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Spring Valley News...2020



Steven Ducklow, Age 74

   Steven Ducklow, age 74, of Amery, Wisconsin passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 20, 2020 surrounded by family at U of M Hospital, Minneapolis.
    Steven was born at home in Spring Valley, Wisconsin on February 11,1946. He was the 4th of six boys born to Alois and Betty (Van Nortwick) Ducklow.
    Having an active childhood with his brothers and others, he often found himself in sticky situations, such as when he and his brothers got some brand new trikes. They immediately decided to take them for a ride down the church hill in Spring Valley. Starting at the top of church hill, going through the intersections, including Main Street, eventually ending up in someone’s yard. Needless to say, they never saw the trikes again.
    Being a natural at athletics, he enjoyed playing many sports as well as watching them. Steve attended school at Spring Valley until his junior year. He finished at Elmwood High School, graduating with the Class of 1965. Upon graduation, Steve was drafted into the military. After boot camp, he was deployed to Vietnam. One day when he was going on leave, his camp was hit and a piece of shrapnel hit and wounded him. He spent 18 months in Denver, Colorado in the hospital.
    When Steven came home to see his family in August 0f 1967, he met his lovely wife to be, Bonny Everson. After a two year courtship, they married on June 5, 1969. Shortly thereafter, their little family was started.
    Steven worked for the City of Hudson on the Parks Crew. After spending 15 years living in Hudson, Steven, Bonny and girls moved to Emerald. While living in Emerald, Steven was very active around the home, using his skills in carpentry, cement work, and plumbing, making the house they bought into a lovely home.
    On July 14, 1990 Steven dedicated his life and was baptized, along with his wife and two daughters, Jody and Sarah, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Steven loved spending time with his family, taking family trips. As he got older, he continued that passion with his wife and 2 grandson, Cody and Zack. He also loved fishing with his brothers and reminiscing about their childhood.
    With always a smile on his face, he was kind to everyone he met. He always had a good story to tell you too!

   Preceding him in death were his father; Alois Ducklow Sr and mother Betty Ducklow; brothers Alois Ducklow Jr and Gerald Ducklow.
    Survivors include his wife Bonny of Amery; daughters Jody (Gene) Schlussler and Sarah Ducklow; his brothers: Richard (Shirley) Ducklow; Robert (Mary) Ducklow; Duane (Mary) Ducklow; many grandchildren and great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
    A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 2 starting a 1 p.m. To join the family and view the service via zoom, please contact Keehr Funeral Home for access to the zoom service. (715-778-5501)

Dale Vernon Wells, Age 75

   Dale Vernon Wells, age 75 of Ellsworth, WI, passed away Dec ember 13, 2020 at the University of Minnesota – Fairview Hospital after a serious fall. Dale was born April 17, 1945 in Red Wing, MN to Lemuel and Evelyn (Davin) Wells. He graduated from Spring Valley High School, with the Class of 1963. Dale furthered his education at Indianhead Technical College. On March 20, 1971, Dale was united in marriage to Ann Katherine Staab in Dawson, MN. Their lives were blessed with two children, Heather and Andrew. Dale had a variety of occupations throughout his life. He worked in drafting, as a chef, and also did computer repair.
    Outside of his work, Dale enjoyed the peacefulness of being on the water fishing and sailing. He also appreciated his time outside gardening and woodworking in his shop. Dale was a wonderful chef who delighted in cooking for his family, always creating special recipes, with some of his favorites being Mexican entrees. He was a member of the Blockheads “Laurel and Hardy Fan Club” and the Goodhue County Horticultural Society. Dale was well loved and will be remembered for his humor, his caring heart, and his devotion to his family and friends.
   Dale will remain in the hearts of his loving wife of 49 years, Ann; his daughter, Heather (Gordon) Leckie of Poynette, WI; son, Andrew Wells of Ellsworth; grandchildren, Ben and Samantha Leckie; brothers, Charles (Joan) Wells of Colorado Springs, CO and Greg (Sherry) Wells of Spring Valley, WI; sister, Susan Stewart of Austin, MN; and brother-at-heart, Tom Stewart. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, brothers-in-law and many cousins.
    He was preceded in death by his parents, Lemuel and Evelyn Wells; 6 nephews; 1 niece; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Rita and Andrew Staab.
    With the ongoing pandemic, a celebration of Dale’s life will take place at a later date.
    Condolences may be directed Dale’s family, or sent to: The Family of Dale Wells, O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home, 130 N. Grant St., Ellsworth, WI 54011.
    O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home (715) 273-4421

Lyle A. “Bud” Leehe, Age 79

   Lyle A. “Bud” Leehe, age 79, died peacefully at his home near Danbury, WI on Wednesday,
November 18, 2020.
    Bud was born March 5, 1941 in Baldwin, WI to Lyle and Clarice “Toots” (Erickson) Leehe of
Wilson, WI. He was baptized on June 2, 1941 and confirmed March 4, 1956 at Wilson Lutheran
Church. He graduated with the Spring Valley High School Class of 1959.
    Bud and JoAnn Nelson were married September 29, 1962, at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville, WI, and were blessed with son Steven in 1964, and daughter Brenda in 1967.
    Bud was a mechanic most of his life, and ran his own repair shop in Wilson for many years. If it had an engine, he could fix it; anything from cars, tractors, and big trucks to little engines. He is said to have acquired his mechanic skills by taking apart machinery and putting it back together, hoping not to have too many parts left over on the garage floor.
    In June 1986 Bud and Celia Furuholmen were married at Wilson Lutheran Church, moving to
live near Danbury, WI.
    While Bud enjoyed his mechanic work and the outdoors, his greatest love was for his children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. He was very proud of Steve, who became a career Navy officer, and Brenda, who became an accomplished teacher. He found it joyful to brag
about them and show lots of pictures.
    Bud was a kind and generous man who was always willing to lend a helping hand. He enjoyed
the outdoors for hunting, fishing, camping and living in the northern area of Wisconsin. One of
his favorite places was Lake 26, where he took his children camping every summer and where
he was fortunate enough to spend the last 35 years of his life.
    Bud was preceded in death by his wife Celia, his parents Lyle and Clarice Leehe, and his
brother Selmer “Sam” Leehe. He is survived by his children, Steve (Tess) Leehe of Jacksonville,
FL, and Brenda James of Lincoln, CA; grandchildren Derrick (Mckenzie) Leehe of Jacksonville,
FL, Nathan Leehe of Jacksonville, FL, Sean James of Lincoln, CA, and Emily James of Lincoln,
CA; great grandchildren Vincent and Madilyn Leehe of Jacksonville, FL; sister Linda (Dean)
Rambo of Spring Valley, WI; sister-in-law Janet Leehe of Amery, WI; nephew Brent Leehe of
Superior, WI, and nieces Kristine Leehe of Amery, WI, DeeAnn Rambo of Spring Valley, WI,
and Heidi (Darren) Peterson, of Spring Valley, WI, as well as numerous great nephews and
    He will be interred near his parents at Spring Lake Cemetery in Spring Valley, WI.
Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Webster, WI. Condolences can be sent to

Rochelle Pence Phillips, Age 78

Rochelle Phillips, 78, died Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the home of her daughter following a brief battle with cancer. A native of Spring Valley, Wisconsin, she was the daughter of the late Rexford and Golda Pence. Rochelle graduated from SVHS with the Class of '61.

   She attended college at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. She was the widow of Jim Phillips. She worked in retail sales for J.C. Penney Company in the drapery department for many years prior to her retirement. In her leisure time, she loved gardening and working with flowers and her pets. She was a member of First Christian Church of Shelbyville for 15 years or more where she participated in the church choir, the Festival Choir and was an active member of the New Life Sunday School Class, including the first Saturday of the month breakfast meeting enjoyed by that group.
    Survivors include her daughter, Joanna Mackens (James) of Shelbyville; two brothers, Rodney Pence (Sacia) of Madison, Wisconsin and Russell Pence (Kay) of Prescott, Arizona; her granddaughter, Sophie Mackens of Shelbyville and her beloved pets, Prudie, her dog and Poe, Luna and Licorice, her cats.
    Cremation has been selected in accordance with her wishes. A Celebration of Life Service will be held later when the pandemic is no longer an issue and we are again able to congregate and celebrate the special person she was.
    Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to First Christian Church.
Webb Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Harold Thompson, Age 78

   Harold Thompson, age 78, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at his home in Gilman Township after losing a decade long battle with prostate cancer.
    Harold was born November 17, 1941 to Gerhard and Nora (Hurtgen) Thompson in Gilman Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin. He grew up on the farm and attended Spring Valley Schools, graduating with the Class of 1959. On October 12, 1961 Harold married Mary Wasson at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spring Valley. They were blessed with 4 children: Randal, Jeffrey, Frankie, and Deanna.
    After graduating, Harold worked at the Spring Valley Dairy delivering milk to local schools and stores. Harold then served in the US National Guard for a 1 ½ years. Half of that service time was spent on active duty during the Berlin Crisis in 1961. After returning home from the Service, the Spring Valley Dairy was sold, and he then worked at the Smeads factory in River Falls for the next 7 years while also farming with his dad on the home farm which he purchased in the spring of 1964. He then went on to dairy farm full time in 1971. He continued to dairy farm with the help of his wife and family for the next 42 years before "retiring" in 2013 following the sale of his farm to his son Frank and grandson Mitchell. His life's desire had been fulfilled knowing the farm would continue to be a part of the family.
    Harold spent most of his time working to keep his farm going. He did love taking trips to farm and cattle auctions in his free time. Showing his registered dairy herd at local shows also brought him much joy. He was a great neighbor to all, and would do anything he could to help others.He was a wonderful husband, father,grandfather, friend, and servant to God. His infectious laugh and smile brought happiness to everyone he encountered.
    He as preceded in death by his parents; sister Marilyn (Lloyd) Fisher; brother Donald (Becky) Thompson; infant sister Rosemary; and sister-in-law Sue Thompson.
    Survivors include his wife Mary of Spring Valley; children: Randal Thompson of Bloomington; Jeffrey Thompson of Spring Valley; Frankie (Stacy) Thompson of Spring Valley; and Deanna (Wes) Cronin of Hudson; 3 grandchildren: Mitchell (Ellen), Abby, and Christian; 1 great grandchild Wyatt; brother Ron Thompson of Spring Valley; sister Ellen (Steve) Meyer of Perez, MN; other relatives and friends.
    No services are being planned at this time.

Wanda Lynum Holle, Age 83

   Wanda Jane Holle, wife of Fred ‘Bud’ Holle, died November 14, 2020 at the Amery Memory Care Center in Baldwin, WI, at the age of 83.

   Wanda was born on February 8, 1937, the twin sister of Wayne Lynum ('55). She graduated from SVHS in 1955.

   Wanda is survived by her husband Bud; children Brett Holle, Lynn (Ray) Moore, and extended family.

   A memorial service is being planned when Covid subsides in the spring. Funeral and Cremation services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home and Countryside Crematory of Baldwin. Wanda is pictured with her twin brother, Wayne, who passed away on October 4, 2010.

Jerry Timm, Age 80

   Jerry Timm of South St. Paul, MN passed away on November 5, 2020, surrounded by his wife Sandra and his two daughters.
    Jerry was born on January 5, 1940 to Emil and Evelyn (Hanson) Timm in Menomonie, WI and baptized February 5, 1940 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Spring Valley, WI. He grew up on the family farm in Wilson, WI and attended Country School in Wilson Township. He graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1958. He met his wife Sandra Noterman a few years later. They married September 11, 1965 in Spring Valley, WI. They have resided in their home in South St. Paul, MN since 1972 and raised two daughters, Rebecca and Christine.
    Jerry was a cattle buyer/seller at the Stock Yards in South St. Paul for nearly 40 years. After the Stock Yards closed he worked maintenance prior to retiring in 2009.
    He enjoyed camping, summer vacations at the lake, fishing and putzing around the house. His favorite hobby was finding treasures at auctions and garage sales. Over the last few years he enjoyed road trips with Sandy, watching his five grandsons grow up and attending his grandson's sporting events.
    Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, sister Mildred, brother Rodney, sister Dorothy Brorson, brother-in-law Arnold Brorson and brother Dennis.
    Jerry is survived by his loving wife Sandra (Noterman) of 55 years; daughters Rebecca (Mark) Holmen of Lanesboro, MN and Christine (Matt) Druley of Young America, MN; five grandsons, Ryan and Carter Holmen and Aaron, Mitchell, Jake Druley; sister Arlys (Don) Olson; sisters-in-law Jan Timm, Mary Timm, Pat (Einar) Sandom, Rita (Orlan) Youngren and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
    A private memorial service will take place in the coming weeks.

Scott Wood, Age 72

   Scott Wood, age 72, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died Sunday, October 25, 2020 at his home in Spring Lake Township after a ten week battle with cancer.
    Scott was born July 23, 1948 to Orin and Leone (Smith) Wood on the family farm in Spring Lake. He was baptized and confirmed and a lifelong member of Spring Lake Lutheran Church. Scott attended Spring Valley Schools graduating with the Class of 1966. He pursued an Agricultural Engineering Degree at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls and graduated in 1970.
    On March 29, 1969 Scott married the loved of his life, Susan Korish. They were married at Spring Lake Lutheran Church by Rev. Roger Kampstra. They raised two sons together, Douglas of Spring Valley and Daniel of Dallas, Texas.
    Scott worked for Spring Lake Township for 40+ years. His pride and joy was working on the family farm where he made maple syrup and enjoyed working in the woods. He especially loved using his bulldozer to forge new paths up and down the wooded hills. He was an avid hunter that enjoyed hunting on the family farm and enjoyed yearly hunting trips with family and lifelong friends in Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming.
    Scott was the most selfless person you would ever meet. His smile would brighten a room and he could talk to pretty much anyone about any subject. Scott had a brilliant intellect and was a dreamer. Right up to the end he said, “I’m still dreaming!” While in the hospital he talked to the many phone visitors about the things he was going to do next summer.
    He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Tim. Survivors include his wife Susan; sons Douglas (Alicia) and Daniel; grandchildren Wyatt, Cody, and Emily; brothers Orlen Wood of Milwaukee and Terry Wood of Spring Valley; sister Mary Jane Hecker of Knapp; sister-in-law Shelli Wood of Spring Valley. Scott is also survived by one aunt an abundance of nieces, nephews and cousins all of which held a special place in his heart.
    A private burial will be in Spring Lake Lutheran Cemetery, Spring Valley and a Celebration of Life will be held on July 24, 2021 at the family farm.

Darwin (Hap) Litzell, Age 79
    Darwin 'Hap' Litzell, age 79, of Glenwood City, Wisconsin died peacefully Friday, October 16, 2020 at his home, with his family at his side.
Hap’s service will be live streamed on the Zion Lutheran Church Facebook page beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 23.

   Hap was born June 3, 1941 to Bernard and Eleanor (Gunderson-Dahlberg) in Rockford, Illinois. He spent his childhood in Spring Valley where he attended Spring Valley Schools, graduating with the Class of 1959.  He later attended Vo-Tech in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
    On September 18, 1961, Hap married Cynthia Haugeland in California.  They were blessed with 5 children: Sandra, John, Eric, Kathy and Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’.
    In May of 1959 Hap entered the U.S. Navy and served for nine years.  He was a proud Veteran and worked a short time for the postal service and over 20 years for the Army Corp of Engineers at the Eau Galle Dam and Recreation Area in Spring Valley.  Hap also served in the Army National Guard for a number of years in the late 1980’s.  He had worked for Aaby Plumbing in Woodville and Shafer Electric in Spring Valley.  Hap loved to have a good time and enjoyed hunting and fishing.  He loved to bowl and did so until his last year of life.

Survivors include his wife Cindy of Glenwood City; daughter Sandra Litzell of Glenwood City, son    John Litzell of Amery; son Eric Litzell of Colorado Springs; daughter Kathy Lange of Spring Valley; and son Craig Larson of Mooresville, North Carolina; 13 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; sister Darlene Richards of River Falls; brother David (Barb) Litzell of Menomonie; many other relatives and friends.

   He is preceded in death by his parents; daughter Elizabeth ‘Lizzy’ Litzell; and brother Donald Litzell.
    Visitation will be from 11a.m. - 1 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville on Friday, October 23, 2020.  A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. at the church.  Masks and social/physical distancing are required. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Cemetery, Woodville. Hap’s service will be live streamed on the Zion Lutheran Church Facebook page beginning at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 23.
    Honorary pallbearers are grandsons  Andrew Schultz, Greg Schultz, Isaiah Litzell, Jonathan Litzell, and James Lange.

Donald J. Croes, Age 85

   Donald J. Croes, age 85 of River Falls, Wisconsin passed away on October 4, 2020 at Hammond Health Services. Don was born the son of Joseph and Emily Croes. He grew up in the area and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1954. Don was united in marriage to Arlene Johnson on June 2, 1956 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson, Wisconsin. He served as an Airman in the U.S. Air Force with B-47’s. Upon his return to civilian life, the couple were blessed with five children. Don worked for many years as a machine operator and general factory operator at 3M. Don was an avid outdoorsman. He had great memories traveling with the family camping around Wisconsin State Parks or the greater United States. He enjoyed fishing and spending time at their cabin on Half Moon Lake.
   Don will remain in the hearts of his wife of 64 years, Arlene; children, Jerry (Kathy), Kenneth, Mitchell, and Randall; grandchildren, Nathan (Johanna), Aaron (Beth), Jacob, Jeremy, Joshua, and Vincent; great-grandchildren, Nora, Eva, Sylvia, Kensington, Rebekah, and Harrison; siblings, MaryKay (Jim) Schaffner; many nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Cherie; his parents; infant sister Margaret Rose, infant brother Paul, sisters Judy (Earl) Seiffert, Francis Schaffner, and brother Steve Croes; great granddaughter Alana MarieA private Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was held for Don’s family.    Interment at St. Bridget’s Cemetery in River Falls. Memorials and cards for the family may be sent to O’Connell Family Funeral Home: Care of Donald Croes Family, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, WI 54016, to be forwarded on your behalf.

   Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson, WI (715)386-3725.

Ioliene Bjornstad Grant, Age 97

   Ioliene Bernice (Bjornstad) Grant, 97 years, 5 mo., 3 days passed away on September 19, 2020 at Valley Villas in Spring Valley. Ioliene was the eldest of 5 children, born to Oscar and Emma (Julson) Bjornstad on April 16, 1923. She was baptized and confirmed at Gilman Lutheran Church. Ioliene was raised on her parents’ farm in Gilman Township where she milked cows by hand, learned to cook on a wood burning stove, helped plant and harvest fruits and vegetables and preserve those through canning.

   She attended the one-room Gilman Center Grade School. During Ioliene’s High School years there were times when she could only attend school every other day, since she was caring for her Mother on the alternate days. Still, she completed her studies and even excelled, graduating in 1941. Following graduation, Ioliene worked at the Red and White store in Spring Valley. Hours were long as she filled orders and boxed up groceries, having them ready for pickup after customers returned from the movie theater. 

   Ioliene was proud of her Norwegian heritage and had opportunities to visit first cousins in both Norway and Canada. She continued to stay in touch with her cousins, communicating in Norwegian, as that was her first language.

   Ioliene married Bernard Grant, on August 28, 1942 at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in El Paso, WI.  They shared 71 ½ wonderful years. Together they had 7 children, 4 born at home. Ioliene and Bernard had planned an October wedding, but because gas rationing took effect September 1st of that year, they moved the date up to August.

   Ioliene is credited with having the first school “hot lunch” program in Pierce County, since she prepared hot meals for the grade school children being taught by her husband Bernard. Ioliene and Bernard ran the Bjornstad farm in Gilman, affectionately called the “home place”, when her parents moved to town. At that time Ioliene’s three younger siblings stayed on the farm with them, continuing their schooling and helping with chores.  When her parents returned to the farm in 1952, Ioliene and Bernard moved to a farm on County Road CC, where they lived for 7 years.  During that time Bernard returned to teaching and they continued farming and raising their family.  In 1959 they purchased the “home place” where they lived until they retired and moved off in 1994.  Those were busy years – cows to be milked, school papers to be graded, crops to be harvested, and a family to raise. Together Ioliene and Bernard found joy in these work efforts. Yet through the years, they found time for enjoyment, including dancing (even winning waltz contests) and lots of card playing. 

   Ioliene was a very active member of the Altar and Rosary Society at Sacred Heart Parish.  She was a member of the Olivet Homemakers.  She and Bernard delivered Meals on Wheels, they were officers for the local Senior Center, and they contributed time and effort to the Historical Society of Pierce County.  They helped at the New and Used Store in Ellsworth, and at Special Olympics events.  They volunteered to help with activities at the Spring Valley Nursing Home and they distributed communion to the home bound.  All these activities put them in close touch with their community which was a source of true happiness for them.

In 2003, Ioliene and Bernard were honored to serve as Grand Marshals for SV Dam Days.  They were also each named Pierce County Outstanding Resident.  It was an honor for them to serve the Spring Valley Community in any way they could. 

   A special Thank You from the family, to the wonderful care givers at Valley Villa’s, Adoray Home Health, Father Amir Stanislaus, and Brother Michael Mandernach.

   Ioliene is preceded in death by her husband, Bernard; son, Mark; parents Oscar and Emma Bjornstad; siblings & spouses Carol (Clarence) Ingli, Jeanette (Malcolm) Anderson, Orin Bjornstad, Donald (Beverly) Bjornstad; in-laws Sherman and Agnes Grant, Mary (Vilas)Raeder, Edward Grant, Dorothy (Earl) Hartung, Robert (Marie) Grant, Ruth Grant and Brother Simon Grant; son-in-law David Bibeau, and great grandson Daren Bibeau.

   She is survived by her children, Beverly Bibeau, Judith Grant-Wilson, Mary (Charles) Woiwode, Benedict (Barbara) Grant, James Grant, Barry (Pamela) Grant; 17 grandchildren; 34 great grandchildren; 1 great, great grandchild; sisters-in-law Deanna Bjornstad and Shirley Grant; cousins, and many nieces and nephews.

   A walk-by visitation for nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Spring Valley.  Visitation for the immediate family (children and grandchildren) will be from 10:30 until 11:30 at church followed by a private family Mass of Christian Burial for her children and grandchildren. Please be patient as we must limit the number of how many people may enter the church at one time.  Masks and social distancing are encouraged.

 Memorials preferred to Valley Villa’s, Adoray Home Health and the Spring Valley Education Foundation.

Rochelle Jensen Painter, Age 78

   Rochelle Painter, age 78, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died unexpectedly on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at United Hospital in St Paul, Minnesota.

   Rochelle was born October 2, 1941 to Lester and Bernice (Knutson) Jensen on the family farm in Cady Township, St Croix County, Wisconsin. She grew up in Wilson and attended Cady Lane Elementary School.  Rochelle attended Spring Valley High School, graduating with the class of 1959.  She furthered her education at UW-River Falls earning a Bachelors Degree with a major in education in 1963.

   On June 14, 1969 Rochelle married John Painter at Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville, Wisconsin.  Rochelle taught school for about five years in Amery, Wisconsin and one year in Bloomington, Minnesota before taking a position at Juneau Elementary School in Juneau, Wisconsin.  She retired after 28 years in Juneau.

   Rochelle was active with the Jaycees and Jaycettes in Juneau, Wisconsin in which she held offices at the state level.

   John (husband) passed away in 1997.  Rochelle decided to move to Valley Villas in Spring Valley in March 2011 due to her health.

   Preceding her in death were her parents; husband John; and brothers-in-law Gene Anderson and Jim Painter.

   She is survived by her brother Byron (Ann) Jensen of Minnetonka, MN; sisters Diane (Grant) Ness of Wilson, WI and Jill Anderson of Spring Valley; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

   “Thank you to all of Rochelle's caretakers at The Valley Villas in Spring Valley. Their extra care and attention was greatly appreciated by the family.”

   A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Jean Larson, Age 96

   Jean Larson, age 96, of Spring Valley, died Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at Valley Villas in Spring Valley.

   Jean was born November 8, 1923 to Fred and Grace (Hatch) Larson in Rock Elm Township, Pierce County, Wisconsin. She grew up and attended school at Spring Valley, graduating with the Class of 1941. She had been a member of the Congregational Church in Spring Valley for many years.

   She continued her education at the UW-River Falls, obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1945.  She later received her Master’s Degree from the University of Southern California in 1970.

   She taught at Fort Atkinson Elementary School, Arcadia California School.  She spent 37 years of teaching first and second grade students for the Department of Defense at schools in Germany, for 7 years, and Madrid Spain, for 30 years.   He favorite pastimes were photography, music, and travel.  She especially enjoyed a trip to Africa in 1951.  She remembers her plane had to land during the daytime because there were no lights on the runway.

   She enjoyed teaching and recognizing the talents of others and states, “I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met along the way and who’ve been so helpful.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Grace; and sister Marge Fontana.

Survivors include brother Jerry (Joyce) Larson; nephews and nieces: Tom (Sharon) Fontana; Fred (Lori) Larson; Bruce (Kelly) Larson; and Beth (Ross) Carlson; grand nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.

   A private graveside service will be held at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Hatchville, Wisconsin.

Arlene Harriet Larson Powers, Age 89

   Arlene Harriet Larson Powers, age 89 of Woodbury, MN passed away peacefully surrounded by loving family on July 18, 2020.  She was born in Omaha, NE on April 9, 1931.

   She was preceded in death by infant brother, Reuben E. Larson; son, Lee J. Powers; parents, Elma C. Korleski (Lane) and George E. Larson; brother, Wayne E. Larson; and father of her children, Leland H. Powers; brother-in-law, Evan B. Conway.

   Arlene is survived by daughters, Catherine L. Powers (David C. Bower) and April E. Powers (Christina G. Conforti); grandson, Daniel P. (Kristen) Spielman; great grandsons, Caleb, Luke, and Nathan Spielman; sister, Evelyn C. Conway; sister-in-law, Elaine M. Larson,  and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other dear relatives.

   Twice during childhood, Arlene lived with her great uncle Alvin H. Anderson (Bakke) and great aunt “Hannah” Inanda (Wold) in Martell, WI. Arlene also lived in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Germany, California, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and New York. Arlene attended grade school in Martell through 8th grade and then attended SVHS. Arlene excelled academically and she graduated with the Class of '48, after only three years of high school. After high school she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Arlene worked in accounting and finance, and later in life as a social worker. Arlene loved history and civic involvement. She volunteered for the League of Women Voters (LWV) and was an election judge. She served on the Minnesota state LWV board and as president of the Houston/Galveston TX LWV; she testified before governmental agencies about water quality issues. As a social worker, she interned at the Houston VA Medical Center where she worked with Vietnam veterans, directed and reorganized a community nursing home, worked at the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, eventually becoming director of her unit, and volunteered as a disaster crisis counselor.

   Arlene enjoyed music immensely and sang in her church choir and played in the bell choir. Her faith was deeply meaningful and she became a lay Stephen Minister in her congregation to care for people during times of need.

   Arlene loved to travel. She moved to Darmstadt, Germany after World War II to marry Leland H. Powers. She traveled to Russia with the LWV for an educational exchange program, and vacationed in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Arlene participated in numerous trips to Europe for D-Day remembrances with members of the 508 Paratroop Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, accompanying her dear friend and partner, paratrooper Jack W. Schlagel.  Arlene lived a full, engaged, and joyful life.

   We wish to thank the staff at Stonecrest Presbyterian Home and Optage Hospice for their kind and devoted care of Arlene.

   A private family graveside service will take place at Rush River Lutheran Church, River Falls, WI at a later date.  Arlene’s son, Lee Jonathan (d. April 12, 1989), will be inturned alongside her.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Friends of the Martell School House, c/o Treasurer Dianne Erickson,  48 County Road Y, Baldwin, WI 54002 or Rush River Lutheran Church, N8623 County Y, River Falls, WI 54022.

David Lee Richardson, Age 80

   David Lee Richardson died peacefully from Alzheimer’s Disease on July 28, 2020 at Woodland Hill in Hudson, Wisconsin, at 80 years of age.

   Dave was born October 4, 1939, in River Falls, Wisconsin, to Lee and Vern Richardson. Growing up in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, Dave enjoyed a classic small-town childhood. He kept busy serving as an altar boy at the local Catholic church; attending school; playing baseball, football, and basketball; and having fun getting into mischief with his siblings and friends. Dave graduated from SVHS in 1958.
    In June 1961, Dave married Sandra Jacenko. They raised their 3 children in River Falls, Wisconsin, where Dave was involved with the local Jaycees, St. Bridget’s Catholic Church, and, of course, making lifelong friends everywhere he went.
    As an adult, Dave never lost his love for sports. He played golf, watched countless games on television, and officiated football and basketball games. After a knee injury ended his officiating career, he enjoyed local sporting events where he could yell opinions and corrections to referees on the field or court.
    After years in various sales and training positions, Dave discovered a vocation that would become his passion… helping people in business with “emotional” tools. The tagline of his business, Affective Awareness, was “People Helping People Perform.” In 1982, Dave’s business led him to relocate to Madison, Wisconsin, where he would live the next 34 years. In Madison, Dave cultivated his love for Badger sports, particularly football and men’s basketball. Dave owned multitudes of Badger gear so he would always be appropriately dressed for each and every event. He traveled long distances for work and loved to stop by to visit friends and family along the way.
    The great joy of Dave’s life was his four grandchildren. His granddaughter Kaitlin was the love of his life. An inseparable pair, Gramps and Kaitlin shared many adventures in Madison, traveling to New York, Seattle, and all around. When Kaitlin was married in 2018, it was Dave’s great honor to walk her down the aisle. Dave also loved spending time with his energetic grandsons. Dave never tired of traveling to River Falls to attend school events, give baseball tips, watch games, and just spend time with his grandkids before they grew too cool to spend time with their grandpa.
    Dave is survived by his son, David Lee (Christine) Richardson, Jr.; daughter, Jennifer (Alan) O’Neill; grandchildren Kaitlin (Trenton) Beighley, William, Benjamin, and Jonathan O’Neill; siblings Robert (Mary Ann) Richardson, Donald (Mary) Richardson, Susan (David) Reese, and Bill (Julie) Richardson, many nieces, nephews, and friends. Although divorced many years ago, Dave is survived by Sandy, the mother of his children.
    Dave was predeceased by his parents, his new-found brother Robert Smith and sister-in-law Dorothy Smith; sister Mary Jo Spence; son Ken; and granddaughter Olivia.
    Dave lived a life full of faith in God, family, friends, and more fun than we can express. He will be missed by scores of family and friends, but memories of David will be a blessing forever.
    A Graveside Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Spring Valley, WI, with Fr. Jerry Harris officiating the service. Memorials are preferred to the UW-Madison Badger Fund at

Carol Olson Mishner, Age 80

   Carol Olson Mishner, age 80, passed away July 12, 2020. Of Roberts, WI, formerly of Shoreview, MN. Now at peace. No more illness. No more pain.

   Carol is survived by her loving and devoted daughter, Lori (Sheldon) Schwinden; granddaughter, Rachel Schwinden; 3 great grandchildren, Jack, Phoenix and Lily; and sister, Janet Linkert.

   Carol was raised in Spring Valley, WI and graduated high school in 1958. She ventured to St. Paul for work and stayed at a girls club. Her first job was at Rayette, followed by Buckbee-Mears Company. She then worked for FMC, and finished her working years at North Heights Lutheran Church.

   Carol was a voracious reader and loved anything from science fiction to cook books. She loved to sew and crochet, cooking and traveling. Carol even got to Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. She enjoyed singing in the North Heights choir and being a part of the Passion Play.

   Out of respect for Carol's wishes, no public services are being held. A private family memorial will be held at a future date. Cards for Carol's family can be mailed to: O'Connell Family Funeral Home, in care of Carol Mishler Family, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, WI 54016.

   Thank you to all the caregivers at Davita, Regions Hospital, Christian Community Homes, Lakeview Hospice, and most of all to the caring friends at the Homestead of Roberts. Hudson, WI (715)386-3725

Janet Delores Schuch O’Connell, Age 88
Janet Delores (Schuch) O'Connell, age 88, of Stoughton, passed away on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at her home. She was born on Feb. 28, 1932, in Colfax, the daughter of William and Myrtle (Chilson) Schuch. She graduated from SVHS in 1951.
    Janet was a housewife and daycare provider. She enjoyed crocheting, embroidery and spending time with friends and family.
     Janet is survived by her children, Charlotte (Kenny) Harvey, Cynthia King, Mark (Cindy) O’Connell, William O’Connell, Lesha (David) Seymour, Susan O’Connell and Scott O’Connell (fiancé, Jennifer); 17 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Clara Anderson and Connie Schuch('66); and two brothers, Clarence('55) and Kenny Schuch. She was preceded in death by her husband, James; parents; and brother, William Schuch.
    A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The details will be published in the Stoughton Hub, once determined.
    Note: Janet's husband passed away just last January. His obituary appears on this page.

Anita Iverson Spence, Age 85

   Anita Spence, age 85, of Spring Valley, died Friday, July 17, 2020 at the Spring Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center.
    Anita was born January 23, 1935 to Junius and Gusta (Place) Iverson in Martell Township. She grew up in Martell, Wisconsin and attended Martell school and Spring Valley High School, graduating with the Class of 1953.
    Anita married Wayne D. Spence on August 8, 1953 at her Grandparents’ farm in Martell Township. They moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, where Wayne was working. After a couple of years they moved back to Spring Valley to farm.
    Anita was a homemaker. She enjoyed embroidery, sewing, gardening, and was active with WELCA (Ladies Aide) at Gilman Lutheran Church. She enjoyed travel. She and Wayne often traveled around the United States in the winter with Dale and Harriette Sorenson. Later, they wintered in Brownsville, Texas, and also wintered in St. David, Arizona. In the summer they enjoyed going to Clam Falls, Wisconsin to their camper.
    She was preceded in death by husband, Wayne, daughter Marsha Jean, her parents, Junius and Gusta, sister Mavis Hoyt, brother-in-law Garland Hoyt, brothers Cornell Iverson and Paul Iverson, brother-in-law, Calvin Brooke and granddaughter Tracey Hollerud.
    She is survived by daughter, Wendy (Jeff) Steen, daughter, Joy (Robert) Holerud, son, Mark (Pam) Spence, daughter Valerie (Dan) Rabe, sister, Joyce Brooke. 13 Grandchildren and 7 Great-Grandchildren; Emily Steen; Stacy (Ryan) Decker, Kayden and Isabella; Timothy (Graciela Culebro Rivera) Steen, Mila; Joshua Steen; Thomas (Stefani Arnez Alba) Steen, Zoe; Rebecca Steen (Juanjose Oyonate Diaz); Bradley (Rachel) Spence, Samantha, Mason; Nathan (Sammy) Spence; Gregory Spence; Keri Ann Hollerud (Eric Rehnberg); Craig (Cassie) Hollerud , Henrik; and Randie Hollerud; sister-in-law Evelyn (Irvin) Vanasse; brother-in-law Russell (Laurel) Spence.

A private family graveside service is being held. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Honorary Pallbearers: Timothy Steen, Joshua Steen, Thomas Steen, Craig Hollerud, Bradley Spence, Nathan Spence, and Gregory Spence.
    Burial will be at Gilman Lutheran Church Cemetery. A private family graveside service is being held. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Gerald “Tiny” Leroy VanSchoonhoven, Age 87
   Gerald “Tiny” Leroy VanSchoonhoven, 87, of Spring Valley, WI passed away on July 9, 2020 at the Spring Valley Healthcare Center.
   Gerald was born on June 25, 1933 to Carl and Minnie (Hase) VanSchoonhoven. He was one of nine children, and the last one to pass away. Gerald married Joanne Wennerberg on September 12, 1964. They resided in Waverly. He was a can milk hauler and later had his own bulk milk route for many years. Gerald and Joanne owned Waverly Bar in the early 70s. He was an ironworker and also worked for the Pierce County Highway Department until his retirement. He was a farmer at heart and loved his hobby farm in Waverly.  After retirement, Gerald and Joanne sold the farm and moved to rural Balsam Lake. In his retirement, he spent time working for a farmer and fishing lakes in the area.
    Gerald loved to ice fish, watch the Green Bay Packers, and spend time with his family. He enjoyed having a cold beer while visiting with family and friends.
   Gerald is preceded in death by his wife, Joanne (2013); parents, Carl and Minnie; in-laws, Kurt and Verna Wennerberg; and his eight siblings: Juanita, William, Marjorie, Jack, Gene, Marlyn ('53), Robert, and Neil ('54).
   He is survived by his son, Kurt (Doris) VanSchoonhoven of Elk Mound, WI; daughter, Katie (Joe) Manor of River Falls, WI; grandchildren, Jordan and Paige VanSchoonhoven, Megan and Bailey Manor; granddog, Stella; and many other loving family and friends.
   A special thank you to the staff at Spring Valley Healthcare Center and Heartland Hospice for their wonderful care and to Ross Keehr of Keehr Funeral Home for his compassion and professionalism.
   Gerald’s services will be held at a later date. Memorials and condolences can be sent to the family.

Brad Hughes, Age 63
   Brad Hughes, age 63, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died Monday, June 29, 2020 at Baldwin Care Center in Baldwin, Wisconsin.
   Brad was born April 12, 1957 to John Thomas and Ada (Brooke) Hughes at Menomonie, Wisconsin. He was baptized and confirmed at St John’s Lutheran Church, Spring Valley.  Brad attended Spring Valley Schools and graduated with the Class of 1975.
   Brad loved fishing and woodworking.  He worked at Norlake for a number of years, farmed, mowed for the Village of Spring Valley, and was a volunteer member of the Spring Valley Fire Department since 1987.  He loved playing cards and spending time with his nieces and nephews. Brad was the faithful caretaker of his mother Ada for many years.  He and Ada shared many Saturday mornings going out for breakfast with Jack and Gloria Weghorn, followed by a leisurely country drive.
   Preceding him in death were his father Tom; brother Craig, and brother-in-law Tom Beyer.
   He is survived by his mother Ada Hughes; sister Ann Beyer; niece Tonya (Craig) Maier and nephew Twain (Tanya) Beyer all of Spring Valley; 5 great nieces and nephews: Zach Maier, Madison Maier; Charlie Maier; Pride Beyer; and Kalena Beyer; other relatives and friends.
    A graveside service will be Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 1 p.m. at St John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Spring Valley.  Please bring a chair.

Mary Elizabeth (Ellefson) Johnson, Age 74
    Mary Elizabeth (Ellefson) Johnson, 2/2/46-5/8/20, of Stillwater, MN passed away May 8, 2020. She is preceded in death by her parents Harvey and Carmen Ellefson.
    Mary is survived by her only daughter Libby Johnson; sister Ann Jensen (Byron); brothers Tom (Jan) and Terry (Rhonda); and many nieces, nephews and friends.
    Mary was born and raised in Spring Valley and graduated with the Class of '64. Spring Valley continued to hold a special place in her heart. Throughout her life she was happiest spending time with her parents and family.
    Mary enjoyed working at Minnesota Mutual Life in St. Paul for many years. She was committed to her workouts at her local gym and loved her outdoor walks all year long.
    She will be remembered by all who knew her as a funny, kind and generous spirit.
    A celebration of her life will take place at a later date.

Kenneth A. Raasch, Age 73 - Ken passed away in March, 2019, and his obituary was recently posted in this location as a recent death. To see the obituary click on "Back to SVHS Home Page" at the top of this page and select 2019 SV News. Sorry about the confusion this caused!

Herbert Solberg, Age 91

   Herbert Solberg, age 91, of Hammond, Wisconsin died Thursday, April 30, 2020 at his home. Herb graduated from SVHS in 1947.
    Survived by: wife Verla(Wentland-'56); daughters: Sherrie (Dean) LeMay; Julie Solberg; and Amy (James) O'Keefe; 2 grandchildren: Tyler and Tana O'Keefe; 2 step-grandchildren: Melissa and Marie LeMay.

   A family graveside service for Herb will be held on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Cemetery, rural Baldwin.

Mary Diana Forthun Murphy, age 92
    Determined for years to live the fullest life possible, Mom, Mary Forthun Murphy, made it happen until the last months of her life. After a brief illness, she finally felt that she was ready to move on. She passed away on April 18, 2020.
    Born October 31, 1927, in Spring Valley, WI, the eldest of 4 children. She graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1945. Mary studied piano for several years. Special times are recalled by her brother of her playing for family sing-alongs. She was active in choir both in school and at church, Sacred Heart Catholic, as well as played the church organ. Mary graduated from Wisconsin State Teachers College (U of W at River Falls). She taught English, Literature and Drama for many years in Wisconsin and Minnesota before sailing to Germany as USO personnel for 2 years. Upon returning to the US she settled in Rochester, NY as a teacher until she married and started a family. Mary was a volunteer for many years at Genesee Hospital and St. Louis Church. She liked to play golf and had a great sense of humor.
    Mary is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, George; childred: Michael, Mary Hastings, Sheila van der Leeden, Theresa Pennington; 2 darlin’ granddaughters: Tara Hastings, Jenna (Marc Schneider) Hastings; brother Gerald (Sara) Forthun; sisters-in-law: Marlene and Gloria Forthun; nieces and nephews: Glen, Richard, Kenneth, Mark, Monica, Paula, Mary Elizabeth, Amy, Michael, Elizabeth, John, Nicole, and their families; extended Forthun, Cassin, Murphy and Case families. She is also survived by Paul Hastings, the extended Hastings family, and Gabby Martin, all of whom she was very fond. Mary was predeceased by her parents Stanley and Clara (Cassin) Forthun; brothers: Richard, Thomas; sister-in-law Renee (Murphy) Fell; sons-in-law: Gerard van der Leeden, D. Scott Pennington.
    A funeral Mass will be scheduled at a future date. To share a memory or send a condolence please visit If wishing to donate in these times of great need, please give to your local food pantry in Mary’s name.

Judith F. Olson Putman, Age 77

   Judith F. Olson Putman, age 77, passed away on April 16, 2020, surrounded by her family after a 2-1/2 year battle with cancer. She had been put on in-home hospice at their home in Surprise, AZ, just the day before her death.    

    Judy was born to Melvin and Lillian Olson in Spring Valley, WI on June 2, 1942. Judy grew up in Spring Valley with her parents and four older siblings, and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1960.

  Judy met Gary Putman on a blind date and on August 30, 1963, they were married. They were blessed with three daughters. Over the years they lived in Minnesota, Nebraska, Mexico, and while their children were still young, made Arizona their home.

   Judy loved to golf with Gary and with her friends. She was an avid crafter, made numerous stained glass creations, made quilts, crocheted, sewed - all these things turning their house into a beautifully decorated home that welcomed family and friends over the years. But most of all she treasured time spent with Gary, her daughters and as the years went by, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. 

   Judy is survived by the love of her life, Gary Putman; three daughters: Suzanne Putman, Tracy Guerrero (Joe), and Angela Nelson (Andy); grandchildren: Paul Erickson, Ben Erickson, Olivia Nelson, Parker Nelson, Alex Guerrero; two great grandchildren: Vera and Keaton Erickson; siblings: Richard Olson-‘50, Duane-’53 (Karen) Olson, Joanie-’57 (Danny) Croes, sister-in-law and brother in-law: Lindsay and Ron Ray; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Judy was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Myron. 

   She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Muriel Hanson Jeffrey, Age 78
    Muriel (Hanson) Jeffrey, age 78 of Ellsworth, Wisconsin formerly of Estero, Florida died Saturday at Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth.
    Muriel was born June 20, 1941 to Harvey and Lois (Moore) Hanson in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.  She grew up in Spring Valley and graduated with the Class of 1959.  After high school she attended UW-River Falls and graduated in 1963.  She went on to earn her Matsters Degree from the University of Southern Illinois in 1965.
    Muriel taught music at Menomonie High School for two years.  In 1972 she moved to Florida and worked for Principal Insurance Company for a while before returning to her passion - teaching piano to many students.
    On September 10, 1989 Muriel married John Jeffrey at Bonita Springs, Florida.  They made their home in Estero, Florida. John passed away in February of 2014 and in November of that same year, Muriel moved back to Wisconsin to be closer to her family.
    Muriel was an accomplished pianist.  She grew beautiful roses and orchids, and was an animal lover, especially Maine Coon cats.
    Preceding her in death were her parents and husband John.     
    She is survived by sister Nancy (Hanson) Ellefson and her husband Vern of Ellsworth; nieces: Niccolla (Ellefson) McClung and husband Kerwin of West Palm Beach, Florida; Lisa Schwartsbauer of Grantsburg; nephew Michael Ellefson and his wife Corrie of Hudson; step-children John (Nancy) Jeffrey of Elmhurst, Illinois; Jeri Lynn Else of Lombard, Illinois; grandnieces Veronica and Genevieve Ellefson and Rachel Randolph; grandnephew Ben Whipple, other relatives and friends.
    Memorials are preferred to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Spring Valley Education Foundation.
    Because of corona virus restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a future date.

 Dr. Gregory Paul Brooke, Age 72

   Dr. Gregory Paul Brooke, 72, passed away March 17, 2020, in Edmonds, Washington. Greg was born Feb. 14, 1948, to Walter and Deloris Brooke. He grew up on his family’s farm in Spring Valley, WI and attended the Spring Valley School District, graduating as valedictorian in 1966. He graduated with honors in 1970 from UW-Madison and went on to receive his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell in 1974.

   He worked in Baltimore, MD, as an equine veterinarian prior to joining a practice in Eureka, CA, where he also received his pilot’s license. He moved to Hershey, PA, where he studied and practiced embryo transfers on dairy cattle. He later practiced in Spring Valley before operating a dairy farm with his family in Hixton.

   Greg welcomed Taylor in 1992 and Hannah in 1993, and from that day on, his life also included building forts, searching for tadpoles and frogs, picking blackberries and eventually helping them to appreciate his passion for the outdoors and hunting, whether it be pigeons, squirrels, whitetail or elk. It was not unlike them to jump in the truck and make a trip to North Dakota and back in three days.

   Greg is survived by son Taylor (Dellisha Hodges) Brooke of South Bend, WA, and daughter Hannah (Caleb Bruggeman) Brooke of Sparta; brothers Larry (Dianne) Brooke of Superior and Jeff (Dianne) Brooke of Spring Valley and sister Crystal (Dave) Boie of Milton, WI and many nieces and nephews.

   He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Dennis Brooke and daughter Olivia.

   A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Randy Ellefson, Age 66

   Randy Ellefson, age 66, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 23, 2020 at his home.
    Randy was born November 13, 1953 to Harlow and Hazel Lorraine (Swanson) Ellefson at Baldwin, Wisconsin. He grew up at Spring Valley where he attended Spring Valley High School, graduating with the Class of 1971.
    Randy attended UW-River Falls for a year then WITC-New Richmond where he studied Supervisory Management. On October 5, 1989 Randy married Shelby Wruck in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were blessed with one daughter, Leia Beth. He worked as a welder/fitter for Twin City Ship Yards, St. Paul; FMC, Fridley; OEM, Woodville. He also served as a trustee on the Spring Valley Village Board for 8 years.
    His biggest happiness was being around family and friends and enjoying life. He always knew the right things to say at the right time when you needed it most. He loved joking around and making people smile and laugh. Among his most favorite enjoyments was golfing, riding motorcycle, spending time at Jellystone and camping in his RV the past couple years.
    Preceding him in death were his parents; brother Thomas.
He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends: his wife Shelby and daughter Leia Beth; brothers Vern (Nancy) Ellefson, Ellsworth, WI; Arland (Patricia) Ellefson, River Falls, WI; Edward (Eve) Ellefson, Spring Valley, WI; sister-in-law: Connie Wolbert, Eau Claire; brother-in-law Darrell Wruck, Redmond, Oregon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
    A service will be planned at a later date.

James Edward O'Connell, Age 85
   James Edward O'Connell, age 85, of Stoughton, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at his home. He was born on April 10, 1934, in Ellsworth, the son of James and Mary (Carpenter) O'Connell. He married Janet Delores Schuch.
    James worked in cement masonry. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
    James is survived by his wife, Janet; children, Charlotte (Kenny) Harvey, Cynthia King, Mark (Cindy) O’Connell, William O’Connell, Lesha (David) Seymour, Susan O’Connell and Scott O’Connell (fiancé, Jennifer); 17 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Beth Sperger and Barb Hartung.
    A service will be held at Gunderson Stoughton Funeral & Cremation Care, 1358 Hwy. 51 N. at Jackson St., Stoughton, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, with Fr. Gary Wankerl presiding. Visitation will immediately follow the service until 5 p.m. Memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice Care. Online condolences may be made at

Richard ‘Rick’ Spence, Age 67

   Richard ‘Rick’ Spence, age 67 of Spring Valley, died suddenly on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin.
    Rick was born May 31, 1952 in Winnebago, Minnesota to Vernon and Eunice (Swanson Spence) Luebker. In 1962, the Spence family moved to Spring Valley, WI. He attended Spring Valley High School, graduating with the Class of 1970.
    After high school, Rick entered the U.S. Navy and served for 2 years. On December 27, 1975 Rick married Kathy Darnell. They were blessed with three children.
    Rick attended Chippewa Valley Technical College, where he studied auto body repair. He owned and operated the Valley Auto Body shop in Spring Valley for a number of years. Rick also worked on the family farm and at Spence Construction with his father and brothers. Rick later attended Red Wing Technical College, where he studied to become a truck driver and drove over the road for several years. Rick enjoyed working on old cars and he was a devoted Packer fan. He loved playing board games such as scrabble and chess. Rick had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around.
    Preceding him in death were his father Vernon Spence; step-father Bernard Luebker; sister Eileen Spence; and nieces Alyssa Spence, Joelle Andreas, and Karen Sorhage.
    He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends: his wife Kathy; daughters and son: Marilee (Terrell) Johnson; Darren Spence; and April (Luke) Olsen; his mother Eunice Luebker; siblings Terry (Shelly) Spence; Randy (Bobbi) Spence; and Amy (Mitch) Case; Sister-in-law Sue (Jim) Schleuder; honorary daughters Ann-Katrin Denn; and Victoria Holodnack; grandchildren Ethan Johnson; and baby girl Olsen (Due in April); nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
    Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, February 2, at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. Funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. at the funeral home.

Carolyn Lois Hagman Nelson, Age 88
   Carolyn Lois Nelson, 88 of Woodville, formerly of Spring Valley, passed away in the late hours of Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Park View Home in Woodville. Though she was born in White Rock, MN on October 14th, 1931 to parents Clarence & Luella Hagman, but she had a special love for the stepfather that raised her, Burt Safe.
    Carolyn’s family would eventually move to the Spring Valley area in her youth. She graduated from high school in Spring Valley in 1949 and also met and married the love her life and best friend, Walter Nelson, at St. John’s Lutheran Church.  They would have celebrated their 70
th wedding anniversary on February 4th.

Herman L. "Toni" Gilbertson, Jr., Age 74

   Herman L. "Toni" Gilbertson, Jr. age 74, of Siren, Wisconsin, passed away January 21, 2020. He attended Spring Valley High School with the class of '64. He is survived by his son, Jeffery D. (Haydee Levario) Gilbertson; daughter, Melissa J. (Daniel) Sanden; five grandchildren, Anthony Gilbertson, Noah Gilbertson, Griffin Gilbertson, Mckenzie Sanden, Annika Sanden. Also survived by his brothers, sister, many nieces, nephews, with many other relatives and friends.
    Toni was a larger than life personality. His passions included many small businesses, golfing and motorcycles.
He also had a fierce dedication for the love of his life, Paulette Gilbertson, who preceded him in death. He was loved dearly by family and friends.
    A gathering for Toni will be at Kozlak-Radulovich Maple Grove Chapel, 13745 Reimer Drive, Maple Grove, MN 55311 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM with the ceremony starting at 12:15 PM. Directly after the ceremony you are invited to a late lunch, early dinner.

Mark Pomroy, Age 72
   Mark Pomroy, age 72, of Maplewood, MN, formerly of Hudson, WI, passed away Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at St. Johns Hospital in Maplewood. Mark was born on October 7, 1947 to parents William and Edith (Reitan) Pomroy.
    After Mark graduated from Spring Valley High School with the Class of '65. He enlisted in the United States military and proudly served in the Army during the Vietnam War, after his service he returned home and became a prison guard at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater before moving to Wyoming and working at the VA until his retirement. After he retired, he returned to the Wisconsin and Minnesota area to be closer to family. Mark was a huge Green Bay Packers fan and never missed a game; he also loved reading history books.
    Mark is survived by his children Jasen (Kelly) Pomroy and Michelle (Michael) Koch; grandchildren Andrew (Sarah), Caitlin, Jacob (Kacey), Makayla, Robert (RJ), and Jaiden; great-grandchildren Jaiden, Ryland, Carter, Alma, and Everly. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Cynthia.
    A memorial service for Mark will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 at O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. The visitation will be from 10-11am before the service.  Memorials are preferred to the discretion of the family.

Don Hinzman, Age 73

   Don Hinzman, age 73, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at home with family by his side.
    Don was born May 24, 1946 in St Croix County to Walter and Odelia (Anderson) Hinzman. He worked for Sweeney Brothers Construction and was in the Army Reserve. Don graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1964. He married Sandra Trealoff in 1968 at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Spring Valley. They were blessed with 3 children: Angela, Aaron and Jon. He farmed for 51years in Spring Lake Township.
    Preceding him in death were his parents Walter and Odelia Hinzman; brothers Ted Hinzman, Kent Hinzman, Billie Hinzman and Laroy Hinzman; and niece Kim Hinzman.
    Don is survived by his wife Sandra Hinzman; daughter Angela (Scott) Hunter; sons Aaron Hinzman and Jon (Tera) Hinzman; special friend Theo (his pet); 1 brother Doug (Kathy) Hinzman; sisters-in-law: Wilma Hinzman, Kay Hinzman and Chris Jensen; sisters-in-law Nona (Jeff) Bock and Sherry (Doug) Lamb; brother-in-law Greg (Terri) Trealoff; grandchildren: Tyler and Tucker Hunter; Alyssa and Andrea Hinzman; Carson, Jalen, and Breslin Hinzman; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

   Visitation is on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 1-4 p.m. at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. A prayer service will be held at 4 p.m. followed by military honors performed by Crain-Ottman American Legion Post 207 of Elmwood.

Arlo D. Johnson, Age 85

   Arlo D. Johnson, age 85, of Hudson, formerly of Hammond passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at his home in The Villages, Florida.
    Arlo was born on May 23,1934, in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, to parents Floyd and Gladys (Doyle) Johnson. Arlo was the second child of four children. He spent his childhood on the farm in Peterson, Iowa, and during his Junior year in high school moved to Spring Valley, Wisconsin, where he graduated High School in 1951.

   Arlo was just a teenager when he met the love of his life, Darlene Alton. They were married in the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa on April 21st, 1952. Together they had 5 children; Julie, Bruce, Pamela, Randall, and Shari. They raised their young family in Bayport, MN, St. Croix Beach, MN, Hudson WI, and finally settled in Hammond WI where all five children graduated from High School. During their time in Hammond WI they owned 4 homes including a farm that he later sub-divided into the “Heartland Estates”. They also owned and operated a drug store called the Johnson Sundry. Arlo served on the Village board for 10 years and later served as the Mayor of Hammond in 1990 and was the Grand Marshal of the Hammond Heartland Days parade in 2003. Arlo accomplished all of this while working in the factory at Andersen Windows and attending Dunwoody Technical Collage to become the Electrical Supervisor. He later retired from Andersen Windows after 37 years.
    Arlo had a love and knack for buying and selling real estate. During their 67 years of marriage they moved 16 times, in addition to buying and selling of 4 cabins, 4 vacation homes in Arizona, 4 vacation homes in Florida, 2 house boats and 6 rental properties. Let’s just say Darlene became a “master packer”. Arlo always had to be on the go, loved the Green Bay Packers, loved to travel, visiting the nearest casino and most of all spending time with family and friends.
    Arlo will remain in the hearts of his wife Darlene of 67 years; his children Julie (deceased) (Jerry) Hopkins, Bruce (Cris) Johnson, Pamela (Barry) Grant, Randy (Nanci) Johnson and Shari Schultz; grandchildren Keri (Tim) Thurmes, Bryan (Alissa) Deneen, Brianna (Mattias) Persson, Jessica (Landen) Geraghty, Kelsey (Danny) Bruesewitz, Amy Johnston, Mike Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Cody (Taylor) Johnson, Cassi Boumeester, John Schultz, Jeff (Rachel) Schultz, and Gina Schultz. Along with 20 great grandchildren and 3 great- great grandchildren. Siblings; Jocile Peterson and Eldon (Sharon) Johnson, and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Arlo is preceded in death by his parents Floyd and Gladys Johnson, daughter Julie Hopkins, grandson Jeffrey Hopkins, sister Jeannine Hansen, brother- in- laws Gerald Bibler and Sheldon Peterson, In-laws Forrest and Carol Alton, and his sister-in-law Jean Johnson.
    Memorial service for Arlo will be 3pm, Sunday, January 26th at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of HUDSON. Visitation will be two hours prior, from 1pm to 3pm at O’Connell’s. Interment will be at a later date in the Hammond Cemetery. Memorials preferred to the discretion of the family. To honor Arlo’s love of the Green Bay Packers, you are encouraged to wear your green and gold!!

Edith Swenson Hojem, Age 85
    Edith LaVonne (Swenson) Hojem,  age 85, of Baldwin, formerly of Spring Valley for over 50 years, went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, the 15th of January at the Baldwin Care Center.   Edith was born in River Falls, WI on June 20, 1934 to parents Walter & Nettie Swenson. She married Minnard LeRoy Hojem on September 19, 1952 in Decorah, Iowa.
    Edith was the cherished spouse of Minnard LeRoy Hojem for 67 years. She loved doing things with her family. Edith sewed, cooked & traveled to every state except Hawaii. She visited Europe twice, & Alaska eight times. Edith also loved to play cards, spoil the grandchildren, & watch birds. Edith’s favorite saying to her loved ones was always, “Love you more.” She will always be remembered for her loving spirit, sweet humor & big smile.
    Edith is survived by her husband, Minnard; six children, Suzie (Pete) Reishus, Greg (Jenny), Eldon (Patty), Randy (Kathee), Judi (Tim) Blegen and Tammy (Mark) Heller; sister, Norma (Lloyd) Nelson; 21 grandchildren; & 26 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, & six siblings.
    A Memorial Service for Edith will take place at 2:00 P.M, Friday, January 31st, 2020 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, 1010 Newton Street. A Visitation will precede the service at the funeral home from 1:00-2:00 P.M. Arrangements are entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, 715-684-3434.

Margie Marie Dahms Miller, Age 77
    Heaven welcomed a beautiful soul, Margie Marie (Dahms) Miller, as she passed away surrounded by her loving family on January 7, 2020. During the past 2 years, she resided at St. Gabriel’s Community in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she made many new friends. Margie Miller, 77, Bismarck formerly of Steele, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at St Gabriel’s Community, Bismarck. A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11, at St. Gabriel’s Community, 4580 Coleman St, Bismarck.
    Margie was born in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, on August 13, 1942, in her Grandma and Grandpa Brooke’s home where she spent many happy times. It was here where she first learned to cook and learned nature skills from her grandpa. As a girl scout, she learned a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Margie loved to swim and worked every summer as a lifeguard at the local pool. Margie also enjoyed many other sports, including archery, biking, shooting targets, and skating. She had many friends and was involved in numerous church and school activities. She graduated from Spring Valley High School, class of 1960. She attended the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, until she married her high school sweetheart, Kent Miller, on April 7, 1962. Margie and Kent made their home on a farm near Spring Valley, Wisconsin, where they raised their three daughters, Melanie Jo, Mona Rhee, and Molly Lyn.
    In 1977, Margie went back to school to become a dental assistant. She loved her job and all the patients for whom she cared. She worked for the same dentist (Dr. David Nelson) for 25 years. Upon retirement, Kent and Margie moved to Steele, North Dakota, to be active in and share in the lives of their grandchildren.
    Margie found great joy in making others feel loved and special. She loved her grandchildren (Baby, JJ, TC, and Cubby) dearly and was so proud of them. Her other loves included: cooking fantastical meals, reading and collecting recipes, gardening, finding treasures at Saturday auctions and thrift sales. She also enjoyed spending time outside with her family, going traveling, camping, and fishing.
    Margie loved animals, and they loved her. Her daughters always knew they never had to question whether or not they could bring in strays, because they always had a home with the Millers.
    Margie had a tremendous love for the outdoors and nature. She loved berry and apple picking, and mushroom and rock hunting. In her later years, Margie found a renewed love for crafting and would often be burning the midnight oil finishing her projects. Her charm (and GLITTER) will forever be remembered at St. Gabriel’s.
    Margie’s favorite song, “You Are My Sunshine,” described her well. She had such a huge heart for others. Her care and concern were so genuine that everyone who knew her, loved her.
    Margie is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Kent; daughters Melanie (Matt) Lebens, North St. Paul, MN, Mona (Stuart) Thompson, Steele, ND, Molly (Tim) Leer, Bismarck, ND; grandchildren Catelin Nolan, James Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Jacob Nolan; son-in-law Leigh Nolan; sisters Bonnie Wheeler, Debbie (John) Larson, Wendy Schussler; brother Peter Dahms; brothers-in-law Brian (Elaine) Miller, Boyd (Stephanie) Miller; and several nieces and nephews.
    Margie was preceded in death by parents Elmer and Eunice Dahms; mother- and father-in-law Orion and Gen Miller; sister Sherrie Cosgrove; brother Donavon Dahms; sister-in-law Connie Dahms; niece Mindy Dahms; and nephew Joey Wheeler.

Stephen Croes, Age 77
 Stephen James Croes passed away on Jan. 4, 2020 at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho. He was also known by nicknames Sam and Papa Smurf.
    Born on April 25, 1942 to Joseph and Emily Croes of Spring Valley, WI Steve grew up and graduated from High School in Spring Valley in 1960, and went on to work road construction, farming and cattle until he found his passion in beadwork and leather tooling.  He traveled the country doing his crafts at Rendezvous markets and made countless friends on his travels. He enjoyed visiting friends, playing dice, tractors and working with cattle and horses. 
  Steve was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters: Judith Seiffert and Frances Schaffner.
    He is survived by one sister: Mary Kay (Jim) Schaffner of Spring Valley, one brother: Donald (Arlene) Croes of River Falls, two daughters Tania Piper of Fall Creek, WI and Tammy Miller-Janke of Fort Atkinson, WI and 11 grandchildren.  No services will be held.

Margaret Wesson, Age 95
    Margaret Irene Johnson Wesson, age 95, of Baldwin was born on July 22, 1924, and died January 4, 2020 at the United Hospital in St. Paul. 
    Margaret was a 1943 graduate of Spring Valley High School and started at the School of Hairdressing in the fall of 1943. She graduated and worked at one of the elite salons in St. Paul until opening and running her own salon until 1956. During this time, Margaret traveled extensively to New York, Cuba, Chicago, and adventured with the St. Paul hiking club.  
    In 1955, she married the “love of her life”, Jacques Wright Wesson II. She left her career to become a mother and homemaker. They lived in Minneapolis and brought four amazing children into the world.  Larry, Linda, Patti, and Barb were their pride and joy. In 1966, the family moved to what would become “the Wesson family farm” on Highway 63. Jacques died in 1968 and Margaret returned to work, first at the Bobber Café/Pine Cone/Brownwood and then to the Baldwin Care Center as a seamstress.  She received her final pin for “30 years of service” from the care center at the age of 85. 
    Her sewing was more than a career; it was her passion.  From sewing folk dance costumes, to clothes for her children, to custom patterned quilts, to her, now famous, bowl holders --- Margaret could sew.
    On the occasion of her 90th birthday, Margaret became famous when the video of her Skydiving adventure went viral on YouTube. At the time of her passing, she had close to 4 million views from 50 countries, with thousands of viewers who were inspired by this amazing woman.
    Margaret was devoted to the Martell Methodist church from the age of 7 years old. She was active in choir, fund raising, the ladies’ aide, and was often called to serve others in their time of need. The Wesson’s always attended services in the 3rd pew, on the right.  
    Margaret was also devoted to garage sales. She and her best friends would sometimes stop at over 50 in a day. She was a supreme maker of baked goods, as many as 17 different goodies on a table. Lefse was one of her best, but the Krumkake, and the sticky buns…..
    She will be deeply missed by her children; Larry and wife Julie, of Woodville, WI; Linda and husband John, of Baldwin, WI; Patti and husband Jeff, of Cottage Grove, MN; Barb and husband Paul, of Milwaukee, WI; and step-son, Dex and wife Pissamai, of Thailand; grandchildren; Amanda (Nelson), Matt, Greg, Sarah, Tim, Victoria (Alan), Jennifer, Marisa, Gabriel (Marketa), Jonathon (Jennifer); great grandchildren, Anabelle, Christopher, Chase, Aspen, Eli, Ezra, Charlotte, Avery, Logan, and many other relatives and friends.  
    She is preceded in death by her parents, Oscar Johnson and Helma (Olson) Johnson; two sisters, Helen Forseth and Dorothy Cummings; one brother, Earl Johnson; one step-son, Jacques Wesson; her granddaughter, Sheri Jahner; and her husband of 13 years, Jacques Wright Wesson II. And, at her age, by many other relatives and friends.
    The memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church/United Church of Christ in River Falls, WI on January 11, 2020. Visitation with the family is from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. with a formal service at 12 p.m. Please stay for a luncheon following the service. 
    Funeral service is on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at noon at the First Congregational Church in River Falls. Visitation will be on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 10 a.m. until noon at the church prior to the service.
    In lieu of flowers, you may contribute in Margaret’s memory to CORE El Centro, 130 W. Bruce St, Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204. CORE is a natural healing center and Margaret was a supporter of their mission to offer acupuncture, massage, and her daughter, Barb’s, dance fitness classes to people on a sliding scale fee that everyone can afford. Margaret had benefited from these types of services and enjoyed supporting her daughter’s passion. She attended several fund raisers; you can see her at the 2012 Groov-a-thon in this link: