Obituaries for Thursday, February 3, 2005

2005-02-03T00:00:00Z Obituaries for Thursday, February 3, 2005Tribune staff La Crosse Tribune
February 03, 2005 12:00 am  • 

Eugene R. Harwood | Lois A. Bangsberg | Esther A. Hanson | Lorraine K. Anderson | Lloyd M. Granum | Karen R. Heidel | Duane H. Baertsch | Marian L. Carr | James Florence | La Vonne Meyer | Judith Lind | Illa Schild | Inez E. Stoker | Esther B. Thomford

Duane H. Baertsch

Fountain City, Wis. - Duane H. Baertsch, 81, of Fountain City, died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, at St. Michael Lutheran Home in Fountain City. Duane was born in Fountain City on June 13, 1923, the son of Grant and Hilda (Lorenz) Baertsch.

He married Ferne H. Zeichert on Aug. 3, 1944, at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Fountain City; she preceded him in death on Nov. 26, 1991.

Duane was a lifelong resident of Fountain City. As a young man he worked for Central Barge Lines, on the last stern wheel towboats. He left the river and learned the masonry trade. He worked for H&F Roettiger Inc. of Fountain City, becoming general manager and later part owner.

He was active in his church having served on church council and the board of directors of St. Michael's Lutheran Home for the Aged. Duane served his community with the Buffalo County Board, as supervisor and as chairman. He served as chief of the Fountain City Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the Fountain City Lions Club, Fountain City Rod and Gun Club, Buffalo County and Fountain City historical societies, Buffalo County and State Republican parties. He also was a past member of the Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.

When time permitted, Duane enjoyed the outdoors on annual fishing trips to Lake Poskin with Ferne and deer hunting with friends and relatives in Eagle Valley.

Attending meetings was a large part of Duane's life, on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, he left to attend one final meeting, with his Lord.

He is survived by his children, Thomas (Barbara) Baertsch, Onalaska, Wis., Timothy Baertsch and friend, Susan Walkenhorst of Winona, Minn., and Suzanne (Larry) O'Neil of Coon Rapids, Minn.; grandchildren, Jodi (Mike) Guthrie, Andover, Minn., Amanda Baertsch and fiancee Anthony Baxter, Salem , Ore., and Rachel Baertsch of Winona; step-grandchildren, Wendy Sather, Cindi (David) Sandvick and Kari (Mark) Lee, all of Holmen, Wis., and Tammy (Jeff) Elsen of Onalaska; great-grandchildren, Aidan Baxter, Olivia and Chloe Guthrie and step-great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Austin, Alexis and Chase Sather, Jeremy Holland, Ashley Elsen, Nathan and Morgan Sandvick, Dalton and Taylor Lee.

Additional survivors are his brother, Dr. Lloyd (Sharon) Baertsch, Hayward, Wis., and a sister, Shirley (Hugh) Duffy, Winona.

Preceding Duane in death were his parents; wife, Ferne; and a son, William Baertsch.

Funeral services for Duane will be on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. at St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Fountain City. The Rev. Elroy V. Conradt officiating. Friends may call on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home in Fountain City where there will be a Devotional service at 8 p.m. Friends may also call at the church on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m.

Casket bearers will be Tod and Grant Duffy, Michael Guthrie, Steven Haeuser, Dr. Andrew Baertsch and David Glodowski.

Memorial gifts may be directed to St. Michael Lutheran Home or to St. Michael's Lutheran Church.

The family would like to thank the staff of St. Michael's Lutheran Home for the loving care provided Duane.

Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Fountain City.

Illa Schild

La Crescent, Minn. - Illa Schild, 78, of La Crescent was called home to God on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, in the comfort of her home surrounded by her family.

She was born July 18, 1926, in La Crosse, to Thor and Amanda (Gustafson) Sanden. She attended Crystal Valley School in rural Houston, Minn. On Nov. 20, 1946, she married Lyle Schild at the Lutheran Church in Houston. Illa held several jobs throughout her life, including the Rubber Mills, Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, and Aramark, from which she retired in 1992.

Her love of staying busy found her returning to Aramark on a partntime basis, followed by several years of service with the La Crescent-Hokah School District in the food service program. She especially enjoyed her employment in the schools for the contact it provided her with the children and her many special co-workers. Illa was known for her boundless energy. She was an avid walker, golfer and bowler and especially loved to dance. Her primary focus in life was her family.

She was a very loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Caring for her family was her priority. It was not uncommon for her to arrive at her children's and grandchildren's doors, all in one day, to deliver fresh baked apple pies, chocolate chip or ice box cookies, kuchen or cinnamon rolls.

She is survived by her husband, Lyle, of 58 years; two sons, Greg (Janice) Schild and Jeff (Rita) Schild, of La Crescent; two daughters, Nancy (Bob) Nunemacher of La Crescent, and Kathy (Jim) Miniear of Macy, Ind.; eight grandchildren, Scott (Merila) Schild of Grand Haven, Mich., Chad Nunemacher of St. Cloud, Minn., Jessica Schild of Eagan, Minn., Kyle Schild of Tempe, Ariz., and Nicole (Jason) Gile, Melissa Schild, Stacey Nunemacher, and Laurie Schild, all of La Crescent; and six great-grandchildren, Austin, Tyler, Kaitlyn, Chloe, Evan and Jaida. She is further survived by two brothers, Gladen (Floreene) Sanden and Allen Sanden, both of Houston; two sisters, Mavis Hendrickson of Cross Lake, Minn., and Sigrid (Cal) Voshart of Brownsville, Minn.; two sister-in-laws, Doris Runningen and Bernice Otto, both of La Crescent; and many special nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, an infant brother, seven brother-in-laws and four sister-in-laws.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the La Crescent United Methodist Church. Pastor Rob Abel will officiate. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery, La Crescent. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, La Crescent, and again at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of service. Casket bearers will be her grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials given to the Gundersen Lutheran Hospice Program or the La Crescent United Methodist Church.

Inez E. Stoker

Black River Falls, Wis. - Inez E. Stoker, 94, of Black River Falls died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, in Pine View Care Center. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, at the Upper Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, rural Taylor. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Family and friends are invited for visitation at Buswell Funeral Home, Black River Falls, from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and at the church from 10 a.m. to services Monday. Memorials may be given to either Upper Beaver Creek Lutheran Church or Pine View Care Center.

Esther B. Thomford

Brownsville/Houston, Minn. - Esther B. Thomford, 87, formerly of Brownsville and rural Houston, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, at the Field Crest Care Center, Hayfield, Minn. Funeral services will be announced by Haugen-Roble-Jandt Funeral Home, Caledonia, Minn.

Karen Ruth (White) Heidel

HOLMEN, Wis. - Karen Ruth (White) Heidel, 60, Holmen passed away peacefully at her home after a ten month struggle with cancer. She has accepted eternal life with God…

Karen was born Feb. 25, 1944, in Waukesha, Wis., to Verna and Charles White.

She was raised in Pewaukee, Wis., and graduated from Pewaukee High School in 1962. While in high school she met her husband, Donald C. Heidel.

After a seven year romance Karen married Don on Sept. 5, 1964. In 1977 Karen and Don moved with their two daughters and have since resided on a farm northeast of Holmen.

Karen was blessed with two daughters, Michele (Douglas) Markofski, and Nicole (Lionel) Jones, both residing in Eau Claire, Wis.

Karen is survived by her husband, Don; her daughters; her sister, Jeanne Steiglitz of Livonia, Mich.; her brother, Robert White of Magnolia, Texas; her brother, Charles of Mendota, Ill.; her mother, Verna of Hales Corners; her grandchildren, Jonas, Abram, Mora, Caleb and Mathea Markofski and Mahlon and Aalaycia Jones; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father, Charles; and her sister, Ruth Ann.

After high school Karen earned a teaching degree from Oshkosh University. She has held teaching positions all years but the eight that she spent as a stay-at-home mom for her daughters. Positions held include team teaching at Shepherd's Flock Pre-School in Onalaska and since 1990 has been a teacher for the Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau School District. Her greatest love was young students, and she has been a kindergarten teacher at Kindernook in Galesville for the past eight years. She tirelessly spent many hours at home planning and preparing lessons for her students. Many hours of gathering bugs, tadpoles, leaves, beehives, nests, bird eggs and anything that made an experience as one of her students very rewarding.

Karen taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school at Lewis Valley Lutheran Church. She sang in the choir of Lewis Valley Lutheran Church and was known for her many decorative and fashionable hats. Karen was always a fashionable dresser and could put together an outfit that was striking and attractive and was known as one classy lady.

A memorial service celebrating Karen's life will be held at Lewis Valley Lutheran Church, corner of Hwy. V and Hwy. T in Stevenstown, with the Rev. Mark Jolivette officiating. Burial will be held later in Waukesha in her family plot.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Chileda Foundation, for the Information Systems Department to use for computer hardware, software and other technology needs.

Family and friends may call at Lewis Valley Lutheran Church on Friday, Feb. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. and again on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at Lewis Valley Lutheran Church. The service will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a lunch. For those wanting more information, including map, please go to

Dickinson Family Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.

James Florence

VIROQua, Wis. - James Florence, 69, of Neenah, Wis., and formerly of Viroqua died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, in Neenah. Funeral arrangements will be announced later by the Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home, Viroqua.

La Vonne Meyer

LANSING, Iowa - La Vonne Meyer, 83, of Lansing, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, at Thornton Manor in Lansing. Services are pending with Thornburg-Hanson Funeral Home, Lansing.

Esther A. Hanson

Madison, Wis. - Esther A. Hanson, 82, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005.

She was born on June 5, 1922, in rural Westby, Wis., the daughter of Oscar and Ella (Larson) Kirking. She was united in marriage to Donald Hanson on June 11, 1955. He preceded her in death on Dec. 7, 1995. Esther was a devoted member of Bethel Lutheran Church. She was proud of her Norwegian heritage and loved her role as designated family historian. She was an avid Badger and Packer fan and loved all sports. She kept in contact and corresponded with family and friends throughout the United States by writing letters. She enjoyed family activities, reading, traveling and trips. Esther's energy and enthusiasm was contagious to all who knew her. She was an honorary mother, confidant and supporter to her nieces, nephews and friends.

She is survived by two brothers, Harvey (special friend Kathy Boldt) Kirking, and Orlan (Charlotte) Kirking, both of Viroqua, Wis.; five nephews, Robert Kirking, Gary (Alice) Kirking, both of Sparta, Wis., Randy Kirking of Prairie du Chien, Wis., Steve (Sue) Kirking of Lewiston, Idaho, and Todd (Phyllis) Kirking of Viroqua; eight great-nieces, Holly, Hannah, who Esther had a special relationship with, Hillary and Haylee Kirking, Jennifer White, Andrea Hohlfeld, and Kristen and Karlee Kirking, five great-nephews, Justin Kirking, Joshua and Casey Kirking, Nicholas and Eric Kirking; and two great-great-nieces, Mackenzie Kirking, and Rachael Hohlfeld. Esther is also survived by her special friends, the Harbort extended family and the Shinstine family.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Donald; her brother, Art; and special friend, Bernadine Harbort.

A celebration of Esther's life will be held at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Ave., on Saturday, Feb. 5, at

1:30 p.m., with the Rev. Katheryn Baardseth officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeview Lutheran Church Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until the time of services.

Lloyd M. Granum

Lloyd M. Granum, 88, of La Crosse died on Monday, Feb. 1, 2005, at the Bethany-St. Joseph Care Center.

He was born in Mahnomen, Minn., on Oct. 6, 1916, to Chris M. and Klara (Kemson) Granum. He married Ruth H. Reiter on June 25, 1945, in St. Paul, Minn. Lloyd and Ruth's favorite past time was camping and traveling. Throughout their life together they had visited every state in the United States. Ruth preceded him in death on May 22, 2004.

Lloyd served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served on the USS Utah at Pearl Harbor then served on patrol crafts in the South Pacific for the duration of the war. He was a member of American Legion Post 417 of French Island.

He worked at Allis Chalmers for many years before the plant's closing. He then worked for Aircraft Products in La Crosse until his retirement.

Lloyd is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by three brothers.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 10 a.m., at St. James the Less Catholic Church. The Rev. Roger Scheckel will officiate. Burial, with military honors, will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home of La Crosse on Friday from 5 8 p.m., where a rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m., and at the church on Saturday from 9:30 a.m., until the time of service.

Memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society or to St. James the Less Catholic Church.

Lorraine K. Anderson

MABEL, Minn. - Lorraine K. Anderson, 78, of Mabel died Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel.

Lorraine was born Sept. 9, 1926, in New Albin, Iowa, to Herbert and Lillian (Pottratz) Welper. She attended school in Hesper, Iowa, and Mabel.

On Feb. 14, 1946, she married Alton O. Anderson at the parsonage in Mabel. They farmed in the Tawney and Riceford areas before moving to Mabel in 1965. She worked in the dining area at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home. Alton later passed away on Nov. 5, 1983.

Lorraine was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church and WELCA, the Mabel Legion Auxiliary, and the Mabel Garden Club. She enjoyed attending her children's sporting events, yard work, cats, sewing, crochetin, and golfing, for which she had gotten a hole-in-one.

Lorraine is survived by a daughter, Colleen (Bob) Swenson; five sons, Danny (Kathleen) of Amherst, Wis., David L. (Jane) of Rochester, Minn., Craig (Sue) of Zumbrota, Minn., Kevin (Laura) of Apple Valley, Minn., and Kent (Debra) of Plymouth, Minn.; 13 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; three sisters, Charmie (Dean) Steine of Loveland, Colo., LouJean (Rodney) Hoff of Rushford, Minn., and Renee (Homer) Hjerleid of Decorah, Iowa; and two brothers, Wordean (Janice) of Mabel, and Ronald (Sharon) of Waterloo, Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alton; her parents; three sisters, Adeline, Arlyne and Marilyn; and a brother, Reginald.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel, with the Rev. Stephen Fiksdal officiating. Burial will be in the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Judith Lind

HOUSTON, Minn. - Judith Lind, 100, of Houston and Tucson, Ariz., died Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, at the Tucson Medical Center in Tucson.

She was born April 17, 1904, in Sheldon Township, Minn., to Knut and Gunhild (Fossheim) Louve.

She was united in marriage to Alvie Hill Lind on June 19, 1926, at Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Houston, Minn., and he preceded her in death on Sept. 15, 1987.

Judith and Alvie farmed in Houston and started Alpine Nursery in 1950. It remains a family owned business to this date.

Judith was a member of Bethany Evangelical Free Church, where she was confirmed in 1918. She was a member of the Forget-Me-Not Garden Club, a recipient of the Award of Merit from the Minnesota Horticulture Society, Farm Bureau, Coulee Region Rock Club and Centenarian Club of Tucson. She was a Sunday school teacher, member of Ladies Aide, sang in the church choir and was a 4-H leader. She and Alvie were avid rock hounds. They brought attention to a local fossil rock, which the Lapidary Journal named 'Lindite' for their efforts. They loved to travel, and Judith traveled to Scandinavian countries on six occasions.

It was Judith's desire to start a tatting club in Tucson, which is now an active club of 28 members. The club honored her by naming it Judith's Tatting Club. She demonstrated tatting at Norsk Hostfest in Minot,

N. D., for 11 years and at the Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa, for 12 years.

She is survived by three sons, Ralph (Maxine) Lind of Houston, Benjamin (Linda) Lind of Houston, and Karl (Mary) Lind of Albert City, Iowa; two daughters, Jean (Bob) Olson of Sierra Vista, Ariz., and Judy (David) Hansen of Tucson; 24 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and three sisters, Bertina (Paul) Nelson, Tilda (Omer) Christensen and Olga (Chester) Nelson.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Bethany Evangelical Free Church, 301 South Ellsworth St., in Houston, with the Rev. T. Wayne Larson officiating. Burial will be at the Swede Bottom Cemetery in Houston. Friends may call from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday at Hoff Funeral Homes n Houston Chapel and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.

Pallbearers will be grandsons, Brent Hansen, Brian Hansen, Craig Hansen, Tom Olson, Lance Olson, Randy Lind and Jeff Lind.

Marian L. Carr

Marian L. Carr, 80, died in the Hillview Health Care Center on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005.

She was born April 16, 1924, in La Crosse, to Ora and Agnes (McGongal) Dansberry. Marian married Ellwood C. Carr on April 12, 1947. Prior to her retirement, Marian worked as a secretary for the La Crosse School District.

She is survived by her husband, Ellwood; two sons, Tom E. Carr and Richard C. Carr, both of La Crosse; two daughters, Marilyn (Keith) Budke of Buford, Ga., and JoAnn Carr of Eagan, Minn.; two grandchildren, Mark and John Carr.

Marian was preceded in death by a son, John P. Carr; a granddaughter, Angel, her parents and three brothers.

Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 21st and Weston streets, in

La Crosse. The Rev. Dennis Johnson, Ph.D., will officiate and entombment will be in the Chapel of Devotion Mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson St., on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the service.

Lois A. Bangsberg

Moorhead, Minn. - Lois A. Bangsberg, 80, of Moorhead, died on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, under Hospice Care in MeritCare Hospital, Fargo, N.D.

Lois was born on Aug. 5, 1924, in La Crosse, to Fred and Martha Kowalke. She grew up and attended school in La Crosse.

She married Paul "Bill" Bangsberg on July 6, 1943, in Aurora, Ill. They moved back to La Crosse after World War II. They lived in various Minnesota cities and have resided in Moorhead since 1959.

She graduated from Moorhead State University in 1971 with a degree in education.

An active volunteer, she was involved and spearheaded many civic projects in the FM area, and was named Woman of the Year in 1975.

She is survived by two daughters, Marti (Gene) O'Dea, Elk Point, S.D., Cindi Bangsberg, Moorhead; one son, T. Jeff (Anita Boucher) Bangsberg, New Hope, Minn.; granddaughter, Tracy (Dax) Johnson; and great-grandsons, Torin and Layne; and many loving relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and one sister.

Memorials preferred to Christ the King Church Youth Mission or Courage North.

Memorial services will be Friday, Feb. 4, 1 p.m., at Christ the King Church, Moorhead.

Online guestbook available at

Arrangements by Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead.

Eugene R. 'Gene' Harwood

Eugene passed away suddenly on Monday, Jan. 31, 2005, at Allen Memorial Hospital at the age of 83.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; six children, Barb (Dave) Hartwig of Rochester, Minn., Bret (Miyuki) Harwood of Orangevale, Calif., Greg (Kathy Fitzsimmons) Harwood of La Crosse, Roger (Kay) Harwood of Waterloo, Iowa, Russell (Holly) Harwood of Richland, Wash., and Faye (Bill) Tessmer of Lincoln University, Pa.; along with nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Virginia Steinkraus of Montana and Paula Edwards of Colorado. Eugene will be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today, at Parrott & Wood Chapel of Memories. Services will be Friday, Feb. 4, 11 a.m., at the funeral home. Burial will be at Garden of Memories. Military rites will be conducted by Becker-Chapman Post 138 American Legion and Waterloo Post 1623 Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Memorials may be directed to the Salvation Army.

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