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Obituaries


Jane Ellen Gustafson
June 21, 1944 - May 13, 2018

Jane Ellen Gustafson 1944-2018 Survived by her husband of nearly 30 years, Glen S. Gustafson, Jane enjoyed life on and around Pelican Lake in Merrifield, MN. Through family and friends were everything to her, Jane also loved traveling and reading books. Here’s a glimpse of her life story.

On the summer solstice of 1944, Jane Ellen Johnson was born in Milwaukee to loving parents, Jim and Jane Johnson, who have already traveled beyond the is world. Jane was the first of 9 children, including Craig (Karen) and Phil (Toni) Johnson who are now deceased, and Randy (Patty), Karen (David Pressley), Scott (Liz), Gary, Todd (Judy deceased), and Erik (Dana) Johnson. School was a t DSHA in Elm Grove, WI (1958-1962).

When it was time for college, Jane attended UW-Madison, where she studied sociology, enjoyed Greek life, and soon fell in love.

Jane left school in 1964 to marry (John B. Winston) and start a life in Minneapolis and later Edina with their children Caroline (Daniel Life), Elizabeth (David Collins), and Phillip (Kelly) Winston.

An energetic volunteer, Jane’s early service included the Pinocchio Chapter of Children’s Health Center and Junior League of Minneapolis, as well as membership in the Minneapolis Women’s Rotary and the Woman’s Club.

Jane received a B.A. in communications from Metro State University in 1984 and completed a Bush Fellowship; in 1990. The first 9 years of her career were at MEDA. Jane helped launch the Women’s Business Development Center-Minnesota, served on many professional and volunteer boards, and received many awards including the NAWBO Women’s Leadership Award in 2002. She led supplier diversity programs for Pillsbury, ING, and several consultancies, retiring in 2013. Connecting people to business opportunities is what Jane did best professionally.

In 1987, Jane met Glen Gustafson. In this second marriage for each, Jane and Glen flourished and built many friendships in the Twin Cities and at the lake. Jane is also survived by Glen’s daughter, Christi( Chris Gohl), and Glen’s siblings, Wayne (Linda) Gustafson and Barb (Bruce) Kusske. She was adored by her large family that included 4 grandchildren (Jack Collins, Caroline Ofenstein, Conor Gohl, Cory Gohl), and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws.

In recent years, Jane joined the Breezy Point Women’s Club where she served last year as president. She was a member of the Nisswa Women’s Club and Kinship Partners, through which she mentored a young woman who meant a great deal to her. She enjoyed Unlimited Learning, Great Decisions, and volunteered with her church and other organizations.

Here’s to Jane: daughter, sister, wife, mother, volunteer, business leader, mentor, and friend to so many. This is not the final chapter.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Baxter, MN. Donations to Kinship Partners, Inc., PO Box 642, Brainerd, MN 56401, or Immaculate Heart Church, Crosslake, MN. In lieu of flowers. A Celebration Of Life is planned for a later date.

Evelyn Odegard
May 26, 1923 - May 15, 2018

Evelyn Odegard, age 94, of Pine River, passed away on May 15, 2018 at her home. She was born to Humphrey and Caroline Littlejohn on May 26, 1923, in Drayton, North Dakota. Evelyn enjoyed flower gardening, cooking and trying new recipes, watching the Minnesota Twins and spending time with family and friends.

Evelyn is survived by her son, Dennis Odegard of Pequot Lakes; daughters: Cheryl Israelson of Pine River, Janice Fuhrer (Joe) of Pine River, Joanne Chapman (Mike) of Backus, Gloria Arnold (Bill) of Sedona, AZ, Wendy Flategraff (Joe) of Pine River; siblings: Donald Littlejohn, Alfred Littlejohn, Edwin Littlejohn, Robert Littlejohn, Linda Peters, James Littlejohn; 22 grandchildren; 55 great grandchildren; numerous great-great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Obed; daughter, Sandra Bristow; brothers: Ernest Littlejohn, Burton Littlejohn, William Littlejohn, Marvin Littlejohn; sisters: Lillian Rasmussen, Jean Nord, Doris Sullivan; and her favorite dog, Stuey.

Services were held on Saturday, May 19, at First Lutheran Church, Pine River. Burial will be in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River.

Flora Jean Tousley
August 17, 1931 – May 5, 2018

Flora Jean (Miller) Tousley, 86, passed away May 5, 2018, at her home at Senior Class Care, Pequot Lakes. She was born August 17, 1931, in Bordulac, ND. Jean worked at the Pine River Schools for 27 years as a cook. She also worked at the old Toske's Caf and Pinewood Caf in Pine River from 1952 to 1964.

Jean is survived by her husband of 17 wonderful years, Earle Tousley; daughters: Marilyn Bouchard of Pequot Lakes, Debi Bauer of Pine River, Vikki Miller of Pine River; brother, Gerald Campbell of Pequot Lakes; sister, Sandra Fenstra of Wisconsin; 7 stepdaughters; 18 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; 3 nieces and 5 nephews.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Harold "Hook" Miller; son, Lyle Miller; parents, Lawrence and Christina Campbell; brother, Charles Campbell; and three grandchildren.

Services were held May 10, at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River. Burial in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River. Memorials may be sent to: Family of Flora Jean Tousley, 1216 Smith Drive NW, Pine River, MN 56474.

Dona Bammann
December 21, 1953 - April 20, 2018

Dona Lorraine Bammann (Elsasser) formerly of Stevensville passed away on Friday, April 20, 2018, at her home in Merrifield, MN. She was born on Dec. 21, 1953, in Benton Harbor, MI, to Maxwell and Betty Elsasser. She was married to Donald Bammann in Niagra Falls, New York, on June 17, 1983.

Dona was a talented artist both professionally and privately. She loved spending time with her little dog, Stanley, dancing, gardening, fishing, embroidery, reading, baking and spending time with her family and in nature.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years, Donald Bammann, of Merrifield, MN; her mother, Betty Jane Elsasser, of Lecanto, FL; siblings, Gail (Scott) and Glenn (Annette); stepchildren, Lori (Jim); Donette and Jon (Laurie); five grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father.

Memorials can be directed to HART Pets Animal Shelter, 15494 Dellwood Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401.

Ardell Catherine Cook
July 29, 1929 – April 8, 2018

Ardell Catherine Cook (Phelan), age 88 of Nisswa, passed away on April 8, 2018 at the home she loved after a prolonged illness. She was born on July 29, 1929 to parents Cyril and Victoria (Laqua) Phelan, attended grade school at St. Bridget’s Catholic School, and graduated from North High before going on to vocational school to learn the comptometer and other book keeping skills.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her spouse, Richard Cook, two siblings - Elaine Miller and Frances (Pat) Phelan, and four of her children (Sharon, Colleen and Karen Cook and Mark Cook). Ardell Cook is survived by her sister Margie Lock, one son, Stephen R. Cook (Diana) of Phoenix, NY, along with the grandchildren she loved - Andrew Cook, and Stephen Cook, Amber, Brittany, Josie, and Chad Cook, Amanda Baldwin, and Jon Hewett (Christa); nieces, nephews and four great-grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, May 5 at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Nisswa, with burial at Evergreen Cemetery.

The Cook family would like to express their gratitude for the support of devoted caregivers and medical providers who helped sustain a desired quality of life in surroundings where Ardell wished to spend her last days, and for the community of friends and family who provided care and personal support through recent months.

Memorials can be directed to St. Christopher’s Catholic Church, Nisswa MN, 56468, or Saint Croix Hospice, 17021 Commercial Park Road, Suite 5, Brainerd, MN 56401.

Walter Ole Foss
June 21, 1946 - March 29, 2018

Walter Ole Foss, 71, McKenna, Wash., formerly Backus, Minn., died Thursday, March 29, in St. Peter's Hospital.

Services were previously held. Arrangements by Funeral Alternatives of Washington.

DesaRae Mykkanen
July 9, 1985 - April 24, 2018

On April 24, 2018, our beloved daughter, sister, mother and auntie began her journey to the Spirit World. DesaRae Karina Mykkanen was born on July 9, 1985, in Brainerd to Arnold and Harriet Mykkanen.

DesaRae had an infectious personality that impacted all that she encountered. She was the definition of a free spirit. Her hobbies included gardening, beach time, planning family gatherings and being the best mommy she could be for her one and only son, Nico.

DesaRae was raised in Pine River and stayed there until later in life when she decided to move to Gulf Shores, Alabama, where she met the love of her life, Todd Schultz. She then convinced Todd to move to the coldest place on earth - Minnesota - so she could be back home. So Rae Rae, Todd and little Nico came home.

DesaRae was the glue to our family. She was never afraid to speak her mind or throw a punch. She will be missed by so many.

Rae Rae was preceded in death by her mother, Harriet Mykkanen; Uncle Delbert; Uncle Dan, Uncle Art and her grandparents. She is survived by her soulmate, best friend and love of her life, Todd Schultz; her one and only son, Nicolas; her father, Arnold "Preach" Mykkanen; stepmother, June Mykkanen; beloved sister, Victoria; brothers, William and Filmore LaDeaux; step brother, Joel Molash; brother-in-law, Jake Anderson; along with numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and her beloved dog, Josalin.

Services were held April 28 at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

Charlene A. Brown
August 15, 1947 - April 15, 2018

Charlene A. Brown, 71, of Emily, MN passed away unexpectedly at her home on Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Charlene was born on August 15, 1947 in Minneapolis, MN to Leonard and Elinor (Wintheiser) Gerdes. She was loved by everyone and will be missed greatly.

Charlene is survived by her daughter, Deana Brown; son, Joseph Brown; significant other, Sam Dunbare; grandchildren, Addie Grace Brown, and Jeffrey Edward Pagel; dear friend, Sharon; cousin, and Greg Detra. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Services for Charlene were held on Friday, April 20, 2018 at Brenny Funeral Chapel in Crosslake, MN Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Crosslake, MN.

Geoffrey Francis Gaertner
May 7, 1948 - April 23, 2018

Geoffrey (Geoff) Francis Gaertner of Crosslake, Minnesota passed away on Monday, April 23rd at St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Geoff was born on May 7th, 1948 in Minneapolis to Agnes (Betty) and Frank Gaertner. He grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from Richfield High School. He attended the University of Minnesota where he obtained a Bachelor of Mortuary Science degree.

He found the love of his life, Pat, and they were married January 20th, 1972. They had one child, Nicole (Nicki). Geoff joined the Navy in 1965 and was honorably discharged in 1969. He served on the USS Hoel (DDG-13) during the Vietnam War. Geoff’s mission in life was to care for others and put others before himself. This rang true in his profession as a funeral director where he embodied the words “I Care”. He continued to share his love with others when he and Pat moved to Pequot Lakes in 1993 to live in the family cabin on Lower Whitefish Lake where he became the neighborhood handyman.

He and Pat moved to Crosslake in 1999 where he continued to enjoy life in the northland. He loved to spend time on the lake, enjoyed seeing the various wildlife that would visit their yard, and always had a house project going. They enjoyed taking road trips and going antiquing, as well as attending auctions and flea markets across the state. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and sharing stories about his life and making them smile and laugh.

He is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, his nephew, and brother-in-law. He is survived by his wife Pat, his daughter Nicole (Darby) Rasmussen of Elk River, granddaughter Hailey, sister Susan (Steve) Moline, brothers and sisters in-law, cousins, and friends.

Services were held Sunday, April 29, 2018 at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd. Burial will be Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm in Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery Honor Guard. Memorials to the family.

Barbara P. Kinghorn
December 05, 1941 - April 13, 2018

Barbara P. Kinghorn, age 76, of Crosslake died on Friday, April 13, 2018 at her home. Her memorial service was held on Sunday, April 29 at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Esko.

Barbara was born on December 5, 1941 in Duluth, to William and Helen Hansen. She was married to Bruce Kinghorn on June 27, 1976.

She is survived by her husband, Bruce; her children, Eugene Sandberg, Cynthia Clark, Scott Peltier, Troy Peltier, and Brad Peltier; her sisters, LaVerne Zack and Carole Jean Hansen; and her brothers, William Hansen and Dean Hansen.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” - John 3:16.

John McCoy, Sr.
September 07, 1935 - April 15, 2018

John LaVerne McCoy, Sr., age 82, formerly of Pine River, passed away Sunday, April 15, 2018, at Woodlyn Heights Senior Living in Inver Grove Heights. He was born to Ray and Freda McCoy on September 7, 1935, in Churdan, Iowa.

John is survived by his son, Jim McCoy; daughters, Trudy McCoy, Tammy McCoy Alexander; sister, Roberta Bradow; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents; son, John McCoy, Jr.; sisters: Rheta Ticer, Myrtle Bradow, Lois Bradow; and his beloved puppy, Cuddles.

Services were held on Wednesday, April 18, at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River. Burial in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River. Memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society.

Laura Niesen
November 27, 1920 - April 22, 2018

Laura Christine Niesen, age 97, of Pine River, MN, and formerly Buffalo, MN, passed away on Sunday, April 22, 2018, at Good Samaritan Society, Pine River. She was born to Richard and Paula Hoffman on November 27, 1920, in Maple Lake Township, Wright County, MN. Laura was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Buffalo. She was united in marriage to Christ Niesen on November 18, 1950, at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Hopkins, MN.

Laura is survived by her daughters, Pauline Dupont (Les), Betty Erickson (Dan); brother, Ronald Hoffman (June); several grandchildren; and many other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Christ; brother, Ervin Hoffman; sisters, Evelyn Moster, Virginia Sullivan; and son, Randy Niesen.

A graveside service was held on Friday, April 27, at Lakeview Cemetery, Buffalo, MN, followed by a Celebration of Life Service at Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church, Buffalo.

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