Obituaries 3/18/21

Milton Anderson, 98

Milton R. Anderson, of Buffalo, passed away on March 15, 2021, at age 98. Milton was born August 5, 1922 to William R. and Phoebe (Melin) Anderson. 

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Joyce (Gronvall); his second wife, Donna (Hoekstra); his daughter-in-law, Stephanie (Osteen) Anderson; and his stepson, Michael Hoekstra. 

Milton is survived by brother, Wesley (Corinne), Golden Valley; three sons, Stephen, Eagan, MN, Scott (Judy), Lakeville, MN, Charles (Holly), Bloomington, MN; daughter, Judy (Michael) Thyren, Edina MN; stepsons, Alan (Carol) Hoekstra, Cook, MN, and Gary Hoekstra, Riverside, CA; and many grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Confirmed in 1936 in the Mission Covenant Church in downtown Buffalo. His parents died in the 1930’s from tuberculosis. He and his brother, Wes, moved to Minneapolis to live with a very caring Uncle and Aunt, Carl and Ebba (Melin) Anderson. Milt graduated from Central High School in Minneapolis in 1940.

He was employed by the Minneapolis Star Journal as a district circulation manager before enlisting in the Army Air Corp. He flew 50 combat missions in the European theater as a P-38 Lightning fighter pilot in WWII.  After returning to civilian life in 1945, he attended the U of M and the Minneapolis Business College.

In 1946, he married his beloved Joyce. They were married for 46 years and were blessed with four children. Milt was employed by Thompson Lumber Company in Minneapolis for 43 years before retiring in 1990 as Vice President, and Director. In 1995, he married Donna Hoekstra and moved back to his beloved hometown of Buffalo after living in Minnetonka for 48 years.

As a member of Buffalo Covenant Church, he served as an Elder and was also active in the Sanctuary Choir where he was Librarian. Also, a member and treasurer of the Retired Friends Group, he worked with Meals on Wheels, and served five years on the Board of the Buffalo Food Shelf. 

A remembrance ceremony is planned for later in the spring/summer months during the interment services that will be held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. 

The family would also like to extend their sincere thanks to the Park Nicollet Hospice Care Team of Kathy Dery, Peter Lund, Nora Turnbloom, and Erin Byers.

Memorials to Buffalo Covenant Church.


James Chouinard, 81

James “Jim” Alfred Chouinard, age 81, of Rogers, passed away Sunday, March 7, 2021. He was Born May 29, 1939 in St. Michael, the son of Ernest and Rosella (Barthel) Chouinard.

When Jim was young, he was raised and worked on the family farm. He later became an iron worker in Minneapolis. On January 26th, 1963, Jim Chouinard and Joanne Becker were united in holy matrimony at St. Michael Catholic Church. Jim completed schooling in Missouri and began working in the office machine repair trades.

In 1976, Jim started his own business. He and Joanne proudly owned and operated Chouinard Office Products from 1976 until 2008. He was a master at repairing typewriters, adding machines and cash registers, and he loved to sell used office furniture.

Jim also enjoyed being outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He could fix almost anything, and he enjoyed doing puzzles. For many years, Jim volunteered his time at Cross Food Shelf.

Jim was dedicated to his family and cherished spending time with them. He was “tough” on the outside, but extremely caring and thoughtful on the inside. He was a hard worker and enjoyed being busy.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Rosella Chouinard; and brothers, Harlan, Jerry and Dick Chouinard.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 58 years; Joanne; children, Jeff Chouinard, Bob Chouinard, Michelle (Steve) Pung, Dean (Jessica) Chouinard; grandchildren, Ethan, Alison, Carley, Kristen, Brady, Iris, Riona, Tony, Aaron, Rachael, Kayla, Ashley, Dalton, Danielle, Justin, Vanessa, Cody; and seven great-grandchildren; siblings include, Ron (Treva) Chouinard, Gene Chouinard (friend, Rosalie), Marilyn McLean, Vern (Cathy) Chouinard, Joanne (Jim) Corrow, Elaine (Jim) Kasper, Carol (Jerry) Olson, Mary Schmidt (friend, Jim), Julene (Joe) Bistodeau; sister in-law, Carole Chouinard; and many nieces, nephews, family and friends. He will be forever missed by all.

Visitation was held Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 4 to 8 PM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Dayton. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, March 12, 2021 at 11 AM, visitation one hour prior, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Dayton.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Serving the family was The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home, 763-497-5362,


Dawn Fenner, 59

Dawn Margaret Fenner joined her father in God’s kingdom on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Dawn was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota on May 14, 1961, the firstborn of Jim and Bonnie Fenner; she was raised there with her sisters, Denise and Darcy.

Dawn was a woman of simple pleasures. A self-proclaimed introvert, lover of fresh flowers, Bruce Springsteen, boxer dogs, and all things ‘pig.’ She appreciated the quiet life and often spoke of her dreams of one day owning a cabin in the woods, “Come and visit, just don’t stay long,” she said. Dawn was a force. A deep thinker, she held strong to her beliefs and knew who she was. While not a fan of small talk, she could talk for hours about life and purpose. You could always count on her to be honest with you, offering sound advice layered with wit and sarcasm. 

Dawn was a passionate advocate for ending the stigma associated with mental health. Her personal struggles led her to pursue a career in counseling individuals and families battling addiction. She once wrote, “I am most fulfilled when serving these families, whether to facilitate an intervention, provide education, or assist with finding appropriate resources. Misinformation only contributes to stigma, and I’m enormously committed to ending stigmatization.”

In recent years, Dawn received her master’s degree in Drug and Alcohol counseling and began working as a counselor. She also did volunteer work, facilitating a support group called People of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo, Minnesota.

Through all of life’s challenges, Dawn remained steadfast in her confidence of God’s unending grace. Her faith guided her, providing her with peace and healing. Referring to the PAL support group, Dawn wrote, “It is, and always has been, my firm belief that addiction is a spiritual deficit. I have never been able to counsel without sharing my faith experience: that forgiveness is the power of grace, that in Christ we always have hope, and that there is power in prayer. God is good!”

She is the mother of four beautiful children. Her best qualities were passed on to them, and they continue where she left off. Aaron, who has her artistic talents; Amanda, who received her resilience and calm; Andrew, who holds her deep empathy; and Abigail, with a shared gift of love and light. Her children were her pride and joy.

Dawn was preceded in death by her father, James. She is survived by her mother, Bonnie; two sisters, Darcy and Denise; four children, Aaron, Amanda, Andrew, and Abigail; and several nieces and nephews.

Dawn’s artwork will be on display at the Gamut Gallery in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday, March 20, 2021, from 12-4 PM (visitation). A Celebration of Life service will follow in the gallery courtyard outside at 4 PM. The family requests that all attending in-person wear a mask and practice safe social distancing. Those unable to attend can stream the service via Zoom. Please reach out to the family for streaming information.

Dawn’s interment will take place at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colorado later this Spring.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of Dawn’s beloved charities, Minnesota Recovery Connection ( and the Animal Humane Society ( Condolences may be sent to 2228 Buchanan St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418.


Rosalie Henning, 88

Rosalie “Rose” Salonek Poirier Henning, age 88, formerly of Waverly and Buffalo, passed away on Tuesday evening, March 9, 2021.

She was born in rural Montrose on September 30, 1932, the daughter of Philip and Gertrude (Ceryes) Salonek. Rose was the oldest of seven children.

She was married to Arthur Poirier from April 18, 1950, until April 13, 1977. They lived on a farm in Waverly and had nine children.

Rose was married to Marvin Henning January 19, 1979, until his death on September 7, 2007. While married to Marvin, they moved from the farm to Buffalo.

She was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. 

Rose loved working in her flower garden, baking and making quilts for her grandchildren. She embroidered the Lord’s Prayer for each of her children. Rose liked sharing that, in a twelve-month time frame, she had a new grandchild, two great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild. How many people get to experience that! She always looked forward to spending time with her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands; two brothers and a sister; two sisters-in-law; her daughter, Catherine M. Poirier; daughter-in-law, Jenie; son-in-law, Charles; and granddaughter, Nichole.

Survived by her loving children, Carol Dietel (Gary), of Glencoe, Gary Poirier, of Waverly, Clayton Poirier (Cathy), of Buffalo, Donald Poirier (Trang), of St. Paul, Stephen Poirier, of Buffalo, Donna Dietel (Nick), of Winsted, Dennis Poirier, of Buffalo, Charles Poirier (Barb), of Coon Rapids, Linda Henning, of Sartell, Leslie Simon (Russell), of Maple Plain, Laura Koecheler, of Winsted and Lisa Henning (Mike Delaittre), of Wells; siblings, Dick Salonek, of Montrose, Betty Farrell (Jan), of Waverly, and Pattie Meier (Richard); a brother-in-law, Arlynn Cardinal, of Montrose; thirty-one grandchildren; forty great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-granchildren; many other relatives and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Rosalie “Rose” Salonek Poirier Henning was held on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. Interment St. Mary’s Cemetery. A visitation was held on Friday, March 12 from 4-8 P.M. at The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted. 

Online condolences may be made to


Mary Ellen Krause, 89

Mary Ellen “Muddy” Krause passed away on Friday, February 26, 2021.

She was born on September 13, 1931 to Winfred and Gladys (Droneck) Forsythe. 

Muddy graduated from Buffalo High School in 1950.

She was joined in Holy Matrimony on May 2, 1953 to Richard Krause at Zion Lutheran Church where she remained a member.

She enjoyed gardening, traveling and puzzles, but most of all her grandchildren and great-granddaughters.

Mary Ellen is survived by her daughters, Barbara (Jim) Rancour, of Onamia, and Becky Steiger, of Annandale; grandchildren, Dustin, Duane, Joe, Malorie and Richie; great-granddaughters, Gina, Mia and Mylee.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard; son, Scott; her parents, siblings, friends and relatives.

A Memorial Service for Mary Ellen “Muddy” Krause will be held this Spring, along with her daughter, Barb, who passed away on March 3, 2021.

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


Mary Niesen, 81

Mary Ann Niesen, age 81, of Buffalo, passed away on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at Lake Ridge Care Center.

She was born in Lester Prairie on October 7, 1939, the daughter of Otto and Eleanor (Remer) Birkholtz.

She enjoyed babysitting, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she loved! She was also fond of praying the Rosary, reading and watching TV.

Survived by her loving children, Julie (David) Teneyck, Richard Smith, Jane (Severt) Jarvi and Barb Smith, all of Buffalo, and Angela Smith, of Waverly; nine grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren; siblings, Marlys Sobaski, Sally Weege, Rita Picha, Rosie Jenkins, Patty Bakeberg, Jimmy, Dale, Tommy, Joe, Ralph, Paul and Ervin Birkholtz; many other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by her husbands, Richard Earl Smith and Edward Niesen; Smith angel baby, a great-granddaughter, Lindsay Marie Klatt; her parents; siblings, Bernice Wiegand, Carol Pell, Joanne Krecklau, and Cletus Birkholtz.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Mary Ann Niesen was held on Wednesday, March 17 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. Father Nathaniel Meyers was the Celebrant. Interment followed at St. Francis Cemetery. Visitation was held on Wednesday, March 17 at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo from 9:30-10:30 A.M.

Casket Bearers were David Teneyck, Severt Jarvi, Justin Ackerman, Andrew, Anthony, Jeremiah Klatt and Shawn Swierczek.

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


Barbara Rancour, 66

Barbara Marie (Krause) Rancour, of Onamia, passed away on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

She was born in Buffalo, Minnesota on April 2, 1954, to Richard and Mary (Forsythe) Krause.

She graduated from Buffalo High School in 1972 and St. Cloud University in 1976.

Barb married James “Jim” Rancour on September 15, 1993.

Barb enjoyed gardening, traveling to see friends, raising poodles, scrapbooking and making cards.

Survived by her husband, James “Jim” Rancour; sister, Becky Steiger; nephews, Dustin, Duane, Joe and Richie; a niece, Malorie; and great nieces, Gina, Mia and Mylee; special friends, Beth Ficek and Karen Critcher; other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Mary “Muddy” Krause; a brother, Scott Krause; and by many other relatives.

A Memorial Service for Barbara Marie (Krause) Rancour and her mother, Mary “Muddy” Krause will be held this spring.

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


Janice Ruhr, 86

Janice Carol Van Lith Ruhr, age 86, of rural Buffalo, passed away on Monday, March 8, 2021, at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

She was born on February 19, 1935, the daughter of Charles and Annie (Schultz) Maas.

Janice was employed at Christ the King Retreat Center (King’s House) and for many years in retail sales at Johnson’s Department Store in Buffalo. Her love of clothing, shoes, and nail polish made this position well-suited for her. She was pure class, and she enjoyed her co-workers and customers very much.

She enjoyed gardening, traveling, shopping and dancing, but more than anything else she loved spending time with her family. Christmas celebrations were one of her favorites, as homemade fruitcake, fudge, popcorn balls, slush and Christmas Eve pajama parties were the highlights of each year.

Janice is survived by her loving children, Cindy (Brian Elliott) Van Lith, Curt (Jill) Van Lith, Scott “Scoot” (Tracey) Van Lith, all of Buffalo, and Lori (Larry) Thingvold, of Delano; her fourteen grandchildren, Launi (Brian) Arndt, Tia (Sam) Skay, Lacey (Otis) Westbrook, Tiffany (Mike) Lund, Tia Elliott, Eric Elliott, Cody (Somer) Van Lith, Tanner Van Lith, Saylor Van Lith, Gunnar Van Lith, Cannon Van Lith, Jenna (Jake) Eickhoff, Bethany Van Lith, Dawson Van Lith, Shelby Thingvold and Andy Thingvold; and twelve great-grandchildren, Daric, Toby, Zoey, Avi, Aidan, Levi, Ella, Letti, Carter, Wyatt, Sophie and Mason.

She is also survived by a sister, Donna Leick; sisters-in-law, Mickey and Liz Van Lith; brother-in-law, Harry Poliwoda; and many other relatives and friends.

Janice was preceded in death by her parents; seven siblings; husband, Frederick (Fritz) Van Lith; a grandson, Caleb Van Lith; great-granddaughters, Abby Van Lith and Lilly Eickhoff; along with many other relatives and friends. 

A future Memorial Service for Janice Van Lith Ruhr will be held.  Inurnment will be held at The Calvary Cemetery in Delano.

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



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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