Sangren, Byron H. 84

Byron Harold Sangren was born on August 8, 1938 to Harold and Gladys (Friden) Sangren in the Cokato Hospital. He was baptised, confirmed and a lifelong member of Stockholm Lutheran Church. He graduated from Cokato High School in 1956. Byron married Janet Wink on April 1, 1961 in Cobden, Minnesota. They were blessed with 4 children. Byron farmed in Stockholm Township his entire life. He was very active at Stockholm Lutheran Church by serving on many board positions, a Sunday School teacher, a supervisor for Stockholm Township, and a state fire warden for over 30 years. He also worked for Faribault Foods picking sweet corn for several years.
Byron’s favorite hobby was fishing, whether he was sitting in a boat, or on the ice, he was always smiling when he could relax and holding a fishing pole. In his earlier years, he was a pretty good bowler at the Dassel Bowling Center. He had a love for good country music. You could find him at dance halls tapping his toes, and gracing the dance floor with this happy feet. He enjoyed attending Winstock Music Festival for many years.
Byron entered Cedar Creek Assisted Living in Silver Lake, MN on January 2, 2023 and passed away on May 26, 2023.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet Sangren, his children, Sheri (Jim) Miedtke, Andrea Kain (Larry Graplar), John (Sharon) Sangren, and Sue (Tim) Bay; his grandchildren, Brenda Chapman, Paul Sangren, Andrew Geistfeld, Tina Geistfeld (Matt Harrison), Jen (Dan) Wedel, Sarah (Andy) Odegaard; his great grandchildren, Riley, Jordyn, Taylor, Trevor, Olivia, Owen, Audrey, Henry, Jacob, Tanner, Ethan, and Danica. Survivors also include siblings Julieanna (Richard) Orn, Charles (Voni) Sangren, Kenneth Sangren, and sisters-in-law, Joyce (Gary) Sathoff, and Marsha Wink.
Byron was proceeded in death by his parents, father and mother-in-law William and Eva Wink, grandson Matthew Miedtke, brother-in-law, Allen Wink, niece Brenda Knockel, and family friend Jamie Michalsky.
A funeral service for Byron Sangren, 84, of Cokato, Minnesota, will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 10, 2023, at Stockholm Lutheran Church in Cokato, Minnesota. Inurnment will be at the Stockholm Township Cemetery following the church service. Visitation will be from 4 -7 pm on Friday, June 9, 2023 at Stockholm Lutheran Church and one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cokato, MN 320-286-2534,


Goga, Lawrence “Larry” 90

Lawrence Arnold Goga age 90 of Howard Lake, MN passed away May 24, 2023. Lawrence was born to Lawrence Albert Goga and Phyllis Ruth (Neitzel) in Minneapolis, MN on July 25, 1932. He grew up in North Minneapolis where he was active in high school sports and graduated from Patrick Henry High School, class of 1950. He later went on to achieve a Bachelor of Arts from the University of MN. He was the first police officer to get a criminal justice certificate at the University of MN. Larry was a decorated war Korean war veteran (rifleman in Army infantry) who was stationed on ‘Heartbreak Ridge’ when armistice was signed. He served as the first President of MN Chapter 1 of Korean war veterans and was recognized as an Ambassador for Peace. He also spearheaded the movement to establish the State Korean War Memorial. He was a long- term member of the St. John’s Byzantine Catholic church of Minneapolis.
After graduating from the police academy in 1962, Larry held a long, storied career as police officer and detective. He loved catching “the bad guys” and was credited with breaking up several high- profile crime rings. He served as President for both the Brooklyn Center Police Association and the Suburban Police and Peace Officers Association. He was an influential figure in working towards Policeman’s rights within the metro area during the 1970’s and a member of the Police Relief Association. He found importance in being involved in the communities he served to protect and was a proud director of the Brooklyn Center boxing club that built relationships between community youth and the police officers. He retired as a investigator for the MN legislative auditor. Larry was dedicated to learning about his Rusin heritage, becoming founder/President of the MN Rusin Association.
Preceded in death by parents Lawrence and Phyllis Goga and Daughter Cynthia.
Survived by Wife Karen, Sons Dan and Derek Goga, Daughter Lisa Goga, Stepchildren Reid Norine, Julie and Jim Carlson, Grandchildren Riley Norine, Bryce and Heidi Carlson, Lauren Carlson.
Funeral service at Swanson Peterson funeral home in Howard Lake Friday, June 2. Visitation 10:00, Service 11:00, Lunch 12:00 South Shore event Center in Howard Lake. Family Burial service following lunch at Crystal Lake Cemetery Minneapolis at 2:45. A special thank you to St. Croix hospice for being a part of Larry’s final journey home!


Miller, Russell “Russ” 52

Russell “Russ” Neil Miller, age 52, of Howard Lake, passed away in his sleep early May 22nd, 2023 at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis. Russ was born on January 29th, 1971 at Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo, MN; son of Rodney and Katherine (Schibonski) Miller. Russ and Beverly (Heimerl) Miller were joined in marriage on October 12th, 1991 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Winsted, MN. They were blessed with 31 years of marriage. Russ was a proud dairy farmer who started Dutch Lake Dairy with the support of his loving wife. He was dedicated to his cows and to his fields. When Russ was not tending to his animals, he loved to fish, hunt, and be with his family.
On Thursday evening, April 27th, Russ suffered from a brain aneurysm that led to a stroke. He was seen at Buffalo Emergency Room and then transferred to an Intensive Care Neurology Unit at Abbott Hospital in Minneapolis.
Above all things, Russ was a family man. He was devoted to his wife, children, and to his faith in our Lord. When there was free time, Russ spent every moment he could outside enjoying the Lord’s creation. On weekends, the family got together to enjoy beers on the deck, campfires, and brewery hopping. The whole family was competitive and loved to throw bean bags, play cards, and roll dice. Russ found joy being with his family and he will be dearly missed.
He is survived by his loving family: wife, Beverly; children, Tyler (Kelli), Abigail (Adam) Fischer, and Maggie (fiancé: Andrew Krause); granddaughter, Marcella; parents, Rodney and Katherine; and siblings, Greg (Nancy), Pam (Dean) Zierden, Sandi (Dan) Pomije, and Brad (Jill) Father-in-law, Dennis Heimerl; Sisters and brothers-in-law, Rose Heimerl; Ryan (Angie) Heimerl; John (Dayna)Heimerl and many nieces and nephews. Countless friends and hunting partners. Russ will be joining our Lord in Heaven with his grandparents and mother-in-law in God’s paradise.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. James Lutheran School1000 6th Ave, Howard Lake, MN 55349 for the general spending fund.
Services are as Follows:
Thursday Evening (5/25): Visitation at St. James Lutheran Church from 5pm to 8pm; prayer service to start at 7pm (1000 7th Ave, Howard Lake, MN 55349)
Friday Service (5/26): Visitation to start at 10am; funeral service at 11am, lunch in the St. James Lutheran School Gym to follow burial (1000 6th Ave, Howard Lake, MN 55349)
Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake, MN 320-543-3401


Young, Sherry Lynn 74

Sherry Lynn Young, 74, of Anoka, MN passed away on Wednesday May 17, 2023 at The Estates of Delano after a courageous 9 1/2 month battle with stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Sherry was born on January 13, 1949 in Minneapolis, MN to Wayne & Betty Hatrick. She was the second of 8 children. Sherry graduated from Howard Lake high school in 1968 and married Robert (Bob) Young on September 21, 1969 after he returned from active duty in the Vietnam war. Then they moved to Fort Meade, MD and lived on the Army base for one year while Bob finished his time in the Army. They moved back to Minnesota and settled in Cokato where they lived until 1994 when they moved to Annandale where they lived for 14 years. In 2009, Sherry retired and she and Bob moved to West Virginia for three years. They moved back to Minnesota in 2012 and after Bob passed away in 2013, Sherry began volunteering at the VA in the adult day health care unit. She loved volunteering her time to work with the veterans. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, the adult day health care unit closed and she was no longer able to volunteer.
Sherry loved her morning crossword puzzles and cups of coffee. She also loved antiques and collecting and the occasional road trip she would take with her daughter to go find those treasures. Sherry enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. No one would meet Sherry and not like her. She was truly an amazing person who will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her.
Sherry is survived by daughter Angela Young, sisters Trudy (Steve) Berg and Jody Hatrick, brothers Mike Hatrick, Tom Hatrick and Joe (Jenny) Hatrick, along with many nieces and nephews. Sherry is preceded in death by her husband Bob Young, son Jason Young, parents Wayne & Betty Hatrick and sisters Bonnie and Peggy Hatrick.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday May 24, 2023 at 11:00 am at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake with the visitation 1 hour prior at 10:00 am. 320-543-3401


Birkholz, Merrill Wayne 84

Merrill Wayne Birkholz, 84, of Howard Lake, MN, passed away peacefully at Cokato Manor Monday, May 8, 2023, from complications of a stroke.

A celebration of life service will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20, 2023, at the First Baptist Church of Cokato, MN. Visitation will be one hour before the service.

Merrill was born Aug. 11, 1938, in Cokato to Awalt and Frieda (Stueven) Birkholz.

Merrill graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1956.

He married the love of his life, Ramona Lundeen, Sept. 1, 1961, at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato. They made their home northwest of Howard Lake on the farm where he grew up.

They started their lives together in a mobile home on the Birkholz farm across the hedge from the farmhouse. In 1965, Grandma and Grandpa Birkholz built a house in Howard Lake, and the family moved into the farmhouse. They raised their five children here – one girl and four boys.

He farmed both crops and livestock. In 1975, he sold the livestock to focus solely on cash crop farming. He also worked at JLCO selling grain dryers and bins for several years. In addition, he worked road construction after high school and, in later years, road construction for Mathiowetz Construction.

He retired from farming in early 2000. He enjoyed going to his kids and grandkids’ sporting and music events. A number of trips were made with friends and family, including Branson, Mexico, Florida, and North Dakota.

Merrill and Ramona spent their honeymoon up the North Shore, including Thunder Bay and Duluth, MN. An annual Duluth trip was a favorite place, and they would take the grandkids with.

In his later years, he took in stray farm cats – they would show up, and he would feed them.

He was a member of Grace Hill Church and a past member of the Assemblies of God Church in Cokato.

Merrill will be remembered for his strong faith, love for his family and friends, integrity, selflessness, compassion, and his daily trips into town (DQ, Marketplace, Norseman, Daniels).

He is survived by his children, Jody (Rick) Selin, Jedd (Traci) Birkholz, Darren Birkholz (Miranda Doering), Jonathan (Kristine) Birkholz, and Daniel Birkholz; grandchildren, Caleb and Carson Selin, Jillian, Jack, Joshua, and Joseph Birkholz, Breanna (Jonathan) Thorson, Brenden Birkholz, and Lynnea Birkholz; great-grandchildren, Lydia, Amara, Karis, Micah, and Wesley Thorson; and nieces, nephews, and many other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Ramona; twin grandsons; parents, Awalt and Frieda Birkholz; sisters, Ruby Drusch and Wilma Nelson; brothers, Wilton Birkholz and Virgil Birkholz; brothers-in-law, Ray Schmieg, Peter Nelson, and Gary Lundeen; and other close relatives.

Honorary urn bearers are his grandchildren.

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