Obituaries 12/12/19

Zackary Bechtold, 16

Zackary Ethan Bechtold, age 16, of Maple Lake, passed away surrounded by family and friends on Monday, December 2, 2019. He was born on December 6, 2002 in Burnsville, the son of Matthew Bechtold and Leah Kuss.

Zak was currently a Junior at Buffalo High School where he excelled at Math and had many friends. He had a gregarious personality and was always there to listen, support, and lend a hug to his friends when they needed it. He enjoyed the holidays, especially Halloween, dancing, gymnastics, reading, listening to music, playing the piano, Batman and Scooby Doo, shopping for his birthday, mentoring kids, and helping at Girl Scout events for his sister. He was a kind person with a big heart. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

He is preceded in death by his sister, Josie; and uncle, Matthew Atkinson.

Zak is survived by: his mom, Leah Kuss; dad, Matt Bechtold; siblings, Damian Cloud, Destiny Cloud, Jeweleah Bechtold, Jayce K.; nephew, Darien Cloud; grandparents, Arnie and Mary Bechtold, Charles Atkinson, Marlene Walstrom; and many aunts and uncles, cousins, family and numerous friends.

A funeral service with a time of sharing was held Monday, December 9, 2019, at 12:30 p.m., visitation began at 10:30 a.m., at the Historic Hanover Methodist Church, 1010 River Rd NE, Hanover.

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


Muriel Mattson, 86

Muriel Joyce Mattson, was born on December 3, 1932, in Howard Lake, Minnesota to Louis and Esther (Streich) Birkholz. She grew up in Howard Lake; was baptized and confirmed at the St. James Lutheran Church. She graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1950.

Muriel married Clayton Mattson on October 21, 1950, at St. James Lutheran Church of Howard Lake. The couple made their home first at Dean Lake, then to the farm north of Howard Lake. Together, they operated a dairy farm and raised beef. In 1958 they started Mattson Well Company.

Muriel enjoyed sewing, golf, going to casino, and dancing.  She was an active member at St. John’s Lutheran Church, of Howard Lake.

Muriel passed away on November 27, 2019, at the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center. She had reached the age of 86 years, 11 months and 24 days.

Survivors include: her children, Nola (Loyal) Staskivige, of Loretto, Deborah Herbst, of Delano, Kurt Mattson, of Howard Lake and Kent Mattson, of Howard Lake; grandchildren, David Nettleton, Jason Herbst, Stephanie Schumann, Nathan Mattson, Forrest Mattson, and Amber Mattson Gruba; great-grandchildren, Brandon Nettleton, Clark Herbst, one on the way, Ethan Ragan, Dylan Mattson, Kane Koerner, Alexa and Kasja Schumann, Skylor and Devin Gruba.  She is also survived by her sister, Lavonne Stueven, of Waconia.

Muriel was preceded in death by: her parents, Louis and Esther Birkholz; husband, Clayton; son, John; and brother, Ken Birkholz.

Memorial Service was held at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 7, 2019 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, of Howard Lake. Visitation was 4-8 p.m., Friday, December 6, 2019 at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake and one hour prior to service at church on Saturday.

Prayer Service was 6:30 Friday evening.

Interment was at Swedesburg Lutheran Cemetery in Marysville Township.


Francis Munsterteiger, 88

Francis Munsterteiger (Bud), age 88, of Buffalo, passed away peacefully on December 7, 2019 at home with his family.

Francis lived in Buffalo his entire life and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1948. Francis married the love of his life, Joan, and had eleven loving children. He began his career as a dairy farmer and later raised beef cattle and crops.

He enjoyed observing and protecting the wildlife that lived on the farm and conserving the soil. He also enjoyed fishing, family gatherings, collecting and restoring antique farm machinery, and traveling to farm shows throughout the Midwest. Francis was the Clerk of Chatham Township for forty years and a lifelong and devoted member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Personal attributes that will be remembered by family and friends are his strong work ethic, desire to help others, generosity and kind spirit.

The family would like to thank St. Croix Hospice Care workers who provided Francis with compassionate care in his home during the final weeks of his life. Francis will be greatly missed by family and friends.

A funeral mass will be held at noon on Saturday, December 14 at St. Francis Xavier Church, with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service. The family is being served by Peterson Chapel, Buffalo 

Francis was preceded in death by: his parents, David and Clara Munsterteiger; sister, Joan O’Leary; daughter, Cynthia; and grandson, Ben Fouquette. He is survived by: his wife of 67 years, Joan; sister, Diane Klemenhagen (Jim); sons, Greg, Kevin (Jill), Brian (Tara), Mark, Jim, and Todd (Holly); daughters, Mary, Elizabeth Cooper (Mike), Lisa Fouquette (Tom), and Michelle Bussmann (Mark); nineteen grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


James Olson Jr., 38

James Dale Olson Jr. was born on January 3, 1981 to Jim and Jodi (McCoy) Olson.

Beloved Son, Brother, Grandson, Nephew, Cousin and friend.

Loving Father and Husband.

Jimmy was reunited with his infant son on November 18, 2019 in Hewitt, Texas.

Jimmy is survived by: his son, James (Jimmy) Dale Olson III; his mother, JoLayne (Jodi) McCoy; his dad, Jim and wife, Connie Olson; his sister, JoNelle (Charlie) Heins; and brother, Jeremy (Carie) Olson.

Jimmy was blessed with an additional two brothers and a sister from his Dad’s marriage to Connie: Adam (Rebeca) Hoopman, Daniel (Heaven) Hoopman and Krista (Anthony) Maribel.

Also survived by his grandmother, Jackie Smith, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Jimmy’s kind heart and laugh will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

He loved his family, fishing, shooting guns, video games and anything to do with the MN Vikings. His favorite Vikings hat was nearly 20 years old. He loved Star Wars since the age of 3 and enjoyed participating in Renaissance Fairs. He also loved spending time at Tom and Pixie Elletson’s farm just outside of Buffalo. It was a very special place for him.

He was proud of his job and enjoyed all aspects of fire prevention and safety.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his infant son, Conner Dale, most of his grandparents, and several Uncles.

May Jimmy and Conner spend countless hours sitting on a dock, catching monster fish.

Jimmy attended Buffalo schools for several years, until he moved away. He was part of the 1999 BHS class.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Vernon Otten, 84

Vernon Nicholas Otten, age 84, of Buffalo, passed away December 2, 2019.

He was born on April 5, 1935 in Buffalo, to Herman and Rose (Rancour) Otten. He attended high school in Buffalo and graduated with the class of 1953. After high school, he was drafted in the Army to serve his country in 1958 through 1964.

On November 24, 1962, he was joined in holy marriage to Elizabeth F. Schlosser at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. They were blessed with five children.

In addition to working at Honeywell for 43 years, he farmed most of his life on the family homestead in Buffalo. He raised cattle, pigs, sheep, and grew an assortment of crops. After he retired from Honeywell in 1995, he became an avid auction goer, bidding on deals, socializing, and having family attend with him. He loved animals, not only his pet companions, but often rescuing birds, rabbits, ducks, etc. found injured in the fields. After the passing of his wife, he established several routines, specifically visiting the cemetery, attending church, and then Cub to buy donuts. He was a fan of watching sports, especially the Minnesota Twins and enjoyed being around his family.

Vernon was preceded in death: by his parents; his wife, Elizabeth “Liz;” sisters, Florence, Gladys and Caroline; and brother, Francis.

Vern is survived by: his children, Barbara (Scott) Ramsdell of Dayton, Brenda (Bill) Jordan of Maple Lake, Tina (Chris) Gregory of Champlin, Tracey (Charles) Harper of Goodyear, AZ, and Todd (Missy) Otten of Buffalo; grandchildren, Tyrell, Angie, and Jennifer Ramsdell, Davey, Krissy, and Justin Manz, Miranda and Scott Jordan, Christopher and Cameron Kleppe, Mikey and Brandon Otten; four great-grandchildren; brother, Donald Otten; and sister-in-law, Elaine Otten; and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held Thursday, December 12, 2019 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. with a rosary service at 7:30 p.m. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday, December 13, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. Father Nathaniel Meyers will be the Celebrant. Interment to follow Mass at St. Mark’s Cemetery – Pelican Lake.

Mikey Otten, Brandon Otten, Angie Ramsdell, Miranda Jordan, Scotty Jordan, Christopher Kleppe, and Cameron Kleppe will serve as Casket Bearers.


Bryan Schiltz, 49

Bryan A. Schiltz, 49, from Brandon SD, passed away on November 28, 2019, of a massive heart attack at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis. He was born to Leo L. Schiltz and Sally (Schiltz) Lemke on December 23, 1969 at Unity Hospital in Fridley.

He graduated from Buffalo High School in 1988. He attended Southwest State University before moving to Sioux Falls, SD. Bryan worked at Gateway 2000 Computer Co., later for Billions GMC, and he was currently working for

Bryan was a Lifer, which can be expressed as one who loved life, and lived it to the fullest in every aspect. He gave and loved with his whole heart. Bryan enjoyed longboarding, surfing, boating, jet skiing, deep sea fishing, playing/watching hockey, 4 wheeling, racing cars, and spending time with his daughter, Marya, and his loving wife, Jane. He cherished them deeply.

Following GOD had to be his utmost thing to do on this earth. He shared a deep love for Christ and the gospel. He spent most of his time following in Christ’s footsteps, reading the Bible, searching and seeking for more of GOD. Bryan was recently in the process of becoming a pastor before his passing, as he had a call to be a missionary. He was a Youth Leader at Connect Youth Ministries; helped lead a new branch of Brandon Assembly of God in Inwood, IA; led various groups and Bible studies; and spent time pouring into others in need. Bryan’s plans for the ministry were to make it to Pine Ridge.

Although, he did not spend extended time there, he was able to serve a week at Pine Ridge this past summer with a small group from Connect, ministering and pouring into the lives of many. Bryan truly did it all; from thrill seeking, to loving his family, and obeying GOD.

He left his mark in each of those areas. Bryan’s life was the light of Christ, and his legacy lives on in those he poured in to. In spite of his earthly life ending; it has only just begun.

Those left to cherish his memory are: his wife of 23 years, Jane; daughter, Marya, Brandon SD; mother, Sally (Keith) Lemke, Buffalo; four siblings, Kevin (Lisa) Schiltz, Buffalo; Tricia (Jeff) Hansen, Buffalo; Justin (Heather) LeClair, Benson; and Jason Lemke, Big Lake; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by: his father, Leo; step-father, Randall LeClair; both set of grandparents; aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Heartland Funeral Home, Branson, SD presided over the arrangements. Visitation and a Celebration of Life were held on December 5 and 6, at Brandon Valley Assembly of God Church; Pastor Kirk Strand, Officiating.


Fr. Aloysius Svobodny, OMI, 96

Father Aloysius J. Svobodny, OMI, age 96, of Buffalo, passed away on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. He was born on January 13, 1923 to George and Mary (Romportl) Svobodny in Minneapolis.

Fr. Al Svobodny attended St. John’s Seminary in San Antonio, TX. He was ordained on June 5, 1949 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. He preached at many Parishes throughout Illinois and Minnesota. Most recently, he spent 27 years as public relations director for Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo.

No matter what Father Al did, he did it in a very dedicated and wholehearted manner. Prayer and gratitude were the hallmarks of his spiritual life. In recent years, he enjoyed being in the lobby of the retreat center and saying, “Welcome to the House of Christ the King!” On the morning of December 4th, Jesus called Fr. Al home and no doubt he said to Fr. Al, “Welcome to the Heavenly home of Christ the King, good and faithful servant!”

We give thanks for the gift of this holy and faithful servant of God! May Fr. Al rest in peace!

He was preceded in death by: his parents; and siblings, Gary Svobodny, Mary LeDuc, Charles Svobodny, George Svobodny, Joseph Svobodny.

Fr. Al is survived by: his sister, Veronica (Don) Leech of Mankato; nieces and nephews and their families; and friends.

Visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019 at The Kings House Retreat Center in Buffalo, with a prayer service and Rosary service at 7 p.m. Funeral Mass of Resurrection for Fr. Al was held Tuesday, December 10, at 11 a.m., visitation began at 9 a.m., at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. Burial was at St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Hopkins.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo.

Serving the family was The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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