Obituaries 4/25/19

Malvina Dalbec, 83

Malvina Dorothy Frances (Lange) Dalbec, age 83, of rural Howard Lake passed away on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at St. Mary’s Care Center in Winsted. 

She was born on December 29, 1935 near Watertown, on her family’s farm the daughter of Walter C. & Lydia (Lemmerman) Lange.

Malvina was baptized on January 16, 1936 by the Reverend Karl Rudolph. She was also instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith on April 10, 1949 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Watertown Township by the Reverend John Spomer. Malvina graduated from Watertown High School on June 3, 1954.

On July 21, 1954, Malvina D. Lange and Gordon K. Dalbec were joined in holy marriage at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Watertown by The Reverend John Spomer. God blessed their marriage with four children.

She was a faithful member of St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.

Malvina formerly worked for Dr. Thal, DVM as a Vet Tech in Watertown, Red’s Café in Montrose, Dr. & Mrs. Zierold in Wayzata, Green Giant in Winsted and Glencoe, Casey’s in Winsted, Marketplace in Cokato and drove school bus for thirty-eight years.   She started driving school bus in Delano for Stahlke Bus Service in 1966 and when they moved to Howard Lake in 1968 Malvina drove school bus for Howard Lake -Waverly-Winsted and retired from the School District in April of 2004.  After she retired from driving bus she worked at The Adult Training Center in Winsted and retired in March of 2008.

Malvina is survived by: her children, Randy Dalbec of Montrose, Janet (James) Koch and Janell (Jeffrey) Koch all of Winsted; grandchildren, Jennifer Koch of Winsted, Jacquelyne (Andy) Seibel of De Pere, Wisconsin, Jason (Katelyn) Koch of Howard Lake, Jillian Koch and Joel Koch both of Winsted; great grandchildren, Jordan Koch of Winsted, Anna and Leo Seibel of De Pere, Wisconsin; a brother, Donald (Renee) Lange, and by a sister, Yvonne Lange both of Watertown; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Beverly Lange of Delano, Jeanne (Rod) Pettit of Sauk Centre, Mary Dalbec  of Rockford, Harvey (Pat) Dalbec of Delano, Larry (Sheila) Dalbec of Montrose, Joyce (Denny) Anderson of Delano, Margie Dalbec of St. Bonifacius and Dareld Schlinz of Maple Plain; many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by: her husband, Gordon K. Dalbec on April 27, 2008; infant daughter, Linda Lou Dalbec on September 22, 1954; her parents, Walter C. and Lydia (Lemmerman) Lange; her parents-in-law, Henry “Hank” & Ida Dalbec; sisters and brothers, Dolores (Art) Adickes, Vera (Leo) Roy, Clifford Lange, Erhard Lange, Melvin (Arlene) Lange; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Kenneth (Pat) Dalbec, LeRoy Dalbec, Bobby Dalbec and Judy Schlinz.

Funeral services for Malvina Dalbec were held on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake. The Reverend Mark Loder officiated. Vocalists were Bruce Gatz and Marge Stueven. Interment followed at St. James Lutheran Cemetery. A visitation was held on Monday, April 22, from 4-8 p.m. at The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted.   A Prayer service was held at 7:00 p.m. Further visitation was held on Tuesday morning, April 23, at the church, one hour prior to services.

Casket Bearers were: Jason Koch, Joel Koch, Jordan Koch, Roger Roy, Daryl Adickes, Alan Lange, Greg Lange, and Todd Lange.

Honorary Caskets Bearers were: Jennifer Koch, Jacquelyne Seibel, Jillian Koch, Anna Seibel and Leo Seibel. 

The Chilson Funeral Home in Winsted served the family.   Online condolences may be made to www.chilsonfuneral


Richard Kunkel, 96

Richard C. Kunkel, age 96, of Maple Lake, died peacefully at his home on Thursday, April 18, 2019 with family by his side.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Maple Lake with Fr. Matthew Northenscold as Celebrant and Fr. John Meyer as Con-celebrant. Burial followed at St. Timothy Catholic Cemetery. Visitation was held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and from 9:00-10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel, Maple Lake. A prayer service was held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.

Richard Conrad Kunkel was born August 1, 1922 in Kimball, to Mathew and Frances (Wicker) Kunkel. Richard grew up on the farm with his 8 siblings and attended school in Pearl Lake. In 1942, Richard’s family relocated to Maple Lake Township on a farm purchased by his father. He worked various jobs in St. Paul and Milwaukee before returning to Maple Lake.

On September 10, 1953 Richard was united in marriage to Ruth V. Meemken at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Waite Park. Richard and Ruth raised their 12 children on the farm and continued with the farm operations until 1989 when they retired. In his spare time, Richard enjoyed playing cards, collecting coins and antiques, reading, and stating his opinion about government matters. He had a strong work ethic and took great pride in getting a job done right; he also had a great sense of humor and enjoyed making others laugh. He loved talking with people and could strike up a conversation with just about anyone.

The most important things to him were his faith and his family. Richard had a special place in his heart for young children and even in advanced age was often seen down on the floor playing with his grandkids.

Richard is survived by: his wife of 65 years, Ruth of Maple Lake; children, Mike (Sherry) of Sheridan, WY, Richard E. of Maple Lake, Harlan of Maple Lake, Linda (John) Northenscold of Maple Lake, Joe (Judy) of Ooltewah, TN, Ralph (Jessica) of Glencoe, Duane (Pam) of Norwood, Marvin (Janelle) of Mora, Judy (Troy) Miller of Champlin, and Sharon (Miguel) Lopez of Minneapolis; 24 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; siblings, Arvilla Hopkins of Buffalo, Arnold (Rita) of Plymouth, and Jerry (Michelle) of Robbinsdale; and many nieces, nephews, and other family members.

He was preceded in death by: his sons, Frank and Edward; and siblings, Lambert, Emery, and Allen Kunkel, Caroline Lesnar, and Jeanette Guennigsman.

Kurtis, Patrick, Jim, Tony, and Dan Kunkel, Joe Hopkins, and Matt Guennigsman served as pallbearers. Krista Elsenpeter, Sandy Clemons, and Hannah Kunkel provided music for the service.

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


Robert Melcher, 97

Robert Russell Melcher, age 97, of Buffalo, passed away Sunday, April 21, 2019. He was born February 24, 1922 in Sioux City, IA.

A visitation will be held Monday, April 29, 2019 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Buffalo with Father Nathaniel Meyers as Celebrant. Interment with Military Honors will be at St. Francis Cemetery in Buffalo.

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. 763-682-1363. www.thepeter

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to: Red Cloud Indian School, 100 Mission Drive, Pine Ridge, SD 57770.


Jean Olson, 87

Jean Olson, age 87, passed away April 22, 2019.

Memorial service will be held Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 11 a.m. with visitation two hours prior at Buffalo United Methodist Church.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo.

Full notice to follow.


Gloria Vandergon, 88

Gloria Mae Vandergon, age 88, of Maple Lake went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Memorial Services will be held 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 6, 2019 at Heartland Evangelical Free Church, Annandale with Chuck Guill officiating. Burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in Silver Creek Township. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church.

Gloria Mae Lundstrom was born on October 26, 1930 in Watertown, to Ed and Marie (Wendorf) Lundstrom. During her grade school years, she lived with her parents on a farm in the Silver Creek area. Gloria later attended Monticello High School, graduating in the spring of 1948. In the fall of 1948, she continued her education at the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis, obtaining a secretarial degree.

Gloria’s first place of employment was at the New England Furniture Company, later working as a secretary at Honeywell in south Minneapolis. She told of what a major adjustment it was to leave the country and become employed in a large city. However, she did not regret this period of her life as she met many special friends with whom she stayed in contact with throughout her life.

On May 15, 1953 Gloria married the love of her life, Floris “Bud” Vandergon. She was more than ready to leave city life and return to the country and be a stay-at-home farm wife and later the mother of four precious children. She loved being a farm wife, and entertaining family and friends in their home. Gloria also enjoyed relaxing with a good book, writing letters, sending cards, traveling when possible, and spoiling her grandchildren, and later her great-grandchildren.

She was an active member of the Silver Creek Reformed Church, where she served on the Ladies Missionary Society, taught Sunday school and vacation bible school, participated in cantata and other musical opportunities. Gloria and good friend, Betty Johnson, felt the need to have an activity for those of junior high age; they obtained the pastor’s approval, and started a group, rightly named, “The Energetics,” which they led for several years.

They shared a passion to send out some young people on a short-term mission trip to Haiti, which meant being involved with countless fundraisers, but what a blessing this turned out to be. Gloria and Bud started attending the Annandale Evangelical Free Church in 1985, where she served on the Deacon Board, also teaching in VBS, and singing in the choir on special occasions.

Gloria is survived by: her three children, Barbara (Greg) Goheen of Central Point, OR, Mark (LuAnn) Vandergon of Maple Lake, and Nancy Vandergon of Chaska; 8 grandchildren, Trevor (Jessica) Vandergon, Trent (Elizabeth) Vandergon, Jacki Vandergon, Aaron (Stephanny) Streeter, Kara Streeter, Daniel (Lauren) Streeter, Joshua (April) Goheen, and Justin (Chelsea) Goheen; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, other family members, including special sisters-in-law, and friends.

She was preceded in death by: her parents, husband Bud, infant son Bruce, great-grandson Ezekiel, six brothers, and two sisters.

Because of God’s grace, Gloria had a personal relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and is now enjoying eternity with Him. Gloria would truly say with the Apostle Paul, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Grandchildren will serve as urnbearers. Orma Lou Jacobsma, Sandy Thomas, Heidi Greninger, Bethannie Raiche, and Diane Sorenson will provide music for the service.

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


Russell Yonak, 86

Russell J. Yonak, age 86 of Buffalo, passed into his eternal home in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on November 13, 2018 at the St. Mary’s/Mayo Hospital in Rochester. He was born June 24, 1932 in Buffalo, to George and Margaret (Maas) Yonak.

On February 23, 1952, Russell was united in holy marriage to Elizabeth “Betty” J. Alberg at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Annandale. Father Patrick Keany was the celebrant. Russ and Betty were blessed with four children.

He was self-employed since the early 1960s, owning Yonak Sewer and Water, and was very skilled in his trade. In his retirement, he enjoyed woodworking and created handmade crafts for people. He was a founder of the Rockford Snowmobile Club. He and Betty helped landscape and build the rock garden for the Stork House in Rockford. They were also honored to be the Grand Marshall for Rockford River Days. He enjoyed his time spent with his grandchildren and outdoor family gatherings on the farm.

He was preceded in death by: his wife Betty; parents, George and Margaret; brothers, George and Preston; half-brother, Gary; daughter-in-law, Nancy; and great-grandson, Alex.

Russ is survived by: his children, Diane (Dick) Welzien, Dennis Yonak, Wendy (Scott) Olson, Jim (Gretchen) Yonak; grandchildren, Angela (Paul) Hooper, Suzanne Welzien, Heather (Kelly) Tody, Bryan (Alexis Duplessis) Yonak, Jennifer (Joe) Penney, Brianna (Mike) Elwood, Kristi Olson, Olyvia Yonak; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Shelby, Trey, Kai, Quinn, Liam, Sawyer, Eli, Anna, and Leo; half-brothers, Wayne, Rodney, and Kevin; and many other relatives and friends.

An open house celebration of life will be held Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Huikko’s Bowling and Entertainment Center, 1207 Hwy. 25 N, Buffalo.

Serving the family is The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed