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Obituaries


Ellen Regina Starkka
August 4, 1933 - December 2, 2017

Ellen Regina Starkka age 84 of Crosslake passed away at her home on December 2, 2017 surrounded by family. She was born on August 4, 1933 in Des Moines, IA to Ernest and Starr (Pritchard) Ahlberg. Ellen met Ernie Starkka in Brainerd while spending summers in Crosslake at her parent’s cabin on Dagget Bay. They were married in Sisseton, SD on January 23, 1954. After starting her family of six children, she began her career as a EMT. Together with a small group of people started the first ambulance service in the Crosslake area. She was known for being available for emergencies while working at the families business. Lamas, birds, fish and dogs were a part of family life.

Ellen is survived by two sons, Ron Starkka of Nisswa, Dan (Kathy) Starkka of Monticello; three daughters, Starr  Jarvis and Jean Starkka both of Crosslake and Joan Nevin of Shawnee, OK; seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren; special friends, Charlotte, Sue and Cheryl, were always there up to the end. She will be miss by many.

Preceding Ellen in death are her parents; her husband Ernie and one son, Dennis “Oly” Starkka.

Graveside services were held on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the Pinewood Cemetery in Crosslake.

Patricia Joan Kramer
October 9, 1929 - November 23, 2017

Patricia Joan Kramer, 88, resident of Crosslake, passed away on Thursday, November 23, 2017 at Cuyuna Regional Care Center in Crosby. Patricia was born on October 9, 1929 in Brainerd to Allen J. and Vivian (Miller) Buley. She was a graduate of Washington High School.

Survived by her children, Jackie, Brian, Dave and Paul; 7-grandchildren; 1 great grandchild; brother, Tom; and her sister, Mary.

She is preceded in death by her husband, parents and brother, James.

Services were held on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery.

David Allen Swenson
November 28, 2017

David Allen Swenson, age 73, passed away peacefully at his home in Pequot Lakes on November 28, 2017. He attended school in Pequot Lakes where he was a lifelong resident. Dave was an auto mechanic and owned and operated his own excavating business. He had other side jobs such as putting the “big boat” in at Pelican Lake each season. Dave was always helping others and worked very hard at whatever he did. He loved classic cars and old school country music. He could really tear up the dance floor. Dave will be remembered for his friendly smile and personality. He was truly a friend to all who met him. He will forever be missed by his family and friends.

Dave is survived by his children: Greg Swenson of Brooklyn Park, Angela Swenson of Mora, Brad Swenson (Jolene) of Crossake, David Swenson, Jr. (Becky) and Skylor Swenson, both of Pequot Lakes; brothers: Jerry Swenson (Sharon), Chuck Swenson (Nancy); sisters: Mary Ann Toone (Bill), Linda Halsey; grandchildren: Erika (Chad), Harley, Lilly, Pierce, Natalie, Penelope; great granddaughters, Harper and Sarah; sister-in-law, Linda Swenson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Art and Lorraine Swenson; and brother, Dennis.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, December 2, at Pequot Lakes Baptist Church. Visitation was one hour prior to the service. A luncheon followed at the Pequot Lakes American Legion.

Ronald Wagner
April 08, 1932 - November 22, 2017

Ronald Wagner, age 85, of Pequot Lakes passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at Heritage House in Pequot Lakes. No services are planned at this time.

Donald Erickson
November 2, 1942 - November 14, 2017

Donald Erickson, age 75, of Pequot Lakes, passed away with his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren by his side on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born to Rosswell and Verna Erickson on November 2, 1942, in Paynesville, MN. Donald enjoyed fishing and was an active racquetball and tennis player.

Donald is survived by his son, Dan (Nichole); and grandchildren, Kori and Luke. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of Life was be held on Saturday, November 18, at O’Neil’s Restaurant and Event Center, Spicer, MN.

Robert Schroeder
August 1, 1948 - November 18, 2017

Robert “Bob” Schroeder, age 69, of Breezy Point, passed away Saturday, November 18, 2017, at Essentia St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd. He was born to Harold and Elizabeth Schroeder on August 1, 1948, in Breckenridge, MN. Bob loved gardening, fishing, treasure hunting and wilderness camping, especially in the Boundary Waters and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Most of all he loved his family.

Bob is survived by his wife, Lori; children: Carrie Horn (Dan), Daniel Schroeder (Molly), Jacob Schroeder; grandchildren: Andy Schroeder, Claire Horn, Jack Schroeder, David Schroeder; siblings: Jim Schroeder (Bobbie), Dick Schroeder (Nancy), Carol Isaacson (Marvin), Eileen Damon, Tom Schroeder (Janet), Alice Hale (John), Dave Schroeder (Nelly), Anita Vieau (Dave), Liz Dahl (Ken), Harriet Boshaw (Chris), Sue Kralich (Randy); and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and infant brothers, Charles and Francis.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Minneapolis or the Jacob Schroeder College Fund.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at Pequot Lakes Baptist Church on Saturday, December 16, at 11 a.m. followed by lunch. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church.

Chris Vagle
March 2, 1954 - November 10, 2017

Chris Vagle, age 63, passed away peacefully in his wife’s arms with his family nearby on November 10, 2017, at his home in Crosslake, MN, after a courageous and admirable 14 month battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was born to Nina (Crow) and Arnold Vagle in Hallock, MN, on March 2, 1954. Chris graduated from Biwabik High School in 1972 and from Hibbing Community College in 1975 with an A.D. degree in Nursing. He later attended Metropolitan State University obtaining his B.A. degree in Health Care Computer Applications in 2000.

Chris married his high school sweetheart, Joanne Jaaskela, on June 19,1976. They loved spending time together   and made many great memories with their three children. Most recently they moved to Crosslake, MN, in preparation for their retirement and to be closer to their family.

He worked as an Emergency Room Nurse at Mercy Hospital in Roseburg, OR, for 2 years, followed by 28 years of employment with Buffalo Hospital/Allina as an Emergency Room Nurse/Manager and Manager of Electronic Medical Records. For the past 9 years he was employed as a Manager of Computerized Medical Records with Ministry/Ascension in Tomahawk, WI.

Chris loved life and had numerous interests and hobbies, including gardening, planting trees, woodworking, fishing, hunting, cooking, photography and making campfires. He was an avid and passionate MN Vikings fan. He enjoyed attending concerts and listening to great music including his favorites, The Beatles, Neal Young, Tom Petty, John Fogarty, and John Prine. He was an amazing husband, father, and grandfather and especially loved spending time with his wife, kids and three granddaughters, who were his pride and joy. He also enjoyed time spent with relatives and friends.

Survived by his wife of 41 years, soulmate and love of his life, Joanne, daughter Sarah Vagle, sons Ian (Amanda) Vagle and Dan Vagle, granddaughters, Ella, Esther, and Evelyn Vagle, brothers Nick (Connie) Vagle, Keith Vagle, and Scott (Terry) Vagle, and several loving nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.

Chris will be remembered for his great smile, twinkle in his eye and friendly caring personality. He will be forever and deeply loved and missed by his family. However, his great spirit, love and our memories of him will remain in our hearts always.

Per Chris’ wishes, there will be no funeral but rather a celebration of his life to be held in Monticello, MN, sometime next summer. Until then, when you hear a song by one of his favorite musicians/bands, or the Vikings have won a game, please give him a thought and know he is smiling and very thankful you are remembering him. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Crosslake, MN.

Francis William Anderson
September 24, 1927 - November 9, 2017

Francis William Anderson, age 90, of Pine River, MN, passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center. He was born in Atwater, MN, on September 24, 1927, to Clarence and Marie Anderson. Francis married Luella Carlson in Long Beach, CA, on June 30, 1950. He enjoyed woodworking, hunting, fishing, flying, and restoring and working on his Model A. He was involved in many community projects such as being a charter and lifetime member of the Pine River Lions. He also served on the HUD board for over 20 years. He looked forward to the morning coffee group at one of the cafes, and enjoyed going to Rendezvous with his two sons. One of his greatest joys was spending time with his family.

Francis is survived by his sister, Marion Gifford; and his four children: Jean Nelson (Randy), Jerry Anderson (Debbie), Carl Anderson (Cindy), and Kris Johnson; 10 grandchildren: Brian Nelson, Jenny Johnson, David Nelson, Karen Kukla, Dale Johnson, Kara Johnson, Gary Anderson, Thomas Anderson, Katie Harlow, and Sara Anderson; 9 great grandchildren: Matthew, Amanda, Landon, Logan, Danica, Natalia, Addison, Kirra, and Harrison. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Marie; and his wife, Luella.

Funeral services were held at First Lutheran Church in Pine River on Thursday, November 16, 2017 and were officiated by Reverend Jacob Burkman. A visitation was held Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at Kline Funeral home in Pine River.

Mathew Ronald Linzbach
June 4, 1936 - November 9, 2017

Mathew “Matt” Ronald Linzbach, 81, passed away Thursday, November 9, 2017 at his home in Merrifield, MN. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Nisswa. Interment will take place at Center Township Cemetery at a later date.

Matt would have liked you to believe that he was born in Buttzville, ND, but he was born June 4, 1936 in Fargo, ND, the son of Henry and Anna Mae (McDonna) Linzbach. Matt earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in  Business Administration and Finance at the University of North Dakota in 1958. After starting his professional career in the banking industry, Matt met the love of his life, Catherine Nowatzki, and they married in June of 1967, recently celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Matt continued his career in East Grand Forks, MN, in real estate and appraisal services. Matt and Cathy retired near Merrifield, MN, in 2005.

Matt loved his family and especially enjoyed traveling with them, camping or taking road trips to our National  Parks and various sites around the country. He was a lifelong learner, enjoying reading, museums, and learning about world cultures, primarily those of his German and Irish heritage. Matt was an active member in the communities in which he lived. He participated in the Rotary and Lion’s Clubs, Toastmasters, and the Military Affairs Committee, which was part of the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Matt loved meeting and talking with people and was known locally as the “Mayor of Merrifield.” He founded the “Old Geezers” Club in 2006, through which he and Cathy formed many lasting friendships.

He will be missed by his wife, Cathy; children, Matthew (Brenda) Linzbach of Buffalo, MN, Suzanne (Jay) Lokken of Merrifield, MN, and Michael (Ann) Linzbach of Peachtree City, GA; sisters, Karen (Jerry) Gainsforth of Bismarck, ND, and Sharon (Jim) Neva of Kensal, ND; and seven grandchildren: Rachel, Melanie, Katrina, Nathan, Adam, Charlotte, and Eva; and many nieces and nephews. Matt was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Bill.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the American Cancer Society.

Vernon Loyd Olson
May 6, 1929 - November 12, 2017

Vernon Loyd Olson, age 88, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at Carefree Living, Brainerd, MN. Vernon was born on May 6, 1929, in Spirit Lake, Iowa, to Lloyd and Ruby Harker Olson. Vernon is survived by his children, Vicky Pavlacky, Vernon Bryan Olson, Bradley Olson, Karin Olson, Leslie Glenn and their mother, Helen Olson; 15 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren; and his brother, Verlyn ‘Curly’ Olson.

Vernon was preceded in death by his son, Stephen Olson; his granddaughter, Shelby Pavlacky; his great granddaughter, Victoria Pavlacky; and his siblings, Lorraine Zaleski and Donald Olson.

A celebration of life was held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at the Pequot Lakes Baptist Church with Post #49 American Legion Color Guard honors.

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