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Janet Berning, 88
Janet M. Berning, 88, of Albertville, died peacefully on Tuesday, September 11.

She was born on March 9, 1930 in Frankfort Township, Wright County the daughter of Leo & Lillian (Schmitz) Barthel.

In her younger years, she worked for Dr. Thielen in St. Michael.

On June 12, 1951, Janet Barthel and Donald Berning were joined in holy marriage at The St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael, Minnesota. God blessed their marriage with nine children.

Janet co-owned Don’s Auto Service in Albertville with Donald for over fifty years.

Janet was a faithful member of the Church of St. Albert in Albertville. She was active in St. Albert’s CCW and the Religious Education Program. She received the ACCW Lay Woman Award. Janet was also active in the Serra Club of Wright County and St. Albert’s Catholic Aid.

Janet belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary and the Albertville Lioness.

She loved to garden, sew and bake.

Survived by: children, Greg (Elaine) Berning, Gordon (Theresa) Berning, Betsy Vetsch, Mary (Brian) Bebeau, Adrian (Renae) Berning, Suzanne Berning, Duane (Bridget) Berning, Leroy (Nancy) Berning and Brian (Pamala) Berning; twenty-seven grandchildren; twenty-eight great-grandchildren (with two more on the way); siblings, Wallace Barthel, Mildred (Wilbur) Aydt and Laverne Nieman; other relatives, and many friends. 

Preceded in death by: loving husband, Donald Berning; parents, Leo and Lillian Barthel; son-in-law, Doug Vetsch; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Hubert and Veronica Berning.  

A Mass of Christian Burial for Janet Berning was held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 14, at the Church of St. Albert in Albertville.   Father Peter Richards was the Celebrant. Readers for the Mass were Jenna Berning, Diana Case and Renee Goerdt. Special music was by Julie Loch. Mass Servers were Matthew Berning and Isaac LeDoux and Gift Bearers were her three daughters, Betsy Vetsch, Mary Bebeau and Suzanne Berning.

Interment followed at St. Albert’s Cemetery. A visitation was held at the church on Thursday, September 13 from 4 to 8 p.m. A Prayer service was held at 7 p.m.  Further visitation at the church was one hour prior to Mass on Friday, September 14.  

Casket Bearers were her six sons Greg Berning, Gordon Berning, Adrian Berning, Duane Berning, Leroy Berning and Brian Berning.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home served the family. 


Howard Carstedt, 94
Howard B. Carstedt, 94, of Buffalo, passed away September 10. He was born December 27, 1923 in Primghar, Iowa to Bruno and Minnie (Schnechloft) Carstedt.

He grew up primarily in St. Paul, and eventually resided in the Buffalo area in his later years.

Howard was a self-taught artist; he created many life-like portraits, oil paintings, and other types of art media. Not only an artist, he was a talented accordion player and would occasionally play with bands in the area. After retiring from Harrison and Smith, Howard would spend his time fishing at his beloved cabin in Maple Lake, a place that was very special to him and his family.

Howard was preceded in death by: his wife, Bette; and daughter, Bonni. He is survived by: children, Carol (Bob) Taylor, Gloria (Jim) Grubbs, Mike (Cathy) Laurent, Peggy (John) Lamm, and Harold (Susan) Carstedt; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m. with visitation one-hour prior at the Church of St. Ignatius, 35 Birch St. E, Annandale. Interment will take place at St. Anne’s Cemetery in Hamel. 

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Peterson Chapel of Buffalo.


Patricia Robertson, 79
Patricia “Pat” L. Robertson, 79 of Watkins, died on Monday, September 10, at the Hilltop Care Center.

Funeral services were held at noon on Saturday, September 15, at the St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ in Forest City.  Visitation was from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church.

Patricia “Pat” Louise Robertson was born on June11, 1939 to Harold and Gladys Kowalke. She grew up near Montrose, on the farm and attended country school. She graduated from Buffalo High School in 1957 where she was active in plays, sports, and 4-H.

After graduation she attended and graduated from Glenwood Hills Hospital School of Nursing in 1958.  She married the love of her life William Robertson on June 13, 1959. Pat and Bill were active in many activities while living in Buffalo such as the Snowmobile club, Miles Square club, 500 card club, and church. 

Pat worked out periodically for the census bureau and a fabric wholesale company. In 1974, Bill and Pat along with their four kids moved to the farm in Watkins.  Pat spent many hours in the garden, canning and freezing food, sewing, knitting and crocheting, putting together puzzles, and entertaining family and friends during the holidays. 

Pat was an active member of St. Matthews UCC church and a member of Women’s Fellowship and served as a Youth group advisor. 

In 1985, Pat started working for Litchfield Community Homes as an aide and later transferred to working as a county health aide until the summer of 2000. In the winter of 2004, Pat moved to the Watkins Manor and was on the tenant council and continued to be active in many social events. 

Pat moved to the Watkins Nursing Home in the fall of 2017 where she enjoyed baking, card playing, bingo, and social activities. Pat enjoyed time with friends, family, and especially the great-grandkids. 

Patricia was preceded in death by: her husband, Bill; mother, Gladys; and father, Harold.  She is survived by: her siblings, Connie, Charity, and Tim; her children, Terry and Joy Robertson of Lusby MD; Ralph and Debbie Donnay of Albany Minn.; John and Danita Piepenburg of Litchfield; and Amy Robertson of Litchfield; eleven grandchildren, Tom (Piroska) Robertson, Jaime (John) Schlangen, Steve (Anna) Donnay, Mike (Megan) Donnay, Ben Donnay, Ashly Piepenburg, Kelsey (Craig) Robertson, Molly (Chris) Piepenburg-Watson, Kristina (Brian) Weyer, Kim Donnay, Jacob (Dawn) Robertson; and 13 great-grandchildren, Jason, Jacob, Briahna, Lincoln, Spencer, Preston, Ryann, Remington, Liam, Noah, Josy, Lucas, and Marissa.


Joseph Swartzer Sr., 87
Joseph Peter Swartzer, Sr., 87, of Watertown, passed away at home with family at his side on Saturday, September 15. He was born on June 29, 1931 in Woodland Township, Wright County, Minnesota to George and Susan (Gallus) Swartzer, the fifth of 17 children.

Joe was a 1949 graduate of Delano High School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1953 during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Ellsworth on June 26, 1965 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He worked at Minnesota Rubber Company in St. Louis Park for 38 years before retiring in 1993.

Joe was a loving husband. He was a supportive dad: attending his children’s various school activities, coaching his daughters for summer softball, which he was among the founders of the Watertown girls’ summer softball league, a charter member of the Watertown-Mayer FFA Alumni Association and working in the concession stand for Joe, Jr. out at Hollywood Sports Complex. Joe was an especially involved grandpa: working the “family daycare” for the grandchildren after retirement from 1998-2014 and always attending the grandchildren’s various school and church activities.

Faith was important and Joe was a life-long and active member of St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Fourth Degree, where he held several officer positions and was inducted in the Fourth Degree’s Hall of Fame. Joe was also a proud member of the Watertown American Legion Eugene Earley Post #121.

Joe was a farmer who loved all things John Deere. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and watching the birds; he collected bird houses and always kept the bird feeders full.

Joe was preceded in death by: a daughter, Kimberly; granddaughter, Grace; parents; siblings, Gladys, Donald, George Jr., Jack, Marvin and Walt Swartzer and Lorraine Lynch; brothers-in-law, Tom Kuka, Leo Blackketter, Emmett Lynch, Louie Bury, Edward Ellsworth, Sr. and Michael Ellsworth; sisters-in-law, Sandy, Mary Helen, Marguerite, and Laurie Swartzer.

Joe is survived by: his wife of 53 years, Dorothy; nine children, Mary Kay, Joseph (Katie), Jr., Theresa (Tracy) Anderson, Dawn, Brian (Karen), Kevin (Sheri Stender), Susan (Tony) Ertl, Steven and Cindy (Alex) Brown; 18 grandchildren, Allison Anderson, Alicia Swartzer, Nolan Anderson, Emily Swartzer, Patrick Anderson, Joey Swartzer III, Julia Swartzer, Kortney Swartzer, Nicholas Swartzer, Ben Swartzer, Samantha Swartzer, Anthony Ertl, Michael Swartzer, Edward Ertl, Abigail Brown, Jack Swartzer, Madeline Brown and Adam Swartzer; siblings, Betty Bury, Luverne Blackketter, Marion Kuka, Susan (Ed) Windsperger, Bob (Mary Lynn), Ervin (Renee), Gene, Tony and Peter (Alice) Swartzer; sisters-in-law, Irene Swartzer, Sheri Ellsworth, and Cathy Swartzer, and Rosemary Swartzer; and many nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, September 20, at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church in rural Delano, Minnesota. Visitation took place from 4 to 8 p.m.  Wednesday, with a 3:30 p.m. Knights of Columbus Rosary. Visitation will continue on Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m., prior to the Mass, all at the church. Interment with Military Honors will be in the church cemetery.

Arrangements by the Iten’s Watertown Funeral Home.


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