Lavonne Sannes, 61, of Fertile, MN, died on Thursday, May 24, 2007, at the Riverview Hospital, Crookston, MN. She was born on March 26, 1946, to Harry and Alma (Werpy) Sannes at Ada, MN. She attended Gary and Fertile-Beltrami Public Schools. Following her schooling, Lavonne worked at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Grand Forks, ND. In the late in 1970's, Lavonne moved to Fertile where she did baby sitting. In 1978, Lavonne met Eugene "Bim" Hegg and a formed a longtime relationship with him. Bim died on April 1, 2006, and Lavonne continued to live in her home. As a happy-go-lucky person, Lavonne made friends easily. She loved to knit American flags and afghans, dance and care for children. Lavonne enjoyed canning and made excellent pickles. Her sense of humor made Lavonne a joy to visit. Lavonne is survived by her brother, Orlando, Erskine, MN, and sister, Virginia Leines, Spokane, WA; one nephew, Daren Leines, one niece, Darla O'Conner, and several cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, Arla Stende and longtime friend, Eugene "Bim" Hegg. Funeral services will be held on Friday, June 1, 2007, at 11 am in the Concordia Lutheran Church, Fertile, MN. Visitation will be one hour before the services in the church. Burial will at the Gary Lutheran Cemetery, Gary, MN.
Joseph B. Granbanski
Joseph B. Granbanski, 89, of Crookston, Minnesota, died Thursday, July 19, 2007 at the Riverview Hospital in Crookston. Joe was born on July 3, 1928, at Manvel, North Dakota, the son of Barney and Francis (Miller) Grabanski. He grew up in the Manvel and Oslo, Minnesota area where he attended school. In 1939, Joe was united in marriage to Sylvia Tinnes and the couple made their home in Dorothy, Minnesota. He worked as a farmer and also as a grounds supervisor at the Technical College for many years. In 1978, the couple moved to Crookston where they have made their home until the present time. Joe enjoyed horesback riding and also woodworking. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his family and friends.
Loving family members include his wife, Sylvia; his children, James Granbanski and Robert (Joyce) Grabanski, all of East Grand Forks, MN, Joan (Gerald) Mireault of Crookston, Roy (Marge) Grabanski of Litchfield, MN, Dan (Lynn) Grabanski of Faribault, MN and Rykk (Melanie) Grabanski of Watkins, MN; a daughter-in-law, Marilyn Nelson of Grand Forks, N.D.; fourteen grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; and nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Barney and Francis; an infant brother; and a sister, Effie.
The funeral service for Joseph Grabanski will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, with Rev. Mario Prada, presiding. Visitation will be at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston on Monday from 5-7:00 PM, with a 7:00 PM Rosary; and also for an hour before the funeral at the church. Interment will be in the St. Dorothy's Cemetery in Dorothy, MN.
LeRoy R. Swartz
LeRoy R. Swartz, 80, of Crookston, Minnesota went to the open arms of Jesus on July 19, 2007, at his home, under the care of Hospice and his wife, Betty. LeRoy was born on March 19, 1927 in Lankin, North Dakota, the son of Frank and Albina (Kosobud) Swartz, and was baptized into the Catholic faith. At the age of 8, after the deaths of his father and brother, he moved with his mother to the Tabor, Minnesota area where he was raised. LeRoy served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the post-World War ll reconstruction phase and was honorably discharged on November 26, 1946 at the rank of Sergeant.
LeRoy managed the Peavey Grain Elevator in Sherak, Minnesota for a few years, worked for the Farmers Union Oil Company in Crookston driving the bulk fuel truck for 17 years and the City of Crookston Street Department as a heavy equipment operator for 22 years. He retired in 1992. LeRoy was a member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception parish in Crookston and was a life-member of the V.F.W. Post #1902.
He married Betty (Ziegler) Kirchoffner on October 15, 1977 and loved and treated her two children, Steven and Joan, as if they were his own. Later LeRoy enjoyed the unconditional love of four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and loved being called Papa by them. He loved all children and couldn’t resist talking and smiling at them, whether they were family or strangers. Many children of farm families in the area he delivered fuel to remember him and his Juicy Fruit Gum.
LeRoy was a kind, fun-loving man. He enjoyed dancing, old-time music and outdoor activities like gardening, fishing, hunting, biking and traveling until his declining health slowly prevented him from enjoying those activities.
Loving family members include his wife, Betty; son Steven Kirchoffner and his wife, Julie, of Grand Forks, ND; daughter, Joan Coauette of Fargo, ND; four grandchildren, Ben of St. Paul, MN, Elliot of St. Louis Park, MN, Mindy and her fiancé, Jared Sachs, of St. Paul Park, and Nathan of Grand Forks, ND; and his great-granddaughter, Emma.
LeRoy was preceded in death by his father, Frank and mother, Albina; a brother, Marvin; stepfather, Arthur Kluzak; and step-brothers, Albert, Frank, Clarence, Alvin and Steve Kluzak.
The funeral service for LeRoy Swartz will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, July 23, 2007 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Crookston, with Rev. Mario Prada, presiding. Visitation will be on Sunday at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home from 5-7:00 P.M., with a 7:00 P.M. prayer service, and also for an hour before the funeral at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Crookston Veterans Council. Interment will be at 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday July 24, 2007 at the Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. In Lieu of Flowers the family asks that a donation be made to one’s favorite charity.
Maria Metzger, 86, of Crookston, Minnesota, died Wednesday, July 18, 2007, at the Riverview Hospital in Crookston. Maria was born on September 16, 1920, at Banatopola, Yugoslavia, the daughter of Josef and Anna Bauer. She was raised and attended school in Banatopola. Having lived in Europe during the war years, she experienced many difficulities, and at one time was forced to live in a camp for displaced citizens. Maria kept her positive attitude and was later united in marriage to Michael Metzger on June 17, 1950, at Ebersberg, Germany. The couple came to the United States in 1957 and they settled in Eldred, Minnesota. Sadly, Michael passed away in 1975. Maria continued to live in Eldred before moving to the Villa St. Vincent Nursing Home in Crookston on July 31, 2003. Over the years, she worked for area families doing housekeeping and child care. Maria had a great sense of humor and loved children and all kinds of animals. She will be fondly remembered by all who shared in her life.
Maria is survived by two sisters, Rosie and Susie; and several nieces, nephews and other relatives. Besides her husband, Michael, Maria was preceded in death by her parents, Josef and Anna; and brothers and sisters, Katrina, Anna, Josef, Nicholas and Michael.
The funeral service for Maria Metzger will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston, with Rev. Jim Gustafson, officiating. Visitation will be for one hour before the funeral. Interment will be in the Eldred Cemetery in Eldred, Minnesota.
Nancy Hoyhtya, 54, of Crookston, Minnesota, died at her home Tuesday morning, April 8, 2008, surrounded by loving family and friends. She had been bravely battling cancer for the past two and one-half years.
Nancy was born in Salina, Kansas on August 20, 1953, the daughter of Lester and Lois (Bendickson) Vigness. Her father was in the U.S. Air Force and after his retirement the family moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where Nancy was a 1971 graduate of Lincoln High School. She then attended the Thief River Falls AVTI School of Cosmetology, graduating in 1972. Nancy moved to Crookston and was employed at Hair ‘N Things. On April 8, 1978 she was united in marriage to Emil “Moe” Hoyhtya in Thief River Falls. That same year she began working for the Hair Company in Crookston. In 2005 she left the Hair Company for self-employment at TLC Hair Care and Spa, where she had remained actively working until five weeks ago. Throughout her successful thirty-five year career Nancy built a very loyal clientele and formed many lasting friendships. She enjoyed homemaking, gardening, canning, watching Fighting Sioux hockey, and visiting with family and friends. Nancy was considerate and kind, generous and loving. Her family was her life, and motherhood her greatest joy. She was very proud of her daughter, Amber, and son, Brian. Amber and her husband, Adam, are expecting, and Nancy had been eagerly looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild. She touched many hearts and lives during her fifty-four years and will be forever missed.
Loving family members include Nancy’s daughter and son-in-law, Amber and Adam Schiller, and their unborn child, of Foley, MN; her son, Brian Hoyhtya, and his girlfriend, Tiffany Isaacson, of Crookston, MN; Nancy’s “furry” grandchildren, Bear, Tiger, and Cleo, at home; her father, Lester Vigness, and grandmother, Thelma Bendickson, of Thief River Falls, MN; four brothers and three sisters-in-law, Jon and Rhonda Vigness of Thief River Falls, David Vigness of LaCrosse, WI, Daniel and Deb Vigness of Viking, MN, and James and Jody Vigness of Grand Forks, ND; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Nancy was preceded in death by her mother, Lois; and her grandparents, Oscar and Josie Vigness, and Ben Bendickson. May God bless the memory of Nancy Hoyhtya.
The funeral service for Nancy Lyn Hoyhtya will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, April 12, 2008, in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston, MN, with the Rev. Randy Smith, officiating. Visitation will be in Trinity on Friday from 5-7:00 PM, with a 7:00 PM prayer service, and also for one hour before the funeral Saturday. Interment will be in the Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston. Funeral arrangements are with the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston.
Robert Hilmer Hoff
Robert Hilmer Hoff, 58, of Fargo, North Dakota, died at his residence unexpectedly Saturday evening, April 5, 2008, of natural causes. Robert was born in Crookston, Minnesota on April 7, 1949, and was the son of Hilmer “Red” and Louise “Lou” (Axelson) Hoff. He first attended school in Crookston, and then in Grand Forks, North Dakota following a family move there. In the early 1960’s the family moved to Fargo and Robert attended North High School. He worked at Reed’s Cleaners in Fargo until entering the U.S. Army in 1968. He was stationed in Germany, and received his honorable discharge in 1970. He returned to Fargo and resumed employment with Reed’s Cleaners. Robert later moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and managed the newly established Reed’s Cleaners business there for several years. He was united in marriage to Pam Greenwood at Fargo. Robert retired early due to ill health and then worked part-time at the Las Vegas Convention Center. He moved back to Fargo in 2004, and was a member of the Fargo VFW Post. Robert will be very lovingly remembered by his family and friends.
Family members include two daughters, Amber Swinnea and Jennifer Swinnea, both of Las Vegas; a grandson, Aaren, and a granddaughter, Sydney; his mother, Lou Hoff of Fargo, ND; a brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Cathy Hoff of Colorado Springs, CO; a sister and brother-in-law, Janice Hoff and Joe Charlebois of Colorado Springs; a brother-in-law, Truman Wang of Winger, MN; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives. Robert was preceded in death by his father, Red Hoff; a sister, Judi Wang; and a brother, Kenneth Hoff. May God bless Robert’s memory.
The funeral service for Robert Hoff will be held at 2:00PM, Friday, April 11, 2008, at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston, Minnesota, with the Rev. Paul Nynas of Hope Lutheran Church, Fargo, officiating. Visitation will be for one hour before the service. Military Honors will be provided by the Crookston Veterans Council and interment will be in the Oakdale Cemetery in Crookston.
Connie Gudvangen, 52, of Fertile, MN, died Sunday, April 6, 2008, at the Altru Hospital, Grand Forks, ND.
Connie Gaye Berhow was born on April 26, 1955, to Robert and Betty Jo (Sampson) Berhow in Chicago, IL. She was baptized at First Presbyterian Church, Chicago, on July 10, 1955, and later confirmed at Varnes Lutheran Church, Fertile, on May 31, 1970. They returned to the Fertile area in 1956. She attended and graduated from Fertile High School in 1973.
On June 23, 1973, Connie was united in marriage to Gordon Gudvangen at Little Norway Lutheran Church, Fertile. They made their home in rural Fertile where she stayed at home caring for their children. In about 1987, Connie began working as an aide at the Fair Meadow Nursing Home. In the mid 1990's to the present, she worked as a home health aid for Riverview Health Care. Connie was also a substitute bus driver and in the last few years drove a regular bus route. Connie developed cancer in September of 2000. Her battle with this disease was one of courage, strength, and she was an inspiration to others dealing with cancer.
Connie was active in the Crookston's Relay For Life. She was a member of Maple Lake Lutheran Church and SandHill SnowCruisers.
Life for Connie was about family. Christmas, Easter, birthday parties or any special occasion brought Connie's children, grandchildren, cousins, mom and dad, and brothers and sisters and in-laws to her house. She was a joy to be around because she loved to care for others. She collected teddy bears and dolls and rode snowmobile. Connie had mentioned many times to her husband, Gordy, which she was "ready to die, but not ready to leave". Connie's life with her family was summoned up in one word-fun!
Connie is survived by her husband, Gordon, three sons: Joshua (Mandy), Jeremiah (Anna), Joesph (Kimberly Dufault, special friend of Fosston, MN), of Fertile, MN; one daughter: Melissa (Bradley) Olson, Fargo, North Dakota; one son-in-law, Devlyn Brooks, Moorhead, MN; four grandchildren: Garrett Brooks, Damian Gudvangen, Carter Brooks, and Isabelle Gudvangen; three brothers: Dale(Brissa), Irving, TX; Leon, Mansfield, TX; Aubrey (Linda), Crandall, TX; one sister: Janet (Michael) Scott, Fertile, MN and several nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents, one son, a grandson, Brody who were both stillborn.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at 10:30 am in Concordia Lutheran Church, Fertile, MN.
Visitation will be on Friday from 5:00-8:00 pm with a Prayer Service at 7:30pm in the Erikson-Vik Funeral Home, Fertile, MN.
Burial will be in the Our Saviors Lutheran Cemetery, Fertile, MN.
Arrangements are with the Erikson-Vik Funeral Home Fertile, MN.
Norman Erickson, 89, of Detroit Lakes and formerly of Fertile, died on Sunday, April 6. Funeral Services for Norman Erickson will be on Friday, April 11 at 11 a.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Fertile. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. at West Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes and for one hour prior to services at the church.