Obituaries 11/29/18

Spencer Charlesworth, 17 Spencer Ben Charlesworth, 17, of St. Michael, died November 19. He was born February 8, 2001 in Provo, Utah to Ben and Amelia Charlesworth. He was a senior at STMA High School where he excelled academically and was a member of the varsity cross country team. He was also enrolled at North Hennepin Community College.

Spencer was a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he was active in his priesthood quorums. He excelled in scouting and received the rank of Eagle Scout in 2016. His service project was he built field desk boxes for Big Woods Elementary School. Spencer was a great example of quiet strength and leadership. He valued respect, honesty and integrity. Spencer was a friend to all, kind, generous and giving. He practiced patience and love.

Spencer had a passion for aviation and wanted to be a pilot. He spent hours learning and understanding the complexity of today’s modern aircraft systems. Spencer enjoyed watching airplanes arrive and depart, identifying each plane, their flight pattern and observing Air Traffic Control Communications.

He loved running cross country and was given the award of “hardest worker.” He found himself to be a strong competitor on the team.

He was an accomplished pianist and played weekly for his priesthood quorum at church. Good music inspired and lifted him. Spencer loved being with his family, spending time with his brothers Sam and Alex and he adored his twin sisters Claire and Grace.

He loved to travel and looked forward to yearly family reunions in Utah and family Black Hills adventures with grandpa, uncles and cousins.

Spencer is survived by: his parents, Ben and Amelia of St. Michael; his brothers, Sam and Alex; and sisters, Grace and Claire; maternal grandparents, Joel and Carolyn Cowan of Midway, Utah; paternal grandfather, Allan Charlesworth of Orem, Utah;  many aunts, uncles, and cousins who love him. His paternal grandmother, Julie Charlesworth, preceded him in death.

The funeral was held Saturday, November 24, at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Otsego. Visiting hours were from 9:30-10:45. Interment at Morningside Memorial Gardens in Coon Rapids.

Funeral arrangements handled by the Gearhart Funeral Home in Coon Rapids.


Leonard Demarais, 83

Leonard Joseph Demarais, 83, of Buffalo, passed away on Tuesday, November 20.

He was born on February 21, 1935 in Buffalo the son of Archie H. & Doris R. (Marquette) Demarais.

As a young man, Leonard drove a milk truck.  He later engaged for many years in dairy and hog farming in Middleville Township north of Howard Lake.  While farming, Leonard also was in construction.

Leonard is survived by: children, Dale Demarais (Audrey) of Buffalo, and Doreen Lopau (Shawn) of Maple Lake; grandchildren, Alicia Mengelkoch, Lacey (Tyler) Demarais, Chelsea Demarais, Devon (Andrea) Mauk and Daniel (Miranda) Hagfors; great-grandchildren, Blake Demarais, Kennedi Borg, Kaleesi Hagfors and Max Hagfors; brothers, Lee (Joan) Demarais and Tom (Marge) Demarais, all of Buffalo; a sister, Charlotte (Loren) Zimmerman of Howard Lake; many other relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by: a daughter, Myra Jo Demarais in 1961; his mother, Doris Demarais in 1987; a brother, Archie Demarais Jr. in 1991; his father, Archie Demarais Sr. in 2002; his wife, Carol Hilde Demarais in 2016; a great-grandchild, Myra Jo Alexandra Demarais in 2017, and two sunshine great-grandbabies.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Leonard Demarais was held on Saturday, November 24, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly. Father Kenneth O’Hotto was the Celebrant. Interment followed at Marysville Catholic Cemetery. A visitation was held at the church on Saturday morning, November 24 one hour prior to Mass.

Casket Bearers were Devon Mauk, Daniel Hagfors, Tyler Borg, Chad Jurgens, Dean Demarais and Daren Demarais.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.


Carol Fritz, 58

Carol L. Fritz, 58, of Maple Lake, died on Thursday, November 22, at her home.

Memorial Services were held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake with Pastor Marc Well Nagel officiating. Visitation was held 2 hours prior to the service at the church.

Carol Lee Fritz was born February 10, 1960 in Minneapolis to George and Elaine (Pretzel) Danielsen. She grew up in Burnsville and graduated from Burnsville High School. She continued her education at North Hennepin Community College and Crown College, earning an associate degree in Early Childhood Education.

On September 4, 1982, she was united in marriage to Daniel Lee Fritz in Burnsville. They made Maple Lake their home, where they raised two sons and a daughter. Carol worked for Wright County Community Action for over 25 years as a Head Start teacher. She was a member of Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Maple Lake and the Maple Lake VFW Auxiliary.

Carol was in her element when she was playing with a child, educating a child, hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, or experimenting in the kitchen.

Carol is survived by: her three children, Dan Fritz II (Andria) of Waite Park, Miranda (Dustin) Burke of Madison, Wis., and Michael Fritz of St. Peter; two grandchildren, Brycen and Jeremiah; brother, Michael (Pam) Danielsen of Apple Valley; and brother-in-law, Robert Schlick.

She was preceded in death by: her husband, Daniel Lee Fritz, Sr.; parents, George Danielsen and Elaine Christopherson; step father, Wayne Christopherson; and sister, Pat Schlick.

Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.


Mark Menth, 67

Mark R. Menth, age 67, of Maple Lake, died in the early hours of Monday, November 26, at his home with family at his side.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 30, at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake with Fr. John Meyer as Celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday and from 9 to 10  a.m. on Friday, both at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake. A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the funeral home.      

Mark Raymond Menth was born October 3, 1951 in Minneapolis to Raymond and Florence (Hudek) Menth. He grew up in Maple Lake and graduated from Maple Lake High School with the Class of 1969.

He honorably served his country in the US Army Reserves from 1970-1974. On April 22, 1972, Mark was united in marriage to Barbara Fobbe at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake. Mark owned and operated Menth Sod & Landscaping from 1974-1989 and Napa Auto Parts in Buffalo from 1989-2007.

Mark’s faith was always important to him. He was a devoted member of St. Timothy Catholic Church, where he served as an usher and spent an hour with Christ every week in the Adoration Chapel. He was also a member of the Fr. O’Brien Knights of Columbus Council 3613 as well as a two term board member of the Sugar Lake Association.

Mark thoroughly enjoyed spending time on and near the water whether it be helping with lake projects, ice fishing, or boating. He also enjoyed hunting, trapshooting, golfing in the Monday evening golf league, and traveling. His favorite pastime was woodworking. Mark loved attending his grandchildren’s activities and was especially proud of all the accomplishments of the Maple Lake Irish. Mark relished in the time he was able to spend with his friends and family.

Mark is survived by: his wife, Barb; daughter, Jenny (Brandon) Goelz of Maple Lake; son, Joe (Tammy) Menth of Corcoran; five adoring grandchildren, Ben, Katie and Luke Goelz, Hanna and Danica Menth; brothers and sisters, Paul (Bonnie) of Idaho, Lois McHugh of Anoka, Fred (Geraldine) of Monticello, and Greg (Marcia) of Buffalo; brother-in-law, Rod Bell of Maple Lake; aunt, Helen Doherty of Maple Lake; and many nieces, nephews, other family members and dear friends. He was preceded in death by: his parents; sister, Mary Bell; infant brother, David; and nephew, Wayne McHugh.    

The casket bearers will be Gordy Menth, Vinnie Menth, Bill Purcell, Bobby Fobbe, Jr., Matt Bell and Sam Bell. Sarah Goelz and Krista Elsenpeter Tarbox will provide the music for the service.

Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Maple Lake.

Obituary, Guestbook, Video Tribute & Funeral Webcast online at


Duane Poliwoda, 67

Duane H. Poliwoda, 67, of Jupiter, Florida and originally from Delano, went home to be with the Lord on November 13.

He was born in Cokato, to Harry and Delores Poliwoda. Duane attended St. Peter’s Catholic School and graduated from Delano High School in 1969. He married the love of his life Carol Graunke on June 23, 1973 and had two children, three granddaughters, and a son-in-law.

Duane enjoyed and was known for his servant’s heart. Duane found great pride and joy in helping family, friends, and serving the Church. He had deep love of the Lord and spent his time enjoying nature, gardening, hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and was known for “tinkering” on anything and everything.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, November 30, at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Delano. Gathering of family and friends will take place on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. in Martha’s Hall of St. Peter Catholic Church and will continue on Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the Mass. Inurnment will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Delano.

Arrangements by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano, Minnesota.



Marlene Thomas, 62

Marlene Louise Thomas, 62, of Buffalo, passed away Friday, November 23. She was born April 22, 1956 in Minneapolis, the daughter of Erick and Genevieve (Prickett) Nyberg.

Marlene graduated from Rockford High School in 1974. She worked 28 years at General Mills.

On June 10, 1998, Marlene was united in marriage to Richard “Rick” Thomas in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Marlene enjoyed gardening, crossword puzzles, and time spent with her family. She also had a true love for the arts.

She was preceded in death by: her parents, Erick and Genevieve Nyberg; son, Matt Brandstrom; grandson, Keith Elkie; and brother-in-law, Chuck Stalberger.

Marlene will be missed by: her husband, Rick Thomas; children, Marilyn (Luke) Elkie, Scott McCann (Jennifer), Kurt (Bonni) Thomas, Jocelyn (Ty) Schmatz, Joshua (Brandi) Brandstrom, Heidi (Danny) Weege, Jelly Thomas (Josh), Gabby (Casey) Stroad; grandchildren, Kyle Elkie; Jacob McCann; Jada, Sienna, Olivia and Kayla Thomas; Makenna, Lydia and Keagan Schmatz; Isaac, Carly and Max Brandstrom; Torianna, Alanah and Blaze Weege; Xavier and Valen Thomas; Brooklyn and Evelyn Stroad; siblings, Ken (Joyce) Nyberg, Jeanette (Steve) Kenney, Gerri Stalberger; and many nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

A celebration of life was held Wednesday, November 28 at 5 p.m., with visitation 3 to 5 p.m., at the Peterson Chapel, 300 Main St N, St. Michael.

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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