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Archive Obituaries
Gladys Honnold
12/15/1920-04/18/2018
Gladys Honnold, 97, of Aitkin, devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away Wednesday, April 18, 2018 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. She was born December 15, 1920 in Sentinel Butte, North Dakota to Otto and Hulda (Hultberg) Nordin. Gladys was united in marriage to Guy Honnold on January 4, 1940 in Glendive, Montana. They lived in Medora, North Dakota for 1 year before moving to Aitkin in 1941. Gladys lived on Lone Lake for 71 years. She enjoyed sewing, crochet, embroidery, quilting (she made quilts for her children and grandchildren), gardening (especially flowers), taking pictures, scrap booking, playing cards, watching the Timberwolves (she played basketball in high school) and especially spending time with her family. Gladys also enjoyed sending greeting cards to people. She took her family on a Caribbean cruise for her 80th birthday. Gladys loved her cats and dogs. She was a member of United Methodist Church of Aitkin, Order of the Easter Star Woodland Chapter #122, 4-H Leader, Maria Chapel Ladies Aid, Lone Lake Birthday Club, Forever Young, Support The Troops, American Legion Post #86 Auxiliary of Aitkin, Riverwood Hospital Auxiliary, Grand Friend Program at Aitkin Elementary School, Recycling Cards Volunteer, Aicota Health Care Center Volunteer, Whist Card Club, Bowling League, Rebecca Circle, Sunday School Teacher and Bible School Teacher. Gladys had amazing strength and perseverance and was devoted to God and her family. Gladys is preceded in death by her loving husband, Guy; her parents; her dear son, Dennis; 3 brothers, Fritz, Harry and Rueben. Gladys will be deeply missed by her children, Steven (Sara Persselin) Honnold of Kodiak, Alaska and Sheila (Kenneth) Opatz of Rush City; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Honnold; grandchildren, Zane (Heather) Honnold, Meagan (Schorr Johnson) Honnold, Jarred (Jamie) Opatz, Janae (John) Bower and Theo Honnold; great grandchildren, Evan and Seth Opatz, Gavin, Grant and Garrett Bower, Alec, Owen and Emory Honnold, Denny and Allie Johnson; many nieces nephews and friends. A gathering of family and friends will be Saturday, April 28, from 3-5 PM with an Eastern Star Service at 4:30 PM in Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin. A gathering of family and friends will also be held Sunday, April 29, from 1 PM until the 2 PM Memorial Service in United Methodist Church of Aitkin. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Gladys Honnold (9 Entries)

Rose M. Cooper
03/15/1919-04/18/2018
Rose Mary (Eide) McGillis Cooper age 99 of Aitkin died Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Rose was born March 15, 1919 in Brainerd, Minnesota the daughter of Lewis and Ida (Cyr) Eide. She grew up and attended Catholic School in Brainerd and then public school. She worked as a waitress in her younger years. She married John McGillis on May 6, 1939 in Aitkin. John worked on road construction in Minnesota and North Dakota and Rose travelled with him. They also lived in Duluth for a time while John worked in the shipyards, and then moved back to Aitkin where she has lived most of her life. She operated the Shell Café in Aitkin from 1954 to 1957 and also from 1960 to the mid 1960’s. Rose worked at the Weedless Bait Co. in Aitkin and had also worked at Myr Mar on Mille Lacs Lake for a number of years. Rose also worked at the Old and New A&W in Aitkin and the Aitkin Dairy Queen. Rose married Harold Cooper on March 24, 1990 in Aitkin. Rose cleaned homes well into her 80’s. She was a very accomplished seamstress and loved gardening. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Aitkin. She is survived by Son: Mike McGillis of Aitkin; Daughter: Gretchen (Steve) Wold of Aitkin, 9 Grandchildren, 16 Great Grandchildren, and 5 Great Great Grandchildren, 1 Brother: George Eide of Brainerd, 1 Sister: Doris Noakes of Brainerd. She was preceded in death by her parents, Husbands John McGillis in 1978 and Harold Cooper in 2000, Son Jack McGillis, 2 Brothers and 4 Sisters. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11 AM from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Aitkin with Rev. David Becker officiating. Visitation will be Friday, May 4 from 5 to 7 PM with a prayer service at 7 PM at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home. Private burial will be in St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery at Cedarbrook. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Rose M. Cooper (3 Entries)

Warren "Wally" Walter Petersen
11/25/1941-04/14/2018
Warren “Wally” Walter Petersen, 76, of Aitkin, passed away Saturday, April 14, 2018 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. He was born November 25, 1941 in Aitkin to Walter and Rose (Specht) Petersen. Wally graduated from Aitkin High School in 1960. He then went on to serve in the Army National Guard. Wally worked in the Taconite Mines as a Mine Operator and was also a heavy equipment operator in California for a short time. He returned home and worked for Gravelle Plumbing of Aitkin for several years as well as the City of Aitkin. Wally loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting. He especially loved spending time with his family and grandchildren. Wally is preceded in death by his wife, Ramona; his parents; siblings, Charlotte, Bud and Chub. Wally is survived by 2 sons, Jeff (Debi) Petersen of Pillager and Cory (Janet)Petersen of South Haven; grandchildren, Abby, Kyleigh, Dustin, Marissa and Kyle; siblings, Pete Petersen of Aitkin, Marlys (Jim) Dehning of Cuyuna and Jim (Karen) Petersen of Chattanooga, Tennessee; many other relatives and friends. A gathering of family and friends will be Saturday, April 28, from 10 AM until the 11 AM Memorial Service in Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Post #86 of Aitkin and V.F.W. Post #1727 of Aitkin. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Warren "Wally" Walter Petersen (12 Entries)

Teresa M. Rippie
07/21/1951-04/13/2018
Teresa M. Rippie, age 66 of McGregor died Friday, April 13, 2018 at her home. Teresa was born July 21, 1951 in Minneapolis, Minnesota the daughter of Robert and Bernice (Young) Buckley. She grew up and attended schools in Robbinsdale where she graduated from high school. She then attended the College of Saint Catherine’s where she earned her degree in education. She married Erwin R. Rippie on August 4, 1972 in Crystal, Mn. They lived for a short time in New Brighton and then moved to Dayton, Mn. where Teresa worked as a school administrator for over 20 years. She and her husband had been coming to the McGregor area for many years and in 1998 they moved to the area permanently. Teresa was very involved in the McGregor Library and the McGregor Flower Club. She was also a master gardener. She is survived by her husband Erwin Rippie of McGregor, Sons: Travis Rippie of Inver Grove Heights, Mn. and Trenton Rippie of McGregor. Also surviving are two grandchildren: Lillian and Joseph. She was preceded in death by her parents. A gathering of friends and family will be held at a later date at their restaurant The Horseshoe Lake Inn. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Teresa M. Rippie (6 Entries)

Earl Gerard
06/09/1936-04/12/2018
Earl Joseph Gerard, 81 of Aitkin died Thursday, April 12, 2018 at Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. He was born June 9, 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri to John J. and Theresa Gerard, Sr. He graduated high school in 1954 in St. Louis. While in school he enjoyed participating and excelled in many different sports. He was a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Veteran. He moved to southern California and met Velma Loomis. Earl was united in marriage to Velma on February 12, 1966. He worked as a mechanic and retired as a supervisor at LA Transit bus station. In June 1986 they moved to Aitkin. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and loved spending time with his grandchildren He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Velma on November 7, 2011. Earl is survived by his son and daughter-in-law: Joe and Robin; Daughter and son-in-law: Jaennin and Ken; Brother: John; Sister: Theresa; Grandchildren: Kyle and Emily And many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. There are no services scheduled at this time. Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin assisted with arrangements. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Earl Gerard (1 Entries)

Loren Forbes
04/18/1952-04/12/2018
Loren L. Forbes, age 65 of Aitkin formerly of Chaska died Thursday, April 12, 2018 at his home in Aitkin from cancer. Loren was born April 18, 1952 in Minneapolis, Minnesota the son of Lloyd and Marvell (Hall) Forbes. He grew up in Minnetonka, Mn. where he went to school. He worked for many years in refrigeration manufacturing. He worked for the ADC Company and then Mammoth where he retired from last year. He had also worked part time as a bartender in Chaska at the American Legion Post in the past years. He moved to the Aitkin area when he retired. He had been coming to his cabin on Bay Lake most weekends to fish and be with friends. He was the ultimate fisherman, enjoyed it greatly. He had been a member and past president of the Chaska Jaycees, made furniture and enjoyed helping others remodel their homes. He will be greatly missed by friends and family. He is survived by his son Todd Forbes of Chaska; 4 siblings: Andrea Johnson of Inver Grove Heights, Mn., George VanDeusen of Pensacola, Florida, Shirley (Roger) Husted of Mesa, Az., Cheryl Hilke of Fontana, Calf. and special friend Margaret Mooers of Aitkin. He was preceded in death by 10 other siblings and his wife Joann in 2016. A gathering of family and friends will be held at the Aitkin American Legion on Saturday, May 5. 2018 from 1 to 3 PM. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Loren Forbes (3 Entries)

Willie Edward Nelson
02/03/1935-04/10/2018
Willie Edward Nelson,83 of Aitkin and formerly of Onamia, died Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. He was born February 3, 1935 in Onamia to Edward John and Esther Hanna Nelson. Willie was united in marriage to June Marie Kendall on January 22, 1955 in Saint Paul. He worked for Pearson Candy Company, making candy for many years and then in building construction. He loved riding his John Deere Tractors and watching old movies, especially those that starred John Wayne. He was preceded in death by his parents; 2 sisters: Myrtle Ore and Lucille Bodin; and 1 brother: Roy Nelson. Willie is survived by his wife: June Nelson of Aitkin; Daughter: Susan Hawkins of Isle; Grandchildren: Jessica Hawkins (Tom Hoppe), Amanda (Jake) Strecker and Malissa Hawkins; Great-grandchildren: Faith Thompson, Tyler Thompson, Anthony Baylor, Alexis Bonney, William Bonney, Tucker Strecker, Paige Strecker; Brothers: Jim (Sandy) Nelson of Saint Paul, Donald Nelson of Hutchinson, Harold Nelson of Onamia; Sisters: Irene Lancrain of Mora, Florence Ore of Princeton, Darlene (Jack) Purdy of Aitkin; Many other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Monday, April 16, 2018 at Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. Pastor John Stiles will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Willie Edward Nelson (1 Entries)

Valerie King
06/26/1945-04/08/2018
Valerie “Val” Lynne King, 72, of Backus, passed away Sunday, April 8, 2018. She was born June 26, 1945 in Minneapolis to Russell and Anna (Herman) Johnson. Val is survived by her son, Russell (Cindy) Sheehan of Breezy Point; daughter, Jennifer Swiggart of Backus; granddaughter, Chelsea Swiggart; great grandson, Logan Swiggart; sister, Robin (Chuck) Meyer of Big Fork. To honor Val’s wishes, no services will be held. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Valerie King (0 Entries)

Ruben L. Wienke
11/11/1937-04/08/2018
Ruben Lawrence Wienke, age 80 of Aitkin formerly of New Richmond, Wisc. died Sunday, April 8, 2018 at his home on Mille Lacs Lake. Ruben was born November 11, 1937 at Forest, Wisconsin the son of Lawrence and Evalyn (Dumke) Wienke. He grew up and attended schools in Amery and New Richmond, Wisconsin graduating from the New Richmond High School in 1955. He married Marlis A. Westrom on June 23, 1955 at Bessemer, Michigan. They made their home in New Richmond and Ruben worked several jobs one with Stromberg-Carlson Communications. He took a permanent job with them and he and Marlis and their family moved many times due to his job and had lived in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas. He had gone to work for the United Telephone Co. in Missouri which became Sprint-United Communications. He retired in 2000 and he and Marlis moved to their retirement home on Mille Lacs Lake near Aitkin. He enjoyed fishing, boating, feeding the birds and animals. He loved life and especially loved his family and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Marlis Wienke of Aitkin; sons: Randy Wienke of Aitkin, Brian Wienke of Jacksonville, North Carolina, Dale Wienke of Davenport, Iowa, David (Samantha) Wienke of Ft. Riley, Kansas, Daughter: Lorie (Jim) Wressell of Fifty Lakes, Mn. Brother: Orville (Patt) Wienke of St. Paul, 12 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents. A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, April 23, 2018 from 1 to 3 PM at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin, MN. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Ruben L. Wienke (9 Entries)

Dorothy A. Wersal
08/23/1928-04/07/2018
Dorothy A. Wersal, age 89 of Aitkin died Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Dorothy was born August 23, 1928 at Sanborn, Minnesota the daughter of Charles and Amy (Briggs) Brainerd. She grew up and attended schools in Sanborn and then married Melvin M. Wersal on September 5, 1946 at Sanborn. They lived in Springfield, Elbow Lake, Hibbing, Chisholm, Cook and then Bloomington before moving to Mille Lacs Lake in the late 1970’s. She lived there until 2005 when she moved in with her son and then in 2009 moved to the Aicota Health Care Center and has lived there since. She enjoyed sewing, gardening and in her younger days deer hunting and fishing. She loved her cats and dogs. She and her husband had collected aluminum and scrap metal around the Aitkin area and would bring it to the Twin Cities where they would sell it to dealers. She is survived by her son Jim Wersal of Glen, Daughter: Betty Mauer of Bemidji, MN.; 9 Grandchildren and many Great Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Melvin and two sons Jerry and Robert. A gathering of family and friends will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 11 AM until 1 PM at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Dorothy A. Wersal (1 Entries)

James Willis Aldrich
08/10/1941-04/06/2018
James Willis Aldrich, 76 of McGregor - On April 6, 2018 James Willis Aldrich passed away peacefully at Chappy’s Nursing home in Hill City, Minnesota. Jim was born to Margaret (Luek) Aldrich and Willis ‘Lee’ Aldrich on August 10th 1941 in Oelwein, Iowa. Jim graduated from Oelwein High School in 1960. In October of 1960, Jim married Diane Kleiss of Fredricksburg Iowa, and shortly thereafter moved to Northfield, Minnesota where Jim started a 38-year Railroad career working for the Minneapolis-Northfield and Southern and Soo Line Railways. The couple lived in the communities of Northfield and Nerstrand in Southern Minnesota until 1974, when they purchased Aitkin Lake Resort, in northern Minnesota. Jim was an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, he loved trapping mink, hunting ducks, and fishing anything that would bite. Jim was a modern day mountain man, a craftsman, a creator and a poet. Jim loved the Proverbs, he often gave sound advice that is lost in our culture. Waste not Want not, don’t say can’t – can’t never did anything.” Jim always asked questions, conversed well, took interest in people, loved youth and encouraged them always. He loved to Trap shoot, play poker, visits with friends, was a supporter of the Mercuries, and never missed a Track Meet. Jim was the last of his immediate family to pass, he is survived by his sons; Timothy Aldrich, of Silver City, New Mexico, Aaron (Stacy) Aldrich of Chisago Lakes, MN. and Jesse (Sandra) Aldrich of McGregor, MN. and his nine grandchildren, Laura, Alexander, Hannah, Jacob, Isaac, Maciah, Isabella, Eva, and Andrew. His greatest dream was that the ‘Resort’ live on through his children and his grandchildren. Jim's family wishes to extend it's deepest gratitude to all those who loved and cared for him during his final years, Maxine Miller, Sue Aldrich, all the doctors and all those at Chappy's. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Friday, April 13, 2018 at Grace Lutheran Church in McGregor. Reverend Erika Foss and Reverend Mark Wagner will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Oelwein, Iowa. Arrangements are with McGregor Funeral Home in McGregor. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for James Willis Aldrich (7 Entries)

Doris J. Polkinghorne
02/13/1918-03/31/2018
Doris Josephine (Valsvik) Polkinghorne, age 100 of Aitkin died Saturday, March 31, 2018 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin, Minnesota. Doris was born February 13, 1918 at Roseau, Minnesota the daughter of Lars and Ann (Carlson) Valsvik. She attended schools in Warroad and then International Falls where she graduated from. She married Roy M. Polkinghorne on January 1, 1942 at International Falls. Doris had worked for a time as a dental assistant and then did secretarial work while Roy served during WW II. They moved to Minneapolis where she worked for the Minneapolis Public School System at a school for disabled children until she retired in 1978. Doris and Roy then moved to the Aitkin area, to a home they built and lovingly named “JoMar” on Nord Lake. Doris had a deep love of gardening, and surrounded JoMar with flowers of all kinds. She also enjoyed canning all of the vegetables that she and Roy grew in their many gardens, in addition to sewing, embroidery, reading and taking walks. In 2002, Doris and Roy moved into town. Doris has resided at the Aicota Health Care Center for the past 3 years. Doris was a member of First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Doris is survived by a son: Ralph Polkinghorne of Los Alamos, New Mexico; Grandchildren: Jaeson (Thuy) Greer, Amy (Douglas) Williams, and Brian (Amanda) Greer and Great Grandchildren: Carter Williams and Annabel Greer. She was preceded in death by her parents, Husband Roy in 2008, Daughter: Ann Nelson in 2016, and 4 brothers and 7 sisters. A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 2:00 PM from First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the Oakley Cemetery at Little Fork, Minnesota at a later date. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com. Should friends desire, the family requests and memorial donations be made to First Lutheran Church of Aitkin.
Guestbook for Doris J. Polkinghorne (1 Entries)

Clarice Joyce Jackman
11/18/1935-03/29/2018
Clarice Joyce Jackman, 82 of Aitkin died Thursday, March 29, 2018 at Aitkin Health Services in Aitkin. She was born November 18, 1935 in Nordland Township, Aitkin County, Minnesota to John P. and Edythe I. (Skatt) Hillman. She attended country school in Nordland Township and graduated from Aitkin High School in 1953. After graduation she attended Brainerd Vo-Tech. Clarice was united in marriage to Richard Irwin Jackman on April 20, 1963 at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. She was a homemaker and worked as a secretary at the ASCS office, and a Medical Transcriptionist at the Crosby Clinic. She was a member of First Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School. She was a 4-H and Cub Scout Leader. She enjoyed cooking, baking, and flower gardening. She was preceded in death by her parents John and Edythe (Skatt) Hillman, sisters: Marjorie Way, Ione Tronson, and Marlys Hillman. Clarice is survived by her husband Richard Jackman of Aitkin; 2 sons and daughters-in-law: Karl (Danielle) Jackman of Brainerd and Mark (Lynn) Jackman of Chaska; 2 daughters and sons-in-law: Lori (Donald) Courier of Aitkin and Lisa (Chris) Ramsay of Edina; Grandchildren: Gabrielle Courier, Taylor Courier, Quinn Ramsay, Cy Ramsay, Ethan Jackman, Finnegan Jackman, and Delaney Jackman; 3 brothers and sisters-in-law: Donald Hillman of Aitkin, Robert (Karen) Hillman of Aitkin, and Terrance (Ellen) Hillman of St. Paul; 1 sister: Audrey Nordgren of St. Paul; Many other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Thursday, April 5, 2018 at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Reverend Darrell Pedersen will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Aitkin. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Clarice Joyce Jackman (5 Entries)

Ernest E. Burman
10/08/1924-03/24/2018
Ernest E. Burman age 93 of Aitkin formerly of Malmo died Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Ernest was born October 8, 1924 at home in Malmo, Minnesota the son of Charles and Ida (Larson) Burman. He grew up and attended school in Malmo. As a young man he set off with a neighbor friend to the farm fields of North Dakota to find work. At the age of 19 he was drafted into WW II. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Rockbridge in the South Pacific until his honorable discharge at the end of WW II. Upon his discharge he worked at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in California and then as a carpenter in Minneapolis. He returned home to Malmo and married Maria Johnson on June 29, 1956. He built his home and raised his family in Malmo. He worked for the Aitkin Public Schools for over 30 years as a bus driver and mechanic until his retirement at age 65. Ernest was especially proud of his children and grandchildren. He loved spending time with his family. Over the years, holidays, birthdays and weekly gatherings were spent with brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. These were times that he greatly enjoyed and looked forward to. He enjoyed deer hunting with Tom and his friends but really enjoyed the stories and visits that came with it. Ernest is survived by his children: Cathy (Kurt) Buhlmann and Tom (Maureen) Burman all of Aitkin; Grandchildren: John (Sue) Buhlmann of Aitkin, Molly Burman of Aitkin, Brian Burman of Grand Rapids, Mn.; Sister: Loretta Weiss of California, sister in law: Ellen Burman of Aitkin, brother in law: Jim Huber of Minneapolis, and many loved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Maria, son Robert lost in childbirth, parents Charles and Ida Burman, brother: Earl and Clarence Burman and sisters: Anna Jacobson and Irene Long. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 11 AM from the Malmo Evangelical Free Church with Rev. Ken Polle officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in the Malmo Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Aitkin VFW and American Legion Posts. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Ernest E. Burman (4 Entries)

Martin Louis Butcher
09/25/1952-03/19/2018
Martin Louis Butcher, 65, of McGregor, passed away Monday, March 19, 2018. He was born September 25, 1952 in Hibbing to Orland and Mary (Byerly) Butcher. Martin attended McGregor High School before joining the United States Navy. Martin was a Dairy Farmer as well as a Bus Driver for McGregor Schools for several years. Martin is preceded in death by his parents; 3 brothers, Tom, Ken and John. Martin is survived by his wife, Terri Butcher of Aitkin; children, Jacob (Erika) Butcher, Alysa (Andrew) Mentges, Dawna (Jake) Bernhagen and Raechel (Sam) Crites; 9 grandchildren; siblings, Roland (Gayle) Butcher, Jim (Sue) Butcher, Roberta Perpich and Leland (George Ann) Butcher; several nieces, nephews and friends. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 27 from 10 AM until the 11 AM Service in Journey North Church, Aitkin with Pastor Dallas Smith officiating. Military Honors will be provided by Aitkin American Legion Post #86 and Aitkin V.F.W. Post #1727. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Martin Louis Butcher (11 Entries)

Linda Marie Cummings
07/31/1942-03/10/2018
Linda Marie Cummings, Age 75 of Aitkin died Saturday, March 10, 2018 at her home. Linda was born July 31, 1942 in Aitkin the daughter of John Paul and Isabelle Mae (Fredrick) Pirner. She grew up and attended schools in Aitkin and graduated from the Aitkin High School in 1960. She then attended the School of Cosmetology in Minneapolis. She then returned to Aitkin and started her own beautician shop in town and operated that from 1963 to 1971. She then moved her shop out to her home and operated there until retiring in 2008. She married Eugene W. Cummings on May 29, 1965 at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin. She was a member of St. James Catholic Church and had sang in the church choir, a former member of the Moose, enjoyed getting together with her friends and doing crafts, she enjoyed growing potted flowers and baking. Her favorite time of the year was Christmas. She loved to decorate the home for the holidays. She loved her family but especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She is survived by her husband Gene Cummings of Aitkin; Daughters: Kristen Cummings-Danzl of Yuma, Az.; Stefanie (Dale) Thomas of Farmington, Mn.; Grandchildren: Nathan Cummings, Hunter Thomas, Hayden Thomas, Hudson Thomas; Brothers: Bruce (Carol) Pirner of Crosby, Terry (Kathy) Pirner of Coon Rapids, Mn., Sisters: Paulette Peltoma of Duluth, Mn., Donnas (Marty) Tahja of Duluth, Mn.; Sister in law: Joanne Pirner of Aitkin; and very special cousin Renee (Greg) Fliss of Aitkin. She was preceded in death by her parents: John and Isabelle Pirner; brother: Al Pirner; son in law: Mark Danzl and brother in law: Robin Peltoma. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11 AM from St. James Catholic Church with Fr. David Forsman officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at a later date. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home.
Guestbook for Linda Marie Cummings (17 Entries)

Florence Ann Doerr
11/28/1932-03/09/2018
Florence Ann Doerr, 85 of Aitkin, MN. died Friday, March 9, 2018 at her home surrounded by her loving family. She was born November 28, 1932 in Minneapolis to Samuel and Anna (Kozub) Natysin. Florence was united in marriage to Dennis Doerr on June 2, 1951 in Minneapolis. She enjoyed sewing, Gardening, cooking, and especially spending time with her family and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents: Samuel and Anna, 2 brothers, and 2 sisters. Florence is survived by her husband Dennis of Aitkin, MN.; Son and daughter-in-law: Duane (Kathy) Natysin of Coon Rapids, MN.; Daughters and sons-in-law: Virginia (Geoff) Sharples of Cold Spring, MN.; Carol (Garold) Olsvig of Arland, WI.; Geraldine (Craig) Moen of Prairie Farm, WI.; Diana (John) Welle of Aitkin, MN.; Charlotte (Tom) Hastings of Buffalo, MN.; 20 grandchildren and 25 great- grandchildren; Many other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. Friday, March 16, 2018 at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin. Father David Forsman will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the First Lutheran Church of Arland Cemetery in Arland, Wisconsin. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfunersal
Guestbook for Florence Ann Doerr (2 Entries)

Harriet Emily Kamstra
05/08/1931-03/06/2018
Harriet Emily Kamstra, 86, of Aitkin, passed away Tuesday, March 6, 2018 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. She was born May 8, 1931 in Milaca to Wieber and Sena (Santama) Kamstra. Harriet graduated from Milaca High School. Harriet worked at The Garment Factory and Fingerhut for several years before moving to California in 1965. While in California, Harriet worked at Ace Industries, Blue Chips Stamp Company and Willa Case before returning to Minnesota in 2003. She enjoyed embroidery and various other crafts. Harriet is preceded in death by her parents; 2 sisters, Angeline Kamstra and Dorothy Haberman; brother-in-law, Ray Haberman. Harriet is survived by her son, Jon (Barb) Kamstra of Elk Mound; 3 grandchildren, Deidra, Meredith and Alexander; sisters, Carol (Gary) Meixell of Milaca and Betty (Earle) Carlson of Aitkin; several nieces and nephews. A graveside service is tentatively set for Saturday, May 5th in Pease Christian Reformed Church Cemetery, Pease, MN. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Harriet Emily Kamstra (1 Entries)

Sylvia Hauser
05/07/1917-03/04/2018
Sylvia Hauser, 100, of Aitkin and formerly of McGregor died Sunday, March 4, 2018 at Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. She was born May 7, 1917 in Menahga the daughter of Nick and Hilma (Jarvinen) Luoma, both Finnish immigrants. She attended school and graduated from Menahga High School. She was united in marriage to Alec Bokovoy on February 28, 1942 in Minneapolis, where they made their home. Alec passed away May 13, 1964. On September 4, 1970 she married Wilbert Hauser. In September of 1971 they moved to Aitkin County near McGregor, where they had a 10,000 chicken farm operation for the sale of eggs. They sold the farm in 1979 to retire. Prior to 1971 Sylvia was employed by the State of Minnesota for 33 years, 10 years with the Secretary of State and 23 years as a statistician with the Department of Employment Security. Sylvia was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church in McGregor from 1971 to the present. She enjoyed reading, music, sewing, and travel. She was fluent in the Finnish language and enjoyed 3 trips to Finland to visit relatives. She had also studied the Spanish language and found that useful when traveling in Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica. She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband Alec Bokovoy in 1964, her second husband Wilbert Hauser in 2001, and a brother and sister, both in infancy. Sylvia is survived by 3 step-children and their spouses: Grant Hauser, Jeffrey Hauser, and Camille Dombovy; 8 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. Funeral service will be 1:00P.M. – Friday, March 9, 2018 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in McGregor. Reverend Joshua Reinke will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the Menahga Village Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Sylvia Hauser (7 Entries)

Darrel Olson
09/14/1932-03/01/2018
Darrel R. Olson, 85, of McGregor, died peacefully, Thursday, March 1, 2018, at his home. Darrel was born September 14, 1932, in Ivanhoe, MN, the son of Wesley and Irene (Jacobsen) Olson. As a child he attended the Rat Lake School, on 232 near Larson’s Barn in McGregor, and then in Minneapolis, returning to McGregor for high school. While still in high school, Darrel became a member of the National Guard of Aitkin and he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18. For his courageous service during the Korean War, among other honors, he was awarded 3 Bronze Stars. Upon his discharge he returned to McGregor and married Jackqueline Knaack on September 3, 1955, in McGregor. They lived briefly in Princeton, MN, and Kansas before making their home in McGregor for the rest of their lives. For a time, he owned and operated Bowen & Olson Tree Cutting Service. He also worked in and around McGregor for Pineland Telephone Company, Minnesota Department of Transportation, Snelling Oil, Atec, and Yukon Furnace. On the side, he bartended for Roger’s Bar and Mark’s Bar. Darrel was a 20-year member of the McGregor Fire Department, a member of Mount Mariah Masonic Lodge 327 and Mystic Masonic Lodge 213, and the Duluth Valley of the Scottish Rite. He was a charter member of the McGregor Lions Club and their 2nd President. Military service, and being a veteran, was very important to Darrel. He was a member of the McGregor American Legion Dale A. Wayrynen Post 23 and as a life member of the McGregor VFW Post 2747 he served as the Post Commander for many years and also as the 6th District Commander. He enjoyed fishing, building things, gardening, and he “liked to mow.” He is survived by his wife Jackie Olson of McGregor; 4 Children: Wesley (Janet) of Duluth, Penny of McGregor, Duane of McGregor, and Roger of Biwabik; 5 Grandchildren: Kristie (Robert), Travis (McKenzie), Amanda (Wesley), Wesley, and Dake (Stephanie); 14 Great Grandchildren: Haley, Lexie, Aja, Jaren, Justin, Zane, Keaton, Kaleigha, Kacey, Malaya, Gloria, Kaylee, Sean, and Theodore; and 2 brothers: LaVene (Judy) Olson of Milton, WV, and Lyle (Shirley) Olson of Beach Island, SC. His parents and 1 infant brother, Wesley, preceded him in death. Burial will be at the Fort Ripley Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors. A memorial service, and gathering for all family and friends, will be held at the McGregor VFW on Saturday, March 17, 2018, beginning at 1pm with a Masonic Memorial. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home.
Guestbook for Darrel Olson (11 Entries)

Jennie Mae Ihde
08/25/1927-02/27/2018
Jennie Mae Ihde, age 90 of Aitkin formerly of Moline, Illinois and Bemidji, Mn. died Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin. Jennie was born August 25, 1927 in Bemidji, Minnesota the daughter of Henry and Vira (Custard) Nelson. She grew up and attended schools in Bemidji. She married Walter William Ihde in Bemidji after he had returned from WW II. They lived in Bemidji until 1960 when they moved to Iowa and in 1966 to Moline, Illinois. They had been coming to the Aitkin area to Ripple Lake where they eventually bought a cabin which they had planned to make into their retirement home. Her husband died in 1985 and she sold the cabin to her son Robert and he made it into a year round home. As Jennie’s health began to fail she moved to Aitkin from Moline in 2014 and has resided at the Aitkin Health Services in Aitkin. She enjoyed hunting and fishing. She is survived by her Son and Daughter in law; Robert and Linda Ihde of Aitkin; 1 Sister: Reva Rhue of Minneapolis; 2 Grandchildren: Laura Rasmussen of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and James Ihde of Franklin, Tenn., and 2 great grandchildren: Gabi and Ben Ihde both of Franklin, Tenn. She was preceded in death by her Parents, Husband Walter, 2 Children: Paulette Rounds and Pat Ihde, 7 Sisters and 1 Brother. A graveside service will be held in July of 2018 at the Diamond Lake Cemetery. Notification will be published once a day and time is determined. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
Guestbook for Jennie Mae Ihde (5 Entries)

Brenda Jean Bohlin
12/30/1959-02/25/2018
Brenda Jean Bohlin, 58 of Aitkin died Sunday, February 25, 2018 at her home. She was born December 30, 1959 in Minneapolis to William Hollis and Donna Lee (Larson) Bohlin. She graduated from Aitkin High School in 1978. She worked as a dispatcher for the Carpenters Union District Council. She was preceded in death by her parents. Brenda is survived by her life partner Ross Dixon of Aitkin; 2 Sisters and brother-in-law: Lynn Shegstad of Minneapolis; Karen (Scott) Cummings of Aitkin; 1 brother: Joe Bohlin of Florida; Nieces and nephews: Kelli (Brent), Kristi (Anil), and Bill (Missy); Great nieces: Morgan and Brooke; and many other relatives and friends. A gathering is being planned by Brenda’s family and will be posted when completed. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Brenda Jean Bohlin (10 Entries)

Duane Allen Russell
08/26/1946-02/25/2018
Duane Allen Russell, age 71, of Deerwood, MN was born in Minneapolis on August 26, 1946 and died on February 25, 2018 in Saint Augustine, Florida. He was preceded in death by his parents Glen and Marion Russell. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Sally, and also his daughters: Margaret (Dean) Swann and Allison (James) Talaske, his grandsons: Sam (Lauren) Swann and Mark Swann, his brothers: Jim (Liz) Russell and Roger (Renae) Russell, and his sisters: Gloria (Jack) Holmstrom and Arlene (Robert) Gunderson. He openly shared his Christian faith and his love of Jesus, family, friends, fishing, traveling, and hockey. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1964-1968. He worked for Hennepin County Adult Corrections from 1977-2001 as the Supervisor of Operating Engineers. Funeral services will be at Crosby Assembly of God Church 604 Oak St. Crosby, MN 56441 on Saturday, March 24 at 12 PM, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Lunch to follow. Arrangements with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. 218-927-2614 www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Duane Allen Russell (1 Entries)

RICHARD "RICK" ELDON ATHEN
10/17/1954-02/23/2018
Richard “Rick” Eldon Athen, 63, of Aitkin passed away Friday, February 23, 2018 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. He was born October 17, 1954 in Maplewood to Eldon and LaDonna (Jentink) Athen. Richard was united in marriage to Helen Cherry. Richard enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family. Richard is preceded in death by his parents. Richard is survived by his son, John (Colleen) Peterson of St. Paul; siblings, Dennis Athen o Aitkin, Colleen Minder of Aitkin, Gary Athen of St. Pual, David Athen of St. Paul, Rita Athen of Forest Lake, and Barb Athen of St. Paul; several nieces, nephews and friends. Burial with Military Honors will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis at a later date. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for RICHARD "RICK" ELDON ATHEN (1 Entries)

Adam Sharrad Ritter
02/10/1986-02/20/2018
Adam S. Ritter, age 32 of McGregor died Tuesday, February 20, 2018. Adam was born February 10, 1986 in Calcutta, India and came to the U.S. at the age of 4 ½ months and was adopted by loving parents Kemp and Pamela (Westerlund) Ritter. He grew up and attended schools in McGregor graduating in 2004. He then attended Vo-Tech in Alexandria and studied to be a diesel mechanic. He worked for Ritter and Ritter sewer service when he was younger. He then worked for Ziegler in Duluth for a time and then Ulland’s road construction. He started his own contracting business and was also an instructor for the 49ers school. He married Sara Lindberg on April 8, 2017 at Cross Lake, Minnesota and they have made their home in the McGregor area. He was a member of the McGregor Fire Department and the 49ers union. He enjoyed working, socializing, hunting with his uncles, spending time with his family and especially loved his daughter Aubrey. He is survived by his wife Sara Ritter of McGregor, Daughter Aubrey Ritter of McGregor, Parents: Pamela and Dave Hoover of McGregor, Kemp and Joy Ritter of Harris, Grandparents: Loretta Westerlund of Glen, Ronald and Linda Ritter of Aitkin; Brother: Wyatt Ritter of Harris; Step-Sisters: Jessica (Steven) Steiner of Independence, Mn., Breanne (Robert) Johnson of Tamarack, Mikaela Kliewer of Minneapolis; and Step-Brother: Kyle Kliewer of Harris, Mn. and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandfather Willard Westerlund. Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 2 PM from the McGregor High School Gymnasium with Rev. Erika Foss officiating. Visitation will be from Noon until the 2 PM services at the school. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Adam Sharrad Ritter (47 Entries)

Rodney E. Guthmiller
01/16/1966-02/07/2018
Rodney E. Guthmiller, age 52 of McGregor died Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at the Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin. Rodney was born January 16, 1966 in Rapid City, South Dakota the son of Edwin E. and Charlotte A. (Raba) Guthmiller. He grew up and attended schools in Circle Pines, MN. He lived in East Bethel and Mounds view and worked as an auto mechanic. He married Marlys J. Heidelberger on July 4, 1996 at the Beaver Church in rural McGregor. He moved to McGregor in 1999 and he and his wife owned and operated Moll’s Antiques. He enjoyed fishing, 4-wheeling, going to auctions and flea markets. He could fix just about anything and was always willing to help anyone. He especially loved spending time with the grandchildren. He and his wife just recently returned from a trip to Texas where he was able to go into the ocean for the very first time. He is survived by his wife: Marlys Guthmiller of McGregor; Children and spouses: Chad (Alicia) Chapman of Conroe, Texas, Paul (Jennifer) Chapman of Big Lake, Mn., Stephanie (Nathan) Fredrickson of Aitkin, Robert Guthmiller of Cambridge, 9 Grandchildren, 1 Great Grandchild, Parents: Edwin and Charlotte Guthmiller of Blaine, Mn. and Sister: Jennifer (Tom) Pavek of Blaine, Mn. He was preceded in death by his grandparents. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 11 AM from the McGregor Funeral Home with Rev. Joel Seibel officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be at a later date at the Constance Evangelical Free Church Cemetery at Andover, Mn. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Rodney E. Guthmiller (6 Entries)

Jennifer Lois Fredrickson
02/19/1959-02/03/2018
Jennifer Lois Fredrickson, 58, of Aitkin, passed away Saturday, February 3, 2018 with her family by her side. She was born February 19, 1959 in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri to Robert and Leone (Salo) Malone. Jennifer was united in marriage to James Gary Fredrickson on July 26, 1986 in McGregor. Jennifer enjoyed reading, listening to music, drawing, sewing, walking on the beach, listening to the ocean and watching her husband, James garden. Jennifer is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Cindy Malone. Jennifer is survived by her loving husband, James Fredrickson; children, Scholotte (Alex) Gangl, Gabriel (Mariah) Fredrickson, Kimberly (Gene) Davies and Jeffrey (Melissa Bigaouette) Fredrickson; grandchildren, Kaija and Cody Davies, Ritter, Hazel and Charlotte Gangl, Robert Fredrickson, Luke and Grace Fredrickson; brothers, Bob (Deborah) Malone, Tim (Debra) Malone and David (Nancy) Malone; sisters, Becky (David) Cruise, Maribeth Malone and Shelly Malone; 21 nieces and nephews; 53 great nieces and nephews and many friends. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Jennifer Lois Fredrickson (14 Entries)

Jamison Arlo Johnson
10/08/1978-02/03/2018
Jamison Arlo Johnson, 39, of McGregor, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, February 3, 2018 as the result of a snowmobile accident. He was born October 8, 1978 in Aitkin to Catherine Geving and Arlo Johnson. Jamison worked off and on for Savanna Pallet of McGregor for 20 years and was a very dedicated worker. Jamison enjoyed boating, fishing, ice fishing, gardening, mowing, shoveling snow, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling and he loved winter. Jamison was also a very talented artist and enjoyed drawing. He loved to make people laugh. Jamison especially loved watching his kids play sports. Jamison is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Henry and Mildred Weimer and paternal grandparents, Elvin and Ruth Johnson. Jamison is survived by his life partner, Amber Fredrickson of McGregor; children, Darian Fredrickson, A.J. Fredrickson and Millie Johnson all of McGregor; mother and step-father, Catherine (Arthur) Geving of McGregor; father and step-mother, Arlo (Teresa) Johnson of McGregor; brothers, Bobby (Taya) DeWitt of Outing and Ray (Angie) DeWitt of Palisade; sisters, Nicole Belmore of Minneapolis and Tiffany Belmore of Staples; step-grandparents; Andrew and Marion Davis; several nieces and nephews. A gathering of family and friends will be Sunday, February 11 from 2-6 PM with a Celebration of Life at 4 PM in the McGregor Community Center with Pastor Joel Seibel officiating. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with McGregor Funeral Home, McGregor.
Guestbook for Jamison Arlo Johnson (10 Entries)

Darrold "Darry" Burr
11/16/1955-01/28/2018
Darrold “Darry” V. Burr, age 62 of Aitkin died Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin. Darry was born November 16, 1955 at Aitkin, Minnesota the son of Vernon and Lavina (Hansen) Burr. He grew up in the Fleming area and attended schools in Aitkin graduating from the Aitkin High School in 1974. He worked for a short time but was disabled most of his life. He loved hunting, fishing and 4-wheeling. He was a member of the Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club and the Fleming United Methodist Church. He had served on the Fleming Town Board for a number of years. He loved his dogs that he had throughout the years. He is survived by a sister: Cathy (Bill) Graham of Brainerd, MN; 2 nieces: Tammy and Angie and 13 cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and parents. Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 1 PM from the Fleming United Methodist Church with Dianne Brenan officiating. Visitation will be from Noon until the 1 PM service at the church. Interment will be in the Fleming Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
Guestbook for Darrold "Darry" Burr (11 Entries)

Merle and Helen Purdy
01/25/2018-01/26/2018
Merle and Helen Purdy of Aitkin, MN. passed peacefully in their sleep at Aicota Health Care Center of Aitkin on January 25, and January 26, 2018 at the age of 96 and 98. Merle was the son of Ira and Vita Purdy. Merle was born in Madison, MN. on October 28, 1921. His family moved to Robbinsdale, MN. where he was raised and went to school, and where his family owned a small farm and a country store. Merle helped his dad farming, working at the country store, buying and selling horses, and he was also a race horse jockey. Merle was the president of the Elk River Saddle Club, and was a board member of School District 51 in Robbinsdale. Helen was the daughter of Thomas and Marie Sullivan. Helen was born in Sauk Center, MN. on October 1, 1919 where she attended school, while she was going to school she worked for her uncle packaging cottage cheese and later worked at Dayton’s Department Store. Merle and Helen were united in marriage June 2, 1940 in Garner, Iowa. They lived in Robbinsdale, MN. until 1949, and moved to Zimmerman, MN. from 1961 – 1970 where merle drove truck for Medko Stamping and Farming. He loved buying and selling horses, working with cattle, loved horse trail riding with family and friends, spent many hours working and riding in horse shows. Helen loved cooking, baking, canning, gardening, and going on family horse trail rides, fishing and camping. Helen worked for 13 years at Federal Cartridge. In 1970, Merle and Helen moved to Aitkin and bought a large Dairy Farm, that they farmed with their two sons Jack and Mike Purdy until they retired and sold the farm in 1989. Merle and Helen were married 77 ½ years. They are survived by their daughter Darlene (Lynn) Nelson of Rochester, Indiana; son, Jack (Darlene) Purdy of Aitkin, son, Michael (Carol) Purdy of Aitkin; and son-in-law, David Hipsag of Zimmerman. 9 grandchildren: Brian (Kerry) Nelson, Kevin (Shannon) Nelson, Lisa (Mike) Allman, Sheryl (Scott) Wold, Deb (Scott) Beneke, Chris (Dave) Neil, Jill (Steve) Janzen, Wendy (Wayne) Wagner, and Shane Hipsag. 21 great-grandchildren; 17 great-great-grandchildren. Merle and Helen are preceded in death by their daughter Charlene Hipsag, granddaughter Tonya Nelson, great-grandson Nicholas Janzen, great-great-granddaughter Brooklynn Beiringer, Merle’s parents: Ira and Vita Purdy, 1 brother and 2 sisters. Helen’s Parents: Thomas and Marie Sullivan, and 7 brothers. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Friday, February 2, 2018 at Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. Reverend Jason Erickson will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery, Nordland Township, Aitkin County, MN. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Merle and Helen Purdy (4 Entries)

John Alvin Walli
06/06/1935-01/23/2018
John Alvin Walli, 82, of McGregor, passed away January 23, 2018 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. John was born June 6, 1935 in Cloquet to John and Henna (Johnson) Walli. John was a veteran of The United States Army who served during the Korean War. John was united in marriage to Jean Dresen on July 18, 1970 in Roberts, South Dakota. John was a telephone lineman for many years. He was a member of Dale Wayrynen American Legion Post #23 of McGregor and the Rush City Lions for many years. He enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, fishing, deer hunting, bowling, playing cards and especially spending time with his family. John is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Alan and Melvin Walli. John is survived by his loving wife, Jean Walli of McGregor; son, Donald Walli of Two Harbors; daughter, Noreen Walli of McGregor; grandchildren, Alyssa Walli, Christopher Mattison, Roy Townsend and Jeremiah VeerKamp; brothers, Milton Walli of Tamarack, Rodney (Ann) Walli of Cromwell and James (Jackie) Walli of Biloxi, Mississippi; sisters, Carol (Donald) Hutar of Wright, Pat Anderson of Cloquet and Shirley Walli of Wright; many other relatives and friends. Services will be held Friday, July 20, at 2 PM in Grace Lutheran Church, McGregor. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be in Lakeside Cemetery, Wright. Military Honors will be provided by the McGregor VFW Post#2747 and America Legion Post#23. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home and Cremation Service. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for John Alvin Walli (5 Entries)

William J. Cline
07/29/1925-01/20/2018
William J. Cline, age 92 of Aitkin died Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Aitkin Health Services. William was born July 29, 1925 in Aitkin, Minnesota the son of Claude V. and Marie (Thomas) Cline. He grew up and attended schools in Aitkin graduating from Aitkin High School in 1943. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1944 to 1946. He worked in communication and worked with the Navajo Code Talkers. He was also with the 4th Division of Marines at Iwo Jima. His last several months were spent in Guam on security duty. He returned to the U.S. upon his discharge. He married Dorothy Ann Shisler on May 31, 1947 in Aitkin. They made their home in Aitkin and he worked a year and a half for the county helping veterans find jobs. He then accepted a job with the Aitkin Light and Water Company and worked for them until 1957. He then started a 38 year career with the U.S. Postal Service working as a clerk in Aitkin. He retired from the post office in 1990. William also served on the Aitkin Volunteer Fire Department and was a longtime Assistant Fire Chief. Bill played on and managed local baseball town teams for about 40 years and is a member of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. The city of Aitkin named a street after Bill a number of years ago. He was instrumental in getting Woock Field finished after Herman Woock died. He enjoyed bowling and bowled from 1960 up until a few years ago. He was a member of the Aitkin American Legion Post, the Aitkin VFW Post, the Masonic Lodge and Scottish rite 32nd Degree, the Aitkin United Methodist Church and former member of the Aitkin Volunteer Fire Department. He is survived by Daughters: Vivian (Paul) Pasche of Harris, Mn.; Sally Huhta of Aitkin, Connie (Carl) Anderson of Sauk Rapids, Mn.; Margie (Warren) Burman of Aitkin, Yvette (Les) Hyovalti of Aitkin; Grandchildren: Michelle Swenson, Rick (Nancy) Huhta, Steve (Yarrow) Pasche, Josh Anderson, Jamie Ruud, Justin Burman, Jarred Burman, Ashley (Joe) Collins, Linsey Hyovalti; Great Grandchildren: Bobbie Swenson, Billie Swenson, Kristen Huhta, Oak Pasche, Sky Pasche, Jayden Huhta, Emilee Hyovalti; Sister in law: JoAnn Cline, and many nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents: Claude V. and Marie Cline, Wife Dorothy Cline, Brothers: Claude V. Cline Jr., Douglas Cline, Thomas Cline, Jack Cline, Robert Cline and Sister: Marjorie Harr. A memorial gathering time will be Saturday January 27 starting at 1 PM and continue to the 2 PM sharing time at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home. Interment will be at the Lakeview Cemetery in the summer and military honors will be provided by the Aitkin VFW and American Legion Posts. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for William J. Cline (11 Entries)

Alcuin A. Linn
06/13/1930-01/19/2018
Alcuin A. Linn age 87 of Aitkin formerly of South Saint Paul died Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Golden Horizons Memory Care Unit. Al was born June 13, 1930 at Albany, Minnesota the son of Edward and Apolonia (Herbes) Linn. He grew up and attended schools in Albany and worked on the family farm. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1951 and served in Korea. He was discharged in 1954. He worked as a brick layer for a number of years. He married Marlene Elizabeth Wahlund on September 1, 1956 in Minneapolis. They made their home in South Saint Paul and in 1963 he started working as a fireman for the South Saint Paul Fire Department. He worked as a fireman until his retirement in 1985. In the mid 1980’s he and his wife moved to the Aitkin area and lived on Hanging Kettle Lake. Al was a great cook and cooked many dinners for the Aitkin American Legion. He enjoyed fishing especially Ice fishing. He was a member of the Brick Layers Union Local #1, the Moose Club, The Aitkin VFW and The Aitkin American Legion. He is survived by his wife Marlene Linn of Aitkin; Sons: Tony (Karen) Linn of Cottage Grove, Mn.; Larry Linn of Aitkin; Bob (Mary) Linn of Cottage Grove; 10 Grandchildren, 4 Great Grandchildren, 2 Brothers: Kenneth Linn and Anthony Linn of Foley, Mn.; 2 Sisters: Anna Hanauska and Mary Lindgren both of St. Cloud. He was preceded in death by his parents and 8 brothers and sisters. A mass of Christian burial will be Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 10 AM from St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin with Fr. David Forsman officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4 to 7 PM with a 7 PM prayer service at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley, Minnesota. Military honors will be provided by the Aitkin VFW and American Legion Posts. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
Guestbook for Alcuin A. Linn (11 Entries)

Alvin Seberg
01/07/1938-01/19/2018
Alvin H. Seberg, age 80 of Aitkin formerly of Crystal, Mn. died Friday, January 19, 2018 at the V.A. Medical Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Alvin was born January 7, 1938 in Minneapolis, Minnesota the son of Harold and Evelyn Seberg. He grew up and attended schools in Mounds View graduating from the Mounds View High School in 1956. He served in the Minnesota Air National Guard and then active duty in the U.S. Air Force. He lived in Crystal for many years and worked for Devac Windows for over 30 years. He started building a home on Cedar Lake near Aitkin in 1995 and in 1996 moved to Aitkin permanently. He married Susan R. Cravens on July 9, 2012 at Laughlin, Nevada. He did handyman work in the twin cities and continued doing that when he moved to Aitkin. He was known as Mr. Fix It. He and his wife spent the past 12 years wintering in Texas and they loved to travel. He was a member of the American Legion and the NRA. He loved helping his wife with all of her crafting projects. He is survived by his wife Susan Cravens of Aitkin; 3 Daughters: Cheryl Ann (Kevin) Kirtman of Polk City, Florida, Melissa Jean (Marc) Gunderson of Polk City, Florida, Deborah Kaye Johnson of Coon Rapids, Mn.; 9 Grandchildren; 5 Great Grandchildren; Step daughter: Sherry Lynn Anderson of Pharr, Texas; Step Son: Charles William (Lori) Cravens Jr. of Spring Hill, Tenn.; 4 Step Grandchildren; 7 Step Great Grandchildren and brother: Stephen George (Margie) Seberg of Inver Grove Heights, Mn. He was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Evelyn Seberg, step mother Betty Seberg, Grandparents: Ruth and Oscar Seberg and Johanna and Peter Burke. A private family interment will be at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery. A celebration of Alvin’s life will be held this spring with the date to be determined. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Alvin Seberg (4 Entries)

Dennis Winford Christian
04/20/1943-01/17/2018
Dennis Winford Christian, 74 of Palisade, died Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at his home. He was born April 20, 1943 in Hebron Township, Aitkin County, Minnesota to Daniel Herbert and Doras Caroline (Shanholtzer) Christian. He graduated from Aitkin High School, class of 1962. He worked for Yukon Furnace Manufacturing in Palisade. Dennis enjoyed gun collecting, riding 4 wheeler, watching western movies, and helping his friend Ike hay the fields. He was preceded in death by his parents: Daniel and Doras; 3 brothers: Donald, Dickie, and Dale; and his sister Doris Dilday. Dennis is survived by 3 children: Dennis Christian, Mathew Christian, and Lucinda Wiens; 3 grandchildren: Mariah Garcia, Jesse Wallace, and Cody Wallace; 3 greatgrandchildren: Odin, Kobe, and Nikki; 3 brothers: Daniel Ray Christian of Pipestone, David Franklin (Marian) Christian of Portland, Oregon, Duane Leslie (Lynn) Christian of Remer; Sister-in-law: Betty Christian of McGregor; Very good friend: Ike Sherman of Palisade; Many other relatives and friends. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Dennis will be 2:00P.M. – Friday, April 20, 2018 at Hebron Cemetery in Palisade, Hebron Township, Aitkin County, Minnesota. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Dennis Winford Christian (8 Entries)

Luella J "Sally" Phillips
02/03/1942-01/11/2018
Luella J. “Sally” Phillips, age 75 of Aitkin formerly of McGregor died Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Sally was born February 3, 1942 in Douglas County, Wisconsin the daughter of Robert and Ovedea (Lokken) Burger. She attended schools in Wisconsin and the moved to the McGregor area where she lived most of her life. She worked at the McGregor Lanes as manager for many years. She also drove school bus and worked as a teacher’s aide in the McGregor Schools. She had lived at the Northland Village assisted living center in McGregor prior to moving to the Aicota Health Care Center about one year ago. She loved bowling and would bowl every day of the week if she could. She also had managed a girls’ softball team. She is survived by children and spouses: Brenda Erickson of Blaine, Mn., Edward (Samantha) Phillips of Duluth, Mn., Peg (Tim) Terwilliger of Pillager, Mn., Julie Peterson of McGregor, Mn. and Barb (Dennis) Morris of Aitkin, Mn.; 5 grandchildren; 7 great grandchildren; 1 brother: Leroy Burger of South Range, Wisc., 2 sisters: Diane Sellers of Iowa City, Iowa, Shirley Burger of Superior, Wisc. She was preceded in death by her parents, 1 grandson Michael, 5 brothers and 2 sisters. A time of sharing will be held at 1 PM on Friday January 19, 2018 at the McGregor Funeral Home. A gathering time will be from Noon until the 1 PM sharing time on Friday. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home in McGregor. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Luella J "Sally" Phillips (25 Entries)

Helen B. Hicks
05/26/1927-01/05/2018
Helen B. Hicks of Palisade died Friday, January 5, 2018 at Golden Horizons in Aitkin. She was born May 26, 1927 in Palisade to Jonas V. and Betty L. (Olsson) Anderson. She graduated from Aitkin High School. Helen was united in marriage to Thomas P. Hicks on September 4, 1948 in Palisade. She was a homemaker, and worked as a home health aide, and at the Land O’ Lakes Turkey Plant in Aitkin. She enjoyed sewing, quilting at church, and patch work. She was Treasurer for Waukenabo Township, a member of the Farm Bureau, Bethel Lutheran Church in Palisade, VFW and American Legion Auxiliary and a founding member of the Waukenabo Homemakers Club. She was preceded in death by her husband Thomas on April 27, 2003; son-in-law: Larry McCulley; 4 brothers: Herb, John, Eric, and Harry Anderson; 7 sisters: Mae, Mildred, Betty, Florence, Margaret, Selma, and Hazel; And her parents: Jonas V. and Betty L. (Olsson) Anderson. Helen is survived by 4 sons and daughters-in-law: Thomas D. Hicks of Cloquet, Randy D. (Wendy) Hicks of Pell Lake, WI., David W. Hicks of Isanti and Jim H. (Dawn) Hicks of Palisade; 2 daughters and son-in-law: Betty A. (Maurice) Ashton of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Becky J. McCulley of Brainerd; 13 Grandchildren: Amy, Austin, Brian (Olivia), LeeAnne, April (Kris), Larry (Jill), Lacey (Dylan), Megan, Matthew, Sara (DJ), Race (Holly), Cassie (Mike), and Jimmy; Many great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; Sister: Rose Backstrom of Aitkin; and many other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be 12:00P.M. – Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Palisade. Reverend William Sass will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Waukenabo Cemetery. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Helen B. Hicks (18 Entries)

Carol Jane Kritzel Balmer
01/24/1944-01/04/2018
Carol Jane Kritzel Balmer, age 73 of Aitkin died Thursday, January 4, 2018 at her home. Carol was born January 24, 1944 at Saint Peter, Minnesota the daughter of Harry and Helen (Splittstoesser) Kritzel. She graduated from the Winthrop High School and then went on to attend Mankato State University. There she met her future husband, George Balmer of Welcome, Minnesota. They were married on August 2, 1964 in Fairmont, Minnesota. They lived in the Fairmont area for several years where their daughter Lynn Marie was born in 1966. They moved to Hector, Minnesota and lived there for two years before moving to Aitkin in 1970. Carol worked at various jobs including dress shops, Title 1, teacher’s aide at Rippleside Elementary and a merchandiser for Hallmark and American Greeting Card Companies for over 25 years. She did volunteer work with the hospital auxiliary, Red Cross Bloodmobile, Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, Conformation Release Classes, Brownie and Jr. Girl Scout Leader, Aitkin County Girl Scout Chairman for several years and 4-H leader. Carol especially enjoyed working with children. Carol is survived by her husband of 53 years George; One Daughter: Lynn Marie Brown, Granddaughter: Brittny (Jason) Wold; two great grandsons: Tanner and Holden Wold; Nieces: Kathy (Mike) Gessner, Margret (Terry) Taugher and one Nephew: Mick (Vicky) Sawyer. She was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Helen (Splittstoesser) Kritzel, Sister: Beverly Sawyer, Brother in law: Jim Sawyer, and Niece: Debra (Sawyer) Schleeve. A memorial service will be held Friday, January 12, 2018 at 11 AM from the Aitkin United Methodist Church with Rev. Larry Foote officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 4 to 7 PM at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and also 1 hour prior to the time of service at the church on Friday. Interment will be in the spring at Spencer Cemetery near Aitkin
Guestbook for Carol Jane Kritzel Balmer (5 Entries)

Paul M. Shaw
12/08/1916-01/04/2018
Paul M. Shaw, 101 of Aitkin died January 4, 2018 at Aitkin Health Services in Aitkin. He was born December 8, 1916 in River Falls, WI. to J. Emerson and Loura (Sylvester) Shaw. He worked for the Soo Line Rail Road as an accountant and Engineer. Paul was united in marriage to Doris (Myers) on May 17, 1946 in Saint Paul. He was preceded in death by his wife in 2014 and his parents. Paul is survived by his daughter and son-in-law: Jill (Michael) Scarcella; son and daughter-in-law: Jack (Marta) Shaw; 3 grandchildren: Kimberley (Blake) Lanagan, Stacey (Donna) Scarcella, and Daryl Shaw; 4 great-grandchildren: Zachary, Michael, Noah, and Jamie Lanagan; 3 sisters-in-law: Jane (Pat) Humphreys, Myrtle Savage, and Corinne Walker; Many other relatives and friends. Memorial service will be in the spring of 2018. Burial will be January 10, 2018 in Malmo Cemetery, Malmo Township, Aitkin County. Funeral arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Paul M. Shaw (0 Entries)

REVEREND STANLEY RAYMOND ERICKSON
08/07/1927-01/04/2018
Reverend Stanley Raymond Erickson, 90, of Aitkin, Mn passed away Thursday, January 4, 2018 in Golden Horizons Assisted Living, Aitkin, Mn. He was born August 7, 1927 in Fergus Falls, Mn to Raymond and Esther (Fisher) Erickson. Stanley was a veteran of The United States Marines. Stanley went on to graduate from Augsburg College, Augsburg Theological Seminary and later Social Services at Mankato State College. He was a Lutheran Pastor in New Effington, South Dakota, Coon Rapids, Minnesota and Garretson, South Dakota. Stanley then became a Placement Officer for the State of Minnesota. Stanley was united in marriage to Joyce Carol Strand on September 22, 1984 in Minneapolis. Stanley enjoyed building houses. He built his last house when he was 70 years old. He also enjoyed woodworking, World War II memorabilia and traveling overseas with his wife, Joyce. Stanley was a member of First Lutheran Church of Aitkin and was involved in Men’s Bible Study. Stanley is survived by his children, Gordon (Karen) Erickson of Poway, California, David (Ruth) Erickson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Danny Erickson of Minneapolis, MN, Mark (Laura) Erickson of Anchorage, Alaska, Russell (Elizabeth) Erickson of Ramsey, MN, Randall (Marion) Strand of Frankfurt, Germany, Carol Breen of Ramsey, Mn, Connie Strand of Cambridge, Mn, Rick (Mary) Strand of Plymouth, Mn and Russell Strand of Flagstaff, Arizona; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sister, Arlene Rix of Fergus Falls. Stanley is preceded in death by his wife, Joyce and his parents. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be Thursday, January 18 at 1 PM at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Assembly Area #2. Memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church of Aitkin. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for REVEREND STANLEY RAYMOND ERICKSON (6 Entries)

John A. Soderquist
03/21/1937-12/30/2017
John Soderquist, age 80 of Aitkin died Saturday, December 30, 2017 at his home. He was born on March 21, 1937 in Aitkin to Runa and Arthur Soderquist, the youngest of 4 children. He attended school in Aitkin, graduating in 1956. After his marriage to Elizabeth (Betty) Koenig in 1959, he worked selling insurance. In 1968, he went to work for U.S. Steel Corp. on the ore boats plying the Great Lakes. During this period, he and his wife had three daughters Julie, Jane and Paula. In 1973 he obtained his 1st Class Pilots license from the U.S. Coast Guard and worked as an officer for the U.S. Steel on various ships until 1982. He was then hired by Upper Great Lakes Pilots guiding foreign ships from all over the world that entered the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway system. This is what he did until 1996 when health issues forced him to retire. In retirement, he then turned his focus to perfecting the game of golf. He looked forward to Thursday lunches with his golfing buddies and spending time on the fairways. Off the greens, he was his grandchildren’s number one fan in all their endeavors. He and Betty also traveled extensively. They frequented Gulf Shores, AL for the winter months to enjoy the sun and the sea with in-laws and close friends. His family saw him as a jack-of-all-trades; from a seamstress, carpenter and a patriarch – he encompassed it all. He is survived by: Daughters – Julie (Scott) Smith, Jane (Chris) Hills, and Paula Soderquist. Grandchildren – Emily O’Neil, Eric O’Neil, Colleen (Brett) Christensen and Brenda (Jake) Mehr and three Great Grandchildren - Lydia, Jonah and Matthias. Niece and nephews - Vicki (Bob) Lieske, Chris Swanson, Joanne (Bob) Britten, Mike Boerner, Pat Boerner. Funeral services will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Aitkin, Thursday, January 4th at 1:00 PM. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Private family interment to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Guestbook for John A. Soderquist (13 Entries)

EARL ARTHUR SMITHSON, JR.
04/28/1952-12/27/2017
Earl Arthur Smithson, Jr. 65, of Aitkin, passed away Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at home with his family by his side. He was born April 28, 1952 in Minneapolis to Earl and Mary (Gunn) Smithson, Sr. Earl graduated from South High School, Minneapolis. He was a veteran of The United States Army who served during the Vietnam War. Earl was united in marriage to Patricia Kalinowski on November 26, 1976 in Minneapolis. Earl enjoyed riding motorcycle, golfing, softball, fishing and especially spending time with his family. He was a member of Moose Lodge #1060 of Aitkin. Earl is preceded in death by his wife, Patricia; his parents; step-mother, Patricia R. Smithson; brother, Patrick Smithson. Earl is survived by 3 children, Jesse (Martha) Smithson of Baxter, Nicole (Ashley) Eklund of Malmo and Jammie (Jim) Rehwinkle of Aitkin; grandchildren, Devon, Mitchell and Andrew Eklund, Michael and Anton Smithson, Colin, Cedric, Dustin, Jimmy, Avril, Odin, Oscar and Earl Rehwinkle; 3 sisters, Jody (Robert) Reichgeld of Glen, Jackie Switala of Minneapolis and Joanne Wiscovitch of Burnsville. A gathering of family and friends will be Thursday, January 4, from Noon until the 1 PM Memorial Service in Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin with Kim Sletten officiating. Spring inurnment will be in Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery, Little Falls. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for EARL ARTHUR SMITHSON, JR. (7 Entries)

Luella Kit Ann Olsen Julum
10/09/1923-12/27/2017
Luella “Kit” Ann Olsen - Julum, 94 of Aitkin died Wednesday, December 27, 2017 at Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. She was born October 9, 1923 in Glen Township, Aitkin County to Alfred and Martha (Johnson) Olsen. She was Baptized July 27, 1924 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Aitkin and Confirmed May 8, 1938 at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin Church. After her mother died in April of 1925 she went to live with her Aunt Anna and Uncle Gunder Julum. Kit graduated from Aitkin High School. She worked as a secretary for the Principal and Superintendent at Aitkin Public Schools, Deputy Clerk of Courts for Aitkin County, and Legal Secretary for Ryan, Ryan, and Zimmerman Law Office in Aitkin until her retirement. She was Sunday School Superintendent, a member of the church choir, Miriam Circle (a teen mission circle), Circle Leader for WELCA, and also held various other offices in the church. She was on the Aitkin Public Library Board, Aitkin High School Professional Advisory Board, Jacques Art Center Board, as well as a volunteer. Her hobbies included baking, gardening, music, photography, needle point, sewing, and puzzles. She was preceded in death by her parents Alfred and Martha (Johnson) Olsen; Aunt Anna and Uncle Gunder Julum; brothers: Jens, Arthur, Floyd, and Rudolph Olsen and her sister Alphie Backa; the Julum sisters and brother: Mildred, Esther, Harriette and Elmer (Jerry) Julum; Foster brother: Marvin Carlson; and very special friend : Stephen Kurtz Kit is survived by her Godchildren: Karen Olsen, Barbara Johnson Carlson, and Steven Carl Kurtz; nephew: Thomas Arnold of Hibbing and many special nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church, Aitkin; Jacques Art Center, Aitkin; Aitkin Historical Society, Riverwood Health Care Center Healing Garden, Aitkin. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Reverend Jordan Gades will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Aitkin. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Luella Kit Ann Olsen Julum (16 Entries)

Arnold Louis Croatt
02/17/1927-12/25/2017
Arnold Louis Croatt, age 90 of Aitkin died Monday, December 25, 2017 at Aitkin Health Services in Aitkin. Arnold was born February 17, 1927 at Hospers, Iowa the son of Louis and Eva (Kemen) Croatt. He attended schools in Hospers where he grew up. He worked at the local grain elevator for a time and then worked for several farms in the area. He married Clara L. Klein on September 27, 1950 at Grandville, Iowa. They operated a farm in Sibley, Iowa and then ran a farm at Hospers, Iowa. In 1968 they moved to Aitkin where he operated a farm up until a few short years ago. He has resided at the Aitkin Health Services for the past year. He was a member of St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin. He is survived by children and spouses: Michael L. (Lenore) Croatt of Outing, Mn.; Joseph H. Croatt of Aitkin; Marilyn A. (Steven) Paulsen of Grandville, Iowa; John A. (Samantha) Croatt of Outing, Mn.; Mark A. (Darla) Croatt of Aitkin, Mn., Luke A, (Jeannie) Croatt of Aitkin, MN.; Lois C. (David) Spencer of Aitkin, MN.; 18 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, Brothers: Gerald Croatt of Sheldon, Iowa, David Croatt of Sibley, Iowa; Sisters: Delores Eicher of Minneapolis, Mn., and Mary Croatt of Sioux City, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wife Clara in 1998, 1 grandson Keith, 2 sisters: Lois and Margaret and 1 brother Nicholas. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, December 30, 2017 at 11 AM from St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin with Fr. David Forsman officiating. Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 7 PM with a prayer service at 7 PM from the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and also 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the St. Thomas Cemetery at Aitkin, Mn. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
Guestbook for Arnold Louis Croatt (4 Entries)

Mary Louise Johnson
05/23/1934-12/23/2017
Mary Louise Johnson, 83, Aitkin, died Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, at her home in Aitkin. She was born May 17, 1934, in Chicago, Ill., the daughter of Lester and Gladys (Rush) Siegfried. Mary attended Aitkin Schools until her senior year when the family (Mother, Stepfather & 3 half-sisters) moved to Cottage Grove, Oregon, where she graduated from Cottage Grove High School. In June of 1953, Mary married Leonard Theide in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and they had one son, Perry. Mary was remarried to Malcolm Kennedy and they made their home in Danbury, Conn. They had two children, Mary Lou and Warren. Mary and Malcolm owned and operated an electronics company. Mary also worked as an administrative assistant to Health Services, Fairfield County, Danbury, Ct. Mary moved back to Aitkin in the 1980’s and married Ronald Johnson on Sept. 11, 2004. She worked as a health care aide in Crosby. She was a member of First Lutheran Church in Aitkin, The Great River Strings Orchestra, the Jaques Art Center, and the Country Road Classics Car Club. Mary played violin, viola, and the dulcimer in the Great River Stings Orchestra, of which she was one of the early founding members. She played in the Fireflies String Quartet, and also enjoyed playing viola in the evening worship services at 1st Lutheran. Mary was a talented, award-winning, artist. She enjoyed painting with oils, watercolors, acrylics, pen and ink; and was a member of the Sunday Afternoon Painters. Among Mary’s many talents, was her interested in geology and, while in Connecticut, belonged to a geology (rock) collectors club. Plus Mary was an avid gardener both with vegetables and in landscaping their lovely yard. Mary is survived by her husband, Ronald Johnson, Aitkin; Sons, Perry Theide, Cottage Grove, Ore. & Warren Kennedy, Morris, Conn.; Daughter, Mary Lou (Pete) Feige, Charlotte, N.C.; grandchildren, Kaitlyn Feige and Cara Feige; Sisters: Ariel (Jeff) Glad, Mapleton MN, Janice (Donald) Hasselius, Aitkin MN, Adele (George) Knoerlien, Glyndon MD, and Debra Streichert, California, Brothers: Wayne (Mary) Siegfried, Beaver Dam, Wis.; Roland Siegfried, Knoxville, Tenn. Funeral services will be held Tuesday January 9. 2018 at 11 am from First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. Rev. Jordan Gades officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the spring at Diamond Lake Cemetery. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to Great River Strings Orchestra, PO Box 202, Aitkin, MN 56431. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root- Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Mary Louise Johnson (4 Entries)

Sandy Spaeth
02/20/1973-12/21/2017
Sandy Spaeth, 44 of Pine River and formerly of Aitkin died Thursday, December 21, 2017 in Pine River. She was born February 20, 1973 in Ham Lake. She was Baptized and Confirmed in the Catholic Church. As a child she was a member of the Girl Scouts of America. She attended elementary and junior high school in Blaine and Graduated after moving to Aitkin. Sandy enjoyed biking, fishing and water skiing. She was preceded in death by her parents Norbert F. Spaeth and Theresa A. (Schoenecker) Spaeth. Sandy is survived by her brother: Dean Spaeth of East Bethel; Sister and brother-in-law: Brenda (Jason) Lindquist of Andover; Nephew: Cody Lindquist; Many other relatives and friends. Funeral service will be 11:00A.M. – Friday, January 5, 2018 at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin. Father David Forsman will officiate. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. www.srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Sandy Spaeth (1 Entries)

Leota Kelsey
01/18/1925-12/16/2017
Leota Arlene (Kelly) Kelsey, 92 of Aitkin and Venice, FL. died Saturday, December 16, 2017 at Brookdale Assisted Living in Venice, Florida. She was born January 18, 1925 in Perry, Iowa, the daughter of John Maxwell and Edith (Bolle) Kelly. She attended Aitkin Public school and graduated in 1943. As a young adult she enjoyed racing her horse “Tim” at the Aitkin County Fairgrounds and won races. Leota was united in marriage to Bryce Kelsey on December 30, 1945. They enjoyed their house and cabin located on Farm Island Lake for many years while their children were young. She worked as a secretary at Aitkin County Social Services, Aitkin Independent Age, Shing-Wauk Village and Kelsey Abstract Company which later changed to Aitkin County Abstract Company. She was very active at Pine Lake Chapel, teaching Sunday school; youth group; and on church board. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, sewing, china painting, quilting, hunting, fishing and canning garden produce. Leota and Bryce were named Aitkin Riverboat King and Queen during the Riverboat Days celebration. Once Bryce retired in 1982 they traveled south every winter first in a van and then later upgraded to a motorhome. They enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and motorcycling around Aitkin County. They also traveled to Denmark. They made many friends while living in Nokomis at Kings Gate, a gated community in Florida. She enjoyed weekly computer club, quilting and pool league. Leota was preceded in death by her husband, Bryce E. Kelsey on May 21, 2002 and her parents John Maxwell and Edith (Bolle) Kelly. Leota is survived by her son and daughter-n-law: Michael & Pamela Kelsey of Bemidji. Daughters and son-in-law: Linda & Bill Coleman of Palmetto, Florida and Kathleen Kelsey of Aitkin. Granchildren and great-grandchildren: Margot Kelsey and Max and Tracey Kelsey all of Bemidji and son Teal Kelsey; Chris & Marybeth Coleman of Las Vegas, Nevada and daughter Gwenyth Coleman Miller; Shawn Lewis of Crosby; Marcus & Becky Lewis of Langdon, North Dakota and daughter Nadia Lewis. Sister: Connie Hills of Aitkin. Nieces and nephew: Steven & Amy Lehman, Sandra Lehman and Alexandrine Harris. Interment will be in Bennettville Cemetery, Hazelton Township, Aitkin County at a later date. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin. To sign the guestbook online, go to: info@srtfuneral.com
Guestbook for Leota Kelsey (14 Entries)

Charles Thompson
01/29/1920-12/14/2017
Charles N. Thompson, age 97 of Cromwell formerly of McGregor and Esko died Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the Villa Vista Care Center in Cromwell. Charles was born January 29, 1920 at Automba, Minnesota. He grew up and attended schools in Lawler and then worked in the CCC Camps for a time and then worked in South Dakota on farms. He served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1944. He returned to the McGregor area and operated the Trolley Bar for a time. He married Viena Hutar on October 4, 1947 in Aitkin. They lived in Esko and Charles worked for Crane Plumbing in Duluth. He worked for them as a sales representative for many years before he retired back to McGregor. He has resided at the Villa Vista in Cromwell for the past 6 years. He enjoyed fishing, camping, traveling and visiting friends and family. He is survived by a brother George Thompson of Duluth and numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Viena in 2013, 8 brothers and 1 sister. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 11 AM from the McGregor Funeral Home with Rev. Hal Kamppi officiating. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Rice River Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the McGregor VFW and American Legion Posts. Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home. www.srtfuneral.com.
Guestbook for Charles Thompson (6 Entries)

Genevieve Kullhem
08/05/1932-12/11/2017
Genevieve E. Kullhem, age 85 of Aitkin died Monday, December 11, 2017 at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. Gen was born August 5, 1932 in Portland, North Dakota the daughter of Axel and Alida (Finnell) Knudson. She grew up and attended schools in Portland and graduated from the Portland High School in 1950. She married Richard Nelson in 1951 at Portland. They lived in various communities as her husband Richard managed grain elevators. They moved to Aitkin in 1969 and she has lived here since. She worked as a clerk for the Ben Franklin Store in Aitkin for many years and she also worked for the Paulbeck’s Super Valu and also Paulbeck’s County Market. She married Charles R. Kullhem on September 17, 1988 at First Lutheran Church in Aitkin. She was very active in First Lutheran Church and was a member of the circle groups. She helped start the Prayer Shawl Ministry at the church. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, baking. Playing piano and violin and was a member of the Red Hat Society. She is survived by her husband Charles R. Kullhem of Aitkin; Children: Gloria Paulbeck of Aitkin, Rodger Nelson of Moorhead, Mn., David (Teri) Nelson of Little Canada, Mn.; Step Daughter: Carol Kullhem of Hopkins, Mn., Grandchildren: Mike Paulbeck, Tom Paulbeck, Madison Nelson, Benjamin Nelson; Great Grandchildren: Macy, Drew, Levi, Tori, Evelyn, and Joe Paulbeck; Brothers: Kenard (Loretta) Knudson of Portland, N.D., Gilman (Carolyn) Knudson of Portland, N.D., and Sister: MaryAnn (Ed) Gunderson of Fargo, N.D. She was preceded in death by her parents, first husband Richard, brother: Rollan Knudson and sister: Alvia Knudson. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 11 AM from First Lutheran Church in Aitkin with Rev. Jordan Gades officiating. Visitation will be Monday December 18 from 4 to 7 PM at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and also 1 hour prior to the time of services at the church. Interment will be in the Lakeview Cemetery at Aitkin in the spring. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
Guestbook for Genevieve Kullhem (29 Entries)

Lenore Closuit
09/10/1915-12/11/2017
Lenore Closuit, 102, of Aitkin, passed away Monday, December 11, 2017 in Aicota Health Care Center, Aitkin. She was born September 10, 1915 in Jackson, Tennessee to L.L. and Grace (Petty) Fonville. Lenore graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Masters Degree in Bacteriology. She went on to complete 2 years of Medical School at Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee. She was a member of Chi Omega Sorority and Daughters of the American Revolution. Lenore moved to Winona to work at Winona General Hospital. She met Fred Closuit and they were married six weeks later in Jackson, Tennessee on September 23, 1939. They lived in Minneapolis while Fred completed medical school and then came WWII. Fred was a Captain and Medical Doctor to the troops in Burma and India. After the war, Fred and Lenore moved to Aitkin to set up a private medical practice. He built the Aitkin Clinic and practiced there for 50 years. During that time they adopted Fay in 1949 and Charlie in 1952. When Fred retired, Lenore spent the next 20 years working at Grandmas Pantry, a local health food store. Lenore was a great cook, a bridge player, a book club member, an avid walker Lenore was a member of both the United Methodist Church of Aitkin and Journey North Church of Aitkin. Lenore is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Fred Closuit; her parents; son, Charlie Closuit; sister, Jeanne Riddell. Lenore is survived by her daughter, Fay (Dick) Morris of Edina; 3 grandchildren, Julie and Jane Closuit of Fairbanks, Alaska and Joel Bard of Austin, Texas; 2 great grandchildren; nieces, Lyn (Bruce Martin) Closway of Cave Creek, Arizona, Grace Riddell of Kensington, Maryland and Jeanne Scott Riddell of Austin, Texas; nephews, Bruce Closway of Rochester and Dr. Chris (Cheryl) Riddell of Sandy Springs, Georgia. A gathering of family and friends will be Saturday, December 16, from 10 AM until the 11 AM Celebration of Life in Journey North Church, Aitkin. Interment will be in Bennettville Cemetery, Hazelton Township, Aitkin County. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to Children’s Home Society of Minnesota, 1605 Eustis Street, St. Paul, MN 55108, The Dr. Fred and Lenore Closuit Dollars for Scholars Scholarship Fund for Aitkin students, 306 2nd St NW, Aitkin, MN 56431, attn.: Karen Carlson and to the Journey North Church of Aiktin. To sign the guestbook online, go to: www.srtfuneral.com. Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.
Guestbook for Lenore Closuit (21 Entries)