Diers, Evelyne M. 76

Diers, Evelyne M.
age 76, of Howard Lake, MN passed away Sunday, February 9, 2014 at the St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted, MN. She was born May 23, 1937 in Winsted to Charles and Elsie (Urbach) Griswold. Evelyne was baptized and confirmed in the Prebyterian Church, Winsted. It was here that Evelyne was united in marriage to Gene Diers by Reverend A.J. Kamman on May 12, 1956. This union was blessed with the birth of two daughters: Robin Kotila and Connie Brandel, both of Cokato, MN. Evelyne and Gene made their home on the family farm in Victor Township, Howard Lake, MN. In addition to the time she spent working on the farm, Evelyne enjoyed gardening and cooking. Evelyne also worked for the many years at the Super Value Store in Howard Lake. She enjoyed getting to know many people and valued their special friendships. Following the sale of the farm, Evelyne moved to town, where she was able to reside up until 3 weeks prior to her passing.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, and brother, Albert Griswold.
Survived by her children, Robin (Harlan) Kotila and Connie (Allen) Brandel, grandchildren, Brian (Michelle) Kotila, of Mankato, Kaley Oestreich, of Buffalo, Kandra Oestriech (fiance Brandon Lundstrom), of Duluth, and great-grandson, Liam Kotila.
A funeral service was held on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Visitation was held at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 from 4-7 pm and continued 1 hour prior to the service at church. Internment followed services at St. James Lutheran Cemetery on Dutch Lake.


Custer, Rachel M. 81

Memorial service: 2PM Friday, February 14, 2014 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake
Visitation: 12-2 PM Friday at the Fuenral Home
Interment: Howard Lake Cemetery in the spring

Rachel Marian Custer was born on March 6, 1932 in Winsted, Minnesota to Joseph and Corinne (Marks) Zimmermann. Rachel graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1951. On July 5, 1953 Rachel married John Custer at the First Presbyterian Church of Howard Lake. God blessed their marriage with a son; Mark.

Rachel and John operated the Custer’s Super Valu in Howard Lake from 1960-1988. Rachel was very involved in the community and enjoyed volunteering at church and as a member of the Howard Lake Fire Department Auxiliary, and American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed: traveling, entertaining, reading, and listening to old time music. She and John spent 17 winters in Hawaii and made many friends there. Most of all she loved her family. She relished her grandchildren from the years of toddler tea parties until they were grown. She enjoyed spending time with her sisters and her friends.

Rachel passed away at the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center on February 7, 2014. She had reached the age of 81 years 11 months and 1 day.

Survivors include: her husband John, son Mark (Lori) Custer of Howard Lake, Four grandchildren: Christine Fetterley, Amy (Michael) Noll, Beth (Andrei) Stolyarchuk, and Jill Custer. Two great grandchildren: Lily Noll and Maddox Noll. Two sisters; Marjorie (Clayton) Helinske, Yvonne Urban. Three brothers: Loren (Charlotte) Zimmermann, Gordon (Gloria) Zimmermann, and Clifford (Linda) Zimmermann. Sister-in-law Marlene Zimmermann. Nieces nephews other relatives and friends.

Rachel was preceded in death by: her parents, brother Kenneth, sister Laura Mae, brother-in-law Ted Urban, father-in-law James Custer and mother-in-law Alice Custer.


Morris, Virgil Victor 90

Virgil Morris passed away after a brief stay at Cokato Manor on February 3, 2014.
Funeral Service; 2:00 PM Saturday, February 8, 2014, at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church of Cokato
Visitation 4-8 PM Friday at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato and 1hr prior to services at Church on Saturday
Prayer Service; 7 PM Friday evening
Interment: Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery of Cokato

Virgil Victor Morris was born June 12, 1923, to Victor and Lillian (Anderson) Morris in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The family moved to Cokato, where they had originated, in 1925 to take up farming. Virgil attended the Watson School, a one room country school, and Cokato High School, from which he graduated in 1940. The Morrises were members of Evangelical Lutheran Church, which their ancestors had attended since 1869 when they arrived in the Cokato area. Virgil was a dedicated church member; for one seven year stretch he had perfect Sunday School attendance, even though the family lived several miles out in the country.
After high school, Virgil worked for one year as a bank cashier in Prinsburg, MN, and then farmed and worked for Northland Canning in Cokato until 1945, when he joined American Can Company. He was subsequently drafted into the army and served at Ft Lewis in Tacoma, WA. He married Alta Mae Ring of Cokato on May 9, 1946, and the two lived together at first in Washington. Upon his discharge in 1947, he returned to American Can, moving to company headquarters in Waukegan IL. The Morrises were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waukegan throughout their residence in Illinois.
The Morris’ first daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1950, and their second daughter, Joann, was born in 1954. Tragically, Joann died of meningitis in 1959.
Virgil was transferred to an upper Midwest territory by American Can in 1968 to service the company’s largest customer, Hormel, and the family moved to Austin MN, with membership in Our Saviors Lutheran Church. Virgil retired in 1981 after 36 years of service to American Can and fulfilled his dream by moving to Cokato, his family’s native home. The Morrises rejoined Evangelical Lutheran Church. They joined to Good Shepard Lutheran Church in 2010.
Virgil was very active in retirement in Cokato. He volunteered for Wright County Human Services by driving clients to clinics and hospitals, most often in Minneapolis. His driving service lasted for 27 years, ending when he was 87 years old. He was on the board of the Cokato Historical Museum for 11 years and assisted Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home for 18 years. He was also active in service to Evangelical Lutheran Church. Virgil’s main hobby was woodworking and notably he made five grandfather clocks and other fine furniture. He also traveled widely, including Sweden (the Morris family ancestral home), Norway, Denmark, England, China, Kenya, and the Holy Land.
Virgil Morris was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Lillian Morris, and his daughter Joann. He is survived by his wife, Alta Mae, his daughter, Phyllis (Teryl) Frey, of Atlanta GA, one grandson, Benjamin Frey, and his sister, Dorothy Koester of St. Louis Park MN.


Zander, Welton J. 91

Welton “Tuffy” Jerome Zander was born to Herman and Agnes (Shepperd) Zander on July 20, 1922. He was a lifelong member of St. James Lutheran Church where he was baptized on August 20, 1922 and confirmed on April 14, 1935. As a member of St. James he served on several boards and committees, was involved in Bible classes and enjoyed singing in the choir for over seventy years.
Welton and Harriet Anderson began their 63 years of married life on July 18, 1942. They lived on the home place where he farmed and milked cows until 1965 when he and Harriet purchased the Lake Bowl which they ran until 1974. During that time they built the Village West Apartments and a house where they lived until moving to Heritage Square in 2004. Harriet preceded him in death in 2006 and he continued to reside there until becoming a resident of Good Samaritan Care Center in March, 2011.
Over the years Welton was active in county and community affairs. He served on the Wright County Fair board for 20 years and as mayor of Howard Lake from 1979 to 1990. He enjoyed volunteer driving and assisting in activities at the Care Center. He received the special honor of being named Wright County Outstanding Citizen in 1996. Both he and Harriet were active volunteers of the Wright County Historical Society. Welton was a current Charter member of the HL Lions established in 1978.
As a resident of the Care Center he witnessed his faith in word and deed to those with whom he had contact. It was there Welton died on Monday, February 3, 2014 at the age of 91 years 6 months and 14 days.
Left to mourn Welton’s departure are his four children; Suzanne (Evan) Schiller, Larry (Jane) Zander, Rebecca (Gary) Hagemann and Lizabeth Striegel; 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Ione Swedberg and Geri Anderson; and a brother-in-law, Vergil (Geri) Anderson. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Harriet, and two brothers, Harold and Gordon.
A funeral service will take place at 11:00 am on Friday, February 7, 2014 at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 5-8pm at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake and continuing 1 hour prior to the service at the church.


Knutson, Walter “Tex” Landon 77

Walter “Tex” Landon Knutson, of Annandale, Minnesota, went to be with the Lord Friday, January 10, 2014 after a long courageous battle with cancer at the age of seventy-seven years, one month and two days. Walter was the son of Kenneth and Ina Knutson, and was born December 8, 1936, in Cokato, Minnesota.
In addition to his parents, Walter was preceded in death by his son, Billy Joe Knutson and daughter, Emmy Lue Knutson.
Walter is survived by his loving wife of almost 54 years, Chere Knutson; their daughter, Bobbi Jo Knutson-Saari and husband Seth, of Hartville, Missouri; son, Brian Knutson and girlfriend Tammy, of Annandale, Minnesota; daughter, BettyJo Minardi, Jr. and husband Angelo, of Groesbeck, Texas; sister, Carol Ericksen and husband, Bob, of Annandale, Minnesota; grandchildren, Jacob Saari, Rebecca Knutson, Brandon Knutson, Montgomery MacDonald, Angelina Minardi, Jr., Elisabeth Minardi, Jr., Trinity Minardi, Jr., and Baby Angelo Minardi III; and several nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.
Walter was raised and lived in Annandale for nearly 30 years. He joined the Army in 1957 and served 6 yrs active/reserves, honorably discharged in 1963. He and Chere were married on March 17, 1960, and moved to LaFeria, Texas in 1965. Walter, Chere and their three children lived in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for nearly twenty years where they raised cotton, citrus, livestock, and he also worked as a mechanic. They moved back to Annandale in 1984 to help with the family farm.
Walt was mechanical by nature and had a long career repairing everything from small engines to heavy construction equipment. He also spent several years working for Howle Industries in Annandale, Minnesota, in metal fabrication.
“Tex” spent his younger years, working the big stock yards in Texas, riding broncs in local rodeos and hunting and fishing any chance he got, whether it was catching Redfish in the Gulf of Mexico or ice fishing on one of the numerous lakes in Minnesota during the long cold winters.
Walt loved spending time with his grandkids; they always brought a big smile to his face.
Walter was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother and loyal friend. We celebrate his life and patriotic spirit and we will treasure the memories he made for his family and friends.
Walt was a Godly Man with a well worn Bible. It comforts us to know that we will be reunited in heaven one day.
A memorial service will take place at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm.
Internment will follow at Riverside Cemetery in French Lake Township. Fellowship at French lake town hall following burial.

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