Engel, Elwood “Woody” Louis 93

Funeral Service: 1PM, Saturday, 2/2/2019, at St. James Lutheran Church of Howard Lake. Visitation: 4-8 PM Friday at church and 1 hr. prior to service on Saturday. Prayer service: 7 PM Friday. Interment: Howard Lake Cemetery.

Elwood “Woody” Louis Engel, age 93, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at the St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted, MN. Woody, a lifelong resident of Howard Lake, was born October 8th, 1925 in Woodland Township (Waverly, MN) to Louis & Alma (Schendel) Engel.  

He was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake by Reverend C. G. Seltz. He was baptized on November 8th, 1925 and was confirmed in his faith on April 10th, 1938 with the Bible verse Luke 11:28. He graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1943.

Woody met Marvel Kobow at a dance at Lake Sarah in 1947. They were married a year later on June 12th, 1948 and celebrated 70 years of marriage this past June when he sang a song to her that he had written for their 70th anniversary celebration. Their marriage welcomed 4 children: Mary, Jim, Diane & Sandy.

Over the course of his life, Woody farmed with his parents, drove milk truck and operated Engel’s Truck Service for over 50 years until retiring in 1994. Winters were busy selling snowmobiles (Moto-Ski, Sno Pony & Speedway) along with snow plowing at area businesses, homes and churches. Woody served on numerous church boards and provided the equipment & materials to construct parking facilities at St. James Lutheran Church and Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church (Garrison, MN).

Woody enjoyed spending summers at the family cabin on Bay Lake near Garrison, MN and later being a ‘Snowbird’ in Mesa, AZ. At other times he could be found fishing on Mille Lacs, Bay Lake or Howard Lake. He loved traveling, visiting and playing cards with family & friends.

He received the nickname “Woody” in 3rd grade during recess when the boys at the Dutch Lake Elementary School were debating on his nickname as being either “El” or “Woody”. They voted for “Woody”, and the name stuck with him during his entire life, but his mother always said his name was “Elwood”.

He was preceded in death by his parents Louis & Alma Engel; daughters Mary (Engel) Forsythe & Diane (Engel) Greeley; grandson Daniel Greeley; son-in-law Donald (Butch) Forsythe; brother Vernon Engel; sister Evelyn (Engel/Erickson) Wallentine; nephew Mark Erickson; brother-in-laws Oliver Erickson & Ron Wikstrom.

Woody is survived by his wife Marvel; children Jim & Sandy (Ken); sister Jean Wikstrom; 6 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; nieces; nephews; great nieces; great nephews; a host of other relatives & friends.


Jager, Linda Jean 71

Jager, Linda Jean
age 71, of Hutchinson, MN passed away on January 17, 2019. She was born October 9, 1947 in Madison, MN to Harvey and Fern (Fiene) Hanson. In 1967, she was united in marriage to Lyle Jager and this union was blessed with 4 children, Kimberly, Tammy, Dean, and Carmen.
Linda worked as a nursing assistant at Burns Manor in Hutchinson and Dawson Memorial Nursing Home for several years. She enjoyed playing Bingo and Pinochle.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister, LaVonne Hanson, and grandson, Lucas Jager.
Survived by her children, Kimberly (Byron) Kotval, Tammy (Fiancé David Brambrink) Jager, Dean (Jennifer) Jager, and Carmen (Mark) Luebke, 9 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and sisters, Karen Hollon and Sandra Thompson.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 with gathering of family and friends 1 hour prior to the service at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, www.swansonpeterson.com, 320-286-2534


Roepke, Roger LeRoy 74

Roger L. Roepke of Cokato passed away at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on January 14, 2019.
Funeral Service: 11 AM Saturday, January 19, 2019 at Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato. Visitation Begins 1 hr. before service at church.

Roger LeRoy Roepke was born on May 3, 1944 in Glencoe, Minnesota to Loren and Gladys (VonBerge) Roepke. He grew up in Round Grove Township on a farm between Brownton and Stewart, MN. He graduated from Brownton High School in 1962. After high school, Roger attended Winona College where he earned a bachelor’s degree and played on the college baseball team. He later joined the US Army and was stationed in San Diego.

After the army, Roger returned to Minnesota and taught school in Walnut Grove, Brownton, and Hutchinson. While teaching, he was recruited into the insurance business and in 1974 came to Cokato as an agent for State Farm Insurance. He retired in 2005.

On September 6, 1986, Roger married Joyce Annette Young. The couple made their home in Cokato. Roger had many hobbies, including golf, fishing, and snowmobiling. He enjoyed baseball and played for the DC Saints. He was a member of the Lions, the Ridge Runners, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato.

Roger passed away at Abbott Northwestern Hospital on January 14, 2019. He had reached the age of 74 years, 8 months, and 11 days.

Survivors include wife Joyce of Cokato; children Brent (Karna) Rice of Excelsior, Steve Rice of Bloomington, Leigh (Troy) Sangren of Glenwood, Lynn (Scott) Anderson of Montrose, and Kelli (Tad) Palmquist of Warroad; grandchildren Kristina Rice, Lauren Rice, Tommy Rice, Jayson Rice, Annelise Rice, Jack Palmquist, Jase Palmquist, Emily Haan, and Ashley Haan; sisters Darlene (Ed) Kirchoff, Noreen Prinkey, and Joni (Kenny) Dose; brother Marlen (Nancy) Roepke; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

Roger was preceded in death by parents Loren and Gladys Roepke and a son, Paul Roepke.


Johnson, John Alan 85

Johnson, John Alan
age 85, of Howard Lake , MN passed away Monday, January 14, 2019 at the Buffalo Hospital. He was born March 7, 1933 in Montevideo, MN the son of Margaret and Waldo S. Johnson. He graduated from Mankato High school in 1952 and later attended Mankato Sate Teachers College and Mankato Commercial College. From 1952-1956, he served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War aboard the USS Titania. On August 26, 1961 he was united in marriage to LaDonna Boucher in Eau Claire, WI by his brother Reverend Waldo Johnson. John served his communities as Scout Master in Mankato, Rochester, Milwaukee, and Howard Lake. He served as Justice of the Peace for a time after moving to Howard Lake. John had a passion for the Flea Market, both attending and selling at several of them. He particularly enjoyed the people he was able to meet and interact with there.
John is survived by his wife, LaDonna and son, Robert Johnson of Kingman, AZ.
He is preceded in death by his parents, and brother, Rev. Waldo S. Johnson.
A celebration of John’s life will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Family and friends are invited to gather 1 hour prior to the service at the church. Interment and military honors will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN at a later date. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Howard Lake, MN 320-543-3401, www.swansonpeterson.com


Hermann, Elsworth Eugene 85

Ellsworth Eugene Hermann, Cokato, MN, March 15, 1933 – January 14, 2019.
Ellsworth E. Hermann of Cokato died Monday January 14, 2019, at the age of 85, at the Buffalo Hospital. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday January 17, 2019 at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato. Visitation will be held at the Church on Thursday beginning at 9:30 prior to the service. Interment will be at the Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery following the Funeral Service.

Ellsworth, son of Leonard and Leona Hermann of Winsted, MN, was born on March 15, 1933, at the Watertown Hospital, Watertown, MN. Ellsworth grew up in Winsted and graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1951. After high school, Ellsworth attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, where he was a member of the football team. After 2 years of college, Ellsworth went to work for his father at the Pure Milk Products Creamery, in Winsted, MN. He met and fell in love with LaVerne Adelle Birkholz and the two were married at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato on June 25, 1955. The couple had their first home in Lester Prairie, MN. Then they moved to Cokato. Ellsworth and LaVerne also made Florida their home for 2 years while owning a business in the Clearwater/Tampa area. The family grew and moved back to Minnesota to settle in Cokato. Ellsworth and LaVerne raised their family in Cokato and all five children graduated from Dassel-Cokato High School. Ellsworth was partner in the Chevrolet Dealership and later was employed at C & H Ag services for many years, along with other jobs and business ventures. Ellsworth was an active member of Cokato Lutheran Church. Ellsworth and LaVerne enjoyed traveling and spending time with family and friends at their cabin on Lake Sylvia.
He is survived by his wife LaVerne and his five children: Kathryn Johnson, Cokato; Teri Madsen (Dave), Maple Grove; Phil (Sherie), Maple Grove; Nancy, Cokato; Tim, Key West, FL. Grandchildren: Preston (Rachel) Sternson, Moorhead, MN; Austin Hermann, Houston TX; Taylor Madsen, Los Angeles, CA; Jessie (Peter) Schuett, New Hope, MN; Cole Hermann, Maple Grove, MN.
Ellsworth was preceded in death by his parents, Len and Leona; brother, Gordon; and sister Mary Rathcamp.

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