Brett Kurth

September 12, 2014

obit Brett Kurth picDec. 9, 1970 – Sept. 5, 2014

Brett Kurth, age 43 of Minneapolis, formerly of Hendricks, passed away at his residence on Friday, Sept. 5.

Funeral service was at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at Grace United Methodist Church in Hendricks with Pastor Cynthia Hopp officiating. Visitation was prior to the service at the church from 9:30-11 a.m. Burial will be at a later date. Birk Funeral Home of Hendricks was entrusted with the arrangements.

Brett Davis Kurth was born on Dec. 9, 1970 in Hendricks to David and Sylvia (Nielsen) Kurth. He was baptized and confirmed at Grace United Methodist Church in Hendricks. He graduated from Hendricks High School in 1989. Following graduation, he attended South Dakota State University and obtained his Bachelors of Science degree in computer science. Brett was currently employed by Wells Fargo in Minneapolis, designing their web pages.

Brett was united in marriage to Tonia Swenson in 1998 and they were blessed with two children, Dylan and Aspen. Over the years Brett lived and worked in Brookings and Sioux Falls, S.D. and Marshall, and was currently in Minneapolis.

He enjoyed scuba diving and all sorts of water sports. Hunting, fishing, cooking, photography and riding motorcycle were also things Brett enjoyed. He liked to volunteer helping the elderly, animal shelters and for Lifelight. Most cherished times were spent with his family and friends, especially with his children.

Brett was a member of Volunteers of America and he was active in 4-H.

Grateful for having shared Brett’s life are his children Dylan and Aspen Kurth and their mother Tonia Kurth of Shakopee; his parents David and Sylvia Kurth of Lake Benton; his sister Karla (Tim) Howard of Brookings, S.D. and brother Todd (Amy) Kurth of Marshall; five nieces and nephews—TJ (Aly) Howard and Taylor, Austin, Jenna and Beau Kurth; his grandmother Bernice Kurth of Hendricks; his uncle Blaine (Donna) Kurth; his aunts Marcy McCarthy, Linda Nielsen and Shirley Nielsen, and numerous cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Norma and Rudy Nielsen and Wesley Kurth, and three uncles, Richard and LeRoy Nielsen and John McCarthy.

Blessed be his memory.

Mark Schultz

September 12, 2014

obit Mark Schultz picNov. 21, 1961 – Sept. 7, 2014

Mark Schultz, age 52 of Sleepy Eye, died Sunday, Sept. 7, along with his brother Steve in an airplane accident involving one of their airplanes near Montevideo.

Funeral service was at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby. Visitation was 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation resumed one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial was in St. Stephen’s Cemetery. Online guestbook at Arrangements were with Birk Funeral Home of Canby.

Mark Orville Schultz was born in Canby to Orville and Helen (Bergh) Schultz on Nov. 21, 1961. He graduated from Canby High School and Winona State University. In 1984 Mark married Jane Myers and to this union they were blessed with two children, Ashley and Nicholas. Mark was employed by Farmers National as a farm manager, overseeing many farms while living in Salem, S.D. then in Rochester. Mark was in Ag lending in the bank at Preston and was an Ag loan officer at the Citizens State Bank in Hayfield for 18 years. He worked one year at Minn-West Bank in Ortonville. Mark was currently vice-president of the First Security Bank in Sleepy Eye. Mark loved life and especially enjoyed travelling to Korea and China with his dad to visit his son Nicholas, in the Army. Mark had many mechanical abilities and determination in accomplishing his goals, including refinishing and painting the 150 Cessna he owned with Steven, his brother. Fishing, hunting, motorcycling and flying his airplanes were favorite pastimes.

Mourning Mark’s passing are his daughter Ashley (Dana) Kinsella, son Nicholas, grandson Apollo, parents Orville and Helen Schultz, significant other Cheryl Kack, sisters Sherri (Dr. Jeffery) Brindle and Dawn (Armand) Johnson, and many nieces, nephews and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents.

Blessed be his memory.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mark and Steve Schultz Scholarship Endowment Fund. Scholarship memorials can be sent to First Security Bank, PO Box 70, Canby, MN 56220.

Steven Schultz

September 12, 2014

obit Steve Schultz picJuly 5, 1963 – Sept. 7, 2014

Steven Schultz, age 51 of Brooklyn Center, died Sunday, Sept. 7, along with his brother Mark in an airplane accident involving one of their airplanes near Montevideo.

Funeral service was at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby. Visitation was 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Canby with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation resumed one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial was in St. Stephen’s Cemetery. Online guestbook at Arrangements were with Birk Funeral Home of Canby.

Steven John Schultz was born in Canby to Orville and Helen (Bergh) Schultz on July 5, 1963. He graduated from Canby High School, attended Waseca College for Agriculture and was a graduate of World Wide College of Auctioneering. Steven was married to Catherine Bidwell and they were blessed with a son, Taylor. Steven was very diversified in his occupations—custom hay baling, farming and auctioneering, and he owned a used car business, Schultz Auto Sales. He was employed in Minneapolis at a plastics business, at in-floor heating, and was currently employed by Medtronic, where he had worked over 20 years and was a senior engineer. He traveled extensively while working in the pacemaker division, setting up machines. He invented a new case for pacemakers. After several years he moved to defibrillator manufacturing and currently was working in the neuromodulation department.

Steven travelled in many countries for his vacations—Thailand 20 times— and motorcycled all over Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mexico. A highlight in Thailand was deep-sea fishing with his dad. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, motorcycling and airplane flying.

Mourning Steven’s passing are his son Taylor (Maria), grandsons Zachary and Conner, parents Orville and Helen Schultz, significant other Pal Phimsirrivano, sisters Sherri (Dr. Jeffery) Brindle and Dawn (Armand) Johnson, and many nieces, nephews and close friends.

Blessed be his memory.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Mark and Steve Schultz Scholarship Endowment Fund. Scholarship memorials can be sent to First Security Bank, PO Box 70, Canby, MN 56220.


Evangeline Nelson

September 12, 2014

Evangeline Nelson pic1May 5, 1927 – Sept. 5, 2014

Evangeline Nelson, age 87 of Ivanhoe, passed away peacefully at her home on Sept. 5.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with Father Ron Huberty as the Celebrant. Visitation was 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday at Birk Funeral Home in Ivanhoe with a Rosary at 5 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday one hour prior to Mass at the church. Burial will be in Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church or donor’s choice. Online guestbook at
Evangeline “Vangie” Marie Kusnierek was born on May 5, 1927 in Arco, the daughter of Simon and Marie (Behnke) Kusnierek. As a young girl, Vangie attended country school and after completion, she stayed at home to help her family. Later in life she did complete the courses and received her GED. Vangie was married to Clayton Dobrenski and to this union two children were born, Curtis and Karen. After Clayton’s death, Vangie moved to Ivanhoe to be closer to her family. In 1965 she married Roger Nelson.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, always full of fun and laughter. One could find Vangie on Halloween night dressed up like Big Bird and she would go out with her sister Irene. They spent many joyous times together. She was an excellent dancer and attended many dances in the area over the years. Vangie was also an excellent cook and enjoyed making different recipes. She loved traveling to other countries and to almost every state with her sister Irene and later with Roger. Occasionally, Vangie would visit the casino and try her luck.
She was a member of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church for many years, where she served in many capacities. Vangie had many passions, her first passion was going to church and her second was being the CCW historian for many years. All her life she said the Rosary every night. Years ago she provided her home for CCW students and later taught a few years. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts.
Vangie will be lovingly remembered by her husband of almost 50 years, Roger of Ivanhoe; daughter Karen Mattson (special friend, Mike Nicolai) of Eau Claire, Wisc.; daughter-in-law Paula (David) Belaen of Minneota (was married to the late Curtis L. Dobrenski); three grandchildren, Jason (Shawn) Dobrenski, Christie Mattson and Eric (Shayla) Mattson, and three great-grandchildren, Savannah, Jaden and Curtis Lee Dobrenski.
She was preceded by her parents, son Curtis, son-in-law Don Mattson, brother Leonard and sisters Ceil VanOverbeke and Irene Rogge.
Blessed be her memory.

Daniel Lee Sagmoe

September 8, 2014

obit Sagmoe, DanielJan. 31, 1965 – Aug. 28, 2014

Funeral services for Daniel Sagmoe were held at Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Ted Kunze and Rev. Dawn Quame officiating. The pianist was LaDean Lang with special music by Heidi Winter. The pallbearers were his nieces and nephews. Interment was at Slayton Memorial Gardens in Slayton.
Totzke Funeral Home of Slayton was entrusted with arrangements. To send condolences visit
Daniel Lee Sagmoe was born on Jan. 31, 1965 in Slayton to Duane (Pike) and Jean Resmen Sagmoe. He grew up in Slayton and graduated from Slayton High School in 1983. Dan then attended Mankato State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1987. Dan served as a loan officer at the Frandsen Bank and Trust in North Mankato until 2013 when he retired due to health reasons. On Monday, Aug. 18, Dan moved to Oak Terrace Assisted Living where he passed away on Thursday, Aug. 28 surrounded by his family at the age of 49.
He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton. Dan enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, reading, gardening, walking, comic books, cooking, astronomy, music, and WWII history.
Survivors include his parents Duane (Pike) and Jean Sagmoe of Slayton; two brothers, Greg Sagmoe and his wife Renee of Champlin and Scott Sagmoe and Lynn Knutson of Slayton; one sister, Laurie Hill and her husband Chuck of Lake Wilson; six nieces and nephews—Tanner Sagmoe, Sarina Sagmoe, Isaac Sagmoe, Cody Hill and his wife Sara, Weston Hill and Cheynne Hill; one great-nephew, Abraham (Bram) Hill, and one great-niece, Avaya Sagmoe, and a host of other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Kenneth and Fern Sagmoe and his maternal grandparents Fred and Frances Resmen.

Ruth Morseth

August 28, 2014

March 27, 1916 – Aug. 22, 2014

Ruth Morseth, age 98 of Hendricks, passed away Friday, Aug. 22 at the Hendricks Nursing Home.
Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at Faith Lutheran Brethren Church in Hendricks with Pastor Darren Shaw officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior at the church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Online guestbook at Arrangements are with Birk Funeral Home of Hendricks.
Ruth Marjorie Morseth was born March 27, 1916 in Hendricks to parents Alfred and Gina (Johnson) Morseth. She was baptized and confirmed at the Lake Hendricks Lutheran Free Church. She attended Rural School District 51 and graduated from the Parisian School of Beauty Culture in Minneapolis in October 1936. Ruth worked at the Twin Cities Arsenal Plant during World War II. In 1945 she began working at Minneapolis Honeywell, where she worked until retirement. Ruth continued to live in Minneapolis before moving to the Villa in Hendricks. From the Villa, she moved to the Hendricks Nursing Home, where she lived until her death.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Evelyn Johnson, Alice Nefstead and Delores Bue and brothers Harvey and Vernon Morseth. She is survived by her brothers, Harris, LaWayne and David Morseth and many nieces and nephews.
Blessed be her memory.

Norma Jean Johnson

August 28, 2014

obit Norma Jean Johnson picFeb. 18, 1922 – Aug. 15, 2014

Norma Jean Pederson Johnson, age 92 of Ivanhoe, passed away Aug. 15.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held Friday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. at Bethany-Elim Lutheran Church in Ivanhoe with Pastors Julie Anderson and Stephen Rasmusson officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. A luncheon will follow the service. Internment of ashes will be at East Elim Cemetery, rural Ivanhoe.
Norma Jean was born at home in Ivanhoe on Feb. 18, 1922 to parents Della Amelia Nelson Pederson and Luther Thomas Pederson. She was baptized April 14, 1922 and confirmed March 21, 1937 at Bethany-Elim Lutheran Church. She graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1940, attended Gustavus Adolphus College from 1940-1941 and graduated from St. Barnabus School of Nursing in 1944 as a Registered Nurse. She served in the U.S. Army as a nurse in the Philippines and occupied Japan during and after WWII. Briefly, she worked for Northwest Airlines as a stewardess, serving flights between New York City and Tokyo. On Jan. 3, l947, Norma Jean and John David Johnson were married at Bethany-Elim Lutheran Church and settled in Anoka to live and raise a family. She returned to her beloved Ivanhoe and childhood home in 1988.
Norma Jean is survived by her sons Luther Thomas “Tom” Johnson and John David “Jack” Johnson, Jr., and daughters Kathryn D. Hathaway, Patricia A. Johnson and Ellen J. Johnson. She is loved and adored by her many grandchildren— Katie, Abbie, Matt, Elizabeth, Gabriel, Aaron, Carmen, Tyler, Reid, Jean Anne, Carrie, Olivia, Amy and Sarah, and great-grandchildren—Emma, Allie, Delaney, Jacob, Hanna, Macsen, Asher and Freddy.
First and foremost, Norma Jean was a loving and nurturing mother and grandmother. She loved her church and was active in her church community of Zion Lutheran in Anoka and Bethany-Elim Lutheran in Ivanhoe. She graciously shared her nursing skills by volunteering not only in her community with the Red Cross and Bloodmobile, but also in Kentucky with the Frontier Nursing Service and in Guatemala with the San Lucas Mission. Norma Jean expressed her creative talents with baking, painting, quilting, knitting and sewing. She was always interested in the latest good book and the most recent current event. Her rhubarb and apple pies were memorable, along with her breads and yeast rolls. They will be missed! Her creative projects will continue to inspire us and remind all of us of her creative spirit. Moving back to Ivanhoe in her later years, she enjoyed being among her many cousins and friends. Many generous and lovely people, along with the staff at Hendricks Clinic and Hospital, allowed her to remain in her own home as she wished until she passed.
Our gratitude to Birk Funeral Home for the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Bethany-Elim Lutheran Church or donor’s choice.

Vernon Johnson

August 22, 2014

obit Vern-Johnson-pic2Jan. 17, 1930 – Aug. 11, 2014

Vernon Johnson, age 84 of Ivanhoe, passed away on Monday, Aug. 11 at the Divine Providence Nursing Home in Ivanhoe.
Birk Funeral Home of Ivanhoe was entrusted with the arrangements.
Vernon Lewellan Johnson was born on Jan. 17, 1930 in Hendricks to parents Gilmore and Mary (Sommervold) Johnson. After attending Hendricks Public School he went into the automotive business at an early age. He owned and operated Vern’s Motors in both Hendricks and Ivanhoe for many years.
Vern met his wife of 41 years, Evelyn “Effie” Kusnierek (Rogge), at the Daree Drive-In, which Evelyn operated at the time. After they were united in marriage on Dec. 1, 1973 in Ghent, Effie and Vern operated the Daree Drive-In together for several years.Vernon was also a mail carrier in the Ivanhoe rural community for many years and was a proud member of the Rural Letter Carriers Association.
Vern was an avid golfer and bowler and always enjoyed a good conversation with those he met. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife, playing cards and pool. In his retired years he was a fan of watching RFD TV for entertainment.
Grateful for having shared Vernon’s life is his wife of 41 years, Evelyn Johnson of Ivanhoe; five children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; one brother, Richard Johnson of Hendricks, and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Gilmore and Mary Johnson; three brothers, Glenn, Robert and Tommy Johnson, one half-brother, Edwin Sommervold, and two sisters, Dawn and Delores.
Vern lived life to the fullest and his wishes were to be cremated with no services to be held.
Blessed be his memory.

Ronald Schwarz

August 14, 2014

obit Schwarz (4)July 30, 1956 – Aug. 8, 2014

Ronald Schwarz, age 58 of Tyler, passed away unexpectedly Friday, Aug. 8 at the Avera Hospital in Marshall due to a heart attack. Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13 at the Tyler Area Funeral Home in Tyler. Visitation was 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. A private family interment will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be sent via Stephens Funeral Service-Tyler Area Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Ron was born on July 30, 1956 in Sibley, Iowa to Merlyn and LeNore (Jansma) Schwarz. He graduated from Ivanhoe High School in 1974 and Canby Vo-Tech in 1975. Ron began working at Christianson Implement later that fall and had worked there ever since. In 1976 Ron married Michelle Rousseau. Together they had two children. He later married Pam Weets on Nov. 28, 1997 in Marshall. Ron was a workaholic. He enjoyed helping people on any project and farming with his dad, brother and friends. He was always busy working on construction projects or restoring cars and tractors. He had an extensive collection of tools. Ron loved having a beer and a smoke with his friends and family and spending time boating on the lake and fishing. He enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, riding motorcycle, four-wheelers and snowmobiles. Ron also loved caring for his two dogs.
Ron is survived by his wife Pam; children, Jeremy (Lana) Schwarz of Silver Bay, Jaime (Eli) Cox of Pinehurst, N.C., Kayla (Kris) Speidel of Marshall and Keshia Weets (Michael Visness) of Montevideo; grandchildren, Dylan and Ashlyn Schwarz, Naydine and Dane Cox, Rayne Speidel and Kaylyne Visness. He is also survived by his parents Merlyn and LeNore Schwarz of Hendricks; brother Randy (Leslie) Schwarz of Hendricks; sisters Janet Schwarz of Phoenix, Ariz. and Darla (Jeff) Lasnetski of Willmar; his “favorite” mother-in-law Alice Weets of Russell; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Ron was preceded in death by his grandparents Elmer and Marie Jansma and Julius and Jeanette Schwarz and Margaret Schwarz, nephew Nathan Schwarz, sisters-in-law Marilee Hook and Marlene Weets, uncles Wallace and James and aunt Donna.

Ophelia Wheeler

August 8, 2014

0bit Ophelia wheeler pix0002Sept. 27, 1919 – Aug. 3, 2014

Ophelia Wheeler, age 94 of Sioux Falls, S.D., died Sunday, Aug. 3 at Good Samaritan Village in Sioux Falls.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviors Lutheran Church with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery, Sioux Falls, S.D. Visitation with the family present will be Wednesday at Heritage Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. Online registry at
Ophelia was born Sept. 27, 1919 in Hendricks, the daughter of Sam and Christine (Mennis) Bogen. She was raised in Hendricks and graduated from Hendricks High School. She married Donald E. Wheeler on Sept. 14, 1944 in Hendricks. They lived there until 1946 when they moved to Washington, Pa. and lived there for three years, moving back to Hendricks until 1952 when they moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. She graduated from Augustana College with a teaching degree and taught at Franklin and Mark Twain Schools in Sioux Falls. She was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church from 1952-1960 and from 1972 until now. She served on the WELCA committee, Friendship Club, Library Committee, Sunshine Committee, shared Ministry Board, was a Sunday School teacher and served as a volunteer in the church office and the synod office. She also enjoyed delivering Meals on Wheels, was a volunteer at Sioux Valley Hospital, was a member of the VFW Auxiliary, Retired Teachers Association, and a member of Active Generations.
She is survived by her three sons, Calvin (Donnel), Allen and David Wheeler, all of Sioux Falls, S.D.; daughter-in-law Velva (Jeannie) Wheeler of Garretson, S.D.; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Donald, her sister Carrine and her son Jerry.