Benedict Frank Zilka, age 82, a resident of St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls, MN, formerly of Darling Township, died January 14, 1999, at St. Otto’s Care Center.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held January 18 at St. James Catholic Church in Randall, MN. Burial was in the parish cemetery. Military rites were conducted by Little Falls VFW Post 1112 and Little Falls American Legion Post 46.
Benedict was born March 21, 1916, to the late Leo and Dorothy (Knopik) Zilka in Culdrum Township, Morrison County, MN. He joined the United States Army in 1940 and served with the 11th Armored Division in General Patton’s 3rd Army in the European Theater. He was honorably discharged in 1945. Benedict was united in marriage to Mary Louise Stoltman on November 28, 1945, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Little Falls. He worked at C.L. Nelson Construction Company for 30 years and farmed in Darling Township, Morrison County, MN, until he entered St. Otto’s Care Center on November 7, 1994, where he resided until his death. He was a member of St. James Catholic Church of Randall, Knights of Columbus of which he was a 4th Degree, life member of Little Falls VFW Post 1112 and Little Falls American Legion Post 46. Benedict was an avid fan of baseball and had the opportunity to play against Joe DiMaggio while in the Army. He was a caring and loving husband, father and grandfather and will be missed.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Louise of St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls; sons, David J. and wife Kathleen of Valrico, FL, Richard B. and wife Mary Kay of Hillman, MN, Charles L. and Dennis J. and wife Arletta of Randall, Gregory P. of Little Falls, Gerald J. and wife Shirley of Brainerd, MN, and Benedict F., Jr., and wife Lorraine of Fort Wayne, IN; daughters, Catherine M. Zilka and husband David Windsor of San Antonio, TX, Annette M. Larson and husband Gary of Apple Valley, MN, Bridget A. Yorek and husband Robert of Sobieski, MN, Jean T. Petersen and husband Keith of Little Falls, Susan L. Erickson and husband Eugene of St. Peter, MN, and Mary Beth Zilka of San Antonio; brothers, Albert of Pine River, MN, Stanley and wife Dorothy, Louis and wife Doreen of Little Falls and Brother Placid Zilka of Dubuque, IA; sisters, Angeline Adams and husband Jake, Sister Serena Zilka and Dorothy Pierzina and husband Ernest of Little Falls and Mary Rose Weiland and husband Donald of Hoffman, MN, and 21 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Brian Thomas Zilka; daughter, Mary Francis Zilka; brothers, Bernard, Leonard and Simon Zilka and a sister, Emily Gradin.
Casketbearers were his sons, David, Richard, Charles, Dennis, Gregory, Gerard and Benedict, Jr., Zilka.
Lester L. Kleinschmidt, age 81, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died January 14, 1999 , at St.Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls.
Funeral services were held January 16 at the Little Falls Christian & Missionary Alliance Church in Little Falls with the Rev. Roland Jennings officiating. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery in Browerville, MN.
Lester was born January 28, 1917, in Moran Township, Todd County, MN, to the late Christian and Effie (Line) Clifford. At the age of three years, his family moved to South Superior, WI. At age 13, his family moved to Minot, ND, and, in 1937, moved to Browerville. Lester was united in marriage to Helen I. Sutton on August 17, 1938, in Browerville. Following their marriage, the couple farmed near Browerville, moving in 1942 to Flensburg, MN, where they farmed. Lester also worked as assistant buttermaker at the Flensburg Creamery until 1959, when the couple purchased the Hub Cafe in Little Falls. He also drove truck for Larson Boats until his retirement. After retirement, Lester worked as a security guard at St. Gabriel’s Hospital complex in Little Falls.
Lester was a charter member of the Little Falls Kiwanis Club, past chair of the Little Falls Park Board, Cass Gilbert Depot Society, Lone Eagle Car Club, was one of the organizers of the Little Falls Police Reserves and was a member of the Little Falls Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. He enjoyed woodworking, mechanics, was a jack-of-all-trades and was an avid enthusiast of trains.
Survivors include his wife, Helen; daughter, Jan Klinker and husband Don of Little Falls; son, Kenneth Kleinschmidt and wife Eddie of Little Falls; sister, Marion Whitted of Minot, ND; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ralph and George Thompson and stepfather, George Kleinschmidt.
Honorary pallbearers were Keith Stoner, Don Opatz and members of the Little Falls Kiwanis Club. Casketbearers were Kelly, Ron and Barclay Klinker, Todd and Chad Kleinschmidt.
Roger Frey, age 73, a resident of Cushing, MN, died January 16, 1999, at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial was held January 20 at St. James Catholic Church in Randall, MN, with Father Al Quade officiating. Burial was in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery by Camp Ripley.
Roger was born June 1, 1925, in Duluth, MN, to the late Joseph and Lillian (New) Frey. As a young boy, he moved with his family to Minneapolis, MN,where he attended school, graduating from St. Thomas Academy. In 1943, he entered the U.S. Army where he served during World War II. Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to Minneapolis and attended the College of St. Thomas. On August 23, 1947, he was married to Patricia Clark in Minneapolis. The young family made their home in Edina, MN, where Roger worked for Central Supply Company as a salesman and later as treasurer of the company. He served many years with the Civil Air Patrol and held the rank of Colonel. Following his retirement in 1990, Roger and Pat moved to their home on Lake Alexander where they had resided since. He was very active in the Boy Scouts of America, serving for several years as district commissioner. He was a member of St. James Catholic Church, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, was a dispatcher for the Scandia Valley Fire Department and also served on the Scandia Valley Township Board. He enjoyed working with model railroads and also enjoyed hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.
Survivors include his wife, Pat; daughter, Mary (John) Schmidt of Richfield, MN; three sons, Steven Frey of Apple Valley, MN, Joseph (Kathleen) Frey of Annandale, MN, and John(Sherri) Frey of Richfield and nine grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Francis Sorum, Sr.
Francis Sorum, Sr., age 89, a resident of Melbourne, FL, formerly of the Harding, MN, area, died January 12, 1999, at Holmes Regional Hospital in Melbourne.
Funeral services were held January 18 at the Brenny Funeral Home in Pierz, MN, with Father Ken Brenny officiating. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls, MN.
Francis was born August 24, 1909, to Mons and Thea (Felland) Sorum in Austin, MN, where he attended school. He was united in marriage to Helen Jendro on May 16, 1931, in Minneapolis, MN. They continued to live in Minneapolis where he was employed by Valspar Paints, retiring in 1975. They moved to Harding in the late 1980s. Francis enjoyed farming, renovating old farm buildings and traveling.
Survivors include a daughter, Juanita Swanson and husband Douglas of Henning, MN; son, Francis Sorum, Jr., and wife Bess of Melbourne, 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents;wife, Helen on July 8, 1991, and two sons, David and John.
Casketbearers were Mike, Pat, Brian and Centa Sorum and Douglas and Bruce Cramer.
John “Jack” DeFoe, age 73, a resident of Swanville, MN, died January 15, 1999, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls, MN.
Funeral services were held at St. John The Baptist Catholic Church in Swanville on January 20 with Rev. Thomas Meyer officiating. Burial was in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Long Prairie, MN.
John was born August 25, 1925, in Kandiyohi, MN, to the late John and Mary DeFoe. He attended school in Kandiyohi until moving with his family to the Upsala, MN , area where he attended the Swanville Public School. After his schooling, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, serving in World War II. John was honorably discharged on December 3, 1946. He was united in marriage to Eleanor Jelinski on June 16, 1948, in Flensburg, MN. The couple moved to Grand Forks, ND, where John worked at various jobs. They moved to Long Prairie in 1957. Eleanor died June 12, 1975. John continued living in the Long Prairie area until 1977. He was then united in marriage to Anna M. Shoewelter in 1977 in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Long Prairie. The couple moved to Swanville in 1978 where they resided until his death. John enjoyed gardening, birdwatching, visiting with friends, history, working on small engines and spending time with his family.
Survivors include his wife, Anna of Swanville; sons, David DeFoe and wife Regina of Mitchell, NE, Richard DeFoe and wife Trish of Maple Lake, MN, Pat DeFoe and wife Patty of Melrose, MN, Bill DeFoe and wife Shelly of Aitkin, MN, Joe DeFoe and wife Annie of St. Cloud, MN, John DeFoe and wife Shari of Swanville and Tony DeFoe and friend Connie Scherping of Long Prairie; daughters, Ann DeFoe of Ramsey, MN, Konnie Holtz and husband Dennis of Litchfield, MN, Terri Stepaniak and husband Dick of Chippewa Falls, WI; Rita Turner and husband Joe of Colorado Springs, CO, Alice Mueller and husband Mike of St. Cloud, Mary DeFoe and friend Gary Anderson of Glenwood, MN, Lois Draxton and husband Dan of Long Prairie, Becky Peterson and husband Gale of Las Vegas, NV,and Amy Lemke and husband Marvin of Little Falls; stepsons, Ray Montzka and friend Sue Olson of Crosby, MN, John Montzka and wife Karen of Alexandria, MN, Larry Montzka and wife Trina of Gilbert, MN, and Bruce Montzka and wife Sue of Crosby; stepdaughters, Janice Rahn and husband Wayne of Burtrum, MN, and Ann Karnes and husband Jamie of Swanville; brother, Tom DeFoe and wife Lillian of White Bear Lake, MN; sister, Sr. Constantine Marie DeFoe of St. Paul, MN; 57 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Eleanor on June 12, 1975; brothers, Emmit and Jim DeFoe and sister, Elizabeth Litchy.
Albert A. Rakotz, age 88, a resident of Hutchinson, MN, formerly of Swanville, MN, died January 14, 1999, at the Burns Manor Nursing Home in Hutchinson.
Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Swanville on January 18 with Rev. Thomas Meyer officiating. Burial was in the parish cemetery.
Albert was born April 12, 1910, in St. Anthony, MN, to the late Frank and Caroline Rakotz. Albert grew up and attended country school in the St. Anthony area. He was united in marriage to Alvina Austings on May 28, 1934, in St. Rosa, MN. Following their marriage, the couple farmed and raised their family near Upsala, MN. After many years on the farm, they retired to Swanville. Albert moved to Hutchinson this past winter where he resided until his death. He enjoyed fishing, dancing, playing guitar and harmonica and spending time with his family.
Survivors include his son, Duane Rakotz and wife JoAnn of Encinitas, CA; daughters, Lila VanHee and husband Joe of Big Lake, MN, Phyllis Anderson and husband Rolland of Hudson, FL, Colette Maciej and husband Bob of Zimmerman, MN, and Marlys Harlander and husband Curt of Hutchinson; brother, Frank Rakotz of Clearwater, MN and sister, Alvina Dobis of Holdingford, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Alvina; granddaughter; brothers, Henry, Bill, Ben and Charlie Rakotz and sisters, Katy, Mary, Veronica and Clara.
Pallbearers were Russel Anderson, Scot and Chad Harlander, Troy Maciej, Dan Marsh and Kevin Mathison.
Herb Leeb, age 77, a resident of Pierz, MN, died January 16, 1999, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.
Mass of Christian Burial was January 19 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Pierz with Father Ken Brenny officiating. Burial was at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Camp Ripley, MN.
Herb was born on February 21, 1921, to Peter and Helen (Tretter) Leeb in Lastrup, MN. Herb was united in marriage to Marcella Motschke on May 2, 1946, in Buckman, MN. He farmed for 30 years at Lastrup, then worked for Thielen’s Furniture during his retirement. Herb was a member of the American Legion in Pierz.
Survivors include his wife Marcella of Pierz; daughters Ellie and husband Ed Tschida of Mankato, MN, and Sherri and husband Konrad Johnson of Foreston, MN; son Mike Leeb and wife Karen of Kasota, MN; brothers, John Leeb of Pierz and Clarence Leeb of St. Cloud; sisters, Lucille Magnan of Pierz, Bernice David of Jacksonsville, FL, and Laura Pella of Pierz; grandchildren, Angi, Nichole, Nathan, Mathew, Stephen and Aaron; and, one great-grandchild, Leah.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Elizabeth, Mary, and Helen; brother Christ; and one grandchild Kristofer.
Casketbearers were Claude Motschke, Bob Britz, Nathan Johnson, Mike Menden, Duane Motschke, and Nichole Johnson. Honorary casketbearers were Don Meyer, Lee Maus, Ralph Britz, Sylvester Motschke, Clarence Leeb, and Leander J. Meyer.
Mathew Kroll, age 78, a resident of Minneapolis, MN, originally of Royalton, MN, died January 13, 1999 in Minneapolis.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held January 16, at St. Austin Church in Minneapolis with Father Gregory Welch officiating. Burial was at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Matt was born September 21, 1920, to Paul and Mary (Czech) Kroll in Royalton. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Mergen on October 6, 1952. He worked for B.F. Nelson until retiring in 1985.
Survivors include his wife Dorothy of Minneapolis, MN; sons Gregory of Minneapolis, Gary and wife Julie of Brooklyn Park, MN, and Glen at home; brothers Alex of St. Cloud, MN, Leonard and Gertrude of Greenfield, WI, Ed and Millie of Pierz, MN, Clarence and Joanne of Richfield, MN, Bob and Darlene of Little Falls, MN, Richard of Geneses, IL; sisters, Leona Kroll of Minneapolis, Dolores Ewing of Winona, MN, Lorraine and Karl Wohlers of Hastings, MN, Helen Owen of Hugo, MN; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Valentine; Mike, Ambrose and sister Tillie Nickason.
Mildred Anne Loken, age 85, a resident of Long Prairie, MN, died January 18, 1999, at her home in Bruce Township, Todd County.
A funeral service was held January 22 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie with Father Eugene Meemken and Deacon Mark Zenner officiating. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Long Prairie.
Mildred was born July 11, 1913, in Swanville Township, Morrison County, MN, to Frank Sr. and Bertha (Goehtz) Barthel. She grew up in Swanville Township, and attended the Swanville school. After her schooling she worked in Minneapolis for a while until her marriage to Theodore Loken on January 3, 1933, Long Prairie. After their marriage, the couple farmed in Bruce Township, Todd County, MN, until retiring. She remained on the family farm until the time of her death. Among the things she enjoyed were cooking, playing cards, having company. She especially enjoyed her family. She was affectionately known as “Ma” by her family and friends. She was a member of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie. Survivors include herchildren Elaine Crider of Little Sauk, MN and Allan Loken of Long Prairie; and grandchildren, Dustin, Chad, Cory Crider, Christy Bearson, Shane and Ashley Crider.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Bertha; husband Ted Loken on July 15, 1989; brothers, Art, Frank, Henry, Otto, and Raymond Barthel; sisters, Ella Anderson, Ester Schuett, Florence Kuhl, Martha VanDrasek and Hazel Socher and her son-in-law, Merwin “Muggs” Crider.
Casketbearers were Dustin Crider, Chad Crider, Cory Crider, Alois Claseman, Jim Balcom and Paul Cameron.
Marie Agnes Kohl, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died January 20, 1999, at the Lutheran Care Center in Little Falls.
Mass of Christian Burial was held January 22 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Belle Prairie, MN, with Father Harold J. Kost officiating. Interment was in the parish cemetery.
Marie was born September 29, 1912, in Brainerd, MN, to the late Fred and Josephine (Fallen) Englehart. Shew grew up in the St. Mathias, MN, area where she attended country school. She was united in marriage to Edward Kohl on January 1, 1929, in St. Mathias. The couple made their home in Belle Prairie Township in Morrison County. They moved to Little Falls in the 1930s where they lived all their lives. Edward Kohl died on April 14, 1978, and Marie continued living in Little Falls. While living in Little Falls, Marie worked as a cashier at Ben Franklin and later at Woolworth. She became a resident of the Lutheran Care Center in August of 1997 where she resided at the time of her death.
Survivors include her son, William Kohl and wife Elaine of Little Falls; daughter, Joyce Bellefeuille and husband Gene of Eden Prairie, MN; brother, Ray Englehart and wife Mazie of Robbinsdale, MN; five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband; a son; parents; brothers, Kelly and Jack and sisters, Irene, Phyllis and Margie.