Oestreich, Harvey Jerome 81

Harvey Jerome Oestreich, 81, of Howard Lake, Minnesota was called to the Church Triumphant on March 31, 2020 after a battle with cancer.

A Service of Christian Burial and Interment is scheduled for May 2, 2020 at 11am. Rev. Mark Loder of St. James Lutheran Church and Rev. Rob Jarvis will be officiating; Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Attendance limits will be determined by the status of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time. Updated information can be found at www.stjameshl.org, http://www.swansonpeterson.com, facebook groups, and the family welcomes calls.

Harvey was born March 23, 1939 to Marvin and Marie (née Strauss) Oestreich. He was baptized on April 9, 1939, confirmed, and married at St. James Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Howard Lake, MN. He married Ruth Ann Alvina Burau on May 23, 1964. They were blessed with 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

After serving in the Army as a tank commander, Harvey farmed for the rest of his career while also holding down a full time job at Industrial Louvers in Delano, MN. His interests included smoking/curing meats, fishing, hunting, and he enjoyed getting involved with various collections, including coins, chainsaws, and most popular, his collection of lights. He and Ruth spent much time traveling, both with and without their RV. Harv was also an avid gardener and helped Ruth can vegetables from that garden.

Harvey was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his 3 siblings, Doug Oestreich, Cindy Bergquist, Lyle Oestreich; his wife of 55 years, Ruth, her brothers/sisters; children Joanne Jarvis (Rob) and Philip Oestreich (Susan); grandchildren Hannah Seek (Tim), Sarah Walters, Samuel Oestreich; and many other relatives and friends


Miller, Ronald Nicholas 68

Ronald Nicholas Miller of Howard Lake Passed away on March 28, 2020 at his home.
A memorial service is being planned for a future date.
Ronald Nicholas Miller was born on July 10, 1951, in Richmond, MN to Paul and Leona (Thiesen) Miller. He was baptized and confirmed at Assumption Catholic Church of Eden Valley, MN. Ron grew up in Eden Valley, MN and graduated from Eden Valley-Watkins High School in 1969. After high school, Ron joined the United States Air Force. He served from 1969-1973 and spent a year in Ubon, Thailand. On July 17, 1971, Ron married his high school sweetheart, Jean Marie Booth, at the Church of Saint Anthony in Watkins, MN. Following his time in the Air Force, Ron took a job with the U.S. Postal Service. He worked in Minneapolis, Golden Valley, and Buffalo before becoming Postmaster of Howard Lake in 1981, until his retirement on March 31, 2005.

Ron was a loving and dedicated Husband, Father, and Grandfather who generously gave his time and energy to support his family and loved ones. He had a very kind heart and continuously put others before himself. Ron’s sense of humor kept his family and friends amused. He brought joy to all who knew him. It is hard to describe such an incredible man, nothing can compare to the love he gave, the memories he made, and the feelings we are left with in our hearts.

Ron enjoyed traveling, making bird houses with the grandkids, collecting license plates, and having coffee with friends. He was known for his organizational skills both in and out of the office. Ron was a member of the Howard Lake American Legion Post 145 and St Mary’s Catholic Church of Waverly.

Ron passed away at his home in Howard Lake on March 28, 2020, after a courageous battle with Leukemia. He reached the age of 68 years, 8 months, and 18 days.

Ron is survived by his Wife, Jean, of 48 years; Children: Jeff (Mary) Miller of Cokato, MN, Steve (Lorie) Miller of Wright City, MO, Michelle (Cullen) Czech of Big Lake, MN; Grandchildren: Morgan Czech, Grant Czech, Sawyer Miller, Sydney Miller; Step Grandchildren: Cayla (Matt) Grates, Colton Czech, Kyle Hennkens, Reese Hennkens and Step Great Granddaughter, Charlotte Wickland. He is also survived by his Mother, Leona Miller; Siblings: Mary Weeres, Linda (Joe) Mehr, Bruce (Joey) Miller, Brian (Linda) Miller, Bob (Linda) Miller, Gary Miller, nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends.

Ron was preceded in death by his Father, Paul Miller, Brother, Stephen Miller, and Brother-in-law, Ed Pilantz.

The family will always be grateful to Brian Miller for being Ron’s bone marrow donor. A heartfelt thanks to the doctors and nurses at Monticello Cancer Center, North Memorial A6, and Mayo Clinic.

Services are pending.


Swedberg, Mary Evelyn 101

Mary Evelyn Swedberg, was born on November 15, 1918 in Harlan, Indiana to Henry and Edna (Ziemer) Ringenberg. She grew up on the family farm and graduated from High School. She went on to college and received a degree in Education . She later returned to college at St. Cloud State in Minnesota and received an additional BS degree.

She met Richard Swedberg from Blackduck, Minnesota. They were married on May 20, 1944 at Grabill Missionary Church in Indiana. To this union 3 daughters were born. Mary’s life with Richard was spent in the states of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota where he was pastor in several Evangelical Free Churches.

As a pastors wife and mother, Mary spent her time raising the family and being very active in Richards ministry. She taught Sunday School classes and Vacation Bible School. She was also a 2nd grade at Dassel Elementary School for 16 years. She loved being a teacher and especially loved teaching children.

After Richards death in 1996, Mary married Gordon Swedberg. They were married at her daughters home in Cokato, MN. Gordon and Mary made their home in Wheatland, Wyoming. Following Gordon’s death in 2005 Mary moved back to her home in Cokato.

Mary passed away at Brookridge Assisted Living in Cokato, MN on March 30, 2020. She had reached the age of 101 years, 4 months and 15 days. She is survived by daughter Marilyn (Mark) Peterson of Cokato. Grand Children: Darla Nyquist, Matthew Nyquist, Joshua Nyquist, Benjamin Nyquist, Anji Nyquist, Adam Walker, Aaron Walker, Rachel Seifert, Gregory Peterson and Brooke Nohner. Son-in-laws: Joel Nyquist, Robert Walker. Brothers: Ralph Ringenberg, Gerald Ringenberg and 22 great-grandchildren

She is preceded in death by her parents Henry and Edna Ringenberg, husbands: Richard Swedberg and Gordon Swedberg, daughters: Darlene Nyquist and Carol Walker.


Stenberg, Kathryn “Kay” Mabel 87

Kathryn (Kay) Mabel Stenberg was born in Middleville Township, MN on February 11, 1933, the child of Clarence and Margaret Lundeen. She grew up in Cokato, graduating from Cokato High School. In 1954, she married Sydney Stenberg. They lived in Minneapolis where their five children were born. In 1968, the family moved to Howard Lake.
In addition to rearing five children, one of whom had physical disabilities, Kay worked for more than thirty years at the Good Samaritan Society in Howard Lake. She started as a nurse’s aide and worked her way up to bookkeeper.
Kay was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Howard Lake. She was active in many ways, including serving as church treasurer, a church cleaner, and a frequent visitor of shut-ins. For years, she wrote a column, Kay’s Corner, for the Howard Lake Herald.
Kay loved her family! She was always ready to serve them in any way possible. She hosted countless family gatherings in her and Syd’s home, but she and Syd were always the first to go and help a family member—whether close by or hundreds of miles away. Kay is remembered for her quiet nature, strength, work ethic, and most of all her strong Christian faith.
In so many ways, Kay worked quietly behind the scenes to make an impact. She volunteered for organizations like March of Dimes, Easter Seals, Michael Dowling School, Gillette Children’s Hospital, and Meals on Wheels. With her husband, she ran what some came to lightheartedly call Syd and Kay’s House of Charity. They were always willing to open their home to young people going through tough times, offering them a place to stay and a good meal. For years, Kay “looked after” at least a half-dozen people who needed help on a long-term basis. She and her late husband Syd received the 2011 Minneapolis Aquatennial Honorary Commodore Award, given to individuals that have demonstrated the spirit of volunteerism.
Kathryn passed away at age 87 on March 29, 2020 at the Good Samaritan Society in Howard Lake. She is survived by her children: Stephen (Joni), Thomas, Kimberly (Brian) Beecken, Julie (Dan) Kleve. Grandchildren Jeremy and Sarah; Samantha (Kyle) Shelstad, Alexander, Charles (Courtney), Cody, and William (Priscilla); Benjamin (Katlyn), Kathryn, Emma (Sam) Johnson, Jacob, and Macie Beecken; Nathan; Morgan (Troy) Scherping and McCall Kleve; eleven great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by her spouse Sydney, parents, son David, grandchildren Madeysen Kleve and Christopher Stenberg.
There will be a private burial service with a memorial service announced at a later date.


Sand, Ruby Delilah Viola 96

Ruby Sand of Cokato, Passed away at Cokato Manor on March 18, 2020. A memorial service will take place at a later date.

Ruby Delilah Viola Peterson was born in a log house on October 31, 1923 to Edwin and Cornelia Peterson near Rice Lake, Minnesota. Until she applied for a passport in 1973 and needed a copy of her birth certificate she thought her birthday was on October 30th. Surprise! Ruby graduated from Cokato High School in 1941 and from St. Cloud State Teacher’s College in 1943 with a 2-year teaching certificate. She taught for several years, both before and after getting married, at Howard Lake Schools. After starting a family she also worked in the school cafeteria for many years with her cousins Mae Forsman and Queenie Sieg. Some of the recipes they used are still made at family gatherings today.

Ruby met Milton Sand at a hi-league social at Stockholm Lutheran Church and married him on June 12, 1948 at the age of 24. They started their family in Rice Lake and in 1960 moved to Cokato with their three children. In 1989 Ruby decided it was time to scale down their living space so they sold their home on Borg Road and moved into the Cokato Apartments across from the post office. She lived there with Milton until he moved into the nursing home in 1991 and continued living there on her own until 2016. She moved into Brookridge Assisted Living in May at the ripe age of 92 and moved into Cokato Manor a year and a half later where she continued to delight the staff and other residents with her sweet and smiling nature.

Throughout her life Ruby enjoyed traveling with her friends and family. Prior to meeting Milton, Ruby took a three-week bus trip with her cousin Gloria Bednar and Gloria’s cousin Fern Peterson out to the West coast to visit relatives. She also took a train trip with her cousin Lyla Munson out to New York to visit their boyfriends who were on leave from the war (not Milton!). After marrying Milton they took many trips together, often with her cousins Mae and Norman Forsman.

Ruby also loved spending time with her family at home. Over the years she hosted many of her extended family’s holiday and birthday gatherings. After her grandchildren were born, Ruby watched them before they were old enough to go to school and her home served as a base for them and their friends in Cokato until they went off to college. Ruby enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, watching Lawrence Welk and Jeopardy, coffee with the ladies at the apartment, walking with her friend Vivien Wicker, baking, and gardening. But Ruby’s favorite thing to do was watch the birds and flowers, look out over the lake, and spend time with the dog at her daughter Linnea’s house in the country. The chair she always sat in will forever be known as “Ruby’s Chair” to those she left behind.

Ruby is survived by her daughter, Linnea (Ron) Holm of South Haven; grandchildren Melissa (Will) Holm of Buffalo, and Michael (Christy) Holm of Big Lake; great-grandchild Soren Holm of Big Lake; and sister-in-law Elaine Peterson. She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton; son John Sand, and daughter Judi (Craig) Simon; and by brothers Laurel Peterson and Lloyd Peterson.

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