Obituaries 2/7/19

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.


Kenneth Christensen, 84

Kenneth R. Christensen, 84, of Maple Lake, formerly of Minneapolis, died peacefully on Friday, February 1, 2019 at Lakeside Oasis Hospice of Lake Ridge in Buffalo.

Visitation will be 9:30-11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at Bethany Bible Church in Big Lake. Funeral Services will be held 11 a.m. Friday, February 8, at the church with Pastor Mark Snider officiating. A luncheon will follow the service. Burial will take place at Maple Lake Community Cemetery.

Kenneth Raymond Christensen was born July 21, 1934 at General Hospital in Minneapolis to Jens and Anna (Brunberg) Christensen. He grew up and lived the first 21 years of life in Minneapolis. Ken attended Edison High School and Vocational High School.

He served his country with the Army National Guard during the Korean War, honorably discharged in 1957 as a Sargent.

On July 31, 1955, Ken was united in marraige to Janice Mae Erickson at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights. They lived in Columbia Heights, Fargo, ND, Brooklyn Center, Champlin and in 1999, they moved to Maple Lake. Ken worked as a salesman for Grinnell Corporation for 42 years, retiring in July of 1999.

In retirement, Ken worked at Orluck Industries and volunteered with the Wright County Water Patrol. Ken enjoyed hunting, fishing and serving others. He valued his time with family and loved spending time with his grandchildren. He had a strong faith in Jesus and instilled a Godly Heritage in his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by: his children, Cheryl (Mark) Orluck of Buffalo, Alan Christensen of Zimmerman, Karen (Bob) Rice of Buffalo, and Andy (Jen) Christensen of Silver Creek; grandchildren, Peter, Beth, Eric, Amy, Andrew, Nathan, Daniel, Cory, Luke, Carson, Jackson and Marcus; great-grandchildren Paige, Jamie, Bella, Elijah, Noah, Liam, Juliette, Lorelei, Grady and Owen; brother, Vern Christensen of Crystal; and sister, Jane Alfred Miller of Clermont, FL.

Ken is preceded in death by: his parents; wife; brothers, Donald and Robert; and sisters, Gloria Utes and Delores Jacobson.

The casket bearers will be his grandsons.

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


Dorothy Dirkswager, 94

Dorothy M. Dirkswager, 94, of Maple Lake, died Sunday, February 3,  at her home.

Memorial Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, February 9, at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Silver Creek, with Rev. Ken Tatkenhorst officiating. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Clearwater. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the church.

Dorothy Marie Dirkswager was born October 2, 1924 in Hutchinson, to John and Isabella (Jennicke) Bonine, one of their nine children.

Dorothy grew up near Buffalo Lake where she attended school. She was united in marriage to Lyle Heinecke and they were blessed with four children. They made their home near Bovey, where Dorothy cared for the home and raised the children.

On March 28, 1964 Dorothy was united in marriage to Marvin F. Dirkswager in Watertown, South Dakota. Dorothy and Marvin’s family was complete with the births of their three children.

They made their home in Silver Creek Township, where Dorothy continued to stay home to raise the children and care for the home. Over the years, Dorothy also provided daycare for area families and also worked as an apple picker for Owsaski Apple Orchard.

In her spare time, Dorothy enjoyed fixing puzzles, embroidering and cross-stitching, playing card games, and doing word searches. Her favorite musical artists consisted of Elvis and Glen Campbell. Being outdoors and observing wildlife were also among Dorothy’s pastimes, whether it be tending to her vegetable and flower gardens, bird watching, or observing the deer. Above all, Dorothy treasured the time she was able to spend with her family.

Dorothy is survived by: her husband of 54 years, Marvin of Maple Lake; children, Sam (Sue) Heinecke of Big Lake, Rosemary Heinecke of Monticello, Shirley Hickman of Big Lake, Stanley (Deb) Heinecke of Akeley, Marcia Dirkswager of Maple Lake, and Marilyn (Mark Luedtke) Dirkswager of Monticello; stepson, Mark (Karen) Dirkswager of Iowa; 18 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, other family members, and friends. She was preceded in death by: her son, Marshall Dirkswager; three grandchildren; all eight of her siblings; and son-in-law, Keith Hickman.

Mark Michaelis, Matthew Michaelis, Jeremiah Erickson, and Jericho Erickson will serve as pallbearers. Rev. Ken Tatkenhorst will provide music for the service.

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


Bonnie Elletson, 44

Bonnie Jean Elletson, 44, of Albertville, passed away on, January 19. She was born on August 7, 1974 in Buffalo.

Bonnie had a great passion for gardening and loved spending time with her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by: her father, Dale Dewey Elletson. Survived by: her mother, Susan Elletson; children, Brandon (Casandra) Elletson, Justice Elletson, Eric Elletson “Smith,” Precious Thompson; grandchildren, Kaiden Elletson, Justice Elletson Jr, Kamden Elletson, Monyka Elletson, Mason Elletson and Audriina Kirscheman; brother, David (Darla) Elletson; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives, and friends.

Memorial services were held on February 5, at Peterson Grimsmo Funeral Chapel in Monticello.




Caroline Giese, 102

Caroline Giese (Gienger), 102, of Park View Care Center, Buffalo; formerly of Rockford, passed away January 29. She was born on November 17, 1916 in Anamoose, North Dakota to David and Karolina (Dockter) Gienger.

She was baptized on April 22, 1917 at Evangelical Lutheran St. Martin’s Church in Anamoose, North Dakota. Caroline was confirmed by Rev. Otto F. Herder on July 19, 1931 at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Funston, North Dakota.

Her confirmation verse was from Romans 5:1.

On September 29, 1940, she was united in marriage to Waldemar A. Giese. Together they were blessed with four daughters.

Caroline was preceded in death by: her husband, Waldemar; parents, David and Karolina (Dockter) Gienger; brothers, Ludwig and Christian; sisters, Magdelina Marschel, Amelia Huff, and Katherine Gienger; son-in-law, Virgil Wagner; parents-in-law, William and Bertha Giese; and several sisters and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by: her daughters, Edith Wagner, Katherine (Arlyn) Koecher, Fern Boyer, and Leah Wandersee; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great grandchildren; brother, David; sister, Eva Kessler; sisters-in-law, Hertha Dixon and Agatha Schulze; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Heartfelt gratitude from the family goes out to the staff at Parkview Care Center for Mom’s excellent care.

Funeral service was held Saturday, February 2, at 11 a.m. with visitation two hours prior at Salem Ev. Lutheran Church, Greenfield. Interment to follow at Salem Cemetery. Pastor Paul Schuler will officiate.

Kevin Koecher, Brian Wagner, Steven Koecher, Michael Boyer, Dennis Peterson, Kevin Karst, Time Hawthorne, and John Stoll served as Casket Bearers.

Honorary Casket Bearers were Edvin Sjolin, Paul Witt, and Steven Haddon.

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


Joseph Hoffman, 57

Joseph “Big Bang” Albert Hoffman, 57, of Montgomery, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 23, at Hennepin County Medical Center surrounded by his loved ones. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Montgomery with a service following at 11 a.m. with Father Victor Valencia officiating. Military honors provided by the Montgomery area honor guard.

Joe was born on August 22, 1961 in Buffalo to John and Mary (Kalway) Hoffman. He was baptized in the Catholic faith and was raised and graduated in Rockford.

Joe worked at Le Center Crane, Selly Construction and Proto Lab in Plymouth as a technician tech. Joe enjoyed playing cards, driving his motorcycle, visiting with friends, and was known for his one-liners.

Joe is survived by: special loving friend, Kitty McGuigan of Montgomery; Kitty’s daughters, Jenny and Kim; siblings; Elizabeth (Andy) Anderson of Monticello, Barbara (Gary) McDanial of Victoria, Irene (Bob) Kutz of Winsted, Jackie Bauer of Monticello, Mary (Doug) Pawelk of Winsted, John (Jody) Hoffman Jr. of Mora, Sandra (Matt) Stifter of Howard Lake, James (Julie) Hoffman of Otsego, Patricia Hessler (friend Patrick) and Paula Funke (friend Guillermo) of Apache Junction, Arizona; many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery.


Richard Hofmeister, 69

Richard “Dick” S. Hofmeister, 69, of St. Michael, passed away peacefully on February 1,  after a three-year battle with cancer.

Dick was born the fourth child of Duane and Rita (Kearns) Hofmeister on July 12, 1949 in Minneapolis. He was united in marriage to Judith (Kessler) on May 27, 1972, at St. Michael Catholic Church. Their marriage was blessed with three sons: Benjamin, Abraham, and Lincoln.

Dick honorably served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was a member and past commander of the St. Michael Legion Post 567. Dick most recently worked as a lead custodian for St. Michael-Albertville Elementary. Dick also owned and operated the St. Michael Café, worked for Egan Mechanical, B & D Plumbing and Heating, Pioneer Blacktop and Dahlheimer Beverage.

Because of the many different roles he filled during his working career, Dick could do just about anything. His group of family and friends relied on his handyman skills. Of course, Dick would ask for nothing in return; o.k. maybe you could offer him a cold beer (or two).

Dick loved fishing, woodworking, and family time. His kids and grandkids were his pride and joy. The time spent together as a family and the memories made will be treasured forever.

Dick is survived by: his wife, Judy; sons, Benjamin (Jennifer Houle), Abraham (Janet), Lincoln (Shaina); grandchildren, Lake, Noelle, Maiya, Kingston, Alivia, Addison, and Jagger; brother and sisters,  Dennis (Kathy), Ann Mingo (Russ), Jim, Mark, Rosemary Nelson (Sven), Gretchen Guyer (John), and many other relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by: grandson, Noah; parents, Duane and Rita; brother, Jerry; and  sisters, Patsy and Mary Louise.

Visitation was held Monday, February 4, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a rosary service at 8 p.m. at the Peterson Chapel of St. Michael. Mass of Christian Burial for Dick was held Tuesday, February 5, at 11 a.m. with visitation two hours prior to the mass at the St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael. Interment was at the St. Michael Catholic Cemetery of St. Michael. Luncheon followed at the church.

Serving the family was the Peterson Chapel of St. Michael.


Frances Kuseske, 93

Frances Mildred (Dammann) Kuseske died on Jan. 29, in Buffalo, at the age of 93.

She was born on a farm near Fairhaven, on July 30, 1925 the second of four children of Lawrence and Lizzie (Gutknecht) Dammann. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at Concordia Lutheran Church in Fairhaven. After her eighth grade education in a one room school house she became a nanny and housemaid for various families in the area and in Minneapolis. 

Frances married Elmer Kuseske at Concordia Fairhaven on May 27, 1944 and they lived on a rented farm north of Kimball. In 1946 their first son, Tom, was born, but in ’48 they left farming and operated a small general store in Sedan.

While there, their second son, Mike, was born in Glenwood in ’50. To make ends meet Elmer commuted weekly to St. Cloud to work at Franklin Transformer while Fran managed the store and the boys. In early ’52 they moved to a home near Kimball and that fall moved to Austin, Minnesota, where Elmer worked as a meat inspector at the Hormel plant.

Fran was still busy managing a garden, sewing, and was active in their church, Holy Cross Lutheran. It was at this time that they took in custom upholstery for many local folks. Their upholstery skills, especially Fran’s sewing, helped put Tom and Mike through Concordia Academy in St. Paul. 

In ’69 they moved to Milwaukee, where Elmer inspected meat packing facilities and Fran worked as a seamstress at a department store. In ’71 they moved to Buffalo, where Elmer continued inspecting and Fran worked at Buffalo Cleaners as a seamstress, but soon worked at home sewing for Johnson’s Department store.

Where ever they lived they were always active in their church serving on various boards/committees and helping people in many ways including taking care of children, giving food, and many other “gifts.” Fran may have set a world record for the number of quilts made for just about every person west of the Mississippi, especially her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

Frances was preceded in death by: her parents; siblings, Lenous, Mabel, and Elmer.

She is survived by: her sister, Dorothy Mielke; sons, Thomas (Cherice) of Mora, Michael (Judy) of Royal Palm Beach, Flo.; seven grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

She will be missed by many people, but is now busy tending the heavenly gardens, helping with the heavenly banquet, mending the heavenly garments, and singing in the heavenly soprano section.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

The funeral was held at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 302 2nd St NE, Buffalo, on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. with visitation at 2 p.m. 

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.


James Nelson, 83

James Allen Nelson, 83 of Buffalo, passed away Monday, January 28. He was born on March 30, 1935 in Pomme De Terre, Minnesota.

James was a proud Army Veteran and retired from the Star Tribune after working more than 30 years. He enjoyed going to the casino, driving around town in his truck, drinking his morning coffee and reading the paper at Cub in Buffalo, and going to the gym on Sunday’s with his sons.

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Walter and Kaia Nelson; sons-in-law, Mike Howell, Brad Einck; and brothers, Warren Nelson, Wally Nelson, and Gary Nelson.

James is survived by: his wife, Marlys Nelson; children, Cheryl (Jim) Eben, James (Brenda) Nelson, Craig (Annie) Nelson, Debbie Howell, Kim Einck; grandchildren, Michael, Brittany, Jeramiah, Jimmy, Christy, Brittany, Amber, Jimmy, Lisa, Andrew, Matthew, CJ, Jesse, Megan, Spencer, Charlie, Logan; numerous great-grandchildren; and many other family and friends.

A memorial was held Saturday, February 2, at 3 p.m., with visitation held one hour prior, at the Peterson Chapel, 119 Central Ave, Buffalo.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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