Obituaries 2/1/19

Michael Bialke, 67

Michael (Mike) Severyn Bialke passed away peacefully surrounded by family on January 21. He was born on April 22, 1951 in Minneapolis. 

Mike was a local professional painter in Buffalo for 30+ years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Mike is survived by: his mother, Ceceila Bialke; sons, Jeremy, Ryan (Hester), Dan (Amanda) Bialke; grandchildren, Makenna, Cayden, Austyn, Kyler, Korra, Teagyn and Nolan Bialke; brothers, Loren (Colleen) and Dale Bialke; and sister, Dianne (Robert) Haynes.

His father, Severyn Bialke, preceded Mike in death.

Please join us for a Celebration of Life for Mike on February 20, at the Rockford Township Hall, 3039 Dague Ave SE, Buffalo, from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. Soft drinks, water, sandwiches, and snacks will be provided.


Elwood Engel, 93

Elwood “Woody” Louis Engel, 93, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 23, at the St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted. 

Woody, a lifelong resident of Howard Lake, was born October 8, 1925 in Woodland Township (Waverly) to Louis & Alma (Schendel) Engel.

He was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake by Reverend C. G. Seltz. He was baptized on November 8, 1925 and was confirmed in his faith on April 10, 1938  with the Bible verse Luke 11:28.

He graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1943.

Woody met Marvel Kobow at a dance at Lake Sarah in 1947.  They were married a year later on June 12, 1948 and celebrated 70 years of marriage this past June when he sang a song to her that he had written for their 70th anniversary celebration.  Their marriage welcomed four children: Mary, Jim, Diane, and Sandy.

Over the course of his life, Woody farmed with his parents, drove milk truck and operated Engel’s Truck Service for over 50 years until retiring in 1994. Winters were busy selling snowmobiles (Moto-Ski, Sno Pony and Speedway) along with snow plowing at area businesses, homes and churches. Woody served on numerous church boards and provided the equipment & materials to construct parking facilities at St. James Lutheran Church and Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church (Garrison).

Woody enjoyed spending summers at the family cabin on Bay Lake near Garrison, and later being a ‘Snowbird’ in Mesa, AZ. At other times he could be found fishing on Mille Lacs, Bay Lake or Howard Lake. He loved traveling, visiting and playing cards with family and friends.

He received the nickname “Woody” in third grade during recess when the boys at the Dutch Lake Elementary School were debating on his nickname as being either “El” or “Woody.” They voted for “Woody,” and the name stuck with him during his entire life, but his mother always said his name was “Elwood.”

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Louis and Alma Engel; daughters, Mary (Engel) Forsythe and Diane (Engel) Greeley; grandson, Daniel Greeley; son-in-law, Donald (Butch) Forsythe; brother, Vernon Engel; sister, Evelyn (Engel/Erickson) Wallentine; nephew, Mark Erickson; brother-in-laws, Oliver Erickson and Ron Wikstrom.

Woody is survived by: his wife, Marvel; children, Jim and Sandy (Ken); sister, Jean Wikstrom; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews; great nieces; great nephews; a host of other relatives and friends.


Diana Engler, 77

Diana Lanette Engler, 77, of Buffalo, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Thursday, January 17, at Park View Care Center in Buffalo. 

Funeral Service will be Saturday, February 2, at 11 a.m. at St. John’ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 302 2nd St NE, in Buffalo with Pastor Ryan Clark officiating. Visitation wil be one-hour prior at the Church. The Family invites you to stay for lunch following the service. 

Diana was born on Wednesday, November 12, 1941 in Shakopee, the daughter of Clarence and Naomi (Laabs) Engler. The eldest child of seven, she was baptized on December 7, 1941 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Chaska. She was confirmed in the faith on April 22, 1956 also at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Diana graduated from Chaska High School in Chaska, class of 1959. She became a mother in 1965 with the birth of her daughter, Ronda and son, Michael shortly after in 1966. She briefly lived in Manitou Springs, CO from 1985-1987, returning home to Minnesota and the joys of becoming a grandmother.

She began her retirement where she lived from 2001 to 2006 in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. where she had a lot of fun. She moved back home to Buffalo, in the fall of 2006 and happily became a great-grandmother in July of 2012. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, going to church and spending time with dear friends and family.

Diana was preceded in death by: her parents, Clarence and Naomi Engler; Uncle Manthey and Aunt Arlene Laabs; and brother, DuWayne Engler.

Diana is survived by: her loving family; daughter, Ronda Roth (Mark Wolf) of Otsego, granddaughter, Danielle (Joseph) Hance of Hanover; great-granddaughter, Arya J. Hance; son, Michael (Lynette) Grabow of Coon Rapids; sister, Debra (Kenneth Sr) Buesgens; brothers, Doug (Cindy), David, Daniel, and Dean (Sue) Engler; many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. 

Honorary Bearers are: Scott Buesgens, Kenneth Buesgens Jr, Danielle Hance, Erik Sorenson, Jim Noss, John Kuerschner.

The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo served the family.


Barbara Hudek, 68

Barbara Ann Hudek, 68, of Maple Lake, died Friday, January 25, at the St. Cloud Hospital.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 30, at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake with Fr. John Meyer as Celebrant. Visitation was held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9: to 10 a.m. on Wednesday, both at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake. A prayer service was held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.

Barbara Ann Hudek was born January 11, 1951 in Minneapolis to Roy and Madelyn (Larson) Barrett. Barb grew up in Maple Lake where she graduated from high school with the Class of 1970.

Barb furthered her education at the St. Cloud Beauty College. On September 25, 1971, Barb was united in marriage to Andrew J. Hudek at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake. They were blessed with one son, Chad.

A majority of Barb’s working career was spent with Wright County Human Services. Barb worked there for 22 years until her retirement.

In her spare time, Barb liked to travel, scrapbook, and spend time outdoors, especially on the lake. She enjoyed the company and companionship of her sister, nieces, nephews, and friends. Nothing brought Barb greater joy than to spend time with her family and friends, especially her two granddaughters, Shania and Chantel.

Barb is survived by: her son, Chad (Cathy Stumpf) of Maple Lake; granddaughters, Shania and Chantel; sister, Judy Eggena of Crosslake; and nieces, nephews, other family members, and friends.

Barb was preceded in death by: her husband, Andy; and parents, Roy and Madelyn.

Al Hudek, Nick Hudek, Todd Eggena, Troy Eggena, Dan Durant, and Drew Durant will serve as pallbearers. Sarah Goelz and Krista Elsenpeter will serve as musicians.

Arrangements are entrusted to Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Maple Lake.


Bruce Huebner, 73

Bruce Huebner, 73, of Buffalo, passed away peacefully surrounded by family due to complications from his battle with cancer. 

He was born December 25, 1945 in Heron Lake to Carl and Ester (Junker) Huebner. He married Rosella Marie Morin on October 17, 1970 in Loretto. 

Bruce enjoyed spending time with family and in his younger years was an avid fisherman. Bruce loved cracking jokes with his grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  He always had a smile on his face and his quick-witted humor was sure to put a smile on those around him.

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Carl and Ester Huebner; brothers-in-law, Donald Martinson and Howard Jensen; and in-laws, Virgil and Marie Morin.

He is survived by: his loving wife, Rosella (Morin); sons, Scott (Joell) Morin, Troy (Jennifer) Huebner and children, Devin, Madelyn, and Tanner; daughters, Hanna, Sofia and Stacy (Jeff) Bristol and children Shania, Chantel, and Robby; sisters, Elowen Jensen and Bonnie Martinson; brother, Truman Huebner; and many friends and family.

Services for Bruce will be Friday, Feb. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a brief prayer service at 2 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo.



Saraswati Kanhai, 49

Kanhai, Saraswati “Sara” K,  49, of Maple Lake, and formerly Monticello, passed away peacefully on January 26.

Sara was a member of the Great River Act Team of Monticello. She was also a member of A Glorious Church of Monticello.

Sara is preceded in death by her parents, Daniel and Chandrawati Kanhai.

She is survived by: her sisters, Angela Khanai of Maple Lake, and Pamela Bondhus of Monticello; brother, Raj Khanai of Guyana, South America; also nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Funeral services for Sara will be held Saturday, February 2 at 11:30 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service all at A Glorious Church, 300 Riverview Dr., Monticello. 

Private family interment to be held at later date. 

Serving the family is the Peterson Chapel of Buffalo.


Patricia Mortensen, 75

Patricia W. Mortensen, 75, of Monticello, passed away on January 21, surrounded by family.

Patricia was born in the Litchfield Hospital to Lloyd and Orella Valiant on April 21, 1943. She grew up in Forest City, and attended Litchfield High School.

She was united in marriage to Lowell Mortensen on August 26, 1961 at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Forest City. They moved to Monticello in 1968.

Patricia was a member of the Monticello VFW Auxiliary. Pat enjoyed bowling and cherished a part of her life traveling for a living while in their semi-truck with her husband, Lowell, crossing the United States.

She had a deep love for her family and loved spending time with them. She always had an “I’m fine” attitude. She will be greatly missed. 

She was preceded in death by: her parents, Lloyd and Orella Valiant; sisters-in-law, Ruth Valiant and Holly Valiant; brother-in-law, and Ralph Johnson.

She is survived by: her husband of 57 years, Lowell Mortensen; children, Greg (Chrismas) Mortensen and Deb Bremer; grandchildren, Lexi Bremer (Michael Hise), and Nikki May; great-granddaughter, Chloe Hise; Lexi’s father, Tony Bremer; siblings, Lee Valiant, Don (Betty) Valiant, Virginia Johnson, Jim Valiant, and Phillip (Jo) Valiant; many nieces and nephews; and other relatives, and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial was Tuesday, January 29, at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior at Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church, 440 Lake St, Big Lake.

Peterson Grimsmo is handling arrangements.


William Secora, 87

William “Bill” Joseph Secora  87, of Monticello, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 22, after a brief fight with lymphoma cancer.         

He is survived by: wife, Barbara; daughters, Debbie Secora (Tom Weidenbach); Cindy Entinger (Dan); Linda Roufs (Mike), sons, Michael Secora (Christine); Wayne Secora; stepchildren, Liz Morrissette (Bill); Jim Rassatt (Annette); Victoria Davis (Sam); Rebecca Dye (Roger); Mark Rassatt (Teri); brother, Don Secora (Ruth), and sister, Mary Lou Johnson; 21 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; and he was loved and respected by many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Joe and Esther Secora; best friend, cousin, and Army buddy, Ray Secora; brother-in-law, John M. Johnson; and Wayne’s partner, Katie Zimmerman.      

The Funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, January 30, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waverly, with a visitation from 10 a.m. until the service begins. Burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery on County Road 8 in Waverly, with military honors.

A luncheon will be served following the burial at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Waverly. 



Steve Wheaton, 82

On January 29, 2019, Steve passed away at home, surrounded by his family.

Steve was a man of great integrity, with a generous, compassionate heart. He was a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and served his country during the Korean War.

He is best remembered as a much-loved and dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend. Those who knew him will remember him fondly for his love of pranks and a good joke.

Steve leaves behind: his wife of 61 years, Beverly; his constant companions and favorite dogs, Ramsey and Clark; three daughters, Debbie (Jeff) Kronen, Sandy Wheaton, Diana (Jay) Olson; Eight grandchildren, who will cherish all the love and time Grandpa showed them throughout his life, Laura (James) Inderlee, Matt (Amanda) Kronen, Craig (Kelly) Frank, Katrina Frank, Cassie (Courtney) Frank, Justin (Becca) Olson, Katy (Cory) Olson, Conner Olson. He will also be missed by his 11 great-grandchildren.

A private internment will be held at a later date.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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