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Obituaries


Cheryl Chapman
April 2, 2020

Cheryl Chapman, age 68 of Emily died at her home on April 2, 2020. Arrangements are pending with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.

William James Dankel
January 1, 1939 - March 30, 2020

William James Dankel was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on January 1, 1939, the son of Gerold Dankel and Kathleen Price Dankel.

He graduated from Des Moines Technical High School in 1958. Bill worked at Look magazine until drafted into the U.S. Army in 1961, serving in France for two years. Upon discharge, he returned to Des Moines and Look until moving to Minneapolis, MN in 1968 for a career in the electronics industry. He was married to Dianna Fraser on November 9, 1974. They lived in Columbia Heights until 2005 when they moved to St. Bonafacius, MN. Bill retired in 2006.

Bill enjoyed fishing and traveling and for many years had a cottage on Island Lake in Crosslake, MN, and later building a home on Leavitt Lake near Outing, MN, He enjoyed nothing more than introducing young people to fishing. In retirement, Bill and Dianna spent a number of winters in Florida.

Bill Dankel died on Monday, March 30, 2020 at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia after a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, by a sister, Kathy, and nephew (Jerry).

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dianna Dankel of St. Bonifacius; by a sister, Susan Grotewold of Liberty MO; by nieces, nephews, and other extended family and friends. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at a later date.

Marjorie Nortin
December 9, 1934 - March 26, 2020

Marjorie “Marge” Nortin passed away peacefully at home on March 26, 2020, in Katy, TX, her husband and children by her side. Because of the current restrictions on social gatherings, a private graveside funeral was held at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Emily, MN.

Born December 9, 1934, in Cloquet, MN, Marge was the only daughter and youngest child of Cecil and Florence (Vanstrom) Carlton. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Emily where she spent her childhood and in 1952, graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School. That fall, she began classes at Macalester College where she later  met Richard Nortin, the love of her life. Marge completed her studies in 1956, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a teaching certificate. She and Richard married on September 1st that same year, and over the next decade, four children were born to the couple.

Marge taught school full time for only a few years before taking time off to focus on her family. When she returned to the workforce, however, she traded in her No.2 pencils for a typewriter and a secretarial position in the medical field. Nonetheless, over the years she continued to occasionally work as a substitute teacher, and she even served as a county juvenile officer for a short time. It wasn’t until she went to work as an executive assistant to the chief of pathology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, however, that Marge found her professional home; she retired from there 23 years later in 2000.

A woman of unwavering faith and boundless love, Marge was a wonderful roll model for her children and grandchildren, all of whom she was incredibly proud. She taught them the importance of family and friends, and  most importantly, to love each other and God above all things. She felt closest to Him and most at peace when sitting on the deck of the family cabin surrounded by the trees, birds, and chipmunks. Marge is survived by her devoted husband of more than 63 years, her children Kathy (David) Graeff, Paul (Cheryl) Nortin, Melissa Renner, Marit “Malena” (Ray) Lopez, and foster-daughter April Youngblood as well as 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Van and Del Carlton, and granddaughters Stephanie Favorite and Katlin Collins.

Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.

Peter Alexander
February 8, 1947 - March 25, 2020

Peter V. Alexander, age 73, of Pine River, passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at Good Samaritan Society, Pine River. He was born in Pine River on February 8, 1947.

Pete is survived by his sons: Peter, Todd (Patty) and Christopher, all of Pine River; two brothers; one sister; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Linda; father, Peter J. Alexander; mother, Ethelyn Alexander; grandson, Devin; one brother and one sister.

At Peter’s request cremation has taken place and no services will be held.

Willis Dewey Gruber
September 10, 1937 ~ March 25, 2020

Willis “Bill” Dewey Gruber passed away on March 25, 2020 at home after a long illness. At Bill's request, no services will be held.

Bill was born on September 9,1937 in Red Wing, MN to Dewey and Erna (Danielson) Gruber. Bill graduated from Watertown High School in 1955 and served as a Buck Sargent for 6 years in the United States Army Reserves. In his spare time, Bill and his brother Bruce, together known as the Gruber Brothers, drag raced a Roman Red 1957 Chevy for 5 years and they were hard to beat!

Bill married Devera (Lewis) in July 1964 in Lake Crystal, MN and they began their married life together in Chaska, MN, where they welcomed son Gene in March 1968. In 1970 they moved the family to their newly-built home in Wayzata, and their family was complete in November 1972 when daughter Lynn was born.

Bill worked as the owner of B&G Service in Hopkins, MN for many years. He sold the business in 1980 to start an adventure working as Head Custodian with the Wayzata School District, where he remained until he retired in 2002.

Bill and Devera loved spending time at their lake home in Crosslake, MN where they were active in boating and snowmobiling. In 2002, they retired and moved to their lake home full time and together appreciated the breathtaking lake views. When not at the lake, Bill and Devera enjoyed seeing the countryside while on their way to attend Nascar races in their motorhome, or while taking a spin in Bill’s prized corvette.

Bill will be remembered for being able to tell a great story, his jolly laugh, tinkering in his garage, and his ability to fix absolutely anything.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents Dewey and Erna Gruber. Bill is survived by his wife of 55 years, Devera; brother Bruce (Cathy) Gruber of Pahrump, NV; sister Sue Viesselman of Brooklyn Center, MN; son Gene (Special Friend Anine Thomas) Gruber of Andover, MN; daughter Lynn Wood of Prior Lake, MN; 7 Grandchildren and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Geraldine Francis Ann (Szmiot) Westlund
September 20, 1942 ~ December 23, 2019

CHANGE OF DATE NOTICE: Celebration of Life will be at The Log Church in Crosslake, MN on July 18, 2020. Reverend Daniel S. Westlund to officiate.

Vernon Luke Dano
December 18, 1956 ~ March 16, 2020

Vernon “Vern” Luke Dano, 63, of Nisswa, passed away peacefully in his sleep from complications of liver cancer. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at a later date at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Nisswa, MN.

Vern was born in Brainerd to Jimmie and Darlyne (Puetz) Dano. He graduated from Brainerd High School, where he enjoyed gymnastics and track. Vern worked in construction for over 40 years, doing masonry and concrete, and building fireplaces and brickwork. He was a member of the Nisswa Fire Department for 15 years, and a member of the Conservation Club for several years. Vern enjoyed hunting, fishing, and woodworking- he was a true  handyman. He was a good friend to everyone he met and will be truly missed.

Vern is survived by his parents, Jim and Darlyne, children Angie Dano, Valerie (Keith) Campbell, Tony (Debbie) Dano, Laurie Willer; and four grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his brother, Mark Dano.

Robb Michael Swenson
May 21, 1974 ~ March 5, 2020

Robb Michael Swenson, 45, of Crosslake, died Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Staples. Robb's celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Howard Harry Hutchins
April 10, 1923 - March 9, 2020

Howard Harry Hutchins, 96, of Crosslake, MN, died Monday, March 9, 2020 at home with family. Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, March 16, 2020 at Immaculate Heart Catholic Church. Interment followed at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.

Howard was born April 10, 1923 in St. Vincent, MN to William and Delia (Emon) Hutchins. He was a very active member of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Crosslake. He was also very active in many community organizations. He was a proud World War II veteran, serving in the United States Navy. Howard was a member of Crosslake and Crow Wing Historical Societies. He was also a member of Knights of Columbus, American Legion  Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Independent Order of Foresters. He will be dearly missed by many.

Howard is survived by his thirteen children and their families. He is preceded in death by his parents; sons, Robert and Donald; daughter, Carol; great granddaughter, Amanda; and wives, Melantena and Verna.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crosslake Historical Society.

Robb Michael Swenson
May 21, 1974 - March 5, 2020

Robb Michael Swenson, 45, of Crosslake, died Thursday, March 5, 2020 in Staples. A celebration of life will be held  at 4:00 PM, Saturday, March 28, 2020 at the Crosslake American Legion.

James Woodwick
December 26, 1950 - March 3, 2020

James “Jim” Woodwick Jr., age 69, of Pine River, passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at his home. He was born to James and Dorothy Woodwick on December 26, 1950, in Estherville, Iowa. Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving in Korea. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved spending time with his grandchildren.

Jim is survived by his wife, Doris; mother, Dorothy Jones; sons: Matt (Tasha), Jeremy, Corey (Tammy); daughter, Amanda (Carl Brawley); brother, Forrest “Woody”; sisters: Linda, Judy, Roberta and Shelly; nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, and brother, Charles.

Jim’s family requests that cards and memorials be sent in lieu of flowers. A Celebration of Life was held on Sunday,  March 15, at the Pine River American Legion followed by military honors.

Kathryn "Kay" Elaine Garin
October 14, 1932 - March 1, 2020

Kathryn E. Garin, age 87, passed away Sunday, March 1, 2020 at her home in Crosslake. Funeral services will be at 11AM on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at Crosslake Lutheran Church in Crosslake. Rev. Kristin Oltmann and Rev. Kurt Hagestun will officiate, and burial will be in Pinewood Cemetery, Crosslake. Visitation will be from 4-7PM on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Crosslake and one hour prior to services on Saturday at the church in Crosslake.

Steven Alan Greer
December 12, 1950 - February 28, 2020

Steven Alan Greer, age 69, of Fifty Lakes and formerly of St. Paul died Friday, February 28, 2020 in Fifty Lakes. Services will be at a later date.

Steven was born on December 12, 1950 in St. Paul to Curtis and Marilyn “Petey” (McCool) Greer. He married Lee Heutmaker on February 11, 1976; together the couple had two children. Steven was self-employed as a log builder; building beautiful log homes throughout the land of 10,000 lakes. His work ethic and craftsmanship was  far above expectation; always providing excellence to his clients. Steven passed along his work ethic to his  children always reminding them to “get up and get it done.” He enjoyed motorcycles, snowmobile racing in his youth, fishing in his bass boat and “good” music. Steven was quiet, bull headed, and a gentle giant; he will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Simply put, “Steven was cool.”

Steven is survived by the mother of his children, Lee of Mahtomedi; daughter, Amber Greer of St. Paul; son, Kory Greer of St. Paul; granddaughter, Aurora Greer; great grandchildren, Kayson and Hadley; sisters, Nancy Urman of Long Prairie, Cindy Murphy of St. Paul. He is also survived by many friends and extended family members.  Steven was preceded in death by his parents.

Steven’s family would like to thank the Westlund family for their care, compassion and friendship over the last ten years.

Earle Tousley
December 14, 1924 - March 2, 2020

Earle Knight Tousley, born December 14, 1924 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed into the presence of his Lord on Monday, March 2, 2020 at the age of 95.

Earle Tousley is remembered for his love of family and nature as well as his joy found in Jesus Christ, his Savior and Lord. His family has fond memories of his great sense of humor, family trips, games and numerous dogs. Fishing, golfing, cheering on the Twins or Vikings and writing were some of his favorite pastimes.

Earle was on a mine sweeper in the Navy during WWII. Just before he sailed out, he was challenged by a radio preacher to lay hold of the eternal life that Jesus’ death and resurrection provide. He turned from his own way, received the free gift of salvation and found in Christ a friend that is true. God brought him through the war and Earle studied to become a pastor. His wife Emily and he were married fifty-two years and served a number of churches together, including the Whitefish Community Church in rural Pine River, MN. After Emily's passing, he enjoyed seventeen years of marriage with Jean.

We are thankful for the legacy of hope he passed on to so many as he pointed us to Jesus. Now he has finished his time on earth and has crossed over to heaven to hear those words, “Welcome home, my good and faithful servant.” And so we do not say “goodbye” but rather, “until we meet again.”

Earle is preceded in death by parents, Charles Knight Tousley, and Christine Naomi Nelson; sisters, Jewell (Ora) Sarazin and Mildred (Darrell) Stanberry; his first wife, Emily R. Peabody and second wife, Flora Jean Miller; and son-in-law, George Voss.

He is survived by his and Emily’s seven daughters: Kathleen (Jay) Tobin, Kristeen (Tom) Jensen, Janice (Brent) Weaver, Julie Voss, Paulette (Kirk) Sievert, Peggy (Bob) Fragale and Theresa (Al) Klasky as well as 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; and Flora Jean’s daughters: Marilyn (Charles) Bouchard, Vikki (Doug) Miller, Debbie Bauer as well as 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Services were held at Riverview Church, Pine River, MN on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Chaplain Thomas Jensen officiated the service. Burial is at the Norwood Cemetery in Pine River.

In honor of Earle’s love of the Bible and radio we are asking that those who wish to give a memorial would send it to The Word FM 102.7 at MCBI Radio, PO Box 409, Pequot Lakes, MN 56472 or online at http://theword.mn/support. Any non-specified monies will be given to Goats for Grandmas, dedicated to bettering the lives of  African orphans.

John Wulf
May 2, 1930 - March 3, 2020

John Wulf, age 89, of Pine River, passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at Essentia St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd. He was born to August and Viola Wulf on May 2, 1930, in Excelsior, MN. He was raised in Excelsior where he attended school. John served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in Guam for 2 years. He married Bonnie Beilman on June 20, 1959, in St. Paul. They lived and raised their family in New Brighton. John and Bonnie retired to their home on Lake Hattie in 1992. John loved fishing and taking care of their retirement home. The last 3 years John enjoyed living at Heartland Apartments in Pine River. He was an active member of the Pine River United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir and served as a trustee.

John is survived by his wife, Bonnie; son, James Wulf (Kelly); daughter, Sandra Alleckson (Tom); grandchildren: Parker, Kate, Kelsey, Alissa, Autumn, Arianna; great grandchildren, Hannah and Jane. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert; and sister, Audrey Sullivan.

No services are planned.

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