Obituaries 12/24/20

Eugene DeMarais, 84

Eugene Francis “Gene-o” DeMarais, age 84, of Waverly passed away December 17, 2020.

He was born March 23, 1936 in Waverly Township. He was the son of Margaret and John DeMarais. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. He graduated from Buffalo High School in 1954.

Once “Gene-o” (as he was called) graduated from high school, he started working at the Wright Co. Products in Buffalo. He worked there for 23 years and continued working there when they became Sunny Fresh Foods/Cargill for another 12 years. After retiring from Sunny Fresh Foods, he was too young to stop working so he worked for LaPlant Farms in Waverly for nine years. Gene-o lived all his years at the family farm in Marysville Township. He was a caretaker for many years of his mother, Margaret.

Gene-o was a lifelong parishioner of St. Mary’s in Waverly. He served on the cemetery and funeral committees. He also enjoyed ushering for Mass and helping with funeral luncheons for many years.

Gene-o was always ready for a game of cards, mostly euchre, and spending Wednesday nights at T-Cats. He was always ready to help when anyone needed. He spent lots of time with his siblings, their families, cousins, and friends. He spent summers gardening and canning lots of pickles. He was a quiet man with a big smile and contagious giggle that will be missed.

Gene-o was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mildred Wurm Hannon; brothers-in-law, Jerry Driver, Ralph Wurm, and Pat Hannon; nephews, Joe Wurm, infant, John DeMarais; niece, Shelly Lynch.

He is survived by brothers, Douglas DeMarais, Duane (Lois) DeMarais; sister, Charlene Driver; 13 nieces and nephews, many great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and close friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Eugene “Gene-o” DeMarais was held on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly.  Father Kenneth O’Hotto was the Celebrant. Interment followed at The Marysville Catholic Cemetery. A visitation was held on Monday, December 21, 2020 from 4-8 p.m. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family. Online condolences may be made to


Harold Grambart, 89

Harold L. Grambart, age 89, of Albertville and formerly of Corcoran, died Sunday, December 13, 2020 at North Memorial Hospital.

He was born in Maple Grove on October 22, 1931 the son of Henry and Clara (Finke) Grambart. Harold was baptized on November 15, 1931. He was also instructed in the Lutheran catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on March 25, 1945. Harold was a faithful, life-long member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. He received his education there through the 8th grade.

Harold was joined in holy marriage on September 22, 1951 to Barbara Jobes at the United Methodist Church in Osseo. God blessed their marriage with two children.

Harold is survived by his loving wife of sixty-nine years, Barbara A. Grambart; a daughter, Sherry (Randy) Berndt of Buffalo; a son, Mark (Lori) Grambart of Maple Lake; seven grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild; other relatives and friends.

Harold and Barbara farmed together after their marriage. Harold also was an insurance agent until 1964 at which time he sold the farm but continued writing insurance. He was an agent and Director for Hassan Lake Mutual Insurance Company for fifty-five years.

Harold later became a real estate broker for twenty-five years after moving to Corcoran. He was the former Corcoran City Clerk and was a two-term president of the Corcoran Lions Club.

He had many hobbies. Harold played, managed and sponsored fast pitch softball. He enjoyed fishing and hunting pheasants, ducks, racoon, deer, and elk. His hunting trips took him to eight states. He belonged to the Amateur Trapshooting Association for thirty-five years. Harold shot at over 100,000 registered and non-registered targets. Harold and Barbara also traveled to Arizona for twenty-six winters. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Wilford, Lawrence, and Clarence Grambart; and by a sister, Dorothy Smith.

Funeral services for Harold L. Grambart were held on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9141 County Road #101, in Maple Grove. Interment St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. A visitation was held at the church on Saturday, December 19, 2020 one hour prior to services.

Honorary casket bearers will be Tiffany Lange, Rachael Windsperger, and Shanna Grambart. Casket bearers will be Adam and Jonah Berndt, Josh Lange, Ryan and Austin Grambart and Chad Windsperger.

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


Rebecca Hanson, 53

Rebecca Marie Hanson, age 53, of Steamboat Springs, CO, formally of Montrose, MN passed away on December 14, 2020.

Rebecca graduated from Buffalo High School Class of 1986 and St. Cloud State University in 1991, and, shortly after, moved to Steamboat Springs, where she worked for the City – Parks and Recreation department, as well as fostering animals, nannying many children and working with disabled adults.

She was an avid outdoors woman who loved the mountains, mountain climbing, mountain biking and traveling abroad, taking on any spontaneous adventure she could. She loved being with her family in Minnesota, her friends around the world, and her dear kitties, ‘Mr. Blue and Maceo.’ She lived life to the fullest and always had a smile on her face!

Rebecca is preceded in death by her grandparents, Fran and Betty Bradash, Bernie and Millie Hanson; and aunt, Nancy Lindberg.

She will be deeply missed and is survived by her mother, Sandy (Dick) Millerbernd; father, Jerry Hanson; brother, Tom (Jessica) Hanson; niece, Kayla; and nephew, Jakob Hanson; and countless aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date.


Kenneth Kraft, 70

Kenneth Florian Kraft, age 70, of Rockford passed away on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

He was born on January 2, 1950 in Lakeville the son of Florian and Ann (Svoboda) Kraft.

Ken honorably served his Country in The United States Army.

On March 24, 1990, Kenneth F. Kraft and Marianne Pettit were joined in holy marriage at St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church in Corcoran.

He was employed for many years at Royalton Heating and Cooling.

Ken enjoyed fishing, auctions, antiques, collecting pop tops and bowling.

He loved his grandchildren!  Ken never missed their sporting events.

Ken is survived by wife, Marianne; a son, Jeremy Pettit; grandchildren, Nick, Alyssa and Callidora Pettit; siblings, Duane (Brenda) Kraft, Bob (Cyndi) Kraft, Judy (Don) Fedder, Mary Kraft, Mary Jo (Ron) Hiner, Terry (Rose) Kraft, Lori (Jeff) Doerr and Lisa (Frank) Marek; stepmother, Dorothy Efta and her family; best friends, Rick and Marlene Dorion; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a stepmother Fran; a sister, Bev Waller; a brother, Tom Kraft; nephews, Matthew Hiner, Corey Kraft and Shawn Sibbet; parents-in-law, Jerry and Joanne Pettit; brothers-in-law, Richard Harris and David Pettit. 

Mass of Christian Burial for Kenneth Kraft was held on Monday, December 21, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at The St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael. Father Joe Zabinski was the Celebrant. A visitation was held on Sunday, December 20 from 3-7 p.m. at The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home. Further visitation was held on Monday morning, December 21 at the church one hour prior to the Mass.

Casket Bearers will be Nick Pettit, Terry Pauly, Duane Kraft, Terry Kraft, Frank Marek and Don Fedder.

Honorary Casket Bearers will be Bob Kraft and Jeff Doerr.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. The Mass will be livestreamed at:    

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home is serving the family.   Online condolences may be made to


Joyce Nierengarten, 72

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Sartell for Joyce Katherine Nierengarten, age 72 of Buffalo MN (formerly St. Cloud). Reverend Ron Weyrens officiated. Burial took place at St. Francis Xavier Parish Cemetery in Sartell immediately after the service. Visitation was held from 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 21, 2020 at St. Francis Xavier Gathering Space in Sartell.

Joyce passed away on December 12, 2020, surrounded with loved ones. Born July 24, 1948, in St. Cloud, MN to Arthur “Art” and Asella “Sally” (Theisen) Nierengarten. 

Joyce was a compassionate, caring person and became friends with pretty much anyone she met. She was always talking and spending time with her grandchildren and most recently, a great-granddaughter. Joyce was most of all a loving and caring person.

While raising her children and after they got older, Joyce worked various positions in customer services and enjoyed talking to new people.

Joyce ultimately moved to Buffalo to be with her significant other, Dale Mielke, and was with him until her passing.

Joyce will be deeply missed by all who knew her and will always be in all our hearts.

Joyce is survived by two of her children, Robb Schrom, St. Cloud, MN, Tamarah (Larry) Kiffmeyer (Schrom), St. Cloud; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; two sisters; and three brothers.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Angela Schrom; mother, Sally; father, Art; and sister, Lou Ann Foster.


George Veches, 71

George Victor Veches, age 71, of Buffalo, MN passed away peacefully on December 18, 2020 at Mercy hospital with loved ones by his side. He was born on February 22, 1949 in Buffalo to Harold and Margaret (Johnson) Veches.

In 1968, George entered the United States Army and served his country in the Vietnam War. He was a proud veteran and always displayed this by wearing his green Army Veteran baseball cap.

On December 11, 1971, George married Betty (Elizabeth) Fobbe and together they had two daughters, April and Abby. George worked for DisplayMasters/Exhibit Group for 30 years. He traveled the U.S. setting up displays and exhibits at trade shows. George worked on The Titanic exhibit, and one of his biggest clients was Federal Cartridge. George retired in 2010, due to health issues.

George loved to hunt and fish in his spare time. Traveling many times to Texas, Wyoming, North Dakota, and, of course, Minnesota. He was also a member of Hookie and Hawgs in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s. George’s hobbies included taxidermy and carving spearing decoys, which he donated to various fundraisers.

In retirement, George enjoyed driving around with his companion, Rosie. You would often see him in his 56 GMC pickup or his golf cart cruising around town.  He enjoyed going to the local diner for pull tabs, beers, and good conversation. George loved to sit on the patio with Rosie and have a beer or two with good friends.

George is survived by wife, Betty; children, April (Jim) Herzog, Abby (Troy) Daly; grandchildren, Jordan Schmidt, Calvin and Kainen Jones, Suede and Brindle Daly; and great-grandchildren, IsabelMay and Elijah Schmidt; brother, Gerold (Susan) Veches; step-brother, Jim (Shirley) Kalway; mother-in-law, Naomi Fobbe; sister-in-laws, Diane (Joe) Cassellius, Sue Johnson, Anne (Joe) Hollencamp, Kim (Bill) Ziegler; brothers-in-law, Tim Fobbe, Ken Fobbe; good friend and comrade, Noel Johnson; sister-in-law, Geri Bruchmann; his dog, Rosie; and many other relatives and friends.

George was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Margaret (Johnson) Veches; oldest brother, Kenneth Veches; grandson, George Jones; nephew, Todd Veches; step-father, Ray Kalway; father-in-law, Donald Fobbe; and sister-in-law, Ellen Fobbe.

Celebration of life to be held at a later date.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to


Carol Vergin, 85

Carol Mae Vergin, age 85, of Buffalo died on December 14, 2020.

She was born in Fairhaven, Minnesota on April 15, 1935 the daughter of Louis and Esther Strecker. Carol was baptized on May 12, 1935 by Reverend Lueck. She was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on April 10, 1949 by Reverend John Beck. Her confirmation memory verse was John 8:31 and 32 “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make thee free.” She graduated from Kimball High School in May of 1953. Carol attended college in St. Cloud.

Carol was united in marriage to William “Bill” Vergin on June 20, 1959. This union was blessed with two sons: Daniel of Buffalo and Timothy (Randi) of rural Rockford.

She was active in the Rockford Garden Club, Head Start, Wright County Mental Health, election judge, blood mobile, Cross Lutheran Church Choir, PTA, Kitchen Band, and a founding member of the Rockford Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club.

In February of 1987, she and her family moved from Rockford to Buffalo. They joined St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church where she was active in LWML and the hand bell choir.

Preceding her in death: her husband William “Bill” Vergin on March 3, 1991; her mother on September 19, 1989; and by her father on February 2, 1998.

Carol is survived by her two sons, Dan and Tim; by a daughter-in-law, Randi; many friends and relatives.

A private funeral service was held on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 302 2nd Street N.E., in Buffalo. Reverend Ryan Clark officiated, and a private interment followed. Honorary casket bearers were Todd Schulze, John Matthees, Mike Hemminger, Dan, Tim, and Steve Vergin. A public social distancing reviewal took place at the church on Saturday, December 19, 2020 from 9 a.m. till 11 a.m. The service was livestreamed and recorded on Youtube @ St. John’s Buffalo.

Serving the family… The Peterson Chapel Buffalo



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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