Hagstrom, Heidi Jo 66

Heidi Jo Hagstrom was born Oct. 13, 1955, in Cokato, Minn., to Stan and Shirley Hagstrom. She died Nov. 26, 2021, in Buffalo, Minn. Heidi was always proud and grateful to be the daughter of a grocer/butcher and an English teacher. She was baptized Dec. 10, 1955, at Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she was also confirmed, married, ordained and remembered at her funeral on Dec. 3.
Heidi graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School in 1974 and Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., in 1979 (major: music; minor: religion). Between her sophomore and junior years of college, she was chosen to be part of a Concordia outreach team that served six months in American and Western Samoa.
In 1980 she married Ken Hauan. Along with their beloved bulldogs, they lived in three Minnesota communities where Heidi served as parish worker/Christian education director: Trinity Lutheran in Montevideo 1979-82, Calvary Lutheran in Willmar 1982-84 and First Lutheran in Bemidji 1984-87.
Heidi and Ken moved to Bloomington, Ind., in 1987. He pursued graduate studies and she worked part time at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, the Indiana University Conference Bureau, and served as a board member of the Monroe County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In 1992, she and Ken divorced and she returned to Cokato to live with her family and help care for her mother, who Heidi credited with teaching her “the divine art of dying.” Also that year, Heidi moved to St. Cloud to work as director for educational conferences at the conference bureau of St. Cloud State University (SCSU). Toward the end of her tenure at SCSU, she and friends established The Odyssey Group, LLP, a full-service meeting management company.
In 1997, Heidi moved to Chicago to work as associate director, then director, of the ELCA Youth Gathering, shepherding gatherings in St. Louis (2000), Atlanta (2003), San Antonio (2006), New Orleans (2009 and 2012) and Detroit (2015). The ELCA Youth Gathering is the largest gathering of high school youth, and also the largest gathering of adults, in the ELCA. Under Heidi’s leadership the gathering re-established itself as a premiere faith-forming event for high school-aged youth based on service learning.
During her years at the churchwide offices in Chicago, Heidi, a lifelong learner, earned a certificate as a spiritual director, and in her final years there she began her studies at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, graduating as part of the Theological Education for Emerging Ministries program in 2018.
Following her father’s advice to “invest in a place, give gifts to a place,” in 2015 she moved to the prairie of Southwest Minnesota to serve Fields of Grace Lutheran Parish, Lafayette. She was ordained Sept. 23, 2018.
This three-point parish made up of Swan Lake, First and Bernadotte Lutheran Churches is where she was able to enjoy country living that she cherished: open spaces and neighboring farms, her own chickens (and fresh eggs!), a bountiful garden, her cats, and people who share her Swedish heritage. At a benefit held after she retired in October 2021, parish representatives praised her preaching and her singing voice. That same month she moved to Buffalo to live with her sister Tracy and family, and bring to completion two of her favorite roles: sister and auntie.
Although Heidi was featured soloist in many choirs, she described herself as a “blender” because she was often positioned in such a way as to temper two stronger voices. That same tempering characteristic was evident in her work as a leader. She always had a clear vision, but empowered others as she drew out and showcased their gifts. She took to heart the advice of a spiritual director who told her the job of a good leader is appreciation.
She spent a lifetime doing just that, and advocating for others–in high school and college by sharing her musical talent in nursing homes, to those with disabilities and the incarcerated, and later in life as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, especially after Ken came out to her as gay. Heidi had a heart for those who were disenfranchised and misunderstood.
Heidi is survived by Tracy Hagstrom Durant (sister), Tom Durant (brother-in-law), Greta Dahl (niece), Elaina Beecher (great niece), Ken Hauan (former spouse), Dennis Dahl and Jenni Johnson (former brother-in-law and girlfriend), Danish exchange sister Birthe Bjerge (Jens); Primus cousins–Patty Miller (Steve), Penny Pastornosro (Anthony), Jayme Sherman; Lois Jeanne Neubauer (aunt), and Neubauer cousins – Debbie Finley (Ed), Brad Neubauer (Sue), Bruce Neubauer (Carolyn), Brian Neubauer (Tami); adopted Larson/Landin family.

She was preceded in death by Stan and Shirley Hagstrom (parents), Frank and Clara Arndt (grandparents), Axel and Jenni Hagstrom (grandparents), Marge Rider (cousin) and Mary Wagner (cousin).
Memorials in Heidi’s name may be given:
• Underdog Rescue Minnesota (St. Louis Park) in honor of Toula
• tAble (formerly Definitely Abled Youth Leadership Event), (Go to giving page)
• Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church Stained Glass Window Restoration Fund
+ Rest eternal grant her, O Lord, and light perpetual shine upon her. +

Celebration of life will be held at 11:00 am, December 3 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 280 3rd Street SW, Cokato, MN. Services will be live streamed. Visitation will be held at the same location December 2 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm and one hour prior to the service.

Full obituary with funeral live stream link can be found at Swanson Peterson Funeral Home: and on Pastor Heidi’s CaringBridge.


Euerle, Joan Mary 87

Livestream link:

Joan Mary Euerle, beloved mother and wife of Lennox Charles Euerle, peacefully passed away surrounded by family on November 18, 2021. Born in Paynesville, Minnesota, on March 18, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Conrad F and Emily C (Stralka) Levno. The family lived a variety of places as she was growing up, including Delano, Little Falls and South Minneapolis. Joan graduated from South Minneapolis High School in 1952. She married Lennox, the love of her life, on December 26, 1953. For 11 years Joan was an Air Force wife living at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, TX, McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, WA, and Naha Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. After the Air Force, Joan and Len returned to Minnesota and settled in Maple Lake in 1968. They enjoyed their farm, spending much of their time in the garden and at the “Broken Down Tree”. She also enjoyed several years as a 4-H leader of the Silver Maple 4-H Club. She worked in bookkeeping and billing services for Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, retiring in 1996. They moved to St. Cloud in 2003, then to Cokato Manor in 2017.

Joan’s great love was Lennox, her husband for 67 1/2 years. She was a deeply devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her other interests included embroidery, sewing, gardening, baking, Star Trek, playing rummy, traveling, writing, (including writing a gardening column for the Wright County paper), reading, and feeding and watching birds, Betsy and Bootsie were her favorite pets.

Those preceding Joan in death include her husband, brothers Conrad, Jr., Robert, Raymond, and Otto, sister Louise Prozinski, and newborn son, John. Joan is survived by children Steve (Maple Plain, MN), Sandi (Bill) Strickland (Sumter, SC), Debbie (Buffalo, MN), Rose (Steve) Foss (Cokato, MN), Juanita (Tom) Sparks (Goldsboro, NC), Tony (Andy) (Las Vegas, NV), and Ron (Lindi) (Fromberg, MT): grandchildren Billy, David, Jason, Jessica, Aaron, Anthony, Nathan, Alex, Megan, Joshua, and Jacob; great-grandchildren Gabriel, Cooper, Tyler, Ava, Mason, McKenzie, Lily, and Sawyer, sisters-in-law Dorothy Euerle (Litchfield, MN), Adelaide Levno (Hutchinson, MN), Dorothy Levno (Brainerd, MN), Ardis Euerle (Dassel, MN), and Annette Knutson (Cokato, MN) and brother-in-law Gerald (Audrey) Euerle (Litchfield, MN).

A funeral service will take place at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 with visitation 1 hour prior to the service at Saint Timothy’s Catholic Church, 8 Oak Ave N, Maple Lake, MN 55358. Interment will be at Minnesota Veteran’s Cemetery, Little Falls, MN. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato, 320-286-2534, Online Memorial donations can be sent to the Tri-County Humane Society of St. Cloud, 735 8th Street NE, St. Cloud, MN 56304.


Norberg, Donald 96

Donald Layton Norberg of South Haven passed away at the Cokato Manor on November 18, 2021 at the age of 96.  A private family graveside service will be held at the Sunset Cemetery, French Lake Township.

Donald Layton Norberg was born September 22, 1925 to John and Alma (Engstrom) Norberg.  He was born in the same house where he resided for nearly 90 years.  He attended Happy Corner Country School through the eighth grade, and then Cokato High School.  After his dad passed away he quit school to help on the family farm, which he eventually purchased.

He married Pauline Benson in 1944.  Together they made their home on the farm and raised their family, plus several foster children. He milked cows, raised feeder pigs and farmed the land.  He was a hard-working farmer.  When they retired, they traveled with the Mobile Missionaries Assistance Program (MMAP) and the MN Christian Campers.  Pauline passed away in 1992.

In 1998 he married LuElla M. Halverson.  They too lived on the farm.  They enjoyed traveling, camping and various church activities.  They felt blessed to spend their winters at the Bibleville Conference Center, Alamo, TX.  LuElla passed away in 2017.

He had deep roots in French Lake Township, yet he loved to travel the world.  He visited China, Israel, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.  Through all these countries, and across the United States he ministered to people by handing out tracks (pamphlets) of God’s word.

He is survived by those he prayed for diligently, his children; Steve & Mickee Norberg (San Diego, CA), David & Kim Norberg (Reno, NV), Sharon & Roger Henry, (Billings, MT), Ruth & Larry Bachmeier (Big Lake), Kay & Gary DeSmith (Dassel). He is also survived by several grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren.

He was a man of steadfast faith in God.  He looked forward to the glorious day he would go to heaven.  He is rejoicing to be there now.



Kottke, Joan Sharon 79

Joan Sharon Kottke, age 79 of Howard Lake, Minnesota, passed away November 13, 2021, at the Waconia Hospital. Joan was born September 13, 1942, to Melvin and Ardis (Krone) Kottke in Buffalo, MN.

Joan attended grade school in Hanover, MN and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1960. During her school days she competed in the state current events contest at the MN State Fair and participated in the marching band. She started working for JCPenney after high school and fondly talked about her job duties and the friends she made while at the company. Joan found her way to the Delano School District for over 30 years. Joan worked as an aide in the elementary school watching over recesses, helping in the lunchroom, printing, cutting and making packets for the teachers to use in their classrooms. Joan enjoyed her summers off as it enabled her to work at the Wright County Fair taking tickets for the grandstand events.

Joan’s true passion was teaching children and she accomplished this in many volunteer roles over the years. Joan was a club leader for many years first in Hanover with the Handy Dandy 4-H Club and later at the Sunrise 4-H club in Howard Lake. She helped coach the 4-H softball team, direct the Share the Fun plays and would keep the 4-H food stand running as a shift manager. She also had the privilege to be a chaperone on many 4-H interstate exchange trips during her time volunteering with the Wright County 4-H program. Joan also found a calling as a Sunday School teacher first at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hanover, MN and later at St John’s Lutheran church in Howard Lake. Joan loved her time teaching children about Jesus and that included every child learning Jesus Loves Me while they were in her class. She truly loved helping with the Sunday school Christmas program and found great joy watching the children shine for Jesus.

Joan grew up on the family farm in Hanover, MN before moving with the family to a farm south of Howard Lake. Joan loved animals and was always talking about her Holstein cows, draft horses, cats and her special dog Buffy. Joan’s tasks on the farm were feeding the calves outside and throwing silage out the chute and when it was time for a break she would yodel a song, much to the enjoyment of her siblings who happen to be within earshot. She had many hobbies she enjoyed over the years… cooking, reading recipe books and newspapers, doing crossword puzzles, watching game shows and sporting events on TV, collecting snowmen and bells. Joan had a hidden talent for painting that was discovered during her time at the Cokato Manor. Joan was a kind and generous lady who always had a Hershey Bar waiting for her nieces and nephews to enjoy.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents Melvin and Ardis (Krone) Kottke, an infant brother and nephew Matthew Barthel.

She is survived by sisters and brothers Beverly (Murray) Reimer of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; Meryl Kottke-Barthel of St Michael, Clair (Kenneth) Miatech of Plymouth, Kathleen Kottke of Howard Lake, Shirley (John) Erickson of Cokato, Marlin Kottke of Howard Lake, Marson Kottke of Howard Lake, Lorrie (Wayne) Kozitka of Howard Lake, Nancy (Lanny) Anderson of Randall and goddaughter Sally Joan Kottke of Howard Lake. Further survived by godchildren Carla Krone, Amy Kozitka, Nathan Miatech, Brandon Kottke and 17 nieces and nephews, 21 great-nieces and nephews, 4 aunts, 1 uncle and many other relatives and friends.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 27, 2021 with visitation from 5-7 PM with 7 PM prayer on Friday, November 26, 2021 and continuing 1 hour prior to services on Saturday at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Howard Lake, MN 320-543-3401,



Tischleder, Eugene Frank 84

Gene Tischleder of Cokato passed away at the Cokato Manor on November 19, 2021
Funeral Service: 2PM Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato
Visitation: 1 hour prior to service on Tuesday
Interment Cokato City Cemetery

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