Gail Barfknecht, 64

Gail Mary Barfknecht, 64, of New Germany, formerly of Delano, passed away Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted, Minn.

She was born on Aug. 13, 1950 to Lawrence and Emma (Vorderbruggen) Stotko in Minneapolis.

Gail was a loving mother and grandmother who loved to fish and play with her great-grandson.  Spending time with her family was a priority.

She was preceded in death by: her parents; brothers, Jack and Tom; and a sister, Joan Reyna.  She is survived by: her children, Paula Heck and Wade Barfknecht; grandchildren, Haley, Brandan and Jesse Heck; and great-grandson, Leo Topel.

Funeral services were scheduled at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 29 at the Iten Funeral Chapel in Delano, with visitation Wednesday prior to services and interment at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Delano.

Arrangements were by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.


Alice Brophy, 88

Alice Marie Brophy, 88, of Aitkin, Minn. passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby, Minn.

She was preceded in death by: her husband, W. Don Brophy; son, Douglas Jennings; daughter, Beverly; and grandsons, Michael Jennings and Scott Anthony.

She is survived by: sons, Michael (Deborah), Thomas (Pam) and Tim (Maggie); 9 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Alice’s Life is taking place at New Life Church in Aitkin, Minn., 2 p.m., on Saturday May 2.  Visitation will be an hour prior to the service at the church.  Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Aitkin.

Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin assisted with arrangements.


Phyllis Bruns, 84

Phyllis B. Bruns, 84, of Maple Lake died Thursday, April 23, 2015 at Cottagewood Senior Communities Memory Care in Buffalo.

A special thank you to the staff at Cottagewood Senior Communities Memory Care and the Fairview Hospice Team.

Mass of Christian Burial was scheduled on Tuesday, April 28 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake with Fr. Samuel Medley and Deacon Ronald Freeman officiating.  Burial was planned at St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery, Maple Lake.  Visitation was scheduled on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, both at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake, with a prayer service Monday at the funeral chapel.

Phyllis Barbara Bruns was born July 7, 1930 in Glencoe, Minn. to Phillip and Josephine (Gehlen) Bongaarts.  She grew up in Kimball and graduated from Kimball High School.

On Aug. 30, 1950, she was united in marriage to Francis Martin Bruns in Kimball; he preceded her in death in 1987.  Phyllis worked in the office at the Rural Coop Power in Maple Lake and worked in the kitchen at both St. Timothy’s Catholic School, Maple Lake and Maple Lake Elementary School.  She was a member of St. Timothy Catholic Church and Wright County Extension.  She also sang in the St. Timothy Choir and attended Bible Study at St. Timothy.  Phyllis enjoyed cooking, baking, gardening, shopping, and spending time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by: her children and their spouses, Thomas and Cherrie Bruns of Rockford, Marilyn and Brian Vetsch of Monticello, Kenneth and Renee Bruns of Maple Lake, and Timothy and LuAnn Bruns of Maple Lake; nine grandchildren, Jeremy, Nikolee, Bridget, Aaron, Amy, Jake, Angie, Brianna, and Chad; 10 great-grandchildren, Drake, Macy, Lucy, Logan, Porter, Tyson, Grant, Tanner, Noah, and Makenna; siblings and their spouses, John and Judy Bongaarts of Delano, Mary Logeais of Annandale and Janice and Jim Dircks of Plymouth; and brothers-in-law, Robert Kurkowski of Mankato, Joe Masberg of Kimball and Donald Bruns of Maple Lake.  She was preceded in death by: her parents, Phillip and Josephine Bongaarts; husband, Francis Bruns; son, Ralph; and sisters, Beatrice Kurkowski and Bernice Masberg.

Pallbearers were her grandchildren: Jeremy, Jake, Angie, Brianna and Chad Bruns, Nikolee Turner, Bridget Johnson, Aaron Vetsch, and Amy Wetch.  Mike Miessen and Krista Elsenpeter Tarbox were asked to provide the music for the service.

Arrangements were entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.


Jeanne Fraher, 89

Jeanne A. Fraher, 89, of Delano, formerly of St. Paul, passed peacefully into the Lord’s embrace on Feb. 12, 2015.

She was born on July 8, 1925 in St. Paul to Leo and Lillian (Quehl) Hanrahan. She was united in marriage on Feb. 2, 1946 to Robert L. Fraher. They were blessed with 7 children.

Jeanne was preceded in death by: her husband, Robert; daughter, Mary Therese Karnik; son-in-law, Dilip Karnik; granddaughter, Kelly; great-granddaughter, Julia Erin; and siblings, Robert Hanrahan and Mildred Hanrahan.

Jeanne is survived by: her children, Fr. Kevin Fraher, C.Ss.R., Kathleen Fraher, Joseph (Marilyn) Fraher, Anne (Robert) Johnson, Sheila (James) Merz, and Gerard (Denise) Fraher; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Elizabeth Burke and Delores Hazuka; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial is taking place at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 1 at St. Peter Catholic Church, Delano.  A Rosary Service will be held at 10 a.m. within the church, followed by a gathering of family and friends from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in St. Martha Hall.  Inurnment will be in Ft. Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis at a later date.  Memorials for Masses preferred.

Arrangements are by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.


Michael Laho, 40

Michael Paul Laho, 40, of Buffalo, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at his home after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Michael was born on June 28, 1974 to Michael and Corinne (Johnson) Laho in South Lyon, Mich.  He grew up in Michigan and moved to Minnesota after graduating from South Lyon High School in 1992.

He married Angela Pokornowski on March 11, 2000.  They were blessed with five children.  Michael loved his children and was a devoted dad.  He took great pride in attending all of the kids’ activities, even while dealing with all the side effects from chemo.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

Survived by: his wife, Angela Laho; children, Erika, Juliana, Bridget, Alex, and Laryssa; father, Michael (Janisse) Laho; mother, Corinne Laho; sisters, Michelle (Dale) Ryynanen, Andrea (Rand) Peterson, Elizabeth (Larry) Niemela, Heather (Wil) Stone, and Vicki (Matt) Diemert; father and mother-in-law, Larry and Margaret Pokornowski; the Pokornowski family; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services for Michael were scheduled on Wednesday, April 29, 1 p.m., at The First Apostolic Lutheran Church, Medina, Minn., with visitation one hour prior to the service and also on Tuesday, April 28.

The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo served the family.


Zita Manuel, 85

Zita M. Manuel, 85, of Maple Lake died on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Mass of Christian Burial was scheduled on Monday, April 27 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake with Fr. Martin Shallbetter and Deacon Ron Freeman officiating.  Burial followed at St. Timothy’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation, with prayer service, was scheduled on Sunday, April 26 at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake, as well as on Monday at the funeral chapel.

Zita Margaret Manuel was born on Jan. 18, 1930 to John and Frances (Zwilling) Steichen in Maine Prairie Township, Stearns County, Minn.

On Nov. 16, 1950, Zita was united in holy matrimony to Andrew Manuel at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Kimball. They resided in Cold Spring and Monticello before moving to Maple Lake in 1952. Along with her husband, Andrew, Zita owned and operated Andy’s Red Owl in Maple Lake.

Andrew preceded her in death on March 25, 1987. Zita was a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, the Council of Catholic Women and the Catholic Order of Foresters. She also belonged to the Maple Lake American Legion Auxiliary, Maple Lake VFW Auxillary, Maple Lake Senior Citizens, and the Wright County Volunteer Drivers. Zita was a former board member and Chairperson of the Council on Aging for the five-county area, and she served on the Maple Lake City Council.  Zita enjoyed sewing, playing cards, quilting, running Manuels Costume Shop, and spending time with her family.

Zita is survived by: her children, Roger (Katie), Carol Chandler and Lawrence (Louie), all of Maple Lake, Alice Manuel (Karen Bylander) of Albertville, and Paul (Angie) of Annandale; 10 grandchildren, Jason, Ryan, Sara, Mandy, Danny, Orin, Kari, Andy, Laura, and Nathan; 3 great-grandchildren, Andrew “AJ”, Oliver and George; siblings, Theresa (Warren) Theisen of St. Cloud and Rose Weineke of Cold Spring; and many nieces, nephews and other family members and friends.  She was preceded in death by: her husband, Andrew; son, Bruce; brothers, Robert, Roman, Joseph, and Bernard Steichen; and sisters, Agnes Hentges and Helen Anderson Holt.

Jason, Ryan, Orin, Andy, Nathan Manuel and Danny Chandler were asked to serve as pallbearers, with Mandy Chandler, Sara Hayes, Kari Buttenhoff, and Laura Manuel as honorary pallbearers.  Sarah Goelz and Krista Elsenpeter Tarbox were asked to provide music for the service.

Arrangements were entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.


Marvin Slama, 87

Marvin D. Slama, 87, of Delano and Alexandria, passed away April 24, 2015.

Marv grew up near Canby, Minn. as one of eight children born to David and Bertha Slama.

He married Joyce Schwader on Oct. 3, 1954.  They began their life together at Green Gables mobile home park in Wayzata, Minn. and made many lasting friendships.  They raised their three children on a small farm near Delano and became lifelong members of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.

Joyce succumbed to ALS in 1991. Eventually, Marv married Corrine Butenhoff, with whom he spent several happy years traveling and visiting Apache Junction, Ariz.

A jack-of-all-trades, Marv served in the Navy during the Korean conflict and remained a proud veteran throughout his life.  After his service in the military, he serviced commercial coffee brewing equipment and raised livestock on their farm.  He later owned a feed store in Watkins, Minn., where he is remembered as a helping hand in difficult times.

Marv divided his retirement years between a home in Maple Plain and another in Apache Junction.  He enjoyed organizing card games, pork-chop feeds and trips into the surrounding countryside.  He eventually moved to Windmill Ponds in Alexandria, Minn., where he enjoyed Bridge games and several volunteer projects.

He will be remembered for his humor, his love of fishing and love of Minnesota Twins baseball.  He enjoyed dancing, polka music, playing cards, and visiting with friends.

He is survived by: his brother and two sisters, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends around the country.

Memorial service was scheduled at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Delano, with a gathering of family and friends Wednesday prior to the service at the church. Inurnment with Military Honors was planned in East Mt. Olive Cemetery, Delano.

Arrangements were by the Iten Funeral Home, Delano.


Joseph Stumpf, 77

Joseph M. Stumpf, 77, of Maple Lake died Monday, April 27, 2015 at the Annandale Care Center.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 1 at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake with Fr. Samuel Medley as the Celebrant.  Burial will follow at St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery.  Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday and 9-10 a.m. Friday, both at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake.  A prayer service will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral chapel.

Joseph Michael Stumpf was born April 2, 1938 in Maple Lake to Vincent and Elizabeth (Friedrich) Stumpf.  He graduated from Maple Lake High School with the Class of 1956.  Joe worked for Buffalo Veneer prior to a 30-year career at Ware Manufacturing Company in Minneapolis.  He was a member of St. Timothy Catholic Church and the Maple Lake Knights of Columbus Fr. O’Brien Council 3613.  Joe lived in Maple Lake his entire life and was a big supporter of the Maple Lake Lakers baseball team.

He is survived by: his children, Mike (friend Mary Zirbes) of Maple Lake, MaryJean (Shawn) Payne of Maple Lake and Lloyd (Vicki); five grandchildren, Melissa, Micheal Jr., Jillian, Courtney, and Elizabeth; six great-grandchildren; brothers, Tony (Gini) of Blaine, David (Linda) Stumpf of Annandale and Leon Stumpf of Annandale; and sisters, Joan (Gerald) Remer of St. Louis Park, Marion (Ardell) Brummer of St. Louis Park, Evelyn Marie of Edina, Rosemary (Gerald) Wodtke of Buffalo, Donna (David) Turrell of Ashburn, Va., and Cathy Stachovich of Edina.  He was preceded in death by: his parents, Vincent and Elizabeth; former wife, Evelyn Stumpf; and infant sister, Mary Stumpf.

The pallbearers will be: Ryan Clausen, Micheal David Stumpf, Jr., Dale Decker, Chad Raiche, Jeremy Schmidt, and Luke Fobbe.

Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.