Obituaries for Thursday, September 30, 2004

2004-10-01T00:00:00Z Obituaries for Thursday, September 30, 2004By Coulee News Staff La Crosse Tribune
October 01, 2004 12:00 am  • 

Ruby I Mickelson/Richard L. ‘Dick' Erickson/Minta E. Schlicht/Ellen (LaVone) Hesselberg Blahut

Ruby I. Mickelson

MINDORO, Wis. — Ruby I. Mickelson, 98, of Mindoro and for the past four years a resident of Mulder Health Care Facility in West Salem, Wis., died Friday, Sept. 24, 2004, at Franciscan-Skemp Medical Center in La Crosse.

She was born Dec. 21, 1905, in Mindoro to Henry M. and Hattie (Stetzer) Storandt. On Dec. 27, 1927, she married Melvin "Mike" Mickelson and he preceded her in death on Feb. 23, 1967. Ruby was a 1923 graduate of Mindoro High School and was a member of the first class in Mindoro that completed all four years for a high school diploma. She farmed with her husband Mike in Mindoro for 14 years and worked at the Farmer's Cafe in Mindoro for 21 years. Ruby was a lifetime member of Mindoro Presbyterian Church and was the churches eldest member. She served 20 years as church treasurer and was a member of the Presbyterian Women. Ruby was also a member of the Mindoro Senior Citizens. She was an avid baseball fan and enjoyed following the Brewers and Cubs. Ruby also enjoyed gardening, playing cards, baking and inviting family and friends over for coffee and treats.

Survivors include her nieces and nephews, Reuben (Carol) Storandt, Margaret (Donald) Haag, Marcella (Robert) Koss, Angeline (Roger) Haag, Willard (Loretta) Storandt, Donna (DeVerne) Role, Dougland (Eileen) Paisley and Leann Kramer, all of Mindoro, Gloria (Jake) Jenson of Oshkosh, Wis., and Harriet (Kenneth) Pfaff of Rochester, Minn.. In addition to her husband, Mike, she was preceded in death by a sister, Lila Paisley; three brothers, Ray, Archie, and Harvey Storandt; a niece, Beverly Roberts; and a nephew, Raymond Storandt, Jr.

Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 27, from Mindoro Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Cindy L. Arndt officiated. Burial was in Farmington Cemetery. Memorials may be given to Mindoro Presbyterian Church or to the memorial of the donor's choice.

Richard L. ‘Dick' Erickson

CASHTON, Wis. — Richard L. "Dick" Erickson, 71, of Cashton passed away Sunday, Sept. 26, 2004, at the Hillview Healthcare Center in La Crosse, from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was born on Jan. 4, 1933, in rural Cashton to Roy and Vivian (Wang) Erickson. He was a 1950 graduate of Cashton High School.

He remained in the Cashton area until 1964, when he moved his family to Sparta, Wis. He later moved to La Crosse and then Onalaska, Wis., before his illness took him to Hillview in January of 2002.

While Richard was involved in various endeavors throughout his adult life, his lifelong passion revolved around music. In addition to being a piano tuner, he played trumpet and sang in numerous area dance bands spanning over 50 years. He took immense pride in being a member of the 132nd Army Band/Wisconsin National Guard and achieving a rank of 1st Sergeant.

He especially enjoyed the lasting friendships and camaraderie he had with all of the musicians he met and performed with and was widely known for his "storytelling" talents. He was also active in the local theatre scene, performing in several plays and musicals. Over the years he played "taps" at the funerals of hundreds of area veterans.

Richard married Jayne Pahl in Waukon, Iowa, in 1957. They were later divorced. Richard and Jayne had six children, Mark (Julie) and Leif (Rosemary), both of Sparta; Lynn (Paul) Welter of Appleton, Wis., Pahl (Rebecca) of Tomah, Wis., Beth Sommer of Neenah, Wis., and Kurt (Terese) of Monroe, Wis. He had 12 grandchildren, Janis Peterson of Appleton, Emily, Ashley, Brittany, Tyler and Trevor Erickson of Sparta, Matthew and Timothy Sommer of Neenah, Madeleine and Samuel Erickson of Monroe, and Jacob and Mitchell Erickson of Tomah.

On April 16, 1983, he was married to Rosemary Schneider in La Crosse and they lived together in Onalaska for several years. They were later divorced.

In addition to his children and grandchildren, he is survived by two sisters, Ann (William) Bayer of Mercer, Wis., and Jean (James) Frandy of Manotowish Waters, Wis.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law, James Schamens.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at Hillview for the excellent care that Richard received during his illness.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004, at Portland Lutheran Church in Cashton. Pastor John Stennes-Spidahl officiated. Burial followed in Portland Lutheran Cemetery.

Minta E. Schlicht

Minta E. Schlicht, 78, of La Crosse died on Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004, at Lakeview Healthcare Center in West Salem, Wis.

She was born Jan. 12, 1926, in Dresbach, Minn., to Thomas and Violet (Peck) Dearman. She married Clarence Schlicht on July 16, 1968, in Winona, Minn., and he preceded her in death on May 12, 1988.

Minta is survived by two sisters, Genieva Malles of Cochrane, Wis., and Almara Dearman of California; a sister-in-law, Janice (Robert) Secor of La Crosse; one niece, one nephew; and two special friends, Jane (Don) Schur and Karen Fisher, both of La Crosse.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and two sisters.

Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 27, at Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home of La Crosse, with the Rev. Liberty Lausterer officiating. Burial followed in Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery.

Ellen (LaVone) Hesselberg Blahut

Ellen (LaVone) Hesselberg Blahut, 87, much-beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, died Thursday, Sept. 16, 2004, of complications from a stroke suffered in July. Until that time, she was an active octogenarian, playing golf and cards 2 to 3 times a week.

Born in Burns, Wis., in 1917, LaVone was one of eight children raised on what is now known as the Hesselberg farm. Around 1936, she received a teaching certificate from Viroqua Normal School and taught in a one-room schoolhouse for two years. After her son Jerry was born, she allowed him to be adopted by her parents and subsequently moved to Chicago. She met her future husband, John, at the Paradise Ballroom, where they were both dance instructors. They married, had two daughters, Sandy and Karen, and lived in Chicago for nearly 20 years. In 1961, they separated, and LaVone moved to San Diego with the two girls. She worked as a waitress at a number of restaurants before retiring in 1982.

LaVone always said she had the best time of her life in 60s, undoubtedly because of her zest for life and the fun she had golfing. She served as tournament chairman and president of several Ladies' and Seniors' Clubs and was active in Pub-Links, traveling as far as Hawaii to play in their tournaments. An excellent golfer, she collected many trophies and scored the elusive hole-in-one when she was 81. Besides golf, she spent many hours playing cards with her friends.

She was a devoted mother, willingly caring for daughter, Karen, who was bedridden with MS and cancer until her death in February of this year. Her sweet disposition, sense of humor and courage in the face of challenges served as an inspiration to family and friends. She is already sorely missed.

In addition to Karen, she was preceded in death by brothers, Larry, Al, Buster (Walter Jr.) and Ray; and sister, Edna Mae.

She is survived by son, Jerry Hesselberg of Sparta, Wis.; daughter, Sandy McWilliams of Spanaway, Wash.; brother, Wilmer Hesselberg; and sister, Talu Olson of Bangor, Wis.; grandsons, Ramon Scott of Santee, Calif., and Guy Hesselberg of Bangor; granddaughters, Jeri Lee Weigel of West Salem, Wis.; and Sharyn Jasmer of Spanaway; three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

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