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Shirley Kepner

Mundwiler Funeral Home announces the death of Nancy Gilbertson, age 68, of Williston, ND. Nancy died on December 21, 2020, in Williston. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021, at Mound Cemetery in Ortonville. Friends and relatives are invited to attend.

Nancy Jane Gilbertson was born August 18, 1952 to Herbert and Martha (Herzog) Wiese in Ortonville, MN. She grew up on the family farm in Big Stone County where she attended Country School District #133 (#14) and graduated from the Ortonville High School in 1970. Nancy graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris in 1975. That same year Nancy married Laurell Taylor in Sisseton, SD. They resided in Chamberlain, SD and Plentywood MT where they managed Group Homes. Nancy also taught school briefly in Chamberlain. In 1989 Nancy married Gary Gilbertson in Sydney, MT. They resided in Culbertson, MT where Nancy worked as a CNA. For the last 30 some years Nancy resided in Williston, ND where she worked at Bethel Homes in the Dietary Department. The highlight of Nancy’s life was the birth of her son Joel Erin on Christmas Eve Day 1983. She took great pride in her son and cared for him with great love and tenderness. But the joy of his birth was short lived. On the first day Nancy returned to work after maternity leave, Joel died at age 8 weeks of SIDS (Cribdeath) at the babysitters. Nancy served as an advocate for mental health issues testifying several times at the North Dakota State Legislature. She also worked closely with “Sunshine”, a newsletter put out by a local drop-in. Nancy had gradually become afflicted at an early age with mental health issues which stayed with her the rest of her life. Nancy’s deep Christian faith carried her through many difficult days. Nancy J. Gilbertson is survived by her sisters Tessa (Dennis) Mahoney of Appleton, MN and Tami (Doug) Plank of Gayville, SD, her sister-in-law Dorothy Wiese of Appleton, MN, her life-long friend Kathy Nordgren and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Nancy died at her home in Williston, ND on December 21, 2020. She is preceded in death by her parents, her son Joel Taylor, husband Gary Gilbertson, and brother Terry Wiese. To send an online condolence, visit www.mundwilerfuneralhome.net.


Shirley Kepner

Melissa 'Missy' McMahon, 50, passed away on October 15, 2021, in a tragic work accident. Funeral Mass for Missy will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church in Ortonville. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the church. Father Jack Nordic will celebrate the Mass and a private burial will be held at a later date. The service will be livestreamed and recorded and available online at www.mundwilerfuneral home.net

A memorial celebration will be held at the Big Stone American Legion following the service. All are welcome to join the family in commiserating and sharing memories while enjoying a light lunch. Melissa Margaret McMahon was born on September 13, 1971, in Appleton, MN, to Robert and Sandra (Jahn) McMahon. She was raised in Odessa and attended Ortonville Public School where she excelled in athletics, especially track.

Missy loved spending time with her family and friends and was always the first to reach out and offer advice or help to others. Her life was completed when she met and fell in love with her husband, Jimmy (aka Sugar Puff). He treated her like a queen and showered her with love every day. She loved being involved in her community and was the first to volunteer when there was a need. She moved many times throughout her life and always planted roots and made new friends quickly. Flowers and decorating were two of her passions and her home is testament to that. She gave a lot of love and had a knack for making everyone feel welcome. Missy is survived by her husband, Jim Curtis; daughters: Chelsea (Michael) Shutt, Mallory Adelman, Alexis Adelman, and Ashley Curtis; granddaughters: Zella and Leni; siblings: Robert McMahon, Debra (Dennis) Braun, Teresa (Larry) Snyder, Jeffrey McMahon, Timothy McMahon, and Heather McMahon; along with many loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents: Robert and Sandra McMahon; and brother, Patrick McMahon. Missy loved flowers but if you would like to make a donation, the family requests donations to be made in Missy's name to the Big Stone Area Health Care Foundation (Ortonville Hospital). To send an online condolence, please visit www.mundwilerfuneral home.net


Eunice E. Sachs

Funeral service for Eunice E. Sachs, 76 of Otsego, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 23, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Elk River. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will take place in Appleton City Cemetery, Appleton, at 4:00 p.m.

Eunice is survived by her husband of 58 years, Arlyn; children, Rickey (Dawn), Lorie Jo (Eric), Tina (Jesse); grandchildren, Bryce (Candace), Brittany (Charles), Jarrett, Brooke (Nick), Brady, Caitlyn, Nikki, Ricky, Justin, and Tucker; great-grandchildren, Mollie, Addrian, Jaide, Ayvah, Aubrey, and Amelia; siblings, Myron Schliemann, Donna (Gene) Anderson, Lorene Thomas, Alan (Jean) Schliemann; and other relatives and friends. Preceded in death by parents, Manville and Renetta Schliemann; mother and father-in-law, Elmer and Doris Sachs; and brothers-in-law, Wally Ohland, and Orville Sachs. Arrangements by Dare’s Funeral Home. Elk River. 763-441-1212. (www.daresfuneralservice.com)


Christopher “Chris” Pesek

Christopher “Chris” Pesek, age 48, of Appleton, passed away on September 25, 2021. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Friday, October 1, 2021, at Zion Lutheran Church. Vicar Sara Larson officiated. A private family burial will be held in Appleton City Cemetery at a later date. Christopher Michael Pesek was born July 4, 1973 to Robert and Paula (Gariepy) Pesek in Graceville, Minnesota. Chris grew up in Wolverton, Browns Valley, St. Louis Park and Appleton, Minnesota. Robert (Bob) and Paula had two more sons, Jamey, and Matthew. Years later, Paula and Brad Voorhees had a daughter, giving Chris a sister, Alison. Chris went to Appleton High School and graduated from Lac qui Parle High School in 1991. He was a part of the first graduating class of the new school. During his youth he worked at Appleton Farm Chemical. After High School Chris moved to the Fargo/Moorhead community where he attended MSU in Moorhead, Minnesota. Chris enjoyed working for different Pizza places where he made some great friends and even worked with both his brothers. Chris spent more than a decade in the West Palm Beach, Florida area. In recent years, Chris purchased a house in Appleton while also staying in Fargo for extended times to spend time with family. He was a long-time employee of Aurora Diagnostics in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Chris was a family man. His brother Jamey called him the “great unitor.” Most times, Chris was the first one to request a family meal together or a weekend get-together. Everyone was welcome as far as Chris was concerned. Chris loved sports his entire life and when he was young his mom often found him sorting his cards or putting together his dream team when he was supposed to be cleaning his room. As an adult he was a season ticket holder with the Minnesota Vikings and enjoyed many Miami Dolphins games when he lived in Florida. He would often travel with his brothers Jamey and Matt and nephew Riley to autograph signings. Chris was involved in Football Leagues and often ran the office sports pools. Chris cherished family meals and would go to great lengths to make sure everyone was well fed and happy. Ask anyone close to us, and many of our conversations involved what we ate or wanted to eat. He was always interested in trying new things. “Uncle Chris” was one of his most embraced titles. He showered his nieces and nephews with gifts. Chris was the first to tease the girls, talk sports with Riley, and chase Hayden around the house.

Chris passed away Saturday, September 25, 2021 in Appleton at the age of 48. He is survived by his mother, Paula (Tim) Davison of Hillman, his stepfather, Brad (Mary) Voorhees of Appleton; his siblings: Jamey (Michelle) Pesek of Moorhead, Matthew (Jenny) Pesek of Fergus Falls and Alison (Matt) Solma of Moorhead; his nieces and nephews: Mateja and Chloe Pesek; Riley, Madison, and Taylor Pesek; Hayden and Hattie Solma; and his many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and Abby (the dog). He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Pesek, his grandparents: James and Pauline Pesek, Paul Gariepy, Marvin and Lois Osterman, Del and Joan Voorhees. Pets: Norm, Sammy, Harley, TJ, and S’mores. We’ll love you forever and always, Chris. Until we meet again someday. Please sign the guestbook at www.zniewskifuneralhome.com


Nancy Bruer

Funeral services for Nancy Bruer of Morris, formerly of Appleton, Minnesota, will be held Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Appleton, with Father Jeremy Kucera serving as celebrant. Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and or one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Burial will be in the Appleton City Cemetery in Appleton. Nancy Ann Banken, daughter of Theodore Sr. and Marie (Hennen) Banken was born on January 10, 1938 in Morris, Minnesota. She grew up on a farm in Hegbert Township and attended District 35 country school through the 8th grade and attended the West Central School of Agriculture in Morris for 9-12 grade. Following her schooling, Nancy worked at Lang’s Bakery and Super Valu Grocery Store. She was united in marriage to Ronald Bruer on January 21, 1961 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Appleton, Minnesota. The couple then moved to a farm place by Alberta. On February 14, 1966, they moved to a farm north of Appleton where they raised their seven children, and continued farming. Nancy worked for Joe Fox Catering for many years. In August of 2017, Nancy and Ronald moved to Morris. Ronald passed away January 4, 2021. In June of 2021, Nancy moved to the Legacy in Morris where she continued to live until the time of her passing. Nancy was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church in Appleton, serving on the Altar and Rosary Society. She was also a member of Homemaker’s Club. She enjoyed baking, sewing, crocheting and embroidery. She sewed clothes for her children and grandchildren. She loved gardening and took pride in her flowers. People would drive by their farm site just to look at her beautiful flowers. Most of all, Nancy cherished her time spent with her family; She was even known to snapchat and video chat with her children and grandchildren. Nancy enjoyed the outdoors and fishing when her family was able to get her out to do so, listening to Daniel O’Donnell, dancing and going on bus trips throughout the United States. She had many bird feeders at her home and loved watching the many types of birds that would visit each year.

Nancy died on Monday, September 27, 2021 at The Meadows on University in Fargo, North Dakota. She was 83 years old. She is survived by seven children: Laurie (Randy) Henneberg of Appleton, Julie (Jerrie) Lund of Alexandria, Kevin Bruer of Fargo, ND, Dawn (David) Gades of Holloway, Doug (Annette) Bruer of Fargo, ND, Jeff Bruer of West Fargo, ND and Jodi (Chris) Thurk of Lakefield; 19 grandchildren: Todd (Amanda) Henneberg, Kelli (Dylan) Olson, Cory Henneberg, Ashley (Blake) Thompson, Brett (Jennifer) Lund, Callie Lund, Josh (Danielle) Gades, Nathan (Nicole) Gades, Courtney Gades, Taylor (Alex) Volberding, Michelle Bruer, Emily Bruer, Jasmine (Daniel) Wilkins, Braxton Bruer, Jordan Bruer, Megan (Eric) Seifert, Lindsey (Jon) DeGraaf, Brandon Thurk, and Jeremy Thurk; 17 great-grandchildren; siblings: Bev (Lloyd) Muehlbauer, Dick (Pat) Banken, Janice (Jerome) Koosman, Sue (Jeff) Heinecke, Jim (Janine) Banken, Mary Jo (Dean) Isaacson, Marilyn (Rick) Strain, and Gary (Sharon) Banken; sisters-in-law: Phyllis Banken and Linda Banken and brothers-in-law: LuDean (Rita) Bruer, Myron Bruer and Victor (Carol) Bruer. She is preceded in death by her husband: Ronald Bruer; infant granddaughter: Stephanie Thurk; her parents: Ted and Marie Banken Sr.; brothers: Ted Banken Jr. and Greg Banken; infant sister: Cheryl Banken and sisters-in-law: Fern Bruer and Joan Bruer. IN LIEU OF FLOWERS THE FAMILY PREFERS MEMORIALS THAT WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN NANCY’S NAME TO LOCAL CHARITIES. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences to the family please visit www.pedersenfh.com.


Allen Smith

Allen Smith, age 92, of Appleton, passed away Monday, September 27, 2021, in Appleton Health Services-Hospital. Funeral services were held at 1 p.m., Monday, October 4, 2021, at Morris Evangelical Free Church, Morris, MN. Pastor Marlin Mohrman officiated. Burial was in First Baptist Cemetery, rural Holloway. Leonard Allen Smith was born March 4, 1929, at Midway Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Leonard Harvey and Ruth Agnes (Giese) Smith. He was raised in the Holloway area where he attended school and graduated from Holloway High School. On March 18, 1950, he was united in marriage to Mary Lou Schuler at her farmhouse near Granite Falls. This union was blessed with over 71 years together. Allen farmed and did custom baling in the Holloway area for many years. He loved farming and especially enjoyed when his grandkids would spend time with him on the farm. Allen was a well-known salesman and area manager for World Book Encyclopedia. He was a driving force behind the Great Western Minnesota Get Together (Farm and Home Show) for 20 years. Allen was a substitute bus driver for many years, which he really enjoyed. He was active in the Swift County Republican Party, served on the Appleton City Council for a time, and was a long-time member of the Gideon’s. In his younger years, he and Edna Boelson started the Moyer Eagles 4-H Club. Allen was a member of the Western Prairie Tractor Club, was a Deacon in the Baptist Church, and also served on the school board.

Allen passed away Monday, September 27, 2021, in Appleton Health Services-Hospital. He attained 92 years, 6 months, and 23 days of age. Allen is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Smith of Appleton; his children: Susan Baker of Duluth, Sharon Smith of St. Paul, Dennis (Robin) Smith of Holloway, Daniel (Kristin) Smith of Holloway, and David (Audrey) Smith of Barron, WI; siblings: Merrian Thompson of White Bear Lake, Margaret Keller of Inver Grove Heights, Jeannine Sachs of Wyoming, Kathy Jagow of Willmar, and Jim Smith of Appleton; 11 grandchildren: Jacob (Cate) Baker, Nathan (Jolene) Smith, Gregory (Kayla) Smith, Cassaundra Smith, Allen (Deanne) Smith, Samuel (Melissa) Smith, Ben Smith, Charisse Smith, Kelsey (Nick) Johnson, Courtney Smith, Eric (Stephanie) Smith; 24 great-grandchildren: Kathleen, Bradley, Noah, Owen, Molly, Savannah, Lily, Isabelle, Adleigh, Karly, William, Riley, Kyler, Jonah, Hailey, Wesley, Annabelle, Beckett, Everly, Chloe, Connley, Finn, Joely, Kinsley; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Ruth Smith; brother, Jerome Roy Smith in infancy; brothers-in-law: Dean Thompson, John Keller, Orville, Sachs, and William Jagow.  Blessed be the memory of Allen Smith. Please sign the guestbook at www.zniewskifuneralhome.com


Shirley Kepner

Shirley Kepner, age 91, of Holloway, passed away Tuesday, September 28, 2021, in Meadow Lane Rehabilitation Center in Benson. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2021, in Appleton City Cemetery. Pastor Herbert Rotunda will officiate. Shirley Louise Kepner was born on February 16, 1930, in Benson Minnesota, the daughter of Selmer and Leone (Goff) Sather. She was baptized on June 5, 1930, and confirmed on June 13, 1943, at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Benson. Shirley graduated from Benson High School on June 19, 1947. On September 18, 1948, Shirley was united in marriage to Ben Hur Kepner of Holloway. This union was blessed with seven children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. After marriage she embraced her role as a homemaker. Her hobbies included puzzles, crosswords, gardening and baking.

Shirley died on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at Meadow Lane Rehabilitation Center in Benson. She attained the age of 91 years, 7 months, and 12 days of age. Shirley is survived by her six children: Larry (Diane) Kepner of Appleton, Gregg (Karen) Kepner of Montevideo, Sharlyn (Dean) Beyer of Holloway, Jeff Kepner of New Ulm, Randy Kepner of Holloway and Brenda Kepner of Appleton; daughter-in-law, Vickie Kepner, of Florida; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; sisters Marlys (David) Ranney of New Hope and Beverly Orson of Annandale and numerous other relatives. She was preceded in death by her husband Ben on June 2, 2014; by her parents Selmer and Leone; her son Bruce; her brothers and their spouses, Alvin (Marlys) and Lowell (Nellie) and brother in-law Allan Orson. Please sign the guestbook at www.zniewskifuneralhome.com


Richard Bjornjeld

Richard Bjornjeld died Thursday, September 2, 2021 at Luther Haven Nursing Home in Montevideo at the age of 84.

Memorial services were held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Big Bend Lutheran Church. Rev. Kristine Isder officiated and interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation was held on Monday, September 6 from 5 - 7:00 PM at Anderson - TeBeest Funeral Home in Montevideo and at the church for one hour before the service.

Richard Melvin Bjornjeld was born April 17, 1937 in Swift County, MN the son of Melvin and Hazel (Swenson) Bjornjeld. He was baptized and confirmed at Big Bend Lutheran Church. Richard was united in marriage with Margaret Benson April 22, 1962 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Montevideo. They made their home on a farm North West of Big Bend. He was a member of Lions Club, served on the S. Edison Township Board, Church Council and for 21 years on Federated Telephone Cooperative Board. He was a lifelong member of Big Bend Lutheran Church and helped with the Big Bend Riverbank restoration project. Richard also enjoyed researching Norwegian family history, and attending his grandchildren’s music, dance concerts and sporting events.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret; two children: Karla (Brian) Vien of Lakeville and Mark (Amy) Bjornjeld of Milan; five grandchildren: Nate (Kristine Volz) Roisen, Owen Vien, Caden Bjornjeld, Hailli Bjornjeld and Brock Bjornjeld; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his parents and infant brother, Merlin.


Gayle Weber

Gayle Marie Weber, 86, of Madison, passed away September 3, 2021.

Funeral services were held Thursday, September 9, at Faith Lutheran Church in Madison with Pastor Ron Nichols officiating. Special music was provided by Linda Anderson, organist, and Gayle’s nieces, soloists. Serving as casket bearers were Gayle’s grandchildren. Concluding services were held at Faith Lutheran Cemetery.

Gayle Marie Weber was born February 14, 1935, in Big Stone County, Minnesota to Sylas and Josephine (Swenson) Weeding. She was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith at Eidskog Lutheran Church of rural Ortonville, Minnesota.

Gayle attended school in Appleton, graduating from Appleton High School in 1953. She went on to receive her teaching certificate in Ortonville, Minnesota.

She was married to Arthur Weber on April 13, 1957, at First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville. The couple resided near Ortonville and Appleton until they purchased the family Weber farm northeast of Madison in 1966, where they lived for 29 years. Due to Art’s ill health, they moved to Madison in July of 1995. Gayle resided in Madison until her death on September 3, 2021.

Gayle was an active member of Faith Lutheran Church, serving on various church councils. She was active in the local softball league, playing for the Uffda’s for many years as their pitcher. She was also active on a local bowling team. Gayle taught her children many things, including how to garden, hunt and fish. She made women beautiful by selling Avon for many years.

Gayle is survived by her children; Peter and Tammy Weber, Paul and Kathy Weber, Kent and Lizly Weber, Kelvin and Rebecca Weber, all of Madison; Kathy and Chad Strei of Bellingham; and Katie and Scott Mortenson of Granite Falls; seventeen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren; sisters, Joanne Schmeichel of Odessa, Karen Giese of Benson, brother Eugene (Jeanette) Weeding of Wilmot, SD, sister-in-law Arlyce Weeding of Ortonville, and Irene Weber of Minneapolis; and several nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, sisters Dorienne Weeding, Carol Lind, Sharon Clifton, brother, Gaylord Weeding, sisters-in-law, Janet Weeding, Bernice Owen, Delores Hastad, Barbara Halverson, and brothers-in-law, Marvin Schmeichel, Ronnie Giese, Ken Weber, Johnny Hastad, and Gust Halvorson.

Arrangements by the Zahrbock Funeral Home, Madison, Minnesota website: zahrbockfuneralhome.com

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