Mower County Obituaries
Part 005



Marilyn Lee Buchanan, 70


Marilyn "Millie" Lee (Larson) Buchanan, 70, passed away on the morning of April 1, 2007 in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Millie was born on Dec. 8, 1936 to Archie and Mildred (Dennisen) Larson in Austin, Minnesota. She was raised and attended school in Austin. After graduation she worked at the bank before marrying Gordy Buchanan, who has come to be known since his passing as Minnesota's "Last Game Warden."

After moving to Cass Lake, Minnesota, she worked for the U.S. Federal Forest Service. Following their move north, having become accomplished in her own right in her chosen career, Millie then concentrated on the task of raising their family, beginning in 1972. Millie was active in all facets of her family's life and community, including Trinity Lutheran Church committees, school district events, and additionally, she was elected to the Pike Bay Township Board for seventeen consecutive years.

Millie is survived by her children's two families: Steph (Eric) Lueth, and two granddaughters: Rachael and Heather, who live in Cass Lake, Minnesota; John and Shannon (O'Boyle) Buchanan are in the Air Force with Millie's first grandson, Ryan, with another due in late April.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Archie and Mildred Larson; her husband, Gordy; and her sisters, Jan Larson and Shirley Finnegan.

A visitation was held on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cass Lake, Minnesota. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, April 4, 2007, also at Trinity Lutheran Church. Interment was in Pine Grove Cemetery. Arrangements were by Thomas-Dennis Funeral Home, (218) 547-1112.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Edward W. Burdine, 95


Edward W. Burdine, age 95, of Brainerd, Minnesota, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, and longtime winter resident of Fort Myers, Florida, died on Saturday, March 24, 2007 at the Heritage House of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.

Edward was born in Decatur, Illinois on Dec. 23, 1911, to William and Augusta (Heyn) Burdine.

Survivors include his daughters: Barbara Stevens, of Brownsdale, Minn.; and Joy (Leon) VanderShaaf, of Pequot Lakes, Minn., and Ft. Myers, Fla.; brother, Lester (Anita) Burdine, of Austin, Minn.; sisters: Lillian Resterer, of Rapid City, S.D.; and Ruby Morrisey, of Omaha, Neb.; grandsons, Curt (Kathy) Klingerman, of Batesville, Ind.; William (Joann) Klingerman, of Adams, Minn.; Mark (Sherrie) Stevens, of St. Paul Park, Minn.; Jeff (Connie) Stevens, of North Mankato, Minn.; and Tim Stevens Christianson, of Crystal, Minn.; great-grandsons: David, Josh, Judd, Cody, Michael, Adam, and Max; sisters-in-law: Mabel Probst, Florence Marsh, Dorothy Carrick, Doris Burdine, and Jo Burdine.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Emma; his parents; son, Donald Burdine; brothers, Scott and Jim; and brothers-in-law, Jack Morrisey and Bill Resterer.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are by Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Pauline C. (Bauer) Bush, 82


Pauline C. (Bauer) Bush, 82, died Sunday at St. Brigid's at Hi-Park in Red Wing, Minnesota.

She was born June 14, 1924, to Mike L. and Anne (Youngman) Bauer; and was raised in Durand, Wisconsin. In 1947, she moved to Austin, Minnesota, with her two young daughters. There, she attended Queen of Angels Catholic Church.

She married Thayre L. Bush in 1956, and with him raised their six daughters. In 1983, she retired from George A. Hormel & Co after 33 years of employment.

She and her husband spent their retirement years between Austin, Durand and Vienna, Georgia. She is best known for her kind and giving nature and her unconditional love for her family and friends.

Later in life her philosophy became, "always eat dessert first," which she did at every opportunity.

Survivors include her children: June (Steve) Barent, of Rockville, Nebraska; Janet (Harlan) Rohne, of London, Minnesota; Georgette Bush, of Vernon Hills, Illinois; Nina Bush, of Hammond, Minnesota; Sherry (fiance Howie Seim) Bush, of Rochester, Minnesota; and Connie Bush, of Red Wing, Minnesota; one sister, Lorraine B. Cartwright; one brother, Phillip Bauer; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thayre; her parents, Mike and Anne; and 11 brothers and sisters.

She donated her body to the Mayo Foundation.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, March 31, 2007 at St. Brigid's at Hi-Park Chapel.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Esther E. (Buss) Temanson


GRAND MEADOW, MINN. The funeral for Esther E. Temanson will be on Friday at Grand Meadow Lutheran Church, with the Rev. Elaine Siemsen officiating. Burial will be in Grand Meadow Cemetery.

Mrs. Temanson, 93, of Grand Meadow, a retired business owner, died Monday (April 23, 2001) at Grand Meadow Health Care Center.

Esther E. Buss was born March 24, 1908, near Spring Valley, attended Zion German Lutheran Church in Spring Valley as a child and Hardscrabble School through the eighth grade. She was a caretaker for area families before her marriage on Sept. 7, 1938, to Milton Temanson in Grand Meadow. They operated a filling station and lunch room on Highway 16 in Grand Meadow, and then lived in Cherry Grove, where they operated a filling station for a short time before returning to Grand Meadow. They owned and operated a grocery and dry goods store in Grand Meadow until their retirement. Mrs. Temanson resided at Hillside Apartments in Spring Valley from 1992 until entering the care center in July 2000. She enjoyed crocheting and playing cards.

Survivors include nieces and nephews. Her husband, five sisters and five brothers preceded her in death.

Friends may call an hour before the service Friday at the church.

Hindt-Hutchins Funeral Home in Grand Meadow is in charge of arrangements.


Margaret Elizabeth (Morgan) Capretz


LYLE, MINNESOTA -- The funeral for Margaret Elizabeth Capretz will be 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lyle with the Rev. Barbara Finley-Shea officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Mona, Iowa.

Mrs. Capretz, 80, of Lyle, formerly of Austin, died Saturday morning (Oct. 7, 2000) at Austin Medical Center.

Margaret Elizabeth Morgan was born Nov. 20, 1919, in Mona, Iowa, and attended schools in Mona and Lyle. On Nov. 27, 1937, she married Floyd B. Capretz in Osage, Iowa. They lived in Austin for a short time before moving to Lyle. She worked at the egg hatchery in Lyle and later the Carroll George Co. in Northwood, Iowa. After her husband's death on Dec. 21, 1979, she continued to live in Lyle. Mrs. Capretz was a member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Lyle, its WELCA and Ladies Aid, and enjoyed playing bingo, fishing, flowers and gardening.

Survivors include two sons, John (Sandy) of Fridley, Minn., Brian (Marge) of Austin; two daughters, Sharon (Harlan) Slaichert of St. Ansgar, Iowa, and Jeanne Capretz of Austin; seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; a sister, Barbara Wilder of Austin; and two brothers, Spencer (Irene) Morgan of Austin and Larry (Lenore) Morgan of North Branch, Minn. She was preceded in death by a sister and a brother.

Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin and an hour before the service at the church.



Benjamin M. Carll

Feb. 15, 1840-Nov. 2, 1908

It is with unaffected sorrow that we announce the death of Benjamin M. Carll at his home in Udolpho Township, Monday afternoon, Nov. 2, 1908. Age 68 years.

He was stricken with paralysis four years ago and has been a partial invalid ever since. He spent one winter at the Hot Springs, S.D. No one realized at the last that the end was so near until Friday morning at 2 o'clock when he suffered a second shock of paralysis and remained unconscious until he died. Mr. Carll was born in Lyons, Wayne County, N.Y., Feb. 15, 1840. His early years were spent on his father's farm.

In 1861, seized with a patriotic spirit, he enlisted Sept. 10, in Co. C, 8th N.Y. Vol., cavalry. About the same time two older brothers, Lindorf H. and Henry Malcolm enlisted in the company. Mr. Carll made as brave and faithful a soldier as ever went to battle. His service was chiefly in Virginia. He was in the Army of the Potomac and was in fifty engagements, four of which were after the expiration of the time of his enlistment.

He returned to New York after his discharge, Dec 8 1864, and the same month came to Mower County where his parents had preceded him the year before.

He was married in Udolpho, Feb. 22, 1870 to Mary C. Rhoades, a native of Chautauqua County, N.Y. Shortly afterwards they moved to their present location where the family home has since been. Mr. Carll's personal character was above reproach.

He was strictly honorable and honest in all his deeds and no man can truthfully say that Mr. Carll had ever wronged him. No man was more devoted to his friends than he. He was greatly attached to his family and was ever a loving husband and father.

Besides many friends all over the country, he leaves to mourn his loss his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Myron Beltz of Mason City, and two sons, Roy of Mason City and Fred who resides in Udolpho. One son, Ira, died in infancy.

He was a Mason and also a member of Henry Rogers post, G. A. R. of Brownsdale. Funeral services conducted by Rev. C. D. Belden of Austin will be held at the residence in Udolpho, Thursday morning at 11 o'clock. Interment in Lansing Cemetery.

Deceased was the son of Benjamin Carll. There were five brothers and one sister, Lindorf H. died in New York, Aug. 1, 1892; Malcolm died at Monticello April 10, 1899. The other three, Freeman A. Carll of Lansing, Revilo A. Carll of Udolpho and Mrs. John A. Conant of Minneapolis were at their brother's bedside at the time of his death Monday afternoon.


A Biographical Sketch

Benjamin M. Carll

Benjamin M. Carll, an honored resident of Udolpho Township, and courageous veteran of the Civil War.

The Civil War broke out when he was a young man and he enlisted September 10, 1861, in Company C, 8th New York Cavalry. His service was chiefly in Virginia. He was in the Army of the Potomac and was discharged December 8, 1864. He participated in over fifty engagements.

After his discharge he at once returned to New York, and in December 1864 came to Mower Co., where his parents had preceded him the year before.

In the fall of 1873 he moved to a farm which he purchased in section 12, Udolpho Township. This farm at the time was wild prairie and he set about improving it, breaking and cultivating the land and erecting suitable buildings.

Benjamin was a member of Henry Rogers Post, No. 11, Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) at Brownsdale.

[History of Mower County, 1911]



F.A. Carll



F.A. Carll and his wife, living just above Lansing, were burned to death in their home on Saturday night, March 15, 1890.

Mr. Carll settled on section 34 in Udolpho Township in 1865 on a farm he purchased of Milton McCall, at which time there was a small log house on the farm, in which the family lived about five years, after which Mr. Carll built a commodious frame residence in which he was burned. Mr. Carll was a native of Maine -- born May 1814.



Malina Sylvaina (Rhoades)


[Mower County Transcript, 30 Jan 1889]

Mrs. Norman Carll died at her home on Thursday morning, Jan 24, after an illness of but a few hours. Her maiden name was Malina Sylvaina Rhoades. She was born in Pennsylvania March 17, 1850, and married to Norman Carll Feb. 22, 1870.

The funeral was conducted at the house on Saturday by Rev. W. E. Stanley, of Austin. Her remains were buried in the cemetery at Lansing.

She leaves a husband and two daughters, aged 10 and 14, to mourn the loss of a loving wife and mother. The large attendance at the funeral showed the esteem in which she was held by her neighbors.



Mary C. (Rhoades) Carll


[Austin Daily Herald 18 Dec 1916]

Mrs. B. M. Carll one of the oldest and most respected citizens of Mower County died Sunday morning at 1:30 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Myron Beltz, 509 North Second street. She had been ill for the past two months with paralysis. Mary C. Rhoades was born September 11, 1847 at Clymer, Chatauqua County, N.Y.

When a little girl, nine years of age, she came with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. O. D. Rhoades to Minnesota and the family settled in Udolpho, which for so many years was the home of this good woman. It is hard to go back even in thought and picture what pioneer days would mean in Udolpho sixty years ago. But it was under the hard, trying conditions of pioneer life that little Mary Rhoades developed a character of helpful service and self sacrificing devotion which made her so loved and honored as a woman. Little of luxuries did those days afford, and few and simple were the pleasures, but out of its hardships came hardihood and strength; out of deprivation came generosity and out of toil, prosperity.

When the war broke out the father went to the front, leaving extra burdens to the mother and children in the Rhoades home. Volumes might be written of those trying days and conditions under which they were spent.

On February 22, 1870 Mary Rhoades and Benjamin M. Carll were married and they set up their home in Udolpho. Four children were born to them, Roy Carl and Mrs. Myron Beltz ofAustin, Fred of Columbus, Mont. and Ira who died in infancy. Mrs. Carll also leaves one brother, Oscar Rhoades of Lansing township and one sister, Mrs. Minnie King, who also resides in Lansing. The husband, Benjamin M. Carll died in 1908. For the past three years Mrs. Carll has made her home in Austin.

Two months ago she was stricken with paralysis, but everything that loving hands could do, or loving hearts suggest, was done for the mother whom her children lived so devotedly. Mrs.Carll was a member of the W. R. C. and of Cella Lodge No 48 O. E. S. She was widely known in the northwest part of the county and a friend of all.

The funeral will be held at 1 o'clock Tuesday afternoon from the residence of her daughter, 509 North Second street, with burial in Lansing. Rev. Tom Broeck of Christ Episcopal church will officiate.



Claudine Jeanette (Carlson) Haarstad


Claudine Jeanette Carlson Haarstad, age 92, of Grand Meadow, Minnesota, died Friday, March 30, 2007 of natural causes at Grand Meadow Health Care, where she has been a resident since 2001.

Claudine was born May 30, 1914 in Canisteo Township, Kasson, Minnesota. She attended Kasson School District where she graduated in 1932.

She married Otto Haarstad, of Dexter, Minnesota, on Oct. 14, 1937 in Kasson, Minnesota and lived on a farm in rural Dexter until 1997.

She was a homemaker and she enjoyed cooking, baking, crocheting, quilting and playing piano. She was active in Zion Ladies Aid and was the organist for Zion Lutheran Church for many years.

Survivors include two sons: Odean (Allienne) Haarstad of Dexter, Minnesota, and Marlyn (Jody) Haarstad of McGregor, Minnesota; a daughter-in-law, Sharon Haarstad; 11 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and nieces and nephews.

Claudine is preceded in death by her husband, Otto, by a son Andrew, by a granddaughter, Robyne, by a great-granddaughter, Tarah, and by two brothers and one sister.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 2, 2007 at Zion Lutheran Church, rural Dexter, Minnesota, with Pastor Lyle Aadahl officiating. Interment is at Zion Lutheran Cemetery, rural Dexter.

The Worlein Funeral Home of Austin was in charge of arrangements.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Melvin Stephen Carolan, 96


Melvin Stephen Carolan, age 96, of Austin, Minnesota, died Sunday, April 8, 2007 at Sacred Heart Care Center.

Melvin was born Jan. 4, 1911 to Phillip and Ellen (Donlan) Carolan in Decorah, Iowa. He was the youngest of eleven children. Melvin went to a one-room school and he lived on a farm.

On March 30, 1937 he married Ruth Whalen at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Plymouth Rock, Iowa. Melvin went to work at the George A. Hormel Company in 1942 and retired in 1973.

He enjoyed making small furniture and traveling. Melvin volunteered at Queen of Angels Church for many years.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Ruth; five children: Teresa (Orville) Scholbrock, Jean Walsh, Gary (Lynn) Carolan, Diana (Paul) Gartner, Danny (Carol) Carolan; 21 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; brother, Sylvester (Vivian) Carolan; several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; four sisters; in-laws; son-in-law, Richard Walsh; grandson, Scott Walsh.

A funeral mass was celebrated on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at Queen of Angels Catholic Church with Father Dale Tupper officiating. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.

The Mayer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

©2007 MNGenWeb


Stella E. (Carstens) Norton


AUSTIN, MINN. -- Stella E. Norton, 83, of 308 Third Ave. S.W., died Thursday (Dec. 22, 1994) at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin.

Stella Carstens was born Aug. 25, 1911, in Newton, Iowa. On June 11, 1932, she married Milton Norton in Austin. Mrs. Norton was a member of the Gopher Hawkeye C-B Club, and a member of the Women of the Moose Lodge.

She is survived by her husband; a son, John E.D. of Austin; seven daughters, Barbara (Mrs. John) Wendel of Waverly, Minn., Jackoleincq (Mrs. Kenneth) Kahler and Margaret Elaine (Mrs. Clifford) Stoen, all of Austin, Agatha (Mrs. Richard) Pederson of Rose Creek, Eudell (Mrs. Maynard) Hamor of Joliet, Ill., Judy (Mrs. Richard) Bastin of Hurst, Texas and Janice Yardley of San Diego, Calif; 30 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; a great-great-granddaughter; and a sister, Delta (Mrs. George) Sanneman of Owatonna. She was preceded in death by two grandchildren, a sister and a brother.

The funeral will be 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at Crane Community Chapel in Austin, with the Rev. Joe Matt officiating. Burial will be in Grandview Cemetery in Austin.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Mayer Funeral Home and one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday.

Submitted to Mower MNGenWeb by K. Pike.



JoAnn Cassidy, 59


JoAnn Cassidy, age 59, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away suddenly on Tuesday, March 13, 2007, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

JoAnn was born in Austin on June 7, 1947, to Joseph and Bonnie (Woods) Cassidy. She graduated from Austin Community College and worked for many years at the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis.

JoAnn loved people, and was very caring and giving. She drew her strength from her religion and was a devout member of St. Augustine Catholic Church.

Survivors include two sisters: Patricia (Dennis) Sundt of Woodbury, Minnesota, and Karen Zavala of Austin, Minnesota.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Bonnie Cassidy.

A memorial mass was celebrated on Thursday, March 15, 2007, at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father Joe Fogal officiating. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.

Mayer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Mrs. Mary Cerny

(1832 -- 1911)

Mrs. Mary Cerny

Mrs. Mary Cerny, aged 78 years, died Sunday evening, Feb. 25, 1911 of old age at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Antone Dvorak in Cedar City. Funeral at the house at 11 o'clock this morning,, Rev. C.D. Belden officiating. Mary Mudra was born in Bohemia, Sept. 13, 1832 and was married there to Frank Cerney (sic).

They came to America in May, 1881, settling in St. Ansgar, Iowa, where their son John was. In 1891 they bought the old John Robertson farm in London township. Mr. Cerny died there March 14, 1897. Mrs. Cerny continued to live there until last Christmas when on account of poor health she went to live with her daughter in Cedar City.

Eight children survive: John of Lansing; Joseph of Belle Plain, Ia.; Lewis of Thief River Falls; Charles of Canby; Mrs. Antone Dvorak of Cedar City; Mrs. Celia Wheeler of Estaban (sic), Canada; Mrs. Anna Svejkovsky of London.

Mower County Lanscript; March 1, 1911

Made available to The USGenWeb Archives by: Annie
Submitted: December 2004

Copyright 2006 IaGenWeb


Miles S. "Mike" Chaffee, 97


Miles S. "Mike" Chaffee, 97, of Austin, Minnesota, died on Thursday, April 19, 2007 at Seasons Hospice in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mike was born on January 6, 1910 in Freeborn, Minnesota, to Guy and Emma (Stimson) Chaffee. He graduated from Austin High School, and then worked for the Smith Shoe Company, and at the Fairview Grocery, before being drafted into the United States Army in October of 1943.

He married Clara E. Johnson on February 2, 1941, at St Olaf Lutheran Church, Austin, Minnesota. Following his discharge from the army Mike returned to Austin and went back to work as a salesman for Harry Smith at the Smith Shoe Co. until his retirement in 1975.

Mike was a member of the Christ Episcopal Church, the American Legion, the Elks and the Kiwanis clubs.

Mike is survived by his wife, Clara Chaffee, Austin, Minnesota; by his son: Michael (Kim) Chaffee, Silt, Colorado; by a granddaughter, Kristin Chaffee, New Castle, Colorado; by a grandson, Michael John Chaffee, Denver, Colorado; by great-grandchildren: Lindsay Hobbs, Ashley Hobbs, and Darik Hobbs; and by two nieces: Mary Krenzke, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Jane Kidder, Scottsdale, Arizona.

He was preceded in death by his sister, Eileen Wiggington.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 23, 2007, at 2 p.m at Christ Episcopal Church with Father Scott Monson officiating. Burial was in the Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, with Austin Post #91 American Legion in charge of military rites.

The organist was Gretchen Zinsli. The soloist was Kim Chaffee. Casket bearers included: Michael John Chaffee, Michael Nelson, Dick Chaffee, John Murphy, Gregg Johnson, and Gary Sutter.

The Clasen-Jordan Mortuary was in charge of arrangements.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Elenora "Nora" (Haller) Chinander


AUSTIN, MINNESOTA -- Elenora "Nora" Chinander, 90, of 906 Fifth Ave. S.E., a longtime Austin resident, died Monday morning (Dec. 25, 1995) at St. Mark's Lutheran Home in Austin.

Elenora Haller was born Dec. 25, 1905, in Hader, Minn., and after graduating from Red Wing High School was a secretary at Red Wing Pottery. In 1936, she married Norby N. Chinander and they moved to Austin in 1940. Mrs. Chinander was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, the Order of the Eastern Star, and Mower County Senior Center where she was known as the Boot Lady.

Survivors include a son, Wayne of Lawrence Kan.; a daughter, Linda (Mrs. Alan) Belz of St. Ansgar, Iowa; two grandchildren; and two sisters, Florence Monson of Pine Island and Eddie Steaffens of Anaheim, Calif. She was preceded in death by her husband and two sisters.

The funeral will be 1:30 p.m. Friday at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, with the Rev. James I. Mikkelson officiating. Burial will be in Grandview Cemetery in Austin.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary in Austin and an hour before the service at the church.



Henry Chmelik


Birth: Jul. 21, 1908
Death: Jan. 15, 1994

AUSTIN -- Henry Chmelik, 85, of 1000 Eighth St. N.W., retired longtime greens superintendent at Ramsey Golf Course in Austin, died Saturday morning (Jan. 15, 1994) at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

He was born July 21, 1908, in Myrtle, Minn. In 1947 he married Albine Plazec, and she died in 1948. He married Mary Vacura in 1951, and they made their home in Austin. She died in 1991.

Survivors include a brother, Frank of Albert Lea; and two sisters, Bessie (Mrs. Frank) Ruzek of Blooming Prairie and Stella (Mrs. Carl) Ruzek of Austin. Two brothers preceded him in death.

The funeral will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, with the Rev. Don Deines officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Austin.

Friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and an hour before the service Wednesday at the funeral home.



Irene Mabel (Christensen) Phelps, 93


Irene M. Phelps, 93, of Rochester, died Wednesday morning, March 28, 2007 at Madonna Towers in Rochester, Minnesota.

Irene Mabel Christensen was born Jan. 6, 1914 to Hilmer and Elsie (Fritsche) Christensen in Waldorf, Minnesota where she grew up and graduated from high school in 1933.

She married Keith Phelps on Sept. 24, 1935, near Mapleton, Minnesota. Following the marriage the couple resided in Waseca, Minnesota until 1952, and relocated to Austin, Minnesota, where they lived for five years. In 1957 Irene and Keith moved to Rochester.

The couple had resided for several years at Madonna Towers where they were active. Irene was a medical secretary at the Mayo Clinic for 19 years. She was a 50-plus year member and a past Noble Grand with a Degree of Honor from the Waseca Rebecca Lodge and member of the Rochester Chapter of the Eastern Star and White Shrine. Irene was also a 25 year member of the Silver Treads Square Dance Club and the Rochester Senior Citizen's Center.

She was a lifetime member of Christ United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday School and was active in the Church Circle and Women's Club. She had won several blue ribbons for her oil and watercolor paintings.

Irene is survived by her husband, Keith, Rochester, Minnesota; one son: Kenzie (Mary Ann) Phelps, Clear Lake, Minnesota; one daughter; Carol (Ralph) Austin, Norman, Okla.; a daughter-in-law: Pastor Ruth Phelps, St. Louis Park, Minnesota; six grandchildren: Sarah (John) Urick, Buffalo, Minnesota, Matthew (Alisa) Phelps, White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Taylor (Laura Pfeiffer) Phelps, St. Paul, Minnesota, Kendra (Dave) Sahlstrom, Foley, Minnesota, Hillary (Joe) Burrus, Austin, Texas and Alexis Austin, Ravenna, Neb.; nine great grandchildren: Jenna and Abigail Urick, Ben and Joey Phelps, Aidan and Ryder Phelps, Madison and Jack Sahlstrom and Holden Burrus.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Hilmer and Elsie Christensen; by a son, Joel Phelps, by a brother, Herb Christensen and by a sister, Ethel Anderson.

Funeral services were held on Monday, April 2, 2007 at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. Interment was in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester.

Condolences may be sent online to

Arrangements are by Mahn Family Funeral Home--Rochester Chapel (507) 280-0311.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Avis Mercedes (Kittelson) Christianson


Avis Christianson, 91, of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, died at Austin Medical Center on Friday, April 20, 2007.

Avis Mercedes Kittelson was born on April 30, 1915, to Carl and Nilanna "Nellie" (Wigtil) Kittelson, in Freeborn County, Minnesota.

She married Kenneth Christianson on March 20, 1935, at the Lutheran Parsonage, Blooming Prairie. The couple lived on a farm near Corning, Minnesota for over 30 years, before moving to Blooming Prairie.

After retirement from the farm, Avis traveled often to visit her widely-scattered family on both coasts and in the southern states. She also took two trips to Norway which allowed her to enjoy her love of the Norwegian language and people. Avis's Red Oak Grove Church activities were always a major part of her life, including choirs, youth activities, and church women's groups. Her interest in music included piano, small organ, singing and encouraging her family's musical development. She was active in the Blooming Prairie Garden Club and in Prairie Manor Auxiliary.

She served on the Austin Community College Advisory Committee and was supportive of her children's education.

Avis was the family historian and kept records, journals, and scrapbooks of her husband Ken's quilts as well as other community events. Avis was known for her great kindness, as a woman who delighted in the comfort and happiness of others. She also dealt with hardship and heartache in her 92 years with quiet determination and unusual fortitude.

Survivors include three daughters: Barbara (Ron) Manbeck, of Corvallis, Oregon; Marilyn Styve, of Afton, Minnesota; Janet (Gordon) Beavers, of Golden Valley, Minnesota; two sons: Jerome (Betty) Christianson, of Austin, and Gary (Terry) Christianson, of Seattle, Washington; ten grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Nina Ingvalson, of Austin; one brother, Harlan Kittelson, of Austin; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Clinton (Adeline) Christianson, of Blooming Prairie; two sisters-in-law, Irene Filley, of Blooming Prairie, and Frieda Christianson, of Blooming Prairie.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Nellie and Carl Kittelson; by her husband Kenneth in 2003; by a daughter, Rosanne Wennes, in 2004; by a brother, Allan; and by sons-in-law, John Styve and Richard Wennes.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on April 23, 2007, at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church, rural Blooming Prairie, with Rev. Bruce Falksen officiating. Burial was in Red Oak Grove Cemetery.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Bennett N. Christianson

Oct. 14, 1902 - Nov. 14, 2000

Bennett N. Christianson, 98, Albert Lea, formerly of rural Austin, died Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2000 at Good Samaritan Center in Albert Lea.

He was born Oct. 14, 1902 to Christian B. and Bertha (Stemson) Christianson in Newry Township, Freeborn County, Minnesota. Bennett attended country school through eighth grade and married Margaret Olga Aldahl at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church on May 21, 1930. Helping on the family farm, he lived and farmed in Newry Township his entire life. He was on the joint school board district 119. Margaret died in 1972, and Bennett worked as a custodian at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church where he was a lifetime member. He retired in 1967 and entered Good Samaritan Center March 30, 1989.

Survivors include sons, Merlin (Bertha) Christianson, East Hartford, Connecticut; David (Donna) Christianson, Albert Lea; Lavern (Carol) Christianson, Windom; nine grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; brothers, Ivan (Mildred) Christianson, Austin; Arnold (Rayma) Christianson, Austin; sisters-in-law, Helen Christianson, Blooming Prairie; Marge Christianson, Austin; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Margaret; one great-grandson; five brothers, Charles, Orville, Lawrence, Clifford, Merril (in infancy) and three sisters, Blanche Knutson, Hilda Swenson, Inez Noble.

Service: Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, with The Rev. Myrwood Bagne officiating.

Interment: Red Oak Grove Cemetery.

Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and at Blooming Prairie Funeral Home and at the church one hour before the service.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Jacob Kenneth Christianson

Nov. 2, 1991 - Mar. 1992

AUSTIN -- Jacob Kenneth Christianson, the 3-month-old son of Kenneth and Ann Christianson of 2405 Fourth Drive S.W., died of sudden infant death syndrome Monday morning at St. Olaf Hospital here. He was born Nov. 2, 1991, in Austin.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by maternal grandparents, Ben and Mary Thome of Adams; and paternal grandparents, Robert and Shirley McAlister of Austin. A Mass of the Angels will be offered at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Augustine Catholic Church here, with the Rev. Paul Evers officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Austin.

Friends may call from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin where there will be a wake service at 7:30 p.m. today.



Kenneth E. Christianson

Oct. 15, 1912 - Dec. 9, 2003

Kenneth E. Christianson, 91, of Blooming Prairie, died Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2003, at Bethesda Rehabilita-tion Hospital, St. Paul.

He was born Oct. 15, 1912, to I. B. and Betsy (Egtvet) Christianson in Udolpho Township. He attended school at Red Oak Grove District and was baptized and confirmed at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church.

On March 20, 1935, he married Avis Kittelson. Ken worked at Nels Goodwin's farm, Hormel Foods Corp., and at Kittelsons, then farmed west of Corning for about 29 years. The couple retired in 1975 to a home in Blooming Prairie.

Ken and Avis were involved in a car accident on Aug. 22, after which Ken spent about three months at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester and one month in Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital in St. Paul, where he died Dec. 9.

Survivors include his wife, Avis; daughters, Barb (Ron) Manbeck, Corvallis, Ore.; Rosanne Wennes, Tempe, Ariz.; Marilyn Styve, Afton; Janet (Gordon) Beavers, Golden Valley; sons, Jerome (Betty) Christianson, Austin; Gary (Terry) Christianson, Austin; 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; brother, Clinton (Adeline) Christianson, Blooming Prairie; sister, Irene Filley, Blooming Prairie; sister-in-law, Frieda Christianson, Blooming Prairie.

Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. today, Dec. 12, 2003, at the funeral home and Saturday at the church for one hour before the service.

Service: 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Red Oak Grove Lutheran Church with Rev. Bruce Falksen officiating.

Interment: Red Oak Grove Cemetery.

Funeral Home: Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home.


©2007 MNGenWeb


Stephen Olson
Stephen Christianson

Frozen To Death

Stephen Olson and Stephen Christianson, [from Adams Township] spoken of as settlers of July 1855, were frozen to death December 8, 1855. They started on the morning of that day, with ox teams, to go to the Norwegian settlement at Six Mile Grove in Nevada Township, to procure provisions in which the settlers were in much need. The procured provisions and started home. A severe snow storm set in and they evidently got lost. The team found their way home that night. One of the menís hats was found attached to the yoke. The next morning a party started in search. Their dead bodies were found three days later in Lodi Township. Each left a wife and one child.

They were buried in section 11 without any funeral services.

History of Mower County, 1884

Submitted to MNGenWeb by Kathy Pike, January 2007



©2007 MNGenWeb
Webization by Kermit Kittleson, June 19, 2007