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Obituaries from the week of July 29, 2015

James Foley, 94
Elizabeth Kass, 85
Donna Mickelson, 80

Peggy Jo Rolland, 71
Vernal Wahl, 85

James Foley, 94

Mass of Christian Burial for James B. Foley, 94 of Tracy, formerly of Slayton was held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.   Interment was in the St. Mary’s Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tracy.

James passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy surrounded by his family at the age of 94.

James Bernard Foley was born on April 9, 1921 to Daniel and Louella (Ford) Foley in Tracy, Minnesota, Lyon County.  He was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy, attended Country School District #23, and graduated from Tracy High School in 1939.

On January 22, 1945, Jim was united in marriage to Virginia Schons at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  They lived in and around the Tracy area and also Westbrook and Currie.  The majority of his farming years were in Slayton where he retired in 1988 before moving to Tracy the last few years of his life.  In his retirement years, Jim stayed busy working at the Lake Shetek State Park and helping prepare for auctions.  Jim was very active in his communities over the years as a member of the Knights of Columbus, Slayton Barbershop Chorus (was a tenor), NFO Farm Organization, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels.  While at Prairie View, he enjoyed leading the rosary and participating in many activities.

Jim liked reading, antique hunting with Virginia, watching movies, fishing, dancing, singing, politics, visiting with people, playing cards, and bingo at Prairie View.  He loved spending time with his family and was very proud of his Irish heritage.

He is survived by his two sons, Mike (Jannie) Foley of Springdale, AR, and Jerry (Kate) Foley of Nisswa; six daughters, Jeanine (Jim) Vandendriessche of Tracy, Peggy (John) Hubley of Jeffers, Ann (Carlos) Cortez of Bulverde, TX, Joan (Jackie) Wright of Cave Springs, AR, Katie Sunsdahl of Champlin, and Patrice (Chad) Platt of Avoca; nineteen grandchildren; twenty-eight great grandchildren; one sister, Phyllis Tanghe of Marshall; sisters-in-law, Terry Foley, and Mary Lou Schons; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

His wife Virginia, his parents, infant daughter, Barbara, siblings, Frank, Bob, Maurice, Mary, and Beatrice, and two infant grandchildren preceded him in death.

Blessed be his memory.

Arrangements with Almlie-Horvath Funeral Service of Tracy


Elizabeth Kass, 85

Mass of Christian Burial for Elizabeth “Betty” Louise Kass, 85 of Tracy was held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 27, 2015 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Interment was held in the St. Mary’s Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tracy.

She passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy at the age of 85.

Elizabeth “Betty” Louise Kass was born on May 28, 1930, to Henry “Fred” and Elizabeth “Bessie” LeClaire (Harvey).  She was the eighth of ten children and was raised on a farm just south of Currie.   She attended the IHM Catholic School in Currie and was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith.

On October 26, 1949 she married Kenneth John Kass and moved to Tracy and then later to a rented farm north of Tracy.  Of this union, three children were born, Gary, Katharine and Douglas.  Betty was an active participant in every aspect of the farming operation; she helped Kenny with livestock chores, butchering and helping with the fieldwork as well as raising and canning a very large garden.   Betty relished her role as mother and wife but her specialty and love was the cooking and serving what she had prepared to her family and many friends.  Her kindness and cooking were legendary and few left her kitchen not filled with her delicious cooking. 

Both Betty and Kenny were involved with many activities in The St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tracy.  Betty was involved with Guild activities in the Church as well as the Church’s Mission Society, the St. Mary’s Pie Project and the Prayer Line.

In 1963, Kenny and Betty moved to a farm south of Tracy which they later purchased.   Betty continued in her role as a rural wife and devoted mother and became involved in the marketing and sales of Kenny’s inventions the Ken-Ride and the Ken Rake. 

On August 10th 1990 Kenny died and Betty soon moved to a home on North Street in Tracy.  There she continued to cook and prepare food for her many friends.  She continued her tireless activities in the Church and became involved in voluntary activities in the Tracy community including the Hospital Auxiliary, and Meals on Wheel as well as visiting shut-ins and delivering communion and bulletins to those in nursing homes.  In 2012 Betty moved to the Prairie View Health Care Center where she passed away on July 21, 2015.

She is survived by her three children, Gary (Elaine) Kass of Garvin, Katharine (Jerry) Foley of Nisswa, and Douglas Kass of Garvin.  She is also survived by eight grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, one brother Donald (Darlene) LeClaire of Currie and many nephews, nieces and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Kenneth, brothers, Vernon, Henry (Junior), Duane and James, and sisters Odille, Lucretia, Virginia and Rose.  She will be remembered as a devoted wife and mother as well as a faithful Catholic.  She will never be forgotten for her kindness and empathy for those in need as well as her deep faith in God.

Arrangements with: Almlie-Horvath Funeral Service of Tracy.


Donna Mickelson, 80

Donna Mae (Peterson) Mickelson age 80 of Walnut Grove passed away Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy.  Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 24 at English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove.  Visitation is 4:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday at the Walnut Grove Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.  Burial is in Willow Lake Cemetery, rural Tracy.  Online condolences may be sent at  Stephens Funeral Service - Walnut Grove Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. 

Donna Mae (Peterson) Mickelson was born May 26, 1935 in Holly Township, Minnesota to Paul and Clara (Iverson) Peterson.  She was baptized and confirmed at Willow Lake Lutheran Church, rural Tracy.  Donna attended country school and later graduated from Tracy High School. 

On May 6, 1955, she married Duane “Sam” Mickelson at Willow Lake Lutheran Church.  Donna worked at the Tracy Bank for a short time, and from 1969-2004, she and Sam ran the sale barn in Walnut Grove.  Donna did the bookkeeping and was well known for her cooking there.  She occasionally cooked at the school and worked in the office at Plum Creek camp ground which she thoroughly enjoyed.  Donna managed the Walnut Grove Legion for several years and was involved with the Legion Auxiliary and Keenagers.  She enjoyed playing cards, Bingo, and Scrabble, gardening, and cooking.  Donna loved spending time with her sisters and Sunday Fun Day spent with her children and grandchildren.  She became a resident of Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy in November 2013, where she passed away July 21, 2015 at the age of 80 years, 1 month and 25 days.

Donna is survived by her children: Brenda (Steve) Jans of Westbrook, Cindy (Rick) Davis of Milford, IA, Mary (Marvin) Sanow of Tracy, and David Mickelson of Walnut Grove; 9 grandchildren: Megan, Scott, Michael, Amanda, Joe, Dan, Cassandra, Logan, and Caitlyn; 7 great-grandchildren; and siblings: Evelyn Huset of Westbrook, Ginny (Bennie) Noethe of Bloomington, Merlyn (Ruth) Peterson of Springfield, and Shirley (Les) Bly of Sioux Falls, SD. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, great-grandson Orion Hanson, and brother-in-law Orville Huset. 


Peggy Jo Rolland, 71

Peggy Jo Rolland, 71 of Milroy, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, July 24, 2015 at her residence in Milroy.  A Visitation will be held from 4 – 8 pm on Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Almlie – Horvath Funeral Home in Tracy with a prayer service being held at 7:00 pm.  No additional services will be held.  Online condolences may be placed at  The Almlie-Horvath Funeral Service of Tracy is caring for the family.

Peggy Jo Rolland was born on November 18, 1943 to Cleve and Muriel (Brakke) Beebout in Marshall, Minnesota.  She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milroy.  She attended the Milroy Public Schools and graduated from Milroy High School.  After graduation, Peggy Jo went to beauty school in Minneapolis and received her degree as a hairstylist. 

On July 27, 1965, Peggy Jo was united in marriage to Larry Rolland in South Dakota.  They made their home in the Milroy area where Peggy Jo worked as a hairstylist for a few years in Redwood Falls before opening up her own hair salon at her residence in Milroy.  Over the years, Peggy Jo helped with the ladies aid at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milroy. 

She enjoyed working, reading, gardening, flowers, loved cats, and just liked to be outside spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren, family, and friends.

On Friday, July 24, 2015, Peggy Jo passed away unexpectedly at her residence in Milroy at the age of 71.

She is survived by her husband, Larry Rolland of Milroy; three children, Paul (Amy) Rolland of St. Peter, Troy Rolland of Milroy, and Curt (Dani Clark) Rolland of New Prague; three grandchildren,  Jordann (Allen) Boerboom, Cole, and Mack; one sister, Patty (Gary) Stuerwald, two brothers, Lynn (Deb) Beebout, and Ron Beebout; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Her parents, Muriel and Cleve Beebout, one brother, Douglas, and two sisters, Jackie, and Jolene preceded her in death.

Blessed be her memory.


Vernal Wahl, 85

Vernal L. Wahl age 85 of Westbrook passed away Thursday, July 23, 2015 at his home surrounded by all of his family.  Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, July 26 at the Walnut Grove United Methodist Church.   Burial was in the Walnut Grove Cemetery.  Online condolences may be sent at

Vernal Leslie Wahl was born October 11, 1929 in Mountain Lake Hospital, Cottonwood County, Minnesota to Reinie and Bertha (Mischke) Wahl.  Vernal attended a country school in Westbrook and then moved to a farm east of Walnut Grove where he attended Walnut Grove public school.  Vernal was drafted into the US Marines December 1951. 

While home on leave, he was married to the love of his life, Bonnie Smith, on March 6, 1952 at the Methodist Church.  To this union four sons were born.  Vernal was honorably discharged December 1953 at Oceanside, CA.  Vernal moved to Westbrook in 1973 and fed cattle for Francis Anderson and then worked at the elevator for Bruce Baker and Meadowland. 

Vernal is survived by his wife Bonnie; sons Mark (Beverly) Wahl of Brainerd, Mike (Cindy) Wahl of Walnut Grove, Tom (Sue) Wahl of Walnut Grove, and Peter (Connie) Wahl of Grove City; 14 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; four siblings:  three sisters-in-laws; and many nieces and nephews. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and his parents-in-law.