howie and Clarie served as senior mentors at California Lutheran University (CLU) in Thousand Oaks, California for several years.  They greatly enjoyed their years at CLU and became beloved fixtures on the campus, always available for a word of encouragement or support in a moment of need.  Both received Distinguished Service Award medals from CLU for their exemplary contributions to the students and faculty of California Lutheran.

Clarie was preceded in death by her partner, love, and husband, Howie, by her parents, Will N. Nelson and Doris Donaldson Nelson Starr, and by her son, Terry, who died at age five years but remained a constant presence in her life.  She is survived by three sisters; Delores Nelson Manke, Jody Nelson Olson, and Nancy Nelson Starr, by a brother, Phillip Nelson, and by six grandchildren; Jack, Tom, and Katy Kiger, Meghan Rose, and Sarah and Matthew Gibson.

Clarie was a generous, loving and devoted mother, grandmother, and wife.  She found beauty in the world through her art and creativity.  However, her primary focus was always on her family and their wellbeing.  The commitment, love, and devotion she provided Howie throughout their marriage and especially during his long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, during which she almost never left his side, was a remarkable tribute to their deep love for one another during more than 61 years of marriage. 

Clarie found joy in many things, including her art and her eye for interior design.  She loved to travel and to view the world from a variety of perspectives.  She never complained and was grateful for the gifts of life and family.  She took great pride in her family’s accomplishments and supported them in times of need.  She will by greatly missed, and will live forever in the hearts and souls of those she loved.   Her generous spirit, selfless love and devotion, everyday kindness, and the joy she found in life are an inspiration to us all.

A funeral service will be conducted on September 29, 2012 at the United Methodist Church in Tracy, Minnesota, where Howie and Clarie were married.  Memorials are suggested to Mayo Foundation for Alzheimer’s disease research or to California Lutheran University. 


Lois Obrestad, 99


Lois Obrestad age 99, of Southwest Minneapolis, passed away on Friday, September 28, 2012 at the Lyngblomsten Care Center in St. Paul.

Lois Delvina Oden Obrestad was born in Minneapolis, MN March 14, 1913.  She grew up in Thief River Falls, MN and graduated from St. Olaf College in 1935.  After a year of teaching home economics and biology in Pine River she married Rev. Harold Obrestad in 1936.  And so began her new life as pastor’s wife in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

There, she became a new mom as Paul and John were soon born.  Wanting to be closer to family, Lois and Harold moved to Milwaukee, where Nina was born.  Shortly, WWII interrupted, Harold became a Navy chaplain and Lois gathered up her family and moved to Thief River Falls where she once again taught.  After the war, Tracy MN became their home for the next 13 years, and there Lydie was born.

Life took a dramatic turn when Harold died suddenly in 1958 and Lois once again gathered up the family and moved to Minneapolis to be near to her family.  Now, as a widow and single parent, she first worked in a small pharmacy, and then found a career at Augsburg Publishing Company in the audio visual department.  Throughout her years in Minneapolis she was an active member at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.  During many years of retirement she enjoyed caring for all her family.  In later years she joined life in the Lyngblomsten community, where she continued to share her love, caring, learning, patience and faith with everyone, as she had throughout her 99 years.

She is survived by her daughters: Lydie (Reverend Keith) Kolzow of Rush Point, Nina (Reverend Linn) Opderbecke of Portsmouth, NH; sons: Paul Obrestad of White Bear Lake, John (Marcia) Obrestad of Lino Lakes; 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, sister-in-law Hazel Oden of Edina and several nieces and nephews.

Lois is preceded in death by her parents August & Nina Oden, her husband Reverend Harold Obrestad, siblings Robert Oden and Marion Norum, daughter-in-law Susan Obrestad and granddaughter Kristin Obrestad.

Reverend Linn Opderbecke officiated funeral services on Monday (10/1/2012) at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Roseville.  The interment was in the Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Memorials are preferred to the Lyngblomsten Foundation.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Funeral and Cremation Service ~ Olson Chapel, Rush City.

Lois is the wife of the late Rev. Harold L. Obrestad, who was the Tracy Lutheran Church Pastor from 1946-1958.