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Wallace Clifford Erickson
February 09, 1931 - October 12, 2020

Wallace "Wally" Clifford Erickson, 89, of Merrifield passed away on Monday, October 12, 2020. Funeral Services  willbe held on Monday, October 19, 2020 at 12PM at Mission of the Cross Lutheran Church in Crosslake, MN, with a visitation one hour prior. Interment will be at Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake, Minnesota.

Wally was born on February 09, 1931 to Carl and Lillie (Ellefson) Erickson. He grew up in Becker, Minnesota and he attended Becker High School class of 1948. He worked on the family farm and as a grain handler at Fleishman Grain Elevator. Wally married the love of his life, Elizabeth “Betty” Erickson on June 14, 1952 in Becker. Then in 1967, he attained his MN Real Estate License and he practiced Real Estate until his retirement in 1988.

Wally was an avid sportsman and enjoyed fishing, duck hunting, and deer hunting. He also enjoyed going to auctions, often times coming home with something that he really did not need. Wally was an active member of Mission of the Cross Lutheran Church in Crosslake. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He is survived by Elizabeth his wife of 68 years; one son Joe (Terri) Erickson; 4 grandchildren: Joseph Erickson, Elin Nelson, Sara (Justin) Kline, and Katie Erickson; and also 4 great grandchildren;1 brother-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents Carl and Lillie Erickson, and 2 brothers Ernest and Herbert Erickson.

Bertella Katherine Raph
February 18, 1932 - October 9, 2020

We are overwhelmed with sadness at the death of our beautiful, talented mother, Bertella Katherine
Raph, on October 9, 2020, in her lovely home in Fifty Lakes.

Bertella was the 4th of 8 children, the second daughter, born to Henry and Blanche Goldenstein in Donnelly, Minnesota on February 18, 1932. Her family moved to Manhattan Beach when Bertella was a child where they ran the village grocery store and Post Office. Her father later farmed, and her mother exclusively ran the Post Office. Bertella ultimately became her assistant and upon her mother’s retirement took over as head Postmaster for 25 years, until her retirement in 1992.

Being a Postmaster was only one of the many hats she wore throughout her lifetime. Married and a mother at 16, she and her husband, Donald Raph raised 9 children. They grew huge vegetable gardens and she spent her summers preserving the produce, in addition to raising chickens, cows and pigs. She helped Dad run the Manhattan Beach “Minnow Shack” for years, and she cleaned many homes in the community to a standard not easily found today. She helped stretch and flesh the animal pelts Dad brought home from his traplines, but she never owned a fur coat! She was an expert seamstress; sewing and crocheting many of her children’s clothes.

Bertella was never idle. She loved to sing and, as a girl, taught herself to play the piano. In her retirement she became an expert quilter. Her children’s, grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s beds are adorned with her many beautiful creations. Her artistry was apparent not only in her quilting and various craftwork, but also in the  extensive beautiful flower gardens she grew each year. She loved those summer days, watering, weeding, and enjoying the gardens she created.

When our father, her love of over 60 years, passed away in 2008, Mom, true to her strong and independent nature, surprised us all when she moved from the house they built, to a new, smaller house she could handle on her own on an adjacent piece of their property. She loved her years there where she watched the wildlife and birds as she read, solved sudoku and crossword puzzles and enjoyed her sunny, warm living room, even on the coldest winter days.

Bertella will be greatly missed by her sisters, Marion Luukinen, of Wadena and Lorna Houde of Castle Rock, Colorado. She was predeceased by her 4 brothers, Kenny, Goldie, Junior and Orlen.

Bertella’s children, Terry Fornell (Gregg), Lucy Harrison (Jim), Laurie MacInnes (Fred), Colleen Sheehan (Tom), Danny, Kelly (Ann), Blair (Tammy), Tracy (Danette), Holly Kline (Joel) and her 21 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren will miss her friendship, encouragement and love, as well as the many festive holiday and Sunday dinners that she so generously hosted all these years. And, those killer apple pies!

Thank you to the doctors, nurses, and staff of Essentia Health, as well as Amber and Jan of Good Samaritan Hospice for your expert care and support during a very difficult time.

Mom, your strength was an example to us all.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4-7

Private family services will be held. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

Ralph Nentl
April 19, 1935 - October 8, 2020

Ralph Nentl passed away at his home after a short illness with family by his side, on October 8, 2020.

Ralph was born in Albany, MN on April 19, 1935 to Casper and Mary Nentl. He proudly served his country by enlisting in the US Army in 1955. He married the love of his life, Patricia Shay on December 27, 1958. They enjoyed nearly 62 years of marriage and were blessed to have three children: Lisa, Timothy and Daniel.

As an educator, Ralph affected the lives of children throughout his career as a teacher, counselor and principal. He retired from Sandstone Public Schools in Minnesota. He also believed in community service and was active in his church, the Knights of Columbus, the Lions, the American Legion Post 500 and the Whitefish Yacht Club.

Ralph was so proud of his family and lived to enjoy their company. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Lisa (Doug), Timothy, and Daniel (Julie); grandchildren, William (Mallori), Jordan, Eleanor, Griffin, Henry; great granddaughter, Adette; sister, Laverne Akin; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and one sister.

Mass of Christian burial was held at Immaculate Heart Catholic Church on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Arrangements entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Crosslake.

Margeurite Bartusiak
October 7, 2020

Margeurite Elizabeth Onate Bartusiak, 82, of Emily, MN and Pharr, TX, was reunited in heaven with her husband Bernie and her daughter, Donna, on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 surrounded by her family while at home at Ruth Lake in Emily, MN. Marge was born in Chicago, IL on January 4th, 1938 to Rose and Jesus Onate.

Marge grew up in Chicago. As a teenager she served as president in a club called “The Robins” through the American legion. She attended Westcott Vocational High School in Chicago where she focused on being an accountant and secretary. Her first job was at Goldblatts working in sales. Then she worked at Phoenix of London, an insurance agency. She spent 5 years working at Mini Hut, a hot dog stand, before settling on her career as a dog groomer. She spent 45 years professionally grooming dogs as well as teaching others the trade. In 1989 she and  her husband Bernie bought the Town Tavern in Ironton, MN and owned it for 5 years.

She met the love of her life, Bernie Bartusiak in 1953. They were united in marriage in Chicago, IL at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Catholic Church. They made their home in Chicago and had 4 children together. In 1970 they bought their lake property on Ruth Lake in Emily, MN. They spent every Summer together at the lake and had many family and friends who would visit through the years. In 1989 they moved to Emily full time. In 2005 they decided to become snow birds and bought their home in Pharr, TX. They loved spending time in their community with their many friends and being able to enjoy the Texas weather while still being able to come back to Emily in the Summer months. Bernie and Marge celebrated 63 years of marriage before Bernie went home to be with the Lord in August, 2019.

Marge loved going to Bingo, playing cards, going to garage sales, and spending time with her family. She was also a member of the Red Hat Society. She expressed genuine happiness and contentment in every day life often humming softly to herself and sharing her beautiful smile with anyone who walked through her door.

Marge is survived by her three children, Elizabeth (Lenny) Deshayes of Cushing, MN, Joseph (Bernadette) Bartusiak of Dayton, MN and Cathleen (Ross Gano) Donkers of Wamego, KS; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and her sisters Aliene Mannion and Millie Laskey. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard Bartusiak; parents, Rose and Jesus Onate; daughter, Donna Bartusiak; grandson Jacques Deshayes; brother Kenny Onate; and sister Alice Rose Twitty.

A Memorial Mass will be held 11:00 a.m. on Monday, October 19th, 2020 at St. Emily’s Catholic Church in Emily. A visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. One of Marge’s requests was that her family and friends gather for a pizza party to celebrate her life after she passed away. Her request will be honored and a pizza party is planned immediately following the mass at Cornerstone Christian Church 41563 Birchwood Dr in Emily. Arrangements are with the Koop Funeral Home in Crosby.

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