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Obituaries


Maxine Courts
July 17, 1931 - May 11, 2017

Maxine Courts passed into the loving arms of her Savior on Thursday, May 11, 2017, following a brief illness. Celebration of Life Service was held on Monday, May 15, at the Crosslake Log Church, Crosslake, MN. Private family interment service will be held at a later date.

Maxine E. Courts was born July 17, 1931, to David and Rhoda (Sampson) Collin on a farm northeast of Aitkin, MN. When she was 5 years old her parents moved to Cottonwood County in southwest MN. She accepted the Lord as her Savior at the tender age of 9 and was baptized at Storden Baptist Church.

She attended mostly rural schools through eighth grade, then she went to high school at Windom, where she graduated in 1949. She enjoyed singing in the choir and playing in band in high school and sang in the sextet also. She had the voice of a songbird and throughout her life would bless others with her song. She also taught herself to play piano when she was 5 years old, and could play wonderfully by ear and could read music very well. She would delight the ears of many throughout her life with her piano skills, and used this skill for the glory of her Lord by playing piano and organ in church for many years.

During Maxine’s senior year in high school she met the love of her life, Oliver Courts, at the roller-skating rink in Windom, and they were married on June 24, 1949. The Lord blessed their union with 4 sons and 4 daughters. Oliver and Maxine lived on a farm outside Okeene, Oklahoma for the first five years of their married life. They moved to a farm north of Windom in 1954, and lived on several farms in Cottonwood County before moving into Windom in 1975. They lived in Windom until 1984 when they moved to Crosslake, where they owned a small motel for many years before retiring and enjoying the rest of their years in Crosslake. Throughout those years, Maxine was a stay at home Mom, and encouraged her children to sing and learn to play musical instruments, as well as the piano. She loved hearing her children sing and play. She also encouraged them to play sports. She also babysat children in their home in Windom. Maxine had an incredible gift of sewing and sewed everything from clothes to re-covering furniture. Her hobby of quilting resulted in quilts for all her children, grandchildren, most of her great grandchildren, as well as many other relatives and friends. She taught Sunday School and played piano  and organ for many years at Jeffers Baptist Church, played piano for Community Bible Church in Windom and for Crosslake Evangelical Free Church in Crosslake.

She is preceded in death by her parents, David and Rhoda (Sampson) Collin; siblings, Everett (and wife Genevieve), Ralph, Charles (and wife Vera), David; brother-in-law, Gordon Berge; and son-in-law, Dan Swenson.

Maxine is survived by her husband of 67 years, Oliver Courts of Crosslake; sister, Ann Berge of Pom-ona, California; sister-in-law, Roxie Collin of Heron Lake; sister-in-law, Ann Collin of Memphis, TN; her eight children which include Mike (LaVerle) of Nisswa, Sam (Mary) of Deer Trail, CO, Deb (Jay) Wathen of Beaumont, TX, Cheryl Swenson of Coleraine, Barry (Diane) of Isidro Casanova, Argentina, Kristi (David) McNeill of Roanoke, VA, Robin (Paul) Burns of Charlotte, NC, and Jody (Lorrie) of Maplewood; 44 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Blessed be the memory of Maxine Courts. Arrangements are with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.

Richard Vernon Tverberg
August 18, 1939 - May 5, 2017

Richard Vernon Tverberg, age 77, of Breezy Point, MN, passed away Friday May 5, 2017, at CRMC Care Center,  Crosby. He was born August 18, 1939, in Fosston, MN, to Mildred and Barton Tverberg. Richard married Joanne Mae Erlandson on April 16, 1960, in Minneapolis, MN. Richard retired after 28 years working for Burlington Northern Railroad. After retirement he moved to Annandale, MN, then made his home in Breezy Point where he loved working in his yard and was known for his beautiful lawns. He will be remembered for his faith in Jesus and warm friendly spirit. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Barton & Mildred Tverberg; son, Ricky;  brothers: Morris, Sidney, Donny, William; sisters, Betty and Vivian.

Richard will be missed by his wife of 57 years, Joanne; brother Virgil; sisters, Violet and Donna; children, Cindy (John) of Breezy Point, Jeffrey of Breezy Point, Lori of Milaca, Luanne (Dave) of Pequot Lakes, Penny (Roger) of Hibbing; and his grandchildren: Ryan, Jennifer, Jami, Jeremiah, Angela, Cassandra, Michael, Cody, Luke, Austin, Brandon, Jordan, Joshua; eight great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at CRMC Care Center for their kind and passionate support during our difficult time.

Memorial services for Richard were held on Friday, May 12, 2017, at Kline Funeral Home, 30208 Lilac Drive, Pequot Lakes, with Rev. Peter Rosenkvist officiating.

Harold V. Johnson
May 26, 1926 - May 3, 2017

Harold V. Johnson, 90, of Crosslake, died on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at Good Samaritan Society – Bethany, Brainerd, MN. Services will be Friday, May 12, 2017, at 11:00AM at the Log Church in Crosslake, with Pastor Dan Crocker officiating. Visitation will be at the church during the hour prior to services.

Harold was born on May 26, 1926 in Minneapolis, to Harold and Amy (Bergfalk) Johnson. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and from The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, with a degree in electrical engineering. Harold entered the United States Navy and served in the Pacific during WWII. Following his  honorable discharge, he met the love of his life, Arla Nelson, and they were married on August 14, 1948 in  Minneapolis, at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Harold worked for Honeywell throughout his entire career. Following his retirement, Harold and Arla moved to Crosslake, where he was a resident until his death. Harold enjoyed being  outdoors, hunting, and wildlife. He also liked trap and skeet shooting. Harold was a “prayer warrior”.

Harold is survived by his loving wife, Arla; children, Dr. Stuart (Dr. Vicki) Johnson of Chicago, IL, Harlan (Ann) Johnson of Crosslake, Janet Johnson of Minneapolis, Erik (Mindy) Johnson of Eagan, and Judith (Joel) Elavsky of Akeley; six grandchildren, Joseph, Danielle, Claire, Jamie, Kendra, and Keegan.

Reverend Karl Edwin Bell
April 27, 2017

Reverend Karl Edwin Bell, 84, of Fifty Lakes and Minneapolis, MN passed away peacefully on April 27th after a long and courageous battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

A native of St Paul, MN, he was the son of Dr. Clifford P. Bell and Louise (neé Hammerbacher) Bell. He was a graduate of St. Thomas Academy and the University of Minnesota. In 1958, under then-Bishop Hamilton Kellogg, he entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in Evanston, IL. Before his graduation from seminary he did summer fieldwork on the White Earth Indian Reservation as well as social work with disadvantaged youth in London, England. In 1961 he was ordained at the Cathedral of our Merciful Savior in Faribault, MN, where he was assigned curate. Shortly thereafter he was named the first full-time, resident chaplain at Shattuck School in Faribault.

In 1967 he resigned from Shattuck to establish the new mission congregation of St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Naples, FL, which flourished under his leadership. After five years in Naples, FL, the missionary spirit led him to St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Caracas, Venezuela, where he served the wide and diverse English-speaking community. Other international opportunities presented themselves during this time, including an opportunity to go to Nigeria as a theological school instructor. After five years in Venezuela he returned to his native Minnesota and to Christ Church, in Albert Lea. From Albert Lea he moved to Christ Church in LaCrosse, WI, where he was an instrumental and proactive force in the resettlement of the Hmong population in the LaCrosse area.

After thirteen years in LaCrosse, WI, his interest in international ministries led him to Wiesbaden, Germany, where he spent ten years as the rector of the church of St Augustine of Canterbury, part of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, which serves the English-speaking community in the Frankfurt-Wiesbaden area. Under his guidance and stewardship, a struggling congregation grew and thrived. Because of his success at St. Augustine’s, he was asked to go to Clermont-Ferrand, France, and help grow the new mission church there.

In 2004 Reverend Bell retired and returned to his native Minnesota and to his family lake home in Fifty Lakes, MN. He spent the final twelve years of his ministry at St John’s Episcopal Church in Aitkin, MN until October, 2016.

In the fifty-six years since his ordination, he touched and influenced countless people’s lives in Germany, France, Venezuela, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and beyond. From Hmong refugees to troubled youth to regular parishioners and neighbors in Fifty Lakes, he will be remembered for his kindness, his humor and his respect for all people. To quote his former Bishop in Europe, “Karl was a good and gentle man who walked by faith, lived in hope and radiated love. May he rest in peace. “

Reverend Bell is survived by his daughter, Dianne Bell, (David Eenigenburg) and son, Andrew Bell, (Carrie), both of Minneapolis, and four grandchildren; Amelia, Nicholas, Jakob and Luke. He is also survived by his sister, Donna Sperr, of Daytona Beach, FL. The funeral was held on April 30th at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis.

Reverend Bell was adamant about leaving things ‘better than you found them’. To that end he was passionate about conservation efforts to improve the lake water quality of Mitchell Lake in Fifty Lakes Township, where he lived, and to protect the surrounding environment against invasive species.

Memorial donations can be directed to the family at 2430 Cedar Lane, Minneapolis, MN 55416. Checks can be made out to the Fifty Lakes Property Owners Association, a 501C3 organization dedicated to promoting responsible stewardship of land and water resources by all property owners in the township of Fifty Lakes.

Shirley Brandanger
February 19, 1924 - April 22, 2017

Shirley Elizabeth Brandanger, age 93, of Pequot Lakes, passed away Saturday, April 22, 2017. She was born February 19, 1924, in River Falls, Wisconsin. Shirley’s first career path was that of a school teacher working in a one-room schoolhouse teaching many different grade levels. During World War II she switched careers to work in  a factory to support the war effort. In addition to being a homemaker, Shirley provided necessary clerical support to her husband while they started Brandanger and Associates which was a successful auditing business.

Shirley is survived by her children: David Brandanger, Diane Lund, Douglas Brandanger (Ruth), Dennis Brandanger (Elizabeth); grandchildren: Christine, Kelby, Rory, Kirk, Hannah, Jessica (Seth) Midura, Jayme (Aaron) Madson. Shirley was blessed with four great-grandchildren: Isaiah, Eliza, Noah and Elin. She will be deeply missed by her sister, Leona.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlyn; parents, Samuel and Ethel Woods; sisters: Lillian, Florence, Charlotte, Lorena, Juanita and Ruth; brothers, Varon and Wilbur; and grandchildren, Daniele and Pryor.

Merlyn and Shirley were married for 63 years and enjoyed their lake home in Pequot Lakes. While her health was good, Shirley loved playing cards, gardening, reading, stacking wood and multiple craft activities. She was a true artist at cross-stitch and known for her dollhouse and purses. When she was out and about, people would constantly comment on her purse and ask where she got it. In her quiet way, she would simply smile and say, “I made it”!

Celebration of Life service was on Friday, April 28, at Edgewood Vista Assisted Living, 14890 Beaver Dam Road, Brainerd. Pastor Todd Wooden officiated.

Harry E. Head
August 21, 1923 - April 27, 2017

Harry E. Head, age 93, of Crosslake passed away Thursday, April 27, 2017 at his home. Harry’s Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, May 3, at 10 AM, at Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Crosslake, with Father Ryan Moravitz officiating. Visitation will be at the church during the hour before Mass. Interment will be at Minnesota State Veteran’s Cemetery near Little Falls, at 2 PM.

Born August 21, 1923 in Aberdeen, South Dakota to George and Irene (Reilly) Head, Harry Edwin Head was raised in South Dakota and Wisconsin. Graduating high school in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, he left to serve in the  Civilian Conservation Corps and then in the US Army Air Corps in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to South Dakota and attended the South Dakota School of Mines in  Rapid City achieving a degree in Electrical Engineering. After uniting in marriage to Laurel Winburn in Rapid City on January 17, 1950, the family lived in Minneapolis/St. Paul for 28 years; Harry worked for Electric Machinery Mfg Company. They moved to Macon, Georgia where Harry worked as an executive with Electric Machinery Industrial Controls Corporation until his retirement in 1986. Harry and Laurel moved to Crosslake in 1988. Harry was widowed after 59 years of marriage, when Laurel passed away in 2009. A member of Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, he remained active in his community, volunteering for hospice and helping with the food shelf. His leisure activities included hunting, fishing, and golfing.

Harry is survived by two daughters, Evelyn (Danny) Hoffa, of Dublin, Georgia and Lorraine (Ed) Brewer, of Lenexa, Kansas; four sons, George (Phyllis) Head, of Houston, Texas, William (Barbara) Head, of Fifty Lakes, Charles (Renee) Head of Morris, and John (Cathy) Head, of New Braunfels, Texas; 15 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters, Marylou Head, of Omaha, Nebraska and Jeanne Head, of New York, New York; and a brother, Tom (Elaine) Head, of Blacksburg, Virginia.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Laurel and his parents.

Services entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel of Crosslake.

Donald Ambrose Hyland
September 18, 1920 - April 17, 2017

Donald Ambrose Hyland, 96, of Pequot Lakes, formerly of Richfield, passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at Senior Class Care in Pequot Lakes.

Donald was born September 18, 1920, in Minneapolis, the son of John Murdock and Rose Cecelia (Dunn) Hyland. After high school, he graduated from college and worked for Coca Cola Midwest for 33 years, retiring as the Marketing Director. In 1941, he was united in marriage to Ada Ellenberg. The couple were blessed with five children. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and his Catholic Faith was important to him. Donald was an outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and sports.

He will be greatly missed by his wife of 75 years, Ada; children, Donald, JR. of Waco, TX, Ronald (Sue), of Bradenton, FL, Timothy (Roddy), of Green Valley, AZ, Cynthia (Bill) Rassmussen, of Breezy Point, and Annette (Tony) Veschio, of Champlin; eighteen grandchildren; and 32 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother; and seven sisters.

Mass of Christian Burial took place at St. Alice Catholic Church on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Father George Zeck officiated. Interment at Dawn Valley Cemetery in Bloomington.

Marlen M. Sasse
August 28, 1931 - April 13, 2017

Marlen M. Sasse, age 85, of Pine River, passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at his home. He was born in Elysian Township, Le Sueur County, MN, to Ewald and Ida (Quiram) Sasse. He married Nadine Sweiven on March 18, 1950. Marlen grew up on a farm in Cleveland, MN. He worked for his brother, Chuck, as a mechanic in Minneapolis for a number of years. In 1965 they bought a farm in Backus, MN. Along with farming he worked for Houston Ford in Pine River. He was offered a better job at Durkee Manufacturing where he stayed for 28 years. When Durkees closed he went to Oakland, CA, and worked in a glass plant.

Marlen retired in 1995 and came back to the farm in Backus. Bored with retirement, he went to work for his son at Paul’s Large Garage for about 10 years.

Marlen loved hunting and fishing. He taught all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to love it, too. He was a Christian and served as an elder in his church for many years. At the end of the day he enjoyed a big whiskey coke.

Marlen is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nadine; children: Roseanna O’Rourke (Patrick), Michael Sasse  (Kathryn), Sally Wooden (Patrick), Paul Sasse (Anne), John Sasse (Laurie Jo); sister, Annie Nusser; brother, Chuck Sasse; 11 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Leo Sasse; sisters, Evelyn Hollmichel and Mildred Larson; and grandson, Adam Sasse. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Backus.

Services wereheld on Monday, April 17, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Backus. Visitation was at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River. Burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Backus.

Leo John Sperl
October 20, 1935 - April 14, 2017

Leo John Sperl passed away at The Crosby Care Center, Crosby, Minnesota on April 14, 2017. He was born October 20, 1935 in St. Paul to William A. and Mary (née Ryan) Sperl.

Leo is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Kay (née Youngquist); beloved children, Lee (Mary) and Greg Sperl, and Diana (Dan) Gravem; treasured grandchildren, Jeffrey, Teresa, and Heather Sperl, Chasidee (Gary) Nilmeyer, and Nakayla (Nick) Hicks; precious great-grandchild, Colby Nilmeyer; and sisters, Kay (Dave) Maez, Jean (Carl) Schneider, and Peg (Bernie) Gillotte.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Pat (Tom) Fahey; brother, Ed (Marlene) Sperl, and grandson, Jacob Sperl.

Leo owned Sperl Diesel. He was a hard worker, loved fishing, hunting, but most of all, his family. Leo will be forever loved and treasured.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, April 21 at the Church of St. Joseph, West St. Paul. Interment in Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Rebecca Wheeler
October 24, 1958 - April 7, 2017

Rebecca Wheeler, age 58, of Pequot Lakes, passed away on Friday, April 7, 2017, at her home.

A memorial service for Becky will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, May 6, at Christ Community Church in Nisswa. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

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