Willmar Bechtold, 87

Willmar Edward Bechtold was born on Nov. 14, 1927, the last of three sons and one daughter born to Wilhelmina and William Bechtold.

His sins were washed away in Holy Baptism on Dec. 11, 1927 here at Salem Ev. Lutheran Church.  He grew up on the family dairy farm just south of Hanover and attended school in Hanover. He received his confirmation instruction from Pastor W. P. Haar, formally professed faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and was confirmed here at Salem on March 17, 1940. He was given Matthew 6:33 as his memory verse: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Willmar graduated from Buffalo High School in 1945. He was drafted into the Army Air Force following graduation and served his country in the occupation of Japan after World War II.

On June 10, 1950, here at Salem, he was united in holy matrimony to his high school sweetheart, Caroline Harff, whom he loved serenading with his guitar.

The newlyweds moved to Minneapolis, and on Aug. 13, 1953, their son, Timothy, was born. Tim married Anne Taylor in 1979, and Willmar and Caroline were blessed with a granddaughter, Halley, in 1986.

Willmar and Caroline spent most of their married life together living in Robbinsdale, and in 1973 moving into a new house in New Hope, yet always remaining lifelong, active members in God’s house here at Salem.

Willmar began his career with Bill Boyer Ford, which later became Boyer Trucks. He retired from full-time work in 1995 at the age of 67 but continued working several days a week until he was 83, which capped off over 63 years of service with the company.

Throughout his life, he volunteered immeasurable hours of service to: Salem Ev. Lutheran Church, West Lutheran High School, Wise Penny Thrift Store, American Cancer Society’s Annual Garage Sale, Hennepin County Fair, and Country Pizza Parlour.  Caroline and Willmar were recognized for years of committed community service in 1999 by being named Hennepin County Outstanding Senior Citizens.

A longtime Vikings season ticket holder and avid country music fan, he also loved gardening, fishing, dancing the polka, and assisting his wife, Caroline, with canning and preserving home-grown fruits and vegetables, as well as being her right-hand and full-time dishwasher during the busy holiday baking season.

Shortly after Caroline went to be with our Lord on Jan. 21, 2011, Willmar moved into Lee Square Cooperative in Robbinsdale, where he resided for the past four years.

After a long struggle with Lewy Body Dementia, with his family at his bedside, our gracious God took Willmar’s soul to heaven on July 25, 2015 at 10:40 in the morning at North Memorial Residential Hospice in Brooklyn Center. Jesus blessed Willmar’s life on this earth for nearly 88 years and now has welcomed him to His eternal home, where together with Caroline and all believers he will worship and praise God forever in eternal bliss.

Willmar was preceded in death by: his loving wife of 60 years, Caroline; parents, Wilhelmina and William Bechtold; sister, Margaret (Harold) Schutte; and brothers, Bernard (Bernice) and Vernon (Marguerite) Bechtold.

He is survived by: his son, Timothy (Anne) Bechtold; granddaughter, Halley (Reed) Endersbe; sister-in-law, Renata (Jack) Russek; brothers-in-law, Howard Schleif, Ronald Tiemann and Duane Beise; many nieces and nephews; and numerous friends and relatives, all of whom he loved dearly.

Willmar’s life touched ten decades, and he used his time of Grace on this earth to glorify and praise his Creator and to serve his family, friends, coworkers and the church he loved so much. His mortal remains will now be laid to rest in the cemetery of Salem Ev. Lutheran Church until the day of resurrection.

John 11:25-26   Jesus said ... “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

Funeral Services for Willmar Bechtold were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 28, and a reception followed.  All services were held at his lifelong church where Willmar was baptized, confirmed, married, and now laid to rest, Salem Ev. Lutheran Church in Greenfield, Minn. A visitation was held from 4-8 p.m. (7:30 Prayer Service) Monday, July 27 at the church.

Casket bearers were: Don Bechtold, Rodney Bechtold, Doug Beise, Joshua Granlund, Paul Schutte, and Scott Taylor.

Memorials preferred to Salem Ev. Lutheran Church or West Lutheran High School.

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home served the family.


Evangeline Berthiaume, 83

Evangeline Deloris (Lambert-Hoffman) Berthiaume was born on Dec. 29, 1931 on the family farm to August and Deloris (Knight) Lambert west of Buffalo. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo.

She married Francis Hoffman on April 10, 1948 in Buffalo. Reverend R.W. Berwald presiding.  To this union, four children were born: Darlene, Russell, Diane, and Ricky.

In her early years, she worked on the family farm, she helped her husband junking and often driving a truck going to and back to the Dakota’s.

They bought a farm in Pillager, Minn., where she raised her family and milked cows. They later moved back to Wright County.  They were divorced in 1963.

Evangeline lived a short time in Silver Creek, Buffalo and Monticello.  In Monticello, she worked nights at the Monticello and St. Michael nursing homes while her children attended Monticello schools.  Darlene cared for the younger ones while her mom worked.

Two years later on Aug. 20, 1965, she married Clifford Berthiaume in Pierre, S.D. There were three children born to this union, Cliff Jr., Tim and Tammy.  They moved to St. Louis Park, Champlin, Plymouth, and Hopkins, where she worked at area nursing homes (Texa-Tonka in St. Louis Park, Friendship Village and others), retiring in 2010.

She moved back to Wright County to the Cottages of Annandale.

On Christmas Day 2014, she went to the E.R. at the Methodist Hospital and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She entered Texas Terrace Nursing Home in St. Louis Park and on April 15, 2015, she entered CentraCare of Monticello, where she passed away on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

She is survived by: daughters and sons, Darlene (Hoffman Stumpf) (Roger) Hartneck of Annandale, Russell (Sheila) Hoffman of Copper Center, Alaska, Cliff Berthiaume Jr. of Minneapolis, Timothy Berthiaume of Ramsey, and Tammy (Berthiaume) Anderson of Hopkins; twenty grandchildren, forty-three great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren and a set of twins on the way; a brother, Harold (Catherine) Lambert of St. Louis Park; a sister-in-law, Ethel Lambert of Wisconsin; sister-in-law, Diane Lambert of Delano; former husband, Francis Hoffman of Centra Care Nursing Home in Monticello; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceded in death by: grandparents, William and Mary Lambert, and Delia and Fred Knight; her parents, August and Deloris Lambert; brothers, Melvin, Orville, Dewayne, and Jerome; three infant siblings; her husband, Clifford Berthiaume; a son, Ricky (Hoffman); and by a daughter, Diane Bassham.

Funeral services for Evangeline Berthiaume will be held on Thursday, July 30, 10:30 a.m., at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo. Pastor Dave Taylor will officiate.  Interment will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Buffalo. A visitation was scheduled on Wednesday, July 29 from 4-8 p.m. at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.  A prayer service was planned at 7:00.

Honorary casket bearers will be granddaughters: Kelly Rundquist, Vicki Jarmon, Deb Uecker, and Ashley Kerkow, and grandson, Bud Shaffer.

Casket bearers will be grandsons: Tom Scheiber, John Stumpf and Donald Stumpf, and grandsons-in-law, Clyde Rundquist, Jim Jarmon and Mike Uecker.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo is serving the family.


Esther Butterfass, 102

Esther M. Butterfass, 102, of Waverly passed away on Saturday morning, July 25, 2015 at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

She was born on Nov. 5, 1912 in Hooper, Neb. the daughter of Albert and Anna (Panning) Koch.  Esther was baptized on Nov. 24, 1912 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hooper Township, Neb. by Reverend Lang.  She was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on April 10, 1927 at Zion Lutheran Church in Benton, Minn. by Reverend Herman Amend.

On May 6, 1945, Esther M. Koch and Lloyd A. Butterfass were joined in holy marriage at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Montrose by Reverend F. Weyland.

Esther and Lloyd engaged in farming in Woodland Township, Wright County for many years.  She enjoyed: sewing, quilting, crocheting, bird watching and canning.

She was the oldest member of St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.

Survived by: her children, Doris (Robert) Schendel and Loren Butterfass, all of Waverly, and Esther (Melvin) Rauch of Stewart, Minn.; a daughter-in-law, Sandi Butterfass of Watkins; grandchildren, Julie (Terry) Fasching, Jonathan (Jody) Schendel, James (Amy) Schendel, Joshua Butterfass, Jessica (Tony) Fudali, Justin (Kris) Butterfass, Jennifer (Jesse) Gunderson, Joni (Eric) Warhol, Jyme Butterfass, Jamie Butterfass, MaClaine Butterfass, Lucas Butterfass, and Paul Rauch; 24 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by: her husband, Lloyd A. Butterfass on Dec. 11, 2013; an infant daughter, Harriet Butterfass; a son, Edward Butterfass; great-grandchildren, Geneva Fasching and Isaac Butterfass; her parents, Albert and Anna Koch; and by her siblings, Roma, Walter, Vera, Alice, Dorothea, Victor, Clinton, Clarence, and Vern.

Funeral services for Esther Butterfass will be held on Friday, July 31, 11 a.m., at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.  Pastor Bill Keller and Pastor Rob Jarvis will officiate.  Interment will follow at St. James Lutheran Cemetery on Dutch Lake.  A visitation will be held on Thursday, July 30 from 4-8 p.m. at the Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted, and further visitation will be held on Friday, July 31 at the church an hour prior to services.

Honorary casket bearer will be Jim Koch.  Casket bearers will be: Kenneth Koch, Wayne Koch, John Koch, Jerry Koch, Jeff Koch, and Bruce Koch.

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted is serving the family.


Marvin Finke, 94

Marvin G. Finke, 94, of Robbinsdale died Saturday, July 18, 2015 at Brookdale Minnetonka Carlson Parkway Assisted Living Home.

He was born on May 14, 1921 in Rogers, Minn. the son of Fred and Emma (Stieg) Finke.  Marvin was baptized on June 12, 1921 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Corcoran.  He was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on April 14, 1935 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church by The Reverend John Fackler.

On June 21, 1944, Marvin G. Finke and Bernice L. Tessmer were joined in holy marriage at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenfield. God blessed their marriage with two daughters.

Marvin was a faithful member of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale.

Survived by: daughters, Marion (Jim) Hall of Golden Valley and Betty (Roy) Velander of Andover; four grandchildren, Jinnie (Chad) Hall, Renee Osanai, Matthew (Erin) Velander, and “Vee” Gretchen Velander; four great-granddaughters, Breanna and Caitlyn Osanai, and Sydney Hall and Kiersa Velander; one great-grandson, Owen Hall; sisters, Iris Bremer, Irma Schmid and Evelyn Wells; and other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by: wife, Bernice Finke; parents, Fred and Emma Finke; brothers, Don and Gilbert Finke; and two infant sisters.

Funeral services for Marvin Finke were held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 27 at Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale.  Pastor Doug Good officiated.  Interment followed at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens in Crystal.

Casket bearers were: Wayne Kohnen, Gordie Schuman, Matthew Velander, Dennis Schmid, Chad Hall, and Chuck Bremer.

Memorials to Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.


Robert Henry Jr., 60

Robert James Henry Jr., 60, of Buffalo passed away on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

He was born on July 31, 1954 in Door County, Wis.

On May 18, 1985, Robert J. Henry Jr. married Nancy E. Borg in Minneapolis.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and was an avid Green Bay Packers fan.  He also loved being a grandpa!  And was “Uncle Bob” to many!

Survived by: his loving wife of 30 years, Nancy E. Henry; sons, Jonathan (Alyssa) Henry and Stephen Henry, all of Buffalo; a daughter, Lucky (Cinthia) Trebil of Grand Rapids, Minn.; three grandchildren, Arianna, Adreon and Madelyn; sisters, Sheeree Becker of Bailey’s Harbor, Wis. and Cyndi (Richard) Jahnke of Rockford, Minn.; a brother, Jim Henry of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; father-in-law and mother-in-law, John and Doris Borg of Buffalo; sister-in-law, Jackie Nelson; brother-in-law, Michael (Sherrill) Borg; and stepbrothers, stepsisters, nieces, nephews, many other relatives, and friends.

Preceded in death by: his parents, Robert Henry Sr. and Laverne “Dolly” Guzman; a brother, Steven Henry; his grandmother, Pearl Sitte; and brother-in-law, John Becker.

Funeral services for Robert James Henry Jr. were held on Monday, July 27 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Buffalo.  Pastor Roger Klemz officiated.  A visitation was held on Monday, July 27 an hour prior to services at the church.

Casket bearers were his nephews: Richard Jahnke, Carey Jahnke, Zack Ernst, Justin Pool, Dillon Nelson, and Austin Nelson.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family


James Janzen, 73

James “Jim” Wesley Janzen, the son of Walter and Helen (Henze) Janzen, passed away on July 22, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Jim was born on Feb. 26, 1942 in Mountain Lake, Minn. the third of eight children.  Jim was baptized as an infant and confirmed on March 25, 1956 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Darfur, Minn.  He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Butterfield High School in 1960.

After graduation, Jim moved to the Hopkins area, where he started working as an auto body repairman.  He met Peggy McIntire while working at Towns Edge Olds, and they were married on Sept. 18, 1965.  They spent their first years in St. Louis Park, Minn., where their daughter, Lisa, and son, Jeff, were born.  They moved their family in 1973 to Delano, where Jim later purchased an auto body repair shop with his brother, Carl.  Jim and Carl owned and operated Janzen Auto Body until 2013.

Jim was an active member of Mt.Olive Lutheran Church, where he served in various roles.  He was a longtime community leader, serving on the Delano Fourth of July Committee 35 years and acting as Parade Chairman 12 years.  Jim also served as the Chamber of Commerce President, a State Amateur Baseball Tournament Director and was currently a Delano Athletic Club officer.  Recently, he was instrumental in the renovations at the city baseball park.

Jim and Peg have enjoyed spending the last seven years wintering in Mesa, Ariz.  Jim became a devoted water volleyball player and made countless new friends.  He was a kind, gentle and compassionate man.  Jim unconditionally loved everyone in his life and held no ill will toward anyone.  He was always the family’s “glass half full” person.  He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

He is survived by: wife of 50 years, Peggy; children, Lisa Janzen of Bloomington and Jeff and Melissa Janzen of Rockford; grandchildren, Noah and Cade Andrews, Adrian Johannessen-Hawkins (Maipacher), Dominique Johannessen-Hawkins (fiancé Brair Zieman), and Ebony Johannessen-Hawkins; great-grandchildren, Elijah, Ariel and Ezekiel Johannessen-Hawkins; two sisters, Arlene (Gerald) Hodapp and Sylvia (Scott) Norman; four brothers, Lawrence (Darlene), Eldon (JoAnn), Daniel (Janie), and Carl (Shari); and many relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by: his parents, Walter and Helen Janzen; sister, Elaine Thorkelson; and sisters-in-law, Linda Janzen and Karen Janzen.

Funeral Service was scheduled on Sunday, July 26 at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Delano, with visitation Saturday, July 25 and Sunday prior to the service at the church.  Interment was planned in East Mount Olive Cemetery, Delano.

Funeral arrangements were by Iten Funeral Home, Delano.


Lora Kottke, 64

Lora Ann Kottke, 64, of Albertville died Monday, July 20, 2015 at her residence.

She was born on Aug. 22, 1950 in Minneapolis the daughter of Bert W. and Evelyn M. (Lundeen) Bjorklund.

On May 29, 1967, Lora Ann Bjorklund and Darwin DeMarais were joined in holy marriage in Buffalo.  They were married 24 years and were blessed with three children.

Lora graduated from Buffalo High School in 1968.

On Oct. 17, 1997, Lora married Gordon L. Kottke in Buffalo.

She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.  Lora had a never-ending love for her children and grandchildren.  She enjoyed cooking, baking and attending grandchildren’s sporting events.

She will be forever remembered and dearly missed!

Survived by: her husband: Gordon L. Kottke of Albertville; children, Angie (David) Fritz of Hanover, Debbie Ferris of Hastings (and special friend Mike Marko), and Aaron DeMarais of Crystal; sixteen grandchildren and one great granddaughter; her mother, Evelyn Bjorklund of Buffalo; brothers, Joel (Sue) Bjorklund of Buffalo, Kent (Pam) Bjorklund of St. Michael and Dale (Lisa) Bjorklund of Buffalo; stepchildren, Tina (Dan) Psyk of Albertville and Robbie (Tami) Kottke of Otsego; and nieces, nephews and many friends.

Preceded in death by: her twin sister, Lynn Cara Bjorklund; her father, Bert W. Bjorklund; an infant grandson, Daniel Hoverson; and by her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Lawrence and Audrey Kottke.

Funeral services for Lora Kottke were held on Friday, July 24, 10:30 a.m., at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Buffalo.  Pastor Reid Gilbert officiated.  Interment followed at Swedish Mission Cemetery.  A visitation was held at the church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of service.

Casket bearers were: Zachary Fritz, Tyler Hoverson, Samuel Hoverson, Benjamin Hoverson, Adam Bjorklund, Jacob Bjorklund, and Jared Bjorklund.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.


LeRoy Larson, 90

LeRoy Erland “Roy” Larson, 90, of Delano, Minn. passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn.

He was born Nov. 19, 1924 to Evan and Hazel (Martin) Larson in Franklin, Minn.

Roy was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Lucille, and a brother, Bud.  He is survived by: his daughters, Yvonne Larson and Mary Larson; sister-in-law, Diane Larson; and nephews, Jeff and Lee Larson.

Funeral services were scheduled on Saturday, July 25 at the Iten Funeral Chapel in Delano, with visitation prior to the services on Saturday.  Pastor Gregg Donnelly of the Maple Plain Community Church officiated at the services.  Inurnment was planned on Wednesday, July 29 in Assembly Lane 1 of Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Arrangements were by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.


Elaine Pankratz, 92

Elaine Lucille Pankratz, 92, of Monticello passed away on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at CentraCare Nursing Home in Monticello.

She was born on Aug. 24, 1922 in Sleepy Eye, Minn. the daughter of Arnold and Minnie (Fromm) Walter.

On Feb. 18, 1947, Elaine L. Walter and Clarence E. Pankratz were joined in holy marriage at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar.  God blessed their marriage with five children.

Elaine enjoyed gardening, playing softball and watching the Minnesota Twins.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Willmar and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Cedar.

Survived by: children, Clarence J. Pankratz, Kathleen A. (Gerald) Meyer, Daniel D. Pankratz, Steven W. (Robin) Pankratz, and Sandra A. (Anthony) Copa; twelve grandchildren and twenty great-grandchildren; a sister: Bette Liebl; and nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by: her husband, Clarence E. Pankratz; a granddaughter, Leanne Meyer; her parents; and by three brothers.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Elaine Pankratz will be held on Friday, July 31, 10 a.m., at St. Albert’s Catholic Church in Albertville.  Father Xavier Thelakkatt will be the Celebrant. Interment is planned at 3:30 p.m. Friday, July 31 in the St. Raphael Cemetery, Springfield. A visitation will be held on Friday, July 31 an hour prior to services at the church.

Casket bearers will be: Michael Pankratz, Philip Meyer, Joshua Pankratz, Jared Pankratz, Ryan Copa, and Gerald Meyer.

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home is serving the family.


Dorothy Rode, 87

Dorothy D. Rode, 87, of Annandale died Monday, July 27, 2015 at the Annandale Care Center.

Funeral Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 31, 2015 at Annandale United Methodist Church with Rev. Ruth Hograbe officiating.  Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Annandale.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service, Friday, at the church.  Memorials are preferred to Annandale Care Center.

Dorothy Dorene Rode was born at home on Aug. 14, 1927 in Annandale to Franc Albert and Merle (Bentley) Olson.  She graduated from Annandale High School with the Class of 1945.  From 1981 - 1992, Dorothy worked in Data Entry for American Family Insurance in Eden Prairie.  She was a member of the Annandale Eastern Star and the South Haven V.F.W.  Dorothy enjoyed bowling, playing cards, doing crossword puzzles and visiting with her grandchildren.

She is survived by: her four children, Mark (Florance) Rode of Cokato, Curt Rode of Maple Lake, Scott (Bridgett) Rode of Crystal, and Coleen Taylor of Sauk Centre; sisters, Eunice (Bill) Sage of Poway, Calif. and Mary (Bob) Sarault of Cambridge; grandchildren, Sarah King, Melissa Nelson, Kim Galeano, Jill Davis, Jessica Rode, Molly Holmes, Andrew Rode, Christopher and Nicole Johnson, Alexander and Brandon Rode, Amber, Tyson and Dustin Taylor; and great-grandchildren, Cecilia, Gabriela, Logan, Levi, Dylan, Jackson, Owen, Aidan, Ethan, Zachery, Kylee, Bryn, Khloe, and Wyatt.

She is preceded in death by: her parents, Albert and Merle Olson; son, Bruce Carl Rode; and brother, Earl Olson.

The urn-bearers will be: Alexander Rode, Brandon Rode, Tyson Taylor, and Dustin Taylor.

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