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Obituaries


Janet Duitsman
February 25, 1933 - February 17, 2015

Janet Duitsman, summer resident of Crosslake, passed away peacefully on February 17, 2015, near her home in Naples, FL, after a long and difficult battle with Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Janet is survived by her loving husband of 48 years, Henry; son, Mark (Tammy); daughter, Mary; grandchildren, Amanda and Matthew; brother, Lloyd (Ramona) Fedor; as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family, and wonderful friends. Janet was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Helen Fedor, as well as her beloved sister and brother-in-law, Lorraine and Ambrose Wentland.

Janet was born February 25, 1933, at home in Holdingford, MN, the middle child of Frank and Helen Fedor. She excelled in school, skipped 2 grades, and graduated from high school at age 16. She then moved to the cities immediately to work for Western Oil, and lived in California for several years, working for the husband of Shirley Temple. Janet came back to MN and started working for the Vice President of General Mills. She married Henry Duitsman in 1966. She excelled in business, and was in line to become the top senior secretary for the president of General Mills, but quit her job and career, believing it was more important for her to stay at home and raise her children. Janet later worked as a counseling secretary for Elk River Schools for over 10 years.

Janet is best known for her kind, compassionate, loving, and welcoming personality. She loved gardening, and was  a fantastic cook. Her hobbies included golf, playing bridge, entertaining, and spending time with many family and friends. Janet also dedicated herself to many volunteer organizations, and was appointed as the first female trustee of St Andrews Catholic Church, Elk River. Her faith was very important to her. Even in her dementia, Janet could recite most of the hymns and prayers she had learned in her youth. Janet's favorite passion was traveling the world. Janet traveled to many countries throughout the world including Cuba, Europe, Australia, Africa, and all of the United States, some of which she visited several times.

Memorials may be given to Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org) or Avow Hospice Care 1095 Whippoorwill Lane Naples, FL 34105 (www.avowcares.org).

Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, February 23 at Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Crosslake. Burial was in Pinewood Cemetery, Crosslake. Arrangements with Kline Funeral Home, Pequot Lakes.

Vern Carlson
March 23, 1927 – February 18, 2015

Vern Carlson, age 87, of Pine River, passed away Wednesday, February 18, 2015, at Essentia St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd. He was born to Gustaf and Hannah Carlson on March 23, 1927, in Slayton, MN.

Vern served in the U.S. Army during WWII and in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He married Eileen Hoover on August 4, 1947, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Vern was a heavy equipment operator and a member of Union 49. He also worked for Wannebo Excavating for many years.

Vern is survived by his wife, Eileen; son, Randy; daughter, Pamela Dalbey (Terry); brothers: Allen, Donald  “Bubby” (Arlyn); sister, Judy Raph; grandchildren, Karen Lindaman, Lance Dalbey; 4 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David.

Services were held February 23, 2015 at Faith Lutheran Church, Swanburg. Burial in Swanburg Cemetery.

Charlotte L. (Stendahl) Littman
April 17, 1943 – February 12, 2015

Charlotte L. (Stendahl) Littman, age 71, of Pequot Lakes, passed away Thursday, February 12, at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center, Crosby. Charlotte was born April 17, 1943, in Minneapolis, MN, to Kermit and Ruth (Peterson) Stendahl. She attended school and graduated from Chisago City High School, class of 1961. Charlotte was united in marriage to Robert Littman on January 15, 1966, in Chisago City, MN. She was employed as a legal secretary for a number of years. Charlotte enjoyed being up North, camping, gardening, pontoon boat rides and sunsets on Loon Lake. She especially enjoyed time spent with her family, grandchildren and dog, Foster. Charlotte is survived by her husband, Robert; children: Brian (Missy) Littman, Prior Lake, MN, Kevin (Stacy) Littman, Pequot Lakes, MN, and Angie Littman, Breezy Point, MN; brother, Jerome (Delores) Stendahl, Wyoming, MN; four grandchildren, Samantha, Sophie, Gabrielle and Kyle. Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents.

Services were held February 20, 2015 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Pequot Lakes. Private inurnment at Kedron Cemetery, rural Pequot Lakes. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Pequot Lakes. Arrangements with Kline Funeral Home, Pequot Lakes.

Duane A. Roberts
August 17, 1924 – February 18, 2015

Duane A. Roberts, age 90, resident of Merrifield, passed away on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at the Veteran's Affairs Home in St. Cloud. Duane was born on August 17, 1924 in Arlington, South Dakota to France and Mabel (Bursvold) Roberts.

Duane left the family farm and joined the Marine Corps, serving on the aircraft carrier USS Boxer in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After retuning from the service he attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy. He practiced pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Eveleth before purchasing his own store in Brainerd, Roberts Drug and Hallmark. He married Mary Penhiter on June 12, 1970. He was an active member in the Exchange Club of Brainerd, serving as Chapter President and District President. He was a member of the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce and was active in Scouting. Serving as Scout Master, he led his troop to Valley Forge for the National Jamboree.

Most of all, Duane loved and appreciated his family. He was a fine husband and great dad to his five children. Along with working hard at his store to support his family he always found time for helping however he could at home.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Roberts; children, France Roberts, Shawn (Laura) Roberts, Nicole (Aaron) Roberts Hoiland; Scott (Kimberly) Roberts and Matt (Laurie) Roberts; grandchildren, Samuel and Sydney Roberts, Zoe, Sebastian and Ani Hoiland, Owen, Thea, and Myles Roberts, and Colton and Elise Roberts.

Duane is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Kenneth and Norman.

Services were held February 23, 2015 at Park United Methodist Church in Brainerd with Pastor Brenda King officiating. Burial in Mission Township Cemetery. Military honors provided by Brainerd American Legion and V.F.W. Color Guards.

Larry Lynn Sundquist
April 22, 1939 – February 15, 2015

Larry Lynn Sundquist, age 75, of Baxter, passed away Sunday, February 15, 2015 at his home with his loving wife Suzanne by his side.

Larry was born on April 22, 1939 in Brainerd, MN to Melvin and Maude (Davis) Sundquist. On April 30, 1960 Larry was united in marriage to Suzanne Girard at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Nisswa.

Larry attended Brainerd Junior College and graduated from Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis. He began his professional career in 1960 at IBM at the dawn of the technology era; he went on to have a long and prosperous career at Control Data and other cutting edge companies; he was proud to be a part of the evolution of the computer industry.

Larry loved spending time with his family playing cards and games.

Preceded in death by parents Melvin Edwin and Maude Ida Sundquist.

Larry is survived by his loving family: wife Suzanne of Baxter, son Tom (Brandie) Sundquist of Waconia, daughters Karen (Robert) Lotito of Watertown, Deborah (Jay) Adams of Edina, and Mary (Lenny) Chapp of Breezy Point. Grandchildren Patrick and Andrew Sundquist, Noah, Grace and Emma Fortado, Rebecca, Rachel and Robyn Lotito, Trip, Henry, Evelyn and Josie Adams and Anna Chapp. Sister Karen Moore.

Mass of Christian Burial was held February 20, 2015 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, 1108 Willow Street, Brainerd. Arrangements with Nelson-Doran Funeral Home.

Marjorie Kreller
October 20, 1926 – February 10, 2015

Marjorie Kreller, age 88, of Pine River, passed away Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at Essentia in Fargo. She was born to Carl and Esther Heglund on October 20, 1926, in Kenmare, ND. Marge enjoyed being a homemaker and was a wonderful mother.

She is survived by her children: Judy Sneva (Lanny), Leo (Sheila), Mary Knutson (Johan), Carl, Lois Larry, Donna Glover (Butch), Gary, Blaine (Debbie), Donald (Lynn), Alice Mullenix (Rick); sisters: Darlene Stone (Wally), Carolyn Behnke (Darold), Donna Figlik (Ken); many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, George; daughter, Linda; brothers: Kermit, Blaine, Wayne; sisters: Lorraine, Gloria; and grandsons: David Gehrke, Jr., Shane White, Peter Kreller and Sean Kreller.

Our beautiful mother will be forever loved and missed.

Services will be held at 11am February 17, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Pine River. Burial will be in Moose Lake Cemetery, Rural Pine River.

Betty Rudlang
November 14, 1932 – February 6, 2015

Betty Rudlang, age 82, of Pine River, passed away Friday, February 6, 2015, at The Good Samaritan Society, Pine River. She was born in Diagonal, Iowa, to Harry and Mary Ann Gard on November 14, 1932.

Betty is survived by her husband, Ken; sons: Dave (Karen), Dan (Colleen); daughters: Joyce Kuschel, Joan Wannebo, Kathy Flategraff (Carlos), Liz Johnson (Mark); sisters: Ruth, Martha; 13 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by siblings: Ivan, Harold, Nellie, Charles, Robert, Roy, Mildred; and great-grandsons,  Chandler and Darian.

Services were held February 9, 2015 at First Lutheran Church, Pine River. Burial at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River.

Elenore Johnson
January 15, 1921 – February 5, 2015

Elenore Johnson, age 94, of Pine River, passed away Thursday, February 5, 2015, at Sanford Medical Center in Bemidji. She was born to John and Laura Weiler in Marion, North Dakota, on January 15, 1921.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held February 10, 2015 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pine River. Burial in Pine Ridge Cemetery, Pine River.

Joyce Peterson
June 15, 1930 – January 30, 2015

Joyce Peterson, 84, of Pequot Lakes, MN died Friday, January 30, 2015 at Senior Class Care in Nisswa, MN. Services for Joyce will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Pequot Lakes, MN.

Shirley Ann (Johnson) Tappe
December 23, 1931 – January 28, 2015

Shirley Ann (Johnson) Tappe, 83, of Pine River, died peacefully on Wed., Jan. 28, 2015. Shirley was born on Dec. 23, 1931, in Brainerd, MN. Upon graduation from Pine River High School, she flew down to Wichita Falls, TX, to be united in marriage to Dale Tappe, also from Pine River, who was serving in the United States Air Force. For 20 years they went wherever the military sent them including Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas, with Shirley often remaining stateside while Dale went overseas, including a year in Vietnam.

Following retirement, Shirley and Dale bought a 360-acre farm west of Pine River and raised Black Angus Beef Cattle for 10 years. After selling the farm and cattle, the winters drew them South in their RV and they eventually settled in La Feria, TX. Dale’s failing eyesight forced an end to their seasonal travel and they returned to full time residence in Pine River. In 2005 they moved to Riverside Senior Apartments where Shirley remained until failing health led her to move to Riverside Assisted Living in 2013.

Shirley enjoyed gardening, reading, sewing, needlework and walking her dogs.

She will be lovingly missed by her daughter, Bobbye (Kim) Lemke of Nevis, MN; granddaughter, Lori (Chad) Sherman and great grandson, Stanley, of Plymouth, MN; grandson, Major (SEL) Aaron (Angie) Lemke and great grandsons, Tristan and Tavin, of Burke, VA; brother, Bill (Carol) Johnson and sister-in-law, Glenna Tappe of Pine River; nieces, Linda and Denise; nephews, Dean, Richard and Scott; and special friend, Dan Ziegler.

Shirley was preceded in death by her mother, Pearl Torkelson (1993), step-father, Lewis Torkelson (1985), husband, Dale (2007), and dogs, Brandy, Rusty and Chico.

Memorials can be sent to Riverside Assisted Living, Pine River.

Celebration of Shirley’s life was held February 2, 2015 at Kline Funeral Home, Pine River, with Pastor Mel Nefstead officiating. Burial was at Norwood Cemetery, Rural Pine River.

Eleanor Anderson
February 6, 1927 - January 28, 2015

Eleanor Anderson passed away on January 28, 2015, at the age of 87. Eleanor worked in the Minneapolis area until she retired and moved to Pequot Lakes. Eleanor had 12 brothers and sisters. She never married.

Eleanor was preceded in death by her sister, Alice Roubal.

We love you dear aunt! Rest in peace.

No services are planned at this time.

Kathleen Jo Benzick
January 29, 1955 – January 25, 2015

Kathleen Jo Benzick, 59, of Pequot Lakes, passed away Sunday, January 25, 2015, less then two short weeks after being diagnosed with stage four cancer. She spent her last days surrounded by family and friends in Hospice Care in Detroit Lakes MN.

Kathy Jo was born January 29, 1955 in Albert Lea, MN. She lived in Rochester, MN until she was in 5th grade when her family moved to Bloomington, MN. She spent the next 30 years living in the Twin Cities area. Shortly after turning 40 years old Kathy Jo and her family moved to the Brainerd Lakes area.

Kathy Jo worked as teller at the Pine River State Bank Breezy Point office for 19 years. She loved her "work family" and often talked of her "regular" customers who came into the bank. Kathy Jo loved the North Shore and Lake Superior. Among some of her favorite things were Split Rock Lighthouse and loons. She also loved baking and being with her grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her loving parents, Donald and Phyllis (Stiehl) Stephensen of Silver Bay, MN.

Kathy Jo is survived by her children, Jennifer Benzick (Chris Bunnis) of Detroit Lakes, MN, Justin Benzick (Kayla) of Breezy Point, MN and stepdaughter Shala Jacobson (Terry) of Prior Lake, MN; siblings: Diane Dilley (Dave) of Monticello, MN, Sheri Stephensen of Silver Bay, MN, David Stephensen of League City, TX, and  Bradley Stephensen (Amy) of Bloomington, MN; eight wonderful grandchildren, Jaydn, Logan, Zander, Zoey, Bella, Adelyn, Jaxon and Ashton.

Kathy Jo will be remembered forever in our hearts by so many for her warm smile and rosy cheeks.

A Celebration of her Life was held January 31, 2015 at Kline Funeral Home in Pequot Lakes, MN.

Sarah Maxine Edwards
May 21, 1920 – January 24, 2015

Sarah Maxine Edwards, 94, of Pequot Lakes, MN, formerly of Chesapeake and Proctorville, Ohio, went to be with the Lord, Saturday, January 24, 2015, at the CR Medical Center in Crosby, MN. She was born on May 21, 1920, at home in Platform, OH.

Funeral services were held January 31, 2015, at Chesapeake United Methodist Church, Chesapeake, OH, with Pastor Chuck Case officiating. Burial took place in Highland Memorial Gardens, South Point, OH.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband, Miller C. Edwards; grandson, Scott Wortham; her parents, Jim and Ruby Fulks; brothers, Howard Fulks, Jerry Fulks, Mac Fulks and Jim Fulks, Jr.; and sister, Charlene Johnson.

Survived by daughter, Sharon, and son-in-law, Bill Wortham; grandaughters, Angela Wortham and Suzanne Ressemann (Tom); great grandsons, Matthew and Ryan Ressemann; sister, Patty Swain (Jack); brothers, Curtis Fulks (Roberta), Ron Fulks (Joan); and many loved ones and wonderful friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Maxine’s memory, to Chesapeake UMC, in Chesapeake, OH, where she was a member.

Raymond James Sullivan
May 12, 1931 - January 22, 2015

Raymond J. Sullivan, 83, of Crosslake, passed away at his home Thursday, January 22, 2015. Private services will be held.

Harold “Sonny” Rudlang Sr.
October 5, 1936 - January 28, 2015

Harold “Sonny” Rudlang Sr., age 78, of Pequot Lakes, passed away Wednesday, January 28 at home. He was born October 5, 1936 in Pine River, MN to Henry and Tillie (Halvorson) Rudlang. Harold married Carol Hartwig on April 6, 1963. Sonny was a milk hauler for several years. He operated Maple Sanitary Landfill until it closed. Sonny graded roads for several townships, farmed and did excavating work until he retired. He enjoyed his grandkids and great grandkids.

He is survived by his wife, Carol; children: Barbara (Dan), Sandy, Harold ‘Boy” Jr., Dale and Dean; brothers: Dick (Barbara) and Kenneth (Betty); sisters: Catherine Feakes, Clarice Tulenchik and Carol Kalis; grandchildren: Becky Lavoie, Ashly Rudlang, Jennifer Halverson, Mindy Rudlang and Luke Rudlang; great grandchildren:  Bailey, Kyleena, Charlee and Juliana.

Harold was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter, Amanda Goerlich.

Services were held February 2, 2015 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Pequot Lakes. Burial at Gloria Dei Stoney Brook Cemetery, rural Pequot Lakes.

Eldon D. Topp
August 24, 1934 – January 26, 2015

Eldon D. Topp, 80, of Pequot Lakes, died Monday, January 26, 2015 at Good Samaritan Village in Pine River. Services were held February 2, 2015 at Farmington Lutheran Church in Farmington, MN. Interment at Farmington Lutheran Cemetery.

Eldon was born August 24, 1934 in Farmington, MN, the son of Jens Christian “Chris” and Amanda (Larson) Topp. He graduated from Farmington High School and enlisted in the US Navy. Following his honorable discharge, Eldon began his life long career for Northwest Airlines as a baggage handler. He retired to the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Eldon enjoyed fishing and camping. He was a craftsman and woodworker. He liked to travel by train and was always excited to attend the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Festival. He enjoyed making the delicious donuts at Lakes Area Senior Citizen Center in Brainerd and also peanut brittle.

He is survived by his children, Amanda Topp, of Wisconsin and Jeremy Topp, of Winston Salem, NC; grandson, David; sister, Marilyn Covey, of Nisswa; and many nieces and nephews. Eldon was preceded in death by his parents; wives, Yvonne, Irene and Bobbie; son, Richard; brothers, Richard, Willard, and Les; and sisters, Luella, Ida and Norma.

Mercer Gustav Everson
January 9, 2015 - January 17, 2015

Mercer Gustav Everson peacefully passed away in the tender, loving, arms of his momma on January 17, 2015 at St. Cloud Hospital NICU. Mercer was born eight days earlier on January 9, 2015 at St. Cloud Hospital to Natalie Everson of Brainerd, MN and William “Bill” Philstrom of Emily, MN.

In the short time we were blessed with the tiny, miracle baby, Mercer Gustav, he showed incredible strength, courage and bravery. He entered this world breathing on his own at 1 pound. The doctors that cared for him were surprised by his healthy lungs and heart for such a little boy. Mercer shared his little personality by letting us know if he didn’t like the way he was laying, or if his diaper was soiled with his tiny cry. When his momma would talk to him, Mercer responded by turning his head toward her and opening his eyes to look at her. We could always tell when he heard her voice as his heart rate responded. His brave, strong, momma was hospitalized for 2 weeks before Mercer arrived, and spent every moment with Mercer after he was born. She fought so hard to keep him with her; he was her dream come true for eight miraculous days. The precious moments with Mercer Gustav are engrained on our souls; He is forever in our hearts and memories.

Mercer is survived by his parents; brothers Russell, Zachary, Tyler, Ryan and Nicholas Philstrom, Grandparents Russell and Virginia “Ginny” Philstrom, Emily, MN; Ronald and Stephanee Everson, Brainerd, MN; Great-grandparents Patricia and John Skomars, Cape Blanco, OR and Gary and Polly Nelson, Grand Marais, MN; Godparents, as well as uncle and auntie, Alex and Breanna Everson, and Mercer’s protective first cousin, Aiden Robert Everson; and many more aunties, uncles and cousins.

The family of Mercer would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at St. Cloud Hospital Perinatology Clinic, the  Family Birthing Center andthe Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Doctors Stocker, Vedder and Martin; Susan  Corbett, PA; and many other nurses and staff; particularly Deidra and Mel of the NICU, who so compassionately and tenderly took care of Mercer the last night and morning he was with us; they tried valiantly to save him and when they couldn’t, gave him peaceful, gentle, care. We will forever remember holding our beautiful son, grandson and nephew, sending him off to heaven with heavy hearts but with the greatest of unselfish love to let him go. May he rest in peace with those beloved family members that have gone before him. We now truly believe in miracles because of you, Miracle Mercer.

Funeral service was held Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at Koop Funeral Home, Crosby, MN. Memorial service and burial was held Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Maple Hill Church & Cemetery, Grand Marais, MN.

The family is served by Koop Funeral Home, Crosby, MN 56441.

Melissa Ann “Missy” Francis
August 23, 1965 – January 20, 2015

Melissa Ann “Missy” Francis, a longtime resident of the Pine River Group Home, passed away unexpectedly on January 20, 2015. She was born in Coon Rapids, MN, on August 23, 1965. Missy worked at the Pine River Area DAC cleaning at Deep Portage, the Jenkins VFW and several churches in the community. She was an asset to every team she worked on.

Missy was a very pleasant person. She will be remembered for her smile and good nature. Missy loved country music. Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette were her favorites. She enjoyed collecting keychains, bowling, horseback riding, fishing, movies, camping and going on trips. She especially looked forward to going to visit her family for holidays and vacations, yet she loved getting back to Pine River to see her friend, Shawn. Missy’s smile, jokes and laugh will be greatly missed.

Missy is survived by her sister, Kris Francis Jensen; brother, Dan Francis; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Kenneth Francis and Karen Pickar; and brother, Shane.

A memorial service will be held at 4 PM on Friday, January 30, at Riverview Church, Pine River.

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