Schmitz, Cecilia Theresa 90

Cecilia Theresa Schmitz was born October 15, 1923 in Nashua, Minnesota to Jacob and Margaret Schauff. She grew up in the Tintah, MN area and then attended Moorhead Teachers College and was a country school teacher for several years. She married Vincent Schmitz June 10th, 1946. They made their home in the Howard Lake area. She was active with the local VFW, Church of St. Mary, numerous other groups. Born with a great sense of humor and intelligence she always had a kind word for everyone. Family, friends and strangers were always welcome at her home. Cecilia passed away March 20, 2014 with family by her side at Cokato Manor in Cokato, MN. She lived at Cokato Manor her last years and enjoyed the residents, staff and playing cards with anyone who was up for a game. She reached the age of 90 years, five months and five days. She is survived by children; Mike (Jean) of Cokato, Terry (Georgi) of Dayton, John (Sharon) of Annandale, Paul (Agnes) of Maple Lake, Charles (Melanie) of Howard Lake, Jerome (Jane) of Maple Grove, Francis (Mary) of Buffalo, Mary (Eugene) Amborn of Cokato, George of Chiefland, FL, Ann of Chiefland, FL, 23 grandchildren and many great grandchildren.
Cecilia was preceded in death by husband Vince, son Carl and grandchildren Chad and Theresa Schmitz. Instead of flowers gifts of memorial are preferred to the Church of St. Mary or the VFW.
Mass of Christian burial was held at 10:30 am on Monday, March 24, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly, MN. Visitation was held on Sunday, March 23 from 3-8 pm with 7:30 prayer and continued 1 hour prior to the service all at the church. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cokato 320-286-2534,


Komula, Marie 94

Marie Komula, age 94, of Cokato, passed away peacefully, with her son and daughter-in-law at her side, at Meeker Memorial Hospital in Litchfield the evening of Feb. 27, 2014.
Marie was born at the Cokato Hospital on May 27, 1919, to John M. and Minnie E. Rhodin. She was named “Marie” because her uncle, Carl Haggberg, just back from serving in World War I, said: “All the girls in France are named Marie.”
Marie grew up on the Rhodin family farm northeast of town, attended country school, and graduated from Cokato High School in 1937. She completed her teacher’s training education in Hutchinson.
Marie entertained the idea of becoming a teacher from an early age. Her younger sister, Lyla, recalled many hours of playing “school” with Marie when they were both youngsters—complete with Lyla having to finish dozens and dozens of arithmetic problems that Marie had prepared for her even after the play sessions were over!
All in all, Marie spent almost 50 years as a school teacher in Wright County. About half those years were spent in one-room country schools, and the other half she spent as a teacher’s aide, specializing in reading, in the Howard Lake and Dassel-Cokato systems after the country schools were all consolidated in 1971. Besides her regular teaching duties, Marie was famous for her country school Christmas programs, which many said were the best in the area.
During World War II, Marie and her close, high-school friend, Ellen Niemela, headed to Los Angeles to find work. Marie worked a number of secretarial jobs while in California, and met her future husband, Toivo Komula, there after the war. They were married in 1948 and came back to live in her hometown.
Marie taught school well into her seventies. After retiring, she built up an impressive doll collection, honed her gardening skills, and thoroughly enjoyed going to—and putting on—garage sales. She was expert at being able to sell almost anything at her garage sales, including recently sprouted maple trees that she dug from her yard, potted and sold for 50 cents each.
Marie spent her later years in the assisted living facility at Brookridge in Cokato, still going to garage sales, tending her potted plants, and reading—always reading!
Marie was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband Toivo. She is survived by her sister, Lyla Lutter, son and daughter-in-law, Steve Komula and Gayle Whitney, and several nieces and nephews, as well as numerous friends and hundreds of former students—some of whom kept in touch with her for many decades.
A memorial service for Marie will take place in the chapel at Cokato Manor at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 15, with Rev. Tim Wheatley officiating. Lunch will be provided in the Activities Room following the service.


Anderson, Gladys Marion 94

Gladys Marion (Olson) Anderson
February 5, 1920 – February 24, 2014
Gladys Marion (Olson) Anderson was born February 5, 1920, to Edwin and Ida (Larson) Olson in Cokato, Minnesota. She grew up on the Olson family farm southwest of Cokato. She had one younger sister, Lorraine (Olson) Payette. She had the opportunity to participate in many farm activities normally done by brothers.
She proudly attended Beaver Dam Country School located on the site of the present Dassel–Cokato High School. After Country School, she attended Cokato High School where she graduated in 1938. Her parents and friends encouraged her to attend the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in Home Economics Education in 1943.
She was baptized, attended Sunday School and was confirmed (1934) at the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church. She was active in many of the church activities, groups and committees. Her teaching talents allowed her to teach the Bethel Bible Series. Her musical talents allowed her the opportunity to play the church organ for Sunday Morning Church services, weddings, funerals and other church related activities. She maintained her membership there until 2012. She then joined Good Shepard Free Lutheran Church.
Gladys’s early career teaching Home Economics started in Winona and Elk River, Minnesota. It was in Elk River that her future husband would fly in with his airplane, sweep her off her feet and bring her back to Cokato. She married Wesley Anderson on June 28, 1947. They lived their entire married life on the Anderson family farm northwest of Cokato. Two children were born, Harlan (1948) and Shirley (Billigmeier) (1950).
She returned to teaching in Kimball and then moved onto Buffalo High School, teaching Home Economics. She found a new teaching interest, Physical Education. She taught PE at Buffalo Junior High School until she retired.
Gladys and Wesley enjoyed many exciting and successful experiences farming together. They were honored with a number of national awards for their efforts. They traveled well together seeing most of the U.S. with their young family. Unfortunately, Wesley passed away in 1969 of pancreatitis. Gladys continued to live on their farm until the last few weeks.
Gladys kept her retirement career busy with Church activities and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had one granddaughter, Katherine (Billigmeier) Higgins and three grandsons, Steve Billigmeier, Richard and Mark Anderson. She enjoyed one great-granddaughter Sophia Higgins, three great-grandsons, Jasper Higgins, Grant and Miles Anderson. She was especially proud that all of her grandchildren followed in her footsteps, each receiving a very good college education.
In addition to enjoying her family, Gladys enjoyed gardening, visiting old people, playing the piano, walking around the farm and traveling to places like Europe, The Holy Land and Hawaii.
One of her life’s highlights was being awarded the Minnesota Mother of the Year by then Governor Al Quie in 1980. She appreciated all her Buffalo teacher friends facilitating this award.
Gladys passed away on February 24th at the Augustana Lakeside Health Care Center of Dassel. Gladys was preceded in death by her husband Wesley and her parents Edwin and Ida (Larson) Olson. She is survived by a sister Lorraine Payette of Atlanta, Georgia, a daughter Shirley (Jon) Billigmeier of Orono, a son Harlan (Mary) of Cokato, granddaughter Katherine (Jon) Higgins, grandsons Steve Billigmeier, Richard (Jenny) and Mark Anderson, great-granddaughter Sophia Higgins, great-grandsons Jasper Higgins, Grant and Miles Anderson, nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
Funeral service will be held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday March 1, 2014 at the Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church, 5939 Oliver Ave. S.W. Cokato, Minn. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, Minn.


Nelson, Lyle Leonard 85

Nelson, Lyle Leonard
age 85, of Cokato, MN passed away February 12, 2014 at Cokato Manor. He was born March 27, 1928 in French Lake Township to John and Ellen Nelson. Lyle graduated from Annandale High School. After High School, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served as a Sergeant in the Korean War. Following an honorable discharge, Lyle continued his education at William Hood Dunwoody Industrial Institute, and graduated in 1957. He began work as a machinist and later owned Knapp Machine Shop. Lyle was an avid and sometimes successful fisherman. He was a member of the Kingston American Legion and Lantto’s Store “coffee clutch.”
Lyle is survived by nieces and nephews, Chuck (Pat) Nelson, of Paynesville, MN, Carole Nelson, of Burnsville, MN, Carla (Brian) Knapp, of Lakeville, MN, Christopher (Maryann) Nelson, of LeSeuer, MN, Beverly (Steve) Masini, of Olympia, WA, 11 great-nieces and nephews, 11 great-great nieces and nephews, sister-in-law, Joyce Nelson, and special cousin Anne Tormanen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Ann, and brothers, Bill, Walter, Harold, and Raymond.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 am, Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, with visitation 1 hour prior to the service at church. Internment will follow services at Riverside Cemetery in French Lake Township, MN. Memorials are preferred to the church or cemetery. Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cokato, MN 320-286-2534,


Lauzer, George Willard Frank 85

Lauzer, George Willard Frank,
age 85, of Howard Lake, MN, passed away on Wednedsday, February 12, 2014 at the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Care Center. George was born August 2, 1928 in Watertown, MN to Theodore and Hilia Lauzer. He grew up on the family farm in Waverly. George was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. In 1945, he was married to Lorraine Drawert. This union was blessed with eight children. George farmed the family farm with his brother until 1970, at which time he moved to howard lake and continued his career at Millerbrand Manufacturing. He was able to retire at age 62, in order to pursue his passion of being a full time wood worker.
George is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lorraine, children, Michael Lauzer, Sharon Hecksel, Dennis (Patricia) Lauzer, LuAnn (Robert) Ryks, James (Renee) Lauzer, David (Kelly) Lauzer, Cheryl (Lee) Hamilton, sister-in-law, Fran Lauzer, 23 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, infant son, Richard, brother, Norman, and grandson, Joshua Lauzer.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. Visitation was held 1 hour prior to the service at church.

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