Alfred Jessen

June 3, 2020

obit Jessen Alfred SQUARESept. 9, 1929 – May 26, 2020

Alfred Jessen, age 90 of Tracy, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 26. A small, private fam­ily graveside service will be held Thursday, May 28 at the Danebod Cemetery in Tyler. A celebration in honor of Alfred’s life will be held at a later date. Hartquist Funeral Home–Tyler Chapel has been entrusted with arrange­ments. To view Alfred’s life history or sign an online registry please visit
Alfred Jessen was born Sept. 9, 1929 to Jens W. (he always said it stood for “Wahoo”) Jessen and Es­ther Bertha Miller in Tyler. After graduating from Tyler High School, Alfred went to Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa for a semes­ter before deciding he re­ally wanted to be a farmer on Brookside Farm like his father and Bedstefar Niels before him.
After a chance double date with LeRoy Stens­gaard and two fun-loving girl cousins from Ruthton, Alfred married Marlys Mae Madsen on June 27, 1954. They had six chil­dren—Nancy, Linda, Neil, Phyllis, Jess and Phillip.
After a car accident took Marlys’s life on June 28, 1980, Alfred joined the BE support group. It was there that he met LaVerne Hans­en of Tracy. They were mar­ried on June 7, 2003, in La­Verne’s beautiful yard with Alfred’s children and fami­lies; LaVerne’s children—Gary, Peggy, Doug and Lar­ry and their families; plus a few close extended family and friends.
Alfred loved talking about politics, making gorgeous wooden bowls, and creat­ing unusual floats for the annual Æbleskiver parades. When the song “The Crys­tal Chandeliers” was play­ing, you could find Alfred and LaVerne on the dance floor. He was always ready to help a friend, neighbor, and fellow farmer in need. Like his neighbor Norman Mikkelsen, he usually had a toothpick in his mouth, plus a hat on his head.
In later years he was drawn to the power of so­lar energy, putting a solar array on one shed and two others near the hog barns. He dutifully checked the production of those pan­els daily. With the power­ful wind whipping through southwest Minnesota, he also harnessed that energy with a wind turbine. Loving the idea of electric cars, he had a Tesla car on order at the time of his death.
He had fun planning the Brookside Farm Cen­tennial in 1991 and was thrilled that many fam­ily and friends celebrated with him. He looked for­ward to the MOJOs (Major Official Jessen Occasion) when he could get together with his sister Valborg and her families, and his late brother Verner’s families – whether it was in Colo­rado or the one Alfred and LaVerne planned last year at Lake Shetek for his 90th birthday.
Alfred and LaVerne had a car accident on Jan. 4, 2020. Tests from that evening re­vealed he had a mass in his pancreas, and subse­quent tests showed that it was cancerous. After try­ing chemo, he decided that wasn’t for him. Even three weeks before his death, he was in the tractor discing a field, and he couldn’t be talked out of driving that tractor—he loved every minute of it! As he was get­ting weaker, Alfred gath­ered his family around him to communicate his final wishes. Alfred passed away on May 26.
Alfred is lovingly remem­bered by his wife, LaVerne Jessen of Tracy; his six chil­dren— Linda McMahon of Bellevue, Idaho, Neil (Erin) Jessen of Hailey, Idaho, Phyllis (Sherri) Jessen of Des Moines, Iowa, Nancy Jessen Otis of Reno, Nevada, Phillip Jessen of Tyler, and Jess “J.J.” Jessen of El Paso, Texas; LaVerne’s children Gary (Phyllis) Hansen of Rochester, Peggy (Denny) Isaacson of New Ulm, Doug (Judy) Hansen of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Larry (Sharalyn) Hansen of Tracy; numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Alfred’s Angels— Judy Hansen, Sharalyn Hansen and Carlos De Avila—three family nurses who took wonderful care of him in his final days.
Memorials may be di­rected to the RTR School Building Fund or the Mur­ray County Hospice Pro­gram.

LaVonne Fischer

June 3, 2020

obit Fischer LaVonne newspaperSept. 4, 1940 – May 24, 2020

LaVonne “Bonnie” Fis­cher, age 79 of Montevideo, formerly of Cottonwood, went to her Lord on Sun­day, May 24 at Brookside Memory Care Unit in Mon­tevideo. A service was held May 29 at the Wing-Bain Funeral Home in Granite Falls. A graveside service will be held June 5, 10 a.m. at the Wood Lake Cem­etery.
LaVonne Lois Fischer was born Sept. 4, 1940 at home to Lee and Amanda (Paap) Williams of Russell. She was baptized and con­firmed in the Presbyterian faith. LaVonne was raised on the family farm until she was high school age, when her family moved to Tyler. She attended school there and also worked as an aide in the Tyler Hospital. When her family returned to the farm, she remained in Ty­ler to continue working and graduated from Tyler High School. After gradu­ation, LaVonne moved to Marshall and worked at the hospital until she married Richard Fischer in 1960 and moved back to Rus­sell. Their marriage was blessed with six children. The couple moved to Hazel Run and then to Wood Lake, where she ran the café for a few years. Through her years of employment she had many jobs, including Ben Franklin in Granite Falls, Midwest Continent in Cottonwood, driving truck, security guard in Tampa, Florida, and Project Turn­about in Granite Falls, just to name a few.
LaVonne was an avid animal lover and had many pets throughout her life. LaVonne loved music and was the only one in her family to play a musical instrument. In later years, she played the guitar with a small group that played for residents of the nursing homes.
LaVonne was always out­going and made friends easily. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved being outdoors. Some of the happiest times were family camping adventures.
LaVonne is survived by her children— Nicky Fis­cher of Aurora, South Da­kota, Dick (Danita) Fischer of Bushnell, South Dakota, Dawn (Jerry) Rupp of Granite Falls, David (Dawn) Fischer of Wood Lake, Tau­nya Geihl of Wood Lake, and Missy (Dan) Torgerson of Hanley Falls; grandchil­dren Molly, Tony, Shaun, Scott, Heather, Brent, Sarah, Lee, Wade, Brandi, Zachary, Brittany and Mi­kael; great-grandchildren; brothers Donald (Darlene) Williams of Lynd and Rob­ert Williams of Russell; sis­ter Ida (Dennis) Kesteloot of Cottonwood; as well as many nieces and nephews who loved her dearly, other relatives and friends.
LaVonne was preceded in death by her parents Lee and Amanda Williams; Richard Fischer; brother Joe Williams; and sister-in-law Barb.
Arrangements are with the Wing-Bain Funeral Home of Granite Falls. For online guestbook, please visit

Evelyn Trautman

June 3, 2020

Jan. 12, 1922 – May 25, 2020

Evelyn B. Trautman, age 98 of Lake Benton, died peacefully on Monday, May 25 at Central Minnesota Se­nior Care in Lake Benton.
Visitation was held from 9–11 a.m. Saturday, May 30 at St. John’s Evangeli­cal Lutheran Church in Lake Benton, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Interment was at Memo­rial Hill Cemetery in Lake Benton. Hartquist Funeral Home–Lake Benton Cha­pel was entrusted with arrangements. To view Ev­elyn’s life history or sign an online registry please visit
Evelyn was born on Jan. 12, 1922 to Alfred and Katherine (Shriver) Cyri­acks on a farm in Lake Benton Township. On June 17, 1945, she was united in marriage to Elmer Traut­man at St. John’s Evan­gelical Lutheran Church in Lake Benton.
She is survived by her children, Terry Trautman of Neligh, Nebraska and Allan (Sue) Trautman of Darwin; grandchildren Taylor and Tim Trautman of Minnetonka; and sister Lorraine Brandt of Hen­dricks.
She was preceded in death by her husband El­mer; her parents; broth­ers Walter and Marvin Cyriacks; sisters Doreen Kinner, Madalyn Huska, Marie Bushman and Ber­nice Trautman; an infant brother; and grandchild Gregory Trautman.

Robert Bushman

June 3, 2020

June 23, 1927 – May 27, 2020

Robert L. Bushman, age 92 of Lake Benton, died Wednesday, May 27 at the Hendricks Community Hospital in Hendricks. Visi­tation was held Sunday, May 31, 2-4:30 p.m. at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. Fu­neral service was Monday, June 1, 10 a.m. at church, followed by interment at Memorial Hill Cemetery in Lake Benton. Arrange­ments were entrusted to Hartquist Funeral Home – Lake Benton Chapel. To view Robert’s full life his­tory or sign an online reg­istry please visit
Robert was born June 23, 1927 to Lee and Laura (Johannsen) Bushman in Drammen Township. On July 17, 1949, he married Marie Cyriacks at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lake Benton.
Bob is survived by his children, Robert R. (Kath­ie) of Monticello, Randall (Deb) of Lake Benton; Rosa­lyn (Terry) Burke of Cham­bersburg, Pennsylvania, Ryan of Hutchinson, and Russell (Pam) of Montrose; 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; broth­ers Norman and Jerry; sis­ter Donna Wirt; sister-in-law Lorraine Brandt; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Marie, his parents, and brothers Merle Bushman and Har­vey Johannsen.

Somber and safe Memorial Day

May 27, 2020

mem day IMG-0285
On May 25, Tyler Legion A.C. Hansen Post 185 held a private Memorial Day Service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Post 185 Commander Duane Blake and Post Sergeant-at-Arms Kenton Stanek conducted the service. Heather Gordon played “Taps.” Pam Blake took pictures.

mem day IMG-0294
During the Roll Call/Bell Toll portion of the service, the following names of veterans who had passed away since last year’s service were read: George Dubbeldee, Jim Jensen, Louvaine “Sonny” Johnson, and Allan L. Hansen, the nephew of the post’s namesake, A.C. Hansen.

mem day IMG-0306
To conclude the 2020 Memorial Day Service, a memorial wreath was placed at the base of the Legion Hall flagpole and “Taps” was played.

Tyler woman survives bout with COVID-19

May 27, 2020

By Jenny Kirk
Reprinted from the
Balaton Press-Tribune

COVID-19 was no match for Beverly Hess.
Hess, who is in her 70s, was the first area resident to test positive for COVID-19, which is the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Fortunately, she is also the area’s first individual to recover from it.
“I feel wonderful now,” Hess said. “I’m just very blessed I came through everything. I still believe it was because of the people and their prayers.”

For the full story, read this week’s Tyler Tribute.

An RTR graduation like no other

May 27, 2020

2020 RTR graduate Logan Sanderson receives his diploma from RTR School Board Vice Chair Craig Hess during Sunday’s graduation ceremony.

By Mark Wilmes

Think about it. How many moments from the past 20 or more RTR graduations stand out in your mind—barring ceremonies that included family members? Not many? On Sunday afternoon, the Class of 2020 had a ceremony for the ages. It was outdoors, fitting snugly into a rare period without rain over the weekend; it featured a drive-through; it was simulcast on KLOH Radio and it featured a balloon launch. Oh yeah, and there was a Jumbotron hoisted by a piece of heavy construction equipment.
We won’t forget this one for a long time.

For the full story and more photos, read this week’s Tyler Tribute.

The Knight life

May 27, 2020

RTR Seniors Chris Cauwels (left) and Alex Duus were winners of last week’s Knights Pride photo contest at RTR High School.


Gustafson honored

May 27, 2020

Long-time RTR Spanish teacher Janet Gustafson will retire after 33 years in the district. Gustafson was presented a plaque by RTR High School Principal Dan Bettin before Sunday’s graduation ceremony.

Borman named top proficiency award winner

May 27, 2020

Jaden Borman

Forty-three individuals will receive the top FFA Agricultural Proficiency Awards during this week’s virtual State FFA Conven­tion; Students have each developed specialized skills through Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs) working with their high school agriculture in­structors.

The proficiency areas correspond to career path­ways related to agricul­ture…

For the full story, read this week’s Tyler Tribute.