Carl Burk

October 12, 2017

obit Burk Carl PhotosquareBEVELMarch 26, 1942- Aug. 28, 2017

Memorial services for Carl Burk, age 75 of Mah­tomedi, formerly of Lake Benton, will be Saturday, Oct. 14, 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Memorial visita­tion is Friday, Oct. 13, 4-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., all at Grace Lutheran Church. Burial will be private. Arrange­ments are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton. Send on-line condolences at
Carl Alvin Burk was born March 26, 1942 to Julius and Alvina (Oerter) Burk in Tyler. He was baptized and confirmed at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church of rural Lake Benton. He grew up in Tyler, Arco, Ivanhoe, Madison, Lake Benton, and Pipestone, graduat­ing from Pipestone High School in 1960. Carl en­listed and was very proud to have served in the U.S. Navy in 1960 and was hon­orably discharged June 15, 1966. He returned to Pipe­stone and went to Winona State College, graduating with distinction in 1967. While at Winona State he met JoAn Whorton. The couple was united in mar­riage on Sept. 2, 1967 at the Cathedral of the Sa­cred Heart in Winona. Their union was blessed with two sons, James and Paul, and 49 years of life together. The couple moved to Madison, Wis­consin where Carl taught social studies at Gompers-Blackhawk Middle School. While teaching in Madi­son, Carl was awarded the Teacher of the Year Award by the DAR. After 30 years of teaching he retired in 1997 and they moved to Lake Benton. Carl and JoAn restored the old Brif­fet House to establish Ben­ton House Bed and Break­fast. In 2004, Carl restored the old Firehouse into the Buffalo Ridge Coffee and Trading Company. They re­tired from that business in 2011 and from operating a bed and breakfast in 2013. Carl and JoAn had recently moved to Mahtomedi to be closer to their family and his doctors. Carl died Monday, Aug. 28 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis at the age of 75.
Carl was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. He served in the life of the congrega­tion on the church council, as treasurer, sang in the Men of Grace, ushered, and taught Sunday School. Carl was a member of Henry Sollie American Le­gion Post 10 of Lake Ben­ton and the Lions Club. He served the community of Lake Benton on the City Council, Library Board, a liaison for the Police De­partment, Chamber of Commerce, Lake Benton Opera House Board, and Visions in Progress (VIP), and had been Citizen of the Year. He was the pioneer of the Benton-Fremont/Te Tonka Ha Rendezvous. Carl enjoyed collecting and restoring Studebakers, collecting inverted feather Near Cut glass, stamps, and pin cushion dolls. He liked to travel to historic sites in the United States and Europe, and had visit­ed New Orleans numerous times for the Mardi Gras celebration. He enjoyed discussing current events and how they related to history. Carl especially en­joyed the time spent with family.
Carl is lovingly remem­bered by his wife JoAn of Mahtomedi; sons James (Kimberly) of Montrose and Paul (Heike) of New Glarus, Wisconsin; grand­children Anna, Abby and Christopher; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings— baby boy Burk, Joyce McColm and Jack Burk; aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Betty Christensen

October 12, 2017

obit Betty ChristensensquareMay 9, 1931 – Oct. 3, 2017

Betty Jane Christensen, age 86 of Tyler, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Sunrise Manor. Funeral services were 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9 at Danebod Lutheran Church. Visita­tion was 5-7 p.m. Sunday at the Tyler Area Funeral Home and continued one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. Burial was at 10 a.m. Tues­day at the Danebod Lu­theran Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent via www.stephensfuner­ Stephens Funeral Service-Tyler Area Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Betty Jane (Andersen) Christensen was born May 9, 1931 in Hope Township, Lincoln County, to Andrew and Eva (Frederiksen) Andersen. She graduated from Tyler High School in 1949. Betty worked at the courthouse in Ivanhoe for a number of years.In 1950 she met VerLane Christens­en at a dance in Pipestone. On July 11, 1951 Betty and VerLane were united in marriage at Danebod Lu­theran Church in Tyler. In 1976 Betty began working as secretary at the school in Tyler, where she worked for nearly 40 years. Af­ter her retirement, Betty continued helping out at school whenever needed. She also worked at New Vista for several years. Betty was a member of the Red Hat Society and Amer­ican Legion Auxiliary. She was a very active mem­ber of Danebod, where she served on the church board and volunteered for many activities. Betty en­joyed cross stitch, garden­ing, playing cards, baking and cooking, and reading. She loved spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Betty is survived by her sons Dale (Lynn) of Pequot Lakes and Todd (Denise) of Tyler; grandchildren Marcy, Scott and Kimber­ly, Tina, Trista and Tregg; great-grandchildren Owen, Bradyn, Adrienna, Rylan, Liam, Brockstyn, Logan and Ashton; sister Val Pace of California; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, hus­band VerLane, son Doug, sister Donna, and brothers Kenny, Arvin and Norville.

Doris Stromberg

October 4, 2017

obit Stromberg DAug. 18, 1921 – Sept. 25, 2017

Doris E. Stromberg, 96- year-old resident of Little Falls, passed away Mon­day, Sept. 25 at the St. Cloud Hospital. There will be no services.
Doris was born Aug. 18, 1921 in Lamberton to Hermin and Alvina (Werd­erman) Zuelke. Her school years were spent in Lake Benton, and on Aug. 16, 1941 she married Oscar Stromberg. They lived and worked in SilverBay, and after retirement moved to Apache Junction, Arizona. She moved to Little Falls in May 2015 and was a resi­dent at Bridgeway Estates. In her later years, Doris enjoyed knitting, reading and trips to play Bingo.
Doris is survived by her son Jeffrey Stromberg of Little Falls; grandsons Mark Stromberg of Kan­sas City, Kansas and Greg­ory Stromberg of Raleigh, North Carolina, and two great-grandchildren, Ra­chel and Paul Stromberg of Kansas City, Kansas.
Preceding Doris in death were her parents, two brothers, and her husband Oscar.
She will be laid to rest in the Lake Benton Cem­etery.

Alvin Brandt

September 27, 2017

obit AlvinBrandtAug. 17, 1922 – Sept. 11, 2017

Alvin (Al) Herman Brandt, 95 years of age but still young at heart, passed away Sept. 11 surrounded by his family.
Alvin was born Aug. 17, 1922 in DrammenTown­ship. He helped out on the family farm in LakeStayTownship and eventually hired out as help on neigh­boring farms. He served in the U.S. Army at the close of World War II, assigned to the 65th Engineering Com­bat Battalion stationed in Luzon, Philippines. From there the 65th was trans­ferred to the occupation forces in Japan. He spent nine months in the Pacific and was awarded the WW II Victory Medal and the Japan Army of Occupation Medal. Alvin moved to the Twin Cities in 1951. He settled in Blaine and lived there for the rest of his life, 66 years. After retiring from the Minnesota State Highway Department in 1984, Al spent time put­tering in his workshop, going to garage sales and auctions and collecting lots of stuff. Each day he made the rounds to the neighborhood stores and to his second breakfast at McDonald’s with his coffee pals, most often driving his car but sometimes driving his scooter. He took his job as Dad very seriously and was always ready to lend a hand when one of his kids needed help.
Al could start a conver­sation with almost anyone and made friends wher­ever he went. He enjoyed visiting friends and fam­ily and kept up with old friends and relatives in and near Lake Benton.
Al is survived by his sis­ter Helen (Harold) Matt­son of Dassell. He will be deeply missed by his children Marti Brandt, Janna (Dick) Quam, Allen (Debbie) Brandt, Sherri (Jim) LaTourneau, and Jan (Stephanie) Brandt; grand­son Joshua Brandt (Court­ney); and cat Riley.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Edna (Lindemann) Brandt, his parents John and Lena (Johannsen) Brandt, his brother Don Brandt, and nephew Gay­lyn Wigen.
Special thanks to Alvin’s caregivers at Edgewood Assisted Living in Blaine. Arrangements were provided by Washburn- McReavy of Coon Rapids.

Gary Williams

September 20, 2017

obit Gary Williams picJune 10, 1946 – Sept. 12, 2017

Gary Williams, age 71 of Brookings, South Da­kota, passed away Sept. 12. Funeral services were Saturday, Sept. 16, 10:30 a.m. at Ascension Luther­an Church in Brookings. Burial was 2:30 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Cemetery at Center with refresh­ments to follow. Visitation was 5-7 p.m. Friday, also at the church, followed by a prayer service at 7 p.m.
Gary Earl Williams was born June 10, 1946 to Ruth (Evans) and Earl Williams of Winfred, South Dakota. He graduated from Win­fred High School in 1964. He graduated from SDSU in January 1969, at which time he was commissioned into the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served one year in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cav­alry Division. He returned in 1971 when he mar­ried Veronica (Button) in Carthage, South Dakota.
Gary worked in banking for 40 years. He started with Production Credit in Sioux Falls, Madison, and Salem, South Dakota. He worked as an ag lender for McCook National Bank, which became First Dako­ta. He finished his career as President of First Secu­rity Bank in Lake Benton.
In 2013, he and Roni moved to Brookings, South Dakota, where he greatly enjoyed sports and other events on the SDSU cam­pus. They enjoyed travel­ing and making family con­nections in Europe. They especially enjoyed historic sites in the USA.
While living in those various communities he was active in 4-H lead­ership, Lions clubs, the American Legion, church councils, and many other organizations to promote growth and development of the community. Living on acreages allowed Gary to raise livestock and gave him room for his wood­working hobby. He loved playing basketball until he was 69. Gary thrived on helping people; being un­able to help others was the hardest part of his two-year battle with cancer.
Gary was preceded in death by his father, who died in 1947; his mother, who lived to be 103; his step-father Jim Westall; and two step-siblings.
He is survived by his wife Veronica; daughter Threasa (Wayne) Hopkins of Arlington and son Gar­ron (Alyssa Stitt) Williams of Mankato; sister Kay (Steve) Julius of Madison, South Dakota; brother Ken Williams of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; three step­sisters and five stepbroth­ers; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. His grandchildren Noah, Zoe and Jonah Williams and William Hopkins were the joy of his life.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memori­als to the SDSU Founda­tion, Ascension Lutheran Church, or Salem Lutheran Cemetery at Center.

James McLaird

September 13, 2017

obit James McLairdDec. 11, 1940 – Aug. 31, 2017

James McLaird, age 76 of Mitchell, South Dakota, died Thursday, Aug. 31 at Avera Queen of Peace Hos­pital in Mitchell.
Funeral services were 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 at First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial was in the Memorial Hill Cemetery at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Lake Benton. Visitation was 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the First United Method­ist Church. Arrangements were with the Bittner Fu­neral Chapel in Mitchell.
James David McLaird was born Dec. 11, 1940 in Lake Benton to Ernest and Ruby (Rochel) McLaird.He graduated from Miller High School in Miller, South Da­kota in 1958. In 1962 he received his B.A. degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. On Dec. 23, 1961 he married Donna Hillman in Faulkton, South Dakota. He did graduate work for one year at Bos­ton University School of Theology and three years at the University of Wyo­ming, where he received his Masters Degree. He taught history at Dakota Wesleyan University for 37 years and was professor emeritus there. In 2005 he was awarded an Honor­ary Doctorate from Dakota Wesleyan. Although inter­ested in many aspects of history, Jim specialized in the history of South Dako­ta and the American West. He published numerous articles on South Dakota history, including an exam­ination of east river/west river differences, the leg­end of the “white Mandan” Indians and Calamity Jane. In 2012 he received the Robinson Award from the South Dakota State Histor­ical Society. His “Calamity Jane: the Woman and the Legend” was named Best Non-Fiction Book pub­lished in 2005 by West­erners International. He also published “Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane: Deadwood Legends” with the South Dakota Histori­cal Society Press in 2008. His most recent book was “Hugh Glass: Grizzly Sur­vivor.” He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Mitchell.
He is survived by his wife Donna; sons John McLaird and wife Rachel of Duluth, and Steven McLaird of Minneapolis; grandchil­dren Andrew, Ceiteag and Ashlyn McLaird of Duluth; brothers Glenn McLaird of Miller, South Dakota and Robert McLaird and wife Lee of Bowling Green, Ohio; sister Marilyn Gram­bihler of Plankinton, South Dakota; and several nieces and nephews. He was pre­ceded in death by his par­ents and an infant brother

Karen Spiczka

September 13, 2017

Oct. 11, 1946 – Sept. 5, 2017

Memorial Mass of Chris­tian Burial for Karen Spic­zka, age 70 of Tyler, was Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2 p.m. at St. Dionysius Catholic Church in Tyler. Memorial visitation was one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial was in St. Dionysius Cemetery.
She died Tuesday, Sept. 5 at her rural Tyler home.
Arrangements were pro­vided by Hartquist Funer­al Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send on-line condolences at www.
Karen Kae Spiczka was born Oct. 11, 1946 to Mel­vin and Mildred (Parmely) Bitterman in Miller, South Dakota. On Feb. 13, 1965 Karen married Francis ‘Frank’ Spiczka at the Ca­thedral of Our Lady of Per­petual Help in Rapid City, South Dakota.
On Tuesday, Sept. 5 Kar­en died peacefully at home with family in attendance.
Karen is survived by her children—Carol Alexan­der of Tyler, Ruth (Matt) Pearson of Front Royal, Virginia, Brenda Brown of Spearfish, South Dakota, and Stanley (Sandi) Spic­zka of Camden, South Car­olina; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild; her mother Mildred Engel of Yankton, South Dakota; step-father Lowel Engel of Blackhawk, South Da­kota; her siblings—Randy (Mary) Bitterman, Rhon­da (Randy) Groneberg, Pam (Don) Jones, Robby (Lonny) Drown, Denise (Ron) Wing, Luane (Rob­ert) Vanderberg, and Craig (Annette) Engel; and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Francis, her grandson Nicholas, and her father Melvin.

Molly Nielsen

September 13, 2017

Sept. 6, 2017 – Sept. 6, 2017

Molly Harbor Nielsen was born at the Brookings Hospital and will be lov­ingly remembered by her parents, Dayna and Tyson Nielsen of Arco.
Services are private.
Arrangements were pro­vided by Hartquist Funer­al Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel.

Carl Burk

September 6, 2017

Memorial services for Carl Burk, age 75 of Mahtomedi, formerly of Lake Benton, will be Saturday, Oct. 14, 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Memorial visitation is Friday, Oct. 13, 4-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., all at Grace Lutheran Church. Burial will be private.
He died Aug. 28 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton. Send on-line condolences at

Wanda Nordmeyer

August 30, 2017

obit Nordmeyer Wanda photo mom favoriteAug. 30, 1930 – Aug. 24, 2017

Memorial service for Wanda Nordmeyer, age 86 of Lake Benton, was Mon­day, Aug. 28, 10:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Visitation was Sunday, Aug. 27, 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., all at GraceLutheranChurch in LakeBenton. Interment was private. Arrangements are provided by Hartquist Fu­neral Home, Utoft-Johans­en Chapel. On-line details may be found at
Wanda Maxine Nord­meyer was born Aug. 30, 1930 to Arnt and Nettie (Ruen) Larson in Tyler.She was baptized and con­firmed at First English Lu­theran Church in Tyler. Her faith shaped her attitude and actions throughout her life and she has passed her trust in God and those Christian values on to her children and grandchil­dren.
She grew up in Tyler and graduated from Tyler High School in 1948. She went to teacher’s training and taught in a country school near Tyler. On Oct 7, 1950 Wanda married Eldon Nor­dmeyer. Their union was blessed with 62 years of life together and five chil­dren. The couple farmed near Lake Benton until 1972 when they moved to their Lakeview Street home in Lake Benton. She worked at Lake Benton School until she purchased and operated the Valley V Store in Lake Benton. The store was known for Wan­da’s custom embroidery.
Eldon passed away Oct. 23, 2012. Although this changed her life and she missed him greatly, she carried on as she contin­ued to live in Lake Ben­ton. On Thursday, Aug. 24 Wanda died peacefully with family at her side at her daughter’s home in Redwood Falls, six days before her 87th birthday.She described herself as the last leaf on the tree, as she was the last of her sib­lings and cousins. What a reunion they must be hav­ing now!
Those who knew and loved her would tell you she enjoyed fishing, danc­ing, playing cards, holi­days and reunions with family, watching birds and wildlife, and spending time with friends. She had a sweet tooth and started every day with coffee and chocolate. She’d best be described as kind and self­less.
Wanda is lovingly re­membered by her chil­dren— Peggy Schwarz of Knoxville, Tennessee, Nancy (Gale) Wilson of Sheridan, Woming, Jane Nordmeyer of Minneapo­lis, James (Sandy) Nord­meyer of Dayton, and Joan (Dan) Koster of Redwood Falls; 10 grandchildren— Michelle (Bill) Scoby, Jen­nifer (Heath) Harden, Kelly Krantz, Jason Wilson, Zachary (Samantha Ol­son) Krog, Amber (Brian) Stuart, Brooks (Sherri Bloomquist) Nordmeyer, Jackson (Sarah) Koster, Bailey (Justin) Theis, and Alec Koster; and 11 great-grandchildren— Bridgette (Jordan Bennett)Schwarz, Alex Sensing, Brandon Krantz, Dakota Scoby, Trey Scoby, Louis Stu­art, Miles Stuart, Brianna Bloomquist, Lillietta Lyn­gstad, Harriet Krog and Kason Koster.
She was preceded in death by her husband El­don, her parents Arnt and Nettie, and her siblings Alan Larson, Martin Lar­son, Norma Nielsen, Erma Olson, Lue Hoiland and infant twins Alvin and Ber­tha Larson.
Blessed be her memory.