Marvin H. Garbers

December 20, 2012

Aug. 2, 1942 – Dec. 4, 2012

Marvin H. Garbers, age 70 of Bloomington, passed away on Dec. 4 at the Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.
Memorial services were held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at Hope Presbyterian Church with interment at Fort Snelling Cemetery. The Morris Nilsen Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
He is survived by his wife Linda, daughter Wendy Garbers and husband Jason Garoutte, daughter Amy Saunders and husband William and four grandchildren.

Hazel Bundy

December 10, 2012

Funeral service for Hazel Bundy, 93, of Garvin will be Friday, Dec. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at Balaton United Methodist Church in Balaton. Visitation is Thursday, 4 -7 p.m. with prayers at 7 p.m., all at the church.  Burial is in Lakeside Cemetery, Balaton.

She died Monday, Dec. 3, at Our House Hospice in Slayton. Survivors are Dean, her husband of 53 years; children, Pearl (Red) Somers of Appleton, Roger (Martha) of The Colony, Texas, Larry (Linda) Webber of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Linda (Jim) Julien of Garvin, Lola Webber-Bundy of Cottonwood, David (Peggy) Bundy of Balaton, MN, and Jan (Pat) Bundy of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Jim (Joan) Mitchell of Garvin, who has been like one of her children; 19 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 11 great–great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Wilbur (Gwen) Bundy of Spirit Lake, Iowa; Elmer Bundy of Estherville, Iowa; sisters-in-law Alice Blum of Manila, Iowa and Rose (Don) Wheeler of Balaton; many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents Harry and Pearl Bennett; brothers Russell, Vance and Stanley Bennett, sisters Audrey Bye and Betty Mattern; grandsons Russell Somers, James Johnson and great-grandson Travis Franek.
Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler is providing the arrangements. Send online condolences at

Marjorie Schmidt

November 30, 2012

March 15, 1934-Nov. 23, 2012

LAKE BENTON—Memorial services for Marjorie Schmidt, age 78, of Lake Benton were Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Burial was in St. John’s Immanuel Cemetery, rural Verdi.
She died Friday, Nov. 23 at Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel of Lake Benton. Send on-line condolences at
Marjorie Charleen Schmidt was born March 15, 1934 to Thorvald and Olivia (Jensen) Rasmusen in Tyler. She was baptized at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler and confirmed at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang, Calif. in 1947. She grew up in Tyler but the family had moved to Solvang for a short time before returning to Tyler, where she graduated from Tyler High School in 1952. On Nov. 2, 1952 Marjorie married Eldon Schmidt at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang. Their union was blessed with five children and 60 years of life together. The couple made their home and raised their family in Lake Benton. In 1972 she opened Margie’s Café in Lake Benton. She was head cook for Lake Benton School until 1979, when the couple moved to Sedona, Ariz. where she worked at the Sedona and Cottonwood school cafeterias. She retired in 2002 and they moved back to Lake Benton. On Nov. 20 Margie suffered a cardiac arrest at her home. She was transferred to the Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D. where on Friday, Nov. 23, surrounded by many of her loved ones, Margie went home to be with her Lord at the age of 78 years, eight months and eight days.
Margie was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, where she enjoyed singing in the choir, and of Peace Lutheran Church in Sedona, Ariz. By far her favorite pastime was playing cards. She liked four-wheeling and off-road adventures while in Arizona where she went to enjoy the warm weather. She was an excellent cook and baker. Most of all she enjoyed time spent with her family and friends—playing cards.
Margie is lovingly remembered by her husband Eldon; her children, Philip Schmidt of Lake Benton, Mona (Patrick) Haynes of Lake Benton, Jackie (Tom) Heesch of Pipestone, Kim Gates of Lake Benton and Jane (Kevin) Davenport of Battle Ground, Wash.; grandchildren Amber (Brent) DuHoux, Bobby (Rachel) Kuiper, Dana (Andrea) Davenport, Christopher (Heather) Haynes, Benjamin Haynes, Eric Macias, Melissa Davenport and Kiersten Surbeck; great-grandchildren Kaylee Kuiper, Brayden Kuiper, Breylon Kuiper, Morgan Haynes, Kade Moffitt, Penelope Davenport, Jayse Kuiper, Etta Davenport and Hannah Haynes; one brother, Roland Rasmusen of Scottsdale, Ariz.; her granddog Boomer and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Olivia and Thorvald Rasmusen and sister-in-law Gloria Rasmusen.

Ronald Johnson

November 30, 2012


Sept. 13, 1932 – Nov. 19, 2012

Mass of Christian Burial for Ronald Johnson, age 80, of Lake Benton was Monday, Nov. 26 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Lake Benton. Visitation was Sunday, 2-4 p.m. with Rosary and prayers at 2 p.m., all at the church. Burial was in St. Genevieve Cemetery.
He died Monday, Nov. 19 at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.
Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton provided the arrangements. Send online condolences at
Ronald Bernard Johnson was born to Enoch John and Olive Angeline (Griffin) Johnson on Sept. 13, 1932 in Lake Benton. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Lake Benton. Ron and his family lived on a farm three-and one- half miles southeast of Lake Benton. He started school in District 2 and in 1940 the family moved to a farm five miles south of Lake Benton where he attended District 10. He attended District 69 and then high school in Verdi. After completing his education he farmed in the Lake Benton area until he entered the U.S. Army in 1956. During his time spent in the military he first went to Fort Chaffey, Ark. then to Fort Louis, Wash. and spent one year serving in Korea. Following his honorable discharge in 1958 he returned to Lake Benton to farm with his father and brother. The farm became a Minnesota Century Farm in 1991. In October 2008 he entered Central Minnesota Senior Care Center in Lake Benton. On Nov. 19, 2009 he moved to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne where, on Monday, Nov. 19 Ron died surrounded by his loving family at the age of 80 years, two months and six days.
Ron was a member of St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Lake Benton. He was a member of the American Legion Henry Sollie Post 10 in Lake Benton. He enjoyed using his John Deere farm equipment, collecting Garfield and John Deere collectibles and taking care of his cats, dog and cattle. He especially enjoyed spoiling his nieces, nephews and the kids in his neighborhood. He lovingly cared for his aunt Mrs. Dewey Smith from 1971 until her death in 2006.
Ron is lovingly remembered by his sister-in-law Sherry Karen Johnson of Marshall; nieces Pamela Petersen and her husband LaWayne “Red” of Annandale and Christine Knutson and her husband William of Sun Lakes, Ariz.; nephews Michael Johnson and his wife Lisa of St. Paul and Dr. Thomas Johnson and his wife Tami of Sartell; four grandnieces, three grandnephews, four great-grandnieces, one great-grandnephew and many other relatives, neighbors and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents Enoch and Olive Johnson and his brother Dennis V. Johnson.

Orval Anderson

November 30, 2012

Oct. 3, 1915 – Nov. 25, 2012

Orval Anderson, age 97, of rural Balaton died peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 25 at Tyler Healthcare Center. Pastor Lori Von Holtum will lead a funeral service to remember Orval’s contributions to our lives and community at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at the United Methodist Church in Balaton. Visitation is 4-7 p.m. Friday at the church with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Interment will be in Hillside Cemetery in Edgerton. Online condolences may be sent via Stephens Funeral Service-Tyler Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Orval Oscar Anderson was born Oct. 3, 1915 at the family homestead on the southeast quarter of section two in Leota Township, Nobles County. He was the sixth of 10 children born to Oscar and Florence (Vail) Anderson and one of eight to survive to adulthood. Orval was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith at the Presbyterian Church of Leota. He attended rural school through grade eight then ninth grade 17 miles away in Adrian. In September 1932 Orval began driving a Ford Model A 12 miles to Edgerton loaded with his sister Lucille and other youngsters from the neighborhood. Orval graduated from Edgerton High School in 1935 with his sister Lucille and future wife Marjorie Gamber as classmates. It can be said that Orval began farming when he began walking. Few took to farming more naturally than he. It was his calling. He loved the land. He loved seed time, tending and harvest. Orval loved a farmstead and pastures full of livestock, especially horses and Angus cattle. As a 4-H boy he showed Angus calves year by year at the Nobles County Fair and Minnesota State Fair. In early spring 1939 Orval moved with his parents and younger brother Robert Fay to a farm on the west side of Rock Lake in Lyon County. It was there that he married Marjorie Gamber on Nov. 16, 1939. The couple made their home with Orval’s parents for one year. In early spring 1941 Orval and Marjorie secured a farm along U.S. Highway 14 two miles east of Florence. He and Marjorie worked this family farm and reared four children there. Orval served as a Shelburne Township officer for many decades and as a property assessor for many years, assessing four townships. Marjorie died in November 1977 and Orval continued to work his farm. Orval married Mildred Habben in January 1979 and continued to work his farm. Mildred died in August 2000. Nevertheless, Orval continued to work his farm until the summer of 2011 when frail health beset him. In life, he always returned more than he took.
Orval is survived by four children: Ronald (Roxana) Anderson of Chicago, Ill., Rodger (Marlys) Anderson of Schenectady, N.Y., Beverly Sullivan of rural Balaton and Charles (Judith) Anderson of Oklahoma City, Okla. Also surviving are stepdaughter Audrey (Ronnie) Roth of Pipestone, stepson Darwin Habben of Omaha, Neb., 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren; 23 step-great-grandchildren; 10 step-great-great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, two wives, five sisters, four brothers, stepdaughter Delores (Dennis) Mead and son-in-law Gerald Sullivan.

Jennifer Gregoire

November 16, 2012

Jan. 5, 1979 – Nov. 9, 2012

Jennifer “Jen” (Bekaert) Gregoire, age 33 of Ivanhoe, passed away at Tyler Healthcare Center in Tyler on Friday, Nov. 9 after a courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gary, S.D. with Rev. Bruce Mueller officiating. Visitation was Thursday at the church, 12:30-2 p.m. Burial will be held at a later date. The Birk Funeral Home of Canby was entrusted with the arrangements.
Jennifer Rae (Bekaert) Gregoire was born Jan. 5, 1979 to Gene and Romelle (Volk) Bekaert in Canby. Jen was raised in Gary, S.D. until the family moved to Canby, where she graduated from Canby High School in 1997. While in high school she began working at REM in Canby, where she continued to work following graduation.
Jen was united in marriage to Jim Gregoire on May 1, 2004 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gary, S.D. Following their marriage they lived in Canby. They moved to Lake Benton and she began working for REM in Tyler and later for Skyview Junction in Elkton, S.D. They were currently living near Ivanhoe. On April 4, 2010 Jen was diagnosed with cancer but continued to work until her health no longer allowed. She entered the Tyler Healthcare Center in Tyler, where she passed away on Friday, Nov. 9 at the age of 33.
She was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gary, S.D. Jen was actively involved with Relay For Life. She enjoyed playing pool and auto racing.
She is lovingly remembered by her husband Jim “Squeak” Gregoire of Ivanhoe; four children— Tanner, Makayla, Logen and Jayden; one stepson, Brandon; parents Gene and Romelle Bekaert of Marshall; siblings Patty (Shayne) Scheler of St. Leo, Lisa Bekaert of Ivanhoe, Shawn Bekaert of Marshall and Stephanie Bekaert of Marshall; grandparents Ray and Marlene Bekaert of Clear Lake, S.D. and Verna Volk of Minneota; father- and mother-in-law Richard and Shirley Gregoire of Russell; sisters-in-law Tammy (Herb) Doody of Adrian, Mo. and Laura (Rick) Wilks of Florence, Ariz.; brother-in-law Rich (Michelle) Gregoire of Russell and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jen was preceded in death by her grandfather Warner Volk and uncle Ronald Volk.

Kenneth Wambeke

November 9, 2012

Dec. 8, 1955 – Oct. 30, 2012

Funeral services for Kenneth Wambeke, age 56 of Ruthton, were Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler. Visitation was Friday, 5-8 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft- Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Burial was at Danebod Lutheran Church Cemetery in Tyler. Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. On-line registry and condolences may be found at He died Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Minneapolis.
Kenneth Charles Wambeke was born Dec. 8, 1955 to Charles and Genevieve (Swedzinski) Wambeke in Marshall. He was baptized on Dec. 31, 1955 in Taunton. He grew up in Minneota. Following his education he enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 1976 and was honorably discharged in 1991. Ken was self-employed in carpentry with Ridge Area Remodelers and worked for Vos Trucking. He was united in marriage to Cindy VandenBroecke on Oct. 23, 2009 in Pipestone. While at work on Tuesday, Oct. 30, following a normal truck delivery, Kenneth died in his sleep in Minneapolis at the age of 56 years, 10 months and 22 days.
Ken loved life and would do anything to lend a hand and help others. He was hardworking, had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. He enjoyed motorcycle riding, classic cars, reading, playing board games, vacations and especially enjoyed time spent with his family.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Cindy Wambeke of Ruthton; children— Dustin (and Jill) Mullaney of Rochester, Crystal Wambeke of Florence, Amanda (and Joshua) Crowley of Tyler, Jayda Roberts of Gainesville, Va., Chelsey (and Joe) Robinson of Elk River and Trevor Wambeke of Colorado; his beloved basset hound Jax; grandchildren Savanna, Chyanne, Avery, Sophie, Hayden, Noah,and Chloe; siblings Rosell (Wambeke) Belaen of Canby, James (and Lucy) Wambeke of Taunton and Marcia (Wambeke) Geurts of Sioux Falls, S.D.
He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Genevieve, grandparents Peter and Marie Wambeke and Mike and Elizabeth Swedzinski and good friend Lyle Rasmussen.
Blessed be his memory!

Rev. Alton Nielsen

November 9, 2012

Dec. 29, 1930 – Aug. 16, 2011

The Rev. Alton Everett “Ev” Nielsen entered eternal life on Aug. 16. Interment was at the San Marcos Lutheran Columbarium.
Everett was born Dec. 29, 1938 in rural Lake Benton, the youngest son of Harold and Alma Nielsen (later Meyer). He was baptized and confirmed at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in rural Lake Benton. He graduated with honors from Lake Benton High School in 1953. He received an Associates Degree from Grand View College (now University) in Des Moines, Iowa and his Bachelors Degree from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He received the Candidate to Theology Degree from Grand View Seminary.

Everett was ordained in August 1960 at the American Evangelical Lutheran Church Convention of the Danish Synod in Waterloo, Iowa. Rev. Nielsen served in a variety of ministry settings, beginning with Our Savior and St. Peter Lutheran churches in Connecticut. He also served as Director of Youth Ministry and Camping and Assistant to the Bishop in the Pacific Southwest Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. He served parishes in Los Altos, Calif., San Jose, Calif. and Phoenix, Ariz. After a call to the Pacific Synod as Assistant to the Bishop from 1988 to 1992, Rev. Nielsen served Clairemont Lutheran in San Diego, Calif. and Joy of Christ in Pearl City, Hawaii. He served as chairperson of the Professional Preparation Committee, responsible for guiding and approving candidates for ordination and editing the youth page in a national publication of the church, The Lutheran Tidings. After his retirement he published a novel. Major accents of Ev’s ministry have been pastoral care, solid preaching that people could understand and appreciate and youth, camp and retreat ministry. He was always available, approachable, reliable, trusted, efficient in problem solving and able to help people think outside the box. As a “Happy Dane” he lived his joyous faith with good humor and a deep abiding trust in the inclusive love, mercy and justice of God.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; two sons, David and Jon; one granddaughter; one stepson and wife; one stepdaughter; one brother, Clayton, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Richard James “Dick/Spike” Blegen

November 2, 2012


Dec. 18, 1944- Oct. 14, 2012

Richard James “Dick/Spike” Blegen, age 67 of Grand Lake, died unexpectedly on Oct. 14.
A celebration of life was held Thursday, Oct. 18 in the banquet room at Dry Dock Bar and Restaurant, I-35 and Midway Rd., from 3-6 p.m. A gathering of friends was held Sunday, Oct. 21 at the American Legion in Browns Valley from 2-4 p.m.
Richard was born to Raymond and Rosella (Truckenmiller) Blegen in Lake Benton on Dec. 18, 1944. Dick married Patty Johnson in 1971. He was a MN State Trooper and retired in 1999 after 32 years of service. He was involved with Ducks Unlimited and the National Turkey Federation.
Dick is survived by his wife Patty; daughter Tamara (Neil) Daniels; brother David (Peggy) Blegen; sister Beverly Parrish; three grandchildren, Amanda, Danny and Anne, and great-granddaughter Amara. He is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, mother and father-in-law Mildred and Merlyn Johnson, brother-in-law Larry Parrish and niece Jenna Heck.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.
To leave a memory of Spike or words of support, please visit our website at

Eldon Nordmeyer

November 2, 2012

Nov. 9, 1930 – Oct. 23, 2012

LAKE BENTON— Memorial services for Eldon Nordmeyer, age 81 of Lake Benton, were Friday, Oct. 26 at 11 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Hartquist Funeral Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Lake Benton provided the arrangements. Send on-line condolences at
Eldon Earl Nordmeyer was born Nov. 9, 1930 to August and Mabel (Lindemann) Nordmeyer in Tyler. He was baptized and later confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. He grew up on the farm north of Lake Benton and graduated from Lake Benton High School. On Oct. 7, 1950 Eldon married Wanda Larson at First English Lutheran Church in Tyler. Their union was blessed with five children and 62 years of life together. The couple farmed near Lake Benton until 1972 when they moved to their Lakeview Street home in Lake Benton. Eldon purchased Jensen Produce and opened Valley Feed and Seed, a Vigorena dealership, and was a feed salesman to the present time. He also worked at Draper Floor Covering, Busselman Construction and Viere’s Station. On Tuesday, Oct. 23 Eldon died at Tyler Healthcare Center at the age of 81 years, 11 months and 14 days.
Eldon was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, where he had served as a deacon and usher. He was a member of the Sportsman’s Club and the Chamber of Commerce, served as a firearms instructor and was a parade organizer for Lake Benton’s Saddle Horse Days. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, dancing and working on the farm.
Eldon is lovingly remembered by his wife Wanda of Lake Benton; his children— Peggy Schwarz of Knoxville, Tenn., Nancy (and Gale) Wilson of Sheridan, Wyo., Jane Nordmeyer of Minneapolis, James (and Sandy) Nordmeyer of Dayton and Joan (and Dan) Koster of Redwood Falls; nine grandchildren— Michelle Scoby, Jennifer Harden, Kelly Krantz, Zachary Krog, Amber Stuart, Brooks Nordmeyer, Jackson Koster, Bailey Koster and Alec Koster; one step-grandson, Jason Wilson; four great-grandchildren— Alex Sensing, Bridgette Schwarz, Brandon Krantz and Louis Stuart; three step-great-grandchildren—Dakota Scoby, Trey Scoby and Brianna Bloomquist; a sister, Betty Dahl of Seal Beach, Calif., and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kenneth Nordmeyer and sister Naomi Knudsen.