Josie Walker Blakey, age 101, died June 15, 1998, at the First Christian Church Residence, Minneapolis, where she had lived since the death of her husband, Bernard B. Blakey, in 1992.
A memorial service will be held June 29 at First Christian Church in Minneapolis. Burial will be in a private graveside service at Lakewood Cemetery.
The Blakeys lived in Morrison County near Little Falls, MN, throughout the 1970s and were active in the Grace Covenant Church during that time. The Blakeys’ courtship letters and enduring romance well into their 90s was the subject of a widely acclaimed book, Love in the 90s, by their granddaughter, Keri Pickett, also formerly of Little Falls.
Born December 17, 1896, in Tahlequah, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), Josie was one of 11 children. She remembers playing with Will Rogers when he came to visit his aunt and uncle, the Adairs, who were neighbors of the Walkers. As a girl, she became determined to get an education after admiring the well-dressed young women who attended a nearby seminary (high school) for Cherokee Indians. With financial help from an older brother, she prevailed on her parents to allow her to continue her education beyond the eighth grade, which was unusual for children of poor, rural families, and especially for girls. After graduating from high school, she taught briefly in a Normal School in Kansas, where her students included her younger siblings. She then attended Phillips University in Enid, OK, where she graduated with a degree in religious education in 1926. She was one of the first women to be ordained as a Disciples of Christ (Christian) minister and served as the denomination’s national religious education director. She traveled a 15-state region, setting up church schools and religious education programs. Years later, she served as student union hostess at Phillips University. In retirement, she researched and published two family histories.
Her romance with Bernard (B.B.) Blakey began as a ruse to discourage the attentions of the minister at a church where she was assigned. In July, 1928, she asked her friend Blakey to write her or send a blank sheet of paper in the mail every day, marked “personal,” because her mail came to the minister’s box. Friendship blossomed into romance and they were married one year later and almost 700 letters later, in July, 1929.
The story of “B.B.” and “Jo,” as they called each other, was captured by their granddaughter, a Minneapolis photographer, who combined her photos of them in their 90s with excerpts of their courtship love letters. Published in 1995 by Warner Books, Pickett’s Love in the 90s was translated into Japanese in 1996; it has been featured in local and national newspapers and magazines such as Life and People, and on numerous television programs such as Good Morning America. Pickett’s photographs of her grandparents have been exhibited at the Museum of Art in New Orleans and the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, FL, and in galleries in Portland, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Minneapolis. A photo of them hugging in bed won a blue ribbon as the “People’s Choice” at the Minnesota State Fair.
Josie will be forever cherished by her family for giving them the two most precious gifts a parent or grandparent can give: roots and wings.
Survivors include a son, Roy Blakey of Minneapolis; two daughters and sons-in-law, Marian and Robert Spencer of Santa Monica, CA, and B.J. and John French of Minneapolis; and two granddaughters and one grandson-in-law, Pickett of Minneapolis and Kimberly Mahling Clark and Mark Clark of Arlington, VA, who currently live and work in Haiti.
Cathryn M. Kastanek, age 74, a resident of rural Hillman, MN, died May 30, 1999, of heart failure in her garden with her family at her side.
Mass of Christian Burial was held June 2 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Pierz, MN, with Rev. Kenneth Brenny officiating. Interment was in the parish cemetery.
Cathryn (Gulden) Kastanek was born November 24, 1924, in Lake Hanska Township, Brown County, MN, to the late George and Eleanor (Dietz) Gulden. At the age of 10 and one-half months, she moved with her family to Pierz. She started grade school in October, 1929, in District 55 and was the first student of District 55 to graduate from high school. She went on to St. Gabriel’s School of Nursing and graduated as a registered nurse in 1945. Cathryn interned at Gillette Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, MN, and at the regional hospitals in both Redwood Falls, MN, and Fergus Falls, MN. She joined the Indian Service in Arizona and New Mexico and worked with the Navajo Indian Nation. She then worked at Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Portland, OR, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Brainerd, MN, and finally at the Lutheran Care Center (Lutheran Senior Citizens Home) in Little Falls, MN, from 1964 until her retirement in 1989. Outside of her career in nursing, Cathryn was a housewife and homemaker. She and her husband, Jrwin, lived on the family farm in Hillman Township since their marriage on July 2, 1951. Cathryn was active as a 4-H leader for the Center Valley Dairylanders and volunteered at the Morrison County Extension Service and the Minnesota 4-H program at the state level. In recent years, she volunteered as an indexer of obituaries for the Morrison County Historical Society of which she also served on the board of directors and as treasurer. She was a volunteer at the Morrison County Public Health Department and at the Harmony House in Pierz. Cathryn was active in the Minnesota cemetery documentation project, specifically at St. John’s in Lastrup, MN. She also researched the history of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hillman. Cathryn was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Pierz and Little Falls VFW Auxiliary Post 1112. She was also an active member of the Minnesota Historical Society, Czechoslovakian Genealogical Society and the German-Bohemian Heritage Society. Cathryn’s hobbies were reading, genealogical research/family history, traveling, writing, quilting and gardening.
Survivors include her husband, Jrwin Kastanek of Hillman; daughters, Colleen Kastanek of North Branch, MN, and Charolotte Kastanek of Sartell, MN; son, Allan Kastanek of St. Paul, MN; grandchildren, Ligeia Cholensky, Stephanie Cholensky, Annie Kastanek and John Kastanek; great-grandson, Jakob Kastanek; sister, Leora Wilkes of Pierz and brother, LeRoy Gulden of Pierz.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
(Mrs. Thomas) Lucy Krystosek, age 80, a resident of Royalton, MN, died May 30, 1999, at her residence.
Mass of Christian Burial was held June 2 at Holy Trinity Church in Royalton with Father Laurn Virnig officiating and Father Leo Otto and Father Paul Zylla concelebrating. Burial was at Holy Trinity Parish Cemetery.
Lucy was born February 8, 1919, to Ludwig and Julia (Posch) Biniek in Opole, MN. She was united in marriage to Thomas Krystosek on May 1, 1944, at St. Stanislaus Church in Bowlus, MN. They farmed in Bellevue Township all their lives. She was the Sacristan for Holy Trinity Church in Royalton. Lucy was a member of the Christian Mothers and 3rd Order of St. Francis.
Survivors include her husband, Thomas of Royalton; sons, Anthony Krystosek and wife Cecilia of Royalton and Alois Krystosek and wife Susan of Royalton; daughter, Carol Krystosek of Royalton; sister, Magdalen Brockert of Long Lake, MN, and grandchildren, Samuel, Nicole, Catie, Anne and Daniel Krystosek of Royalton.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ludwig and Julia Biniek; brothers, Robert Czech, Leo Czech, Theodore Biniek, Bernard Biniek and Benedict Biniek and sisters, Veronica Fussy, Sophie Piechota and Loretta Siedlecki.
Casketbearers were Clarence Czech, Louis Fussy, Jerry Hubner, Sam Fussy, Walter Biniek and Ted Biniek.
Bertha Luella Wiese
Bertha Luella Wiese, age 88,a resident of Little Falls, MN, formerly of Blue Earth, MN, died June 1, 1999, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.
Funeral services were held June 5 at the Shelley Funeral Chapel with Rev. Roland Jennings officiating. Burial was in the Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls.
Bertha was born March 8, 1911, in Interior, SD, to the late Levi and Dora (Engles) Rulon. She grew up and attended country school in Interior. At the age of 18, Bertha moved to Luverne, MN, where she met Herbert Wiese. She was united in marriage to Herbert on October 19, 1935, in Canton, SD. The coupleresided in the Luverne area after their marriage. In 1954, the couple moved to Blue Earth, MN, where they lived until 1971. In 1971, the couple moved to the Little Falls area. Herbert passed away in September, 1976. Bertha continued living in Little Falls where she resided until her death.Bertha was a member of the Little Falls Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting, spending time with her family and volunteering at the Little Falls Senior Center.
Survivors include her son, Jim Wiese, of St. George, UT; daughter, Carol Ahlin and husband, John of Little Falls; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Herbert in September 1976; brothers, William and Frank Rulon; and, sister, Julia Johnson.
Lucille G. (Pfeffer) Lehmann
Lucille G. (Pfeffer) Lehmann, age 76, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died May 31, 1999, at St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls.
Funeral services were held on June 5 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Rev. Nicholas Landsberger officiating. Burial will be June 7 in St. Paul’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Sauk Centre.
Lucille was born July 13, 1922, in Bancroft, IA to the late Albert and Lucy (Hatten) Bisaillon. At an early age she moved with her family to Sebeka, MN. Her family later moved to Osakis, MN. In 1930, she moved to the Lyman Prairie area, south of Sauk Centre, MN. She attended the Lyman Prairie Country School until her freshman year at which time she transferred to the Brooten High School. She graduated from Sauk Centre High School in 1940. Lucille moved to Little Falls in 1955, where she was first employed at the Pine Edge Inn. In 1968, she started working at the Morrison County Social Services office, retiring in 1982. She moved to Pine River, MN in 1985, residing there until 1988. Lucille moved to Carlos, MN and, in 1997, returned to Little Falls, where she resided until her death. Lucille was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, and was a past member and past president of the Little Falls Legion Auxiliary. She was active in the Carlos Senior Citizens Club and was the volunteer site manager at the Sportsman Cafe in Carlos.
Survivors include her sons, Donald Pfeffer of Little Falls, Roman Pfeffer of Felton, DE; daughters, Jean Johannes and husband, Ron of Aurora, CO, Pat Tedman of Victoria, MN, Marilyn Kummet and husband, John, of Baxter, MN, JoAnne Reis and husband, Gary of Grand Junction, CO; Rosie Reis and husband Greg of Grand Junction, CO; sister, LaVonne Ragan of North Platte, NE; 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Harleigh G. Swanson
Harleigh G. Swanson, age 72, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died March 20, 1999, at his daughter’s home in Minneapolis, MN.
Funeral services were held March 24 at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls with Rev. Alan Bray officiating. Burial was in The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls. Military rites were said at the funeral home.
Harleigh was born April 4, 1926, to the late George and Mamie (Johnson) Swanson in Little Falls. He attended Little Falls Community High School until the eleventh grade. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1944, serving in the Philippines and Japan. He received the Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon and the Philippines Liberation Ribbon. Harleigh was honorably discharged October, 1946. He was united in marriage to Marion Peterson October 12, 1946, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls. The couple made their home in Little Falls. Harleigh worked forHome bakery andSanitary bakery for 13 years. In 1959, he started working for Super Valu Grocery Store, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN, as a bakery manager. He also managed the V.F.W. in Little Falls. He retired in 1991. He was a life member of the V.F.W. and Cooties, Little Falls Lions Club receiving the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, and the Jaycees, receiving the Private Enterprize Award and the Pinnacle Hunting Club. Harleigh enjoyed collecting and trading Lions Club pins. He took pride in taking care of his lawn. He enjoyed nature, visiting and meeting new people, hunting and fishing. He will be sadly missed by his family.
Survivors include his wife Marion of Little Falls; daughters, Teresa Saunders and husband, Seth of LeSuer, MN and Dione Wenner and husband, Robert of South Minneapolis, MN, and six grandchildren.
He was preceded in by his parents.
Betty J. Swanson, age 71, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died March 23, 1999, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.
Funeral services were held March 26 at Zion Lutheran Church in Little Falls with Rev. Martin Langemo officiating. Interment was in Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls.
Betty Jean Swanson was born on May 5, 1927, in Sioux Falls, SD, to the late Frank and Isabel Fischback) Pieper. She was united in marriage to Jack Schmelzer. The couple made their home in Little Falls where Betty lived most of her life. Following Jack’s death in 1976, Betty continued living in Little Falls. She was united in marriage to Ed Swanson on September 29, 1994, at Zion Lutheran Church in Little Falls. The couple lived in Little Falls Township near Little Falls. Betty was a devoted housewife and mother all her life. She enjoyed playing cards, gardening, fishing and pets. She especially loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include her husband Ed Swanson of Little Falls; son, Jim Schmelzer and wife Julie of Little Falls; daughter, Barbara Miller and husband Bob of Anoka, MN; step-children Ronni Swanson of Little Falls, William Swanson and wife Rebecca of Spring, TX, Arthur Swanson and wife Julie of Isanti, MN, and John Swanson of Coon Rapids, MN; brothers, Frank Pieper and wife Brenda of Hibbing and Jon Pieper and wife Debbie of Lindstrom, MN; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Betty J. Swanson was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Jack Schmelzer.
Wilma C.E. Mitchell, age 76, a resident of Freedhem, MN, died March 20, 1999, at St. Mary’s Villa in Pierz, MN.
Graveside services were held March 24 at the Fanny Fern Cemetery near Spencer, IA.
Wilma was born August 26, 1922, in Hart, MI, to the late Stoffer and Sophie (Wastnecker) Boelsem. She grew up in Michigan and Iowa where she completed her schooling. After completing her schooling, she moved to San Francisco, CA, and worked as a waitress for three years. Wilma was united in marriage to DeWaine Mitchell on July 27, 1948, in Sioux Rapids, IA. In 1950, the couple purchased a farm south of Randall, MN, and farmed until 1960. The family relocated to a farm in the Freedhem area in 1960. Wilma helped on the farm until her death. She was also employed from 1960 to the 1980s at Larson Boat Works, Munsingwear and Sanitary Bakery in Little Falls, MN. She enjoyed crocheting, sewing, country music and her dogs.
Survivors include her sons, Maynard Mitchell and wife Renee of Pierz and Jack Mitchell of Freedhem; daughters, Charlotte Welle and husband Duane of Ramsey, MN, Caroline White of Federal Way, WA, and Rose Ann Matykiewicz and husband Daniel of Stacy, MN; sisters, Cora Jenny of Whittier, CA, and Anna Vlieger of Valinda, CA; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, DeWaine in 1987; parents; a brother, Arend Boelsem and a son-in-law, Bill White.
Pallbearers were Jennifer and Danny Marshik, Jill and Jimmy Mitchell and Kristine and Scott Welle.
Patrick H. Boros, age 41, a resident of Little Falls, MN, died March 18, 1999, at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held March 23 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls with the Rev. Nick Landsberger officiating. Burial was in the parish cemetery.
Patrick was born July 22, 1957, in Little Falls, Morrison County, to Marcella “Marcie” M. (Klisch) Boros and the late Henry “Hank” R. Boros. He grew up in Little Falls, attending St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School, Lindbergh Elementary School, Little Falls Middle School and Little Falls High School, graduating in the class of 1975. After his schooling, he worked at the Sobieski Creamery, drove truck for Bednarek Trucking of Little Falls, was a stationary engineer at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud and worked as Administrator of the Little Falls Moose Lodge #1587. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Little Falls, Knights of Columbus Council #1804, Little Falls Moose Lodge #1587 and the National Association of Powers Engineers. He loved his family and friends and enjoyed bowling, fishing and polka music.
Survivors include his mother, Marcella “Marcie” M. Boros of Little Falls; son, Gary J. Boros of Little Falls; daughter, Wendy L. Petrich and husband Bill of Randall, MN; sister, Pam Nieken and husband Richard of Little Falls; special friend, Carol Richter of Little Falls; nephews and nieces, Kyle and Addam Posterick and Michelle and James Nieken, all of Little Falls; grandfather, Edward A. Klisch of Bowlus, MN, and many aunts and uncles.
He was preceded in death by his father, Henry, on June 21, 1991 and grandparents, Theresa Klisch and Les and Elizabeth Boros.
Honorary pallbearers were Jack Doble, Jason Doble, Ken Lampert, Jerry Zilazney, Gary Schwartz, Gary Dickman, Mike Wagner and Charlie Scherer.
Casketbearers were Bill Myers, Max Simon, Glen Garbar, Bob Loss, LeRoy Winter and David Schmidt.
James Angevine, age 32, a resident of Menomonie, WI, died May 7, 1999, at his residence in Menomonie.
Mass of Christian Burial was held May 12 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in North Prairie, MN, with Father Silverius Schmitt officiating. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls, MN.
James was born July 11, 1966, to Woodrow and Mary (Spaulding) Angevine in St. Paul, MN. He began working in the bakery business as a teen at Pete & Joy’s Bakery in Little Falls and continued on in various ends of the business all his brief life. James owned and operated his own bakery at Winthrop, MN, and recently was manager at Leever’s Foods in Menomonie. James was united in marriage to Laurie Geise on July 28, 1990, in North Prairie. His hobbies included fishing, camping and being with family and friends.
Survivors include his wife, Laurie of Menonomie; daughters, Nicole, Ashley and Samantha, all of Menomonie; parents, Woodrow and Mary Angevine of Little Falls; step-mother, Dorithy Angevine of Little Falls; brothers, Raymond Angevine of Little Falls, Robert Angevine of Anchorage, AL, and Shawn Angevine of Little Falls; sisters, Patricia Lenhart and husband Scott of Auburn, WA, and Virginia Bundy and husband Mark of Elk River, MN; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bernard and Lucielle Geise of Bowlus, MN; stepbrothers, Jamie Kunkel of Little Falls and Scott Kunkel and wife Jane of Little Falls; stepsister, Jodi Kunkel of Silver Bay, MN; brothers-in-law, Dennis and Duane Geise of Rice, MN; and Darrell, Doug and Donny Geise of Bowlus; and sisters-in-law, Linda Dubbin and husband Al of Holdingford, MN; and Lisa, Lois, LeeAnn and Jane Geise of Bowlus.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Mary Barnes, and Grandfather and Grandmother Spaulding.
Casketbearers were Raymond Angevine, Shawn Angevine, Jamie Kunkel, Duane Geise, Dennis Geise and Al Dubbin.