Judy Beech

Judy Beech age 76, of Sleepy Eye, MN died on July 29, 2015, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN.

Visitation will be on Sunday from 3 to 7 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church and will continue on Monday from 10 until 11 am at the church.

Service will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Sleepy Eye, MN, on Monday, August 3, 2015 at 11:00 am. 

The clergy will be Pastor Keith Ainsley. 

Interment will be at the Home Cemetery in Sleepy Eye.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. 

On line condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

Judith Kathleen Beech was born in Sleepy Eye, MN on April 1st, 1939. She attended public school in Sleepy Eye and was active in music. After graduating in 1957, she attended the University of Minnesota for one year, then returned home and worked at the bank. She married Rex Beech in January of 1960 and they raised their family in Sleepy Eye.

Judy’s long and varied employment history started as a girl at her uncle’s popcorn stand, and included de-tasseling corn and as well as working at the local jewelry store. Over the years she worked at Advertising Unlimited, Del Monte, as The Sleepy Chamber of Commerce Executive, and at The Furniture Gallery, which she and Rex owned for many years. Judy was a very gifted soprano and loved music. She sang in and, for a time, directed her church choir, and offered comfort to countless families over the years singing at funerals. She loved cooking, baking, gardening and had an incredible curiosity and appetite for learning.

Her passion for the City of Sleepy Eye was boundless. A fourth generation descendant of one of the city founders, she worked tirelessly to learn and teach the history of Sleepy Eye and promote its advancement. She was a current member of the city council, the economic development board, the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society, Brown County Historical Society, and the Old Sleepy Eye Collector’s Club of America.

From the time she was a young girl, Judy’s Christian faith was of central importance in her life. She was baptized, confirmed, and married at Trinity Lutheran in Sleepy Eye. She taught Sunday School for nearly sixty years, beginning when she was in high school. The Bible was a great source of comfort and strength to her. She loved Jesus, witnessed freely to those around her, and now joins all the saints in the company of heaven. Judy knew no greater joy than to have her family gathered under one roof for holidays and other events.

She lived an incredibly active and rich life, undaunted by the rare blood disease that ultimately took her life. She died peacefully on July 29th at Mayo St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester surrounded by her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, C.F. (Bud) and Dorothy (Renner) Geschwind, and sister, Marlene Sena and brother-in-law, Art. She is survived by her husband, Rex, of Sleepy Eye, sons, Jay (and Cheryl), of Minneapolis, Gregory (and Adderly), of Ashland, OR, daughters, Young Sil (Kim), of St. Paul, Linda (and Christopher), of Waterloo, IA, sister, Lynnette, of Minneapolis, and seven grandchildren.

Memorial gifts can be designated for the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society, Agape Ministries, Intl (granddaughter Krista’s human trafficking ministry in Cambodia), and The Center for Worship & Music Studies, (son Jay’s training institute).

Donald Wooldrik


08/06/28 – 7/20/2015 Donald James Wooldrik died July 20, 2015 from complications due to Alzheimer’s. Donald James Wooldrik was born August 6, 1928 in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. He was the 7th and youngest child to Georgina Gannon and Solomon Wooldrik. He spent his early years working on his family’s farm.

During World War II in 1944 and 1945 as a young teen Don was asked to help the war effort and worked at the Del Monte canning factory in Sleepy Eye canning peas alongside German POW’s. The hours were so long he remembers falling asleep on the floor of the canning factory between shifts. Don graduated from St Mary’s High School in Sleepy Eye in June 1946. Don attended Mankato State from Sept 1946 – May 1948. He enlisted in the US Army in 1949 and was put on active reserve in 1950.

Don graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in Pharmacy in 1952. Don worked as a pharmacist in Minnesota and North Dakota from 1952-59, and as a pharmaceutical representative for Merck, Sharp and Dohme in Minnesota from 1959-1962. He moved to Sacramento, California in 1962 and worked as a pharmaceutical representative for Eli Lilly until his retirement in 1991. Don met Martha Ryan in 1965 while visiting the doctor’s office where she was a nurse and they were married in January 1966. Don was easy going and laughed readily. He liked to joke around to lighten the mood. Besides his family and friends, Don loved root beer, black licorice, ice cream, a cold beer in a chilled mug, an old scotch, a faithful hunting dog, Herb Alpert, and the beach at Bodega Bay.

Don is survived by his wife of 49 years, Martha, his daughters Susie, Julie and Kara, sons-in-law Brian and Jim, daughter-in-law Liz, and his five grandchildren: Darby, Phoebe, Allison, Cassidy and Ryan.

The family thanks the staff at Sunrise Senior Living, Vitas Hospice, and California Caregivers for their care of Don during these last few months. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to 3 causes that were important to Don: American River Parkway Foundation – Don fished and canoed down the river for many years and walked the trails with his dog most days; Loaves and Fishes – Don volunteered serving lunch monthly up until 2014; Father Leo McAllister Scholarship Fund at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation – Don was one of Father Leo’s many admirers. A memorial Mass will be said at St Ignatius Church on Saturday, August 22, at 1pm, followed by a celebration of Don’s life. 

Steven Wooldrik


Steven J. Wooldrik, 61, of Lakeville passed away at home with his wife by his side Sunday, June 21, 2015. We will celebrate the life of this extraordinary, kind and caring man on Aug. 7 at 1 p.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Sleepy Eye. Lunch will be served in St. Mary’s Church social room immediately following burial. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the charity of your choice; the University of Minnesota Foundation-Cancer Immunotherapy Fund or the Fairview Foundation Hospice Massage Fund are preferred. Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

Born in Sleepy Eye, Steve was a 1972 graduate of St. Mary’s School. Steve lived in Lakeville since 1978, where his company continues to manufacture products after his death. His products are installed all over the world. Steve was known in his industry for his incisive grasp of projects, his integrity and loyalty to his clients. Steve fought a brave battle with an unusual, highly aggressive cancer for the past year. He was scheduled for a new treatment that uses your immune system to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, the cancer began rapidly spreading and he was unable to continue his fight. We thank the UMMC Masonic Cancer Center for their caring support this past year.

Steven is survived by his wife, Mary; brothers, John (Carole) and James; sister, Diane Kelly Peterson; nephews, Joshua (Gina), Daniel (Lorraine) Kelly, Douglas Kelly, and Darren Kelly; mother-in-law, Elizabeth Miller; brothers-in-law, Tom (Donna), Gene, Paul and Rich (Lisa) Miller; sisters-in-law, Teri Miller, Barb Lauderback and Jo Miller; many nephews-in-law and nieces-in-law, many great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Helen; and his brother-in-law, Darrel Kelly.

Gary Mude

Gary Henry Mude was born March 19, 1953, in Springfield, MN to Elvin and Verna (Rosenau) Mude. Following his high school graduation, Gary attended Technical College where he studied diesel mechanics. He was united in marriage to Patty Miller on November 18, 1978, in Jeffers, MN. Gary has worked at Fox International for the past 42 years. He was a standout basketball player in his high school days and enjoyed playing softball in his younger days. Gary put on countless miles to attend his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting and special events. He was a recent member of St. John Lutheran Church in Springfield.

 Gary Mude died Saturday, July 25, 2015, at his home in rural Sanborn.

 He is survived by wife Patty; children- Missy and fiance’ Nick and their children Micheala, Mitchell, Mason, Charlotte and Hunter of Springfield, Rachel and husband Mark Severson and their children Reagan, Kessler, Brennan and baby of Sleepy Eye, and Matt and wife Jenny and their children Jaron and Sophie; beloved Boxer Sasha; mother Verna Mude of Springfield; sisters- Arliss (Richard) Petersen of Springfield, and Darlene Trapp of Sanborn; and brother Marvin (Pam) Mude of Wichita, KS. He was preceded in death by his father Elvin; mother and father-in-law Dean and Leona Miller; brother-in-law Tom Trapp; and nephew Christopher Miller.

- See more at: http://www.sturmfh.com/tribute/details/5535/Gary_Mude/obituary.html#tribute-start

Marilyn Zobel


Marilyn Zobel, 63, of New Ulm died Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the New Ulm Medical Center in New Ulm. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 27, 2015 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Ulm with Father Samuel Wager celebrating the Mass. Burial will be in the New Ulm City Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 7 p.m. Sunday and from 7:30 10:00 a.m. Monday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, NORTH CHAPEL, in New Ulm. To leave an online condolence for her family or to sign the guestbook go to:www.mvfh.org

Marilyn is survived by her husband of thirty eight years, Walter “Wally” Zobel of New Ulm; daughter, Shelly Petersen and her fianc, Joe Habeck both of New Ulm; son and daughter-in-law, Chad Zobel and Christine of New Ulm; grandchildren, Travis Petersen, Jesse Petersen, Brianna Steffl, Eli Zobel, Maxwell Zobel, Sydnie Boettger; sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Stan Gunneson of Sleepy Eye; brothers and sisters-in-law, Howard and Mary Lou Postel of New Ulm, David and Dorothy Postel of Sleepy Eye, Michael and Carla Postel, Larry and Connie Postel, Gary Postel all of New Ulm; sister-in-law and brothers-in-law, Deb and Steve Adam of Owatonna, Eugene Zobel of Fergus Falls; nieces; nephews; and a special ex son-in-law, Matthew Petersen. She was preceded in death by her parents; sister and brother-in-law, Gloria and Tony Korkemeier; nephew, Jamie Gunneson; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Peggy and Armin Filzen; and her little buddy, Mingo Moon.

Marilyn Marie Postel was born on April 27, 1952 in New Ulm to Otto and Lillian (Clyne) Postel. On April 8, 1977 she was united in marriage to Walter William Zobel in Essig. Marilyn was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed spending time at the lake and sitting on the deck with morning coffee, going on scenic drives by lakes, country music, yardwork, bird watching, watching the Minnesota Twins, and spending time with her family. Marilyn was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Ulm.

Melva Christensen


Melva E. Christensen age 94, formerly of Sleepy Eye, died on July 22, 2015, at St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield, MN.

Private Services will be held on Monday at the Sturm Funeral Home.

The clergy will be Pastor Chris Cordes.

Interment will be at the Brookville – Dannebod Cemetery, rural Sleepy Eye.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye.

On line condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

Melva E. Christensen was born on October 10th, 1920 near Morgan, MN the daughter of August & Emma (Ott) Kopischke. She was baptized and confirmed of the Lutheran Faith, Wisconsin Synod. Melva attended country school near Morgan. She was united in marriage to Arlin R. Christensen on February 12, 1946 at Zion Lutheran Church in Morgan. The couple lived and farmed in Eden Township until moving to Brookville Township in 1954. They retired and moved to Sleepy Eye in 1980. Arlin preceded her in death in January of 1999. Melva continued to live in Sleepy Eye until moving to Orchid Hill in New Ulm in March of 2006. She moved to St. John Lutheran Home in Springfield in February of 2009. Melva worked as a Nurse’s Aide for the Sleepy Eye Hospital for 24 years, she was a DAV Auxiliary Member, VFW Auxiliary Member, a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Morgan and St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye where she helped with various projects. She enjoyed her garden, flowers, baking and canning.

Melva is survived by her daughter Marilyn Arlt of Edina, son, Reynold (Gail) Christensen of rural Sleepy Eye/Morgan, 3 grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 1 step-great-grandchild and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Arlin, 2 brothers, sister, Ella Bloemke, granddaughter, Lori Christensen and son-in-law, David Arlt.

Nancy Portner


Nancy L. Portner, 76, of New Ulm died Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye. Funeral service will be 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21st at First United Methodist Church in New Ulm with Pastor Jo Anne Taylor officiating. A private family committal service will happen at a later time at the New Ulm City Cemetery in New Ulm.

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m. on Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in New Ulm. To leave an online condolence for her family, or to sign the guestbook, go to www.mvfh.org

Nancy is survived by her husband, Florian Portner of New Ulm; her sons, Brian (Nettie) Portner of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Lee (Julie) Portner of New Ulm; grandson, Dylan; brother, David (Barb) Lamson of Mankato; sisters-in-law, Loriane (Linus) Guggisberg of Essig, Edna (Ralph) Petersen of Sleepy Eye, Irene (Nick) Lux of Sleepy Eye, Bernice (Ron) Schmitz of New Ulm, Elaine (Mike) Breu of Searles; brothers-in-law, Alan Portner of New Ulm, Ron (Sue) Portner of Essig; and many nieces , nephews, neighbors, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister, Barbara Jean Lamson.

Nancy Lee Lamson was born July 17, 1939 in Mankato to Harrison and Ethyl (Schmidt) Lamson. She graduated from Mankato High School, and later attended Mankato Beauty School. Nancy worked as a stylist in Mankato, Walnut Grove, and New Ulm over a span of seven years. She was united in marriage to Florian Portner on June 26, 1965 at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm. The couple was blessed with two sons whom together they raised in Milford Township. While on the farm, Nancy helped Florian with farm work, but also cared for the children and her elderly mother, and in-laws. Nancy was very active in her community and her church. As an active member of First United Methodist Church, she taught Sunday school, sang in the Church Choir, was a member of the Ruth Circle, and was also an active member of the United Methodist Women. She also was a 4-H Leader for years in Milford Township. For enjoyment, Nancy liked reading, cooking for her family, and babysitting neighborhood children. She also loved watching the Essig Blue Jays baseball team, and spending time with her family and grandson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the New Sign Fund for First United Methodist Church in New Ulm.

Francis Ibberson

Francis Ibberson age 89, of Sleepy Eye, MN died on July 18, 2015, at Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye, MN.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will continue on Wednesday from 7:30 am until 10:00 am at the Sturm Funeral Home, Sleepy Eye Chapel.

Service will be held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye on Wednesday at 10:30 am

Interment will be at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Sleepy Eye, MN.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye, MN. On line condolences may be left for the family atwww.sturmfh.com.

Jay Bertrand


Jay Bertrand age 52 of Sleepy Eye was called home to eternal rest after a courageous battle with cancer on July 15, 2015.
Visitation will be on Sunday from 4 to 8 pm and will continue on Monday from 7:30 until 10 am at the Sturm Funeral Home, Sleepy Eye.
There will be a parish prayer service at 3:45pm Sunday at the funeral home. Service will be held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sleepy Eye, on Monday, July 20, 2015 at 10:30 am. The clergy will be Father Aaron Johanneck.  Interment will be at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Sleepy Eye.
Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. On line condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com

Jay Thomas Bertrand was born on November 23, 1962 in New Ulm, MN to Thomas and Carolyn (Suess) Bertrand. Jay graduated from St. Mary’s School, Sleepy Eye in 1981, before attending Willmar Area Vocational School for Auto Body. He opened an auto body shop on his family farm while continuing to farm with his dad, Tom. He married Tracy Lynn Guza, on July 28, 1990 where they resided on the Bertrand Family Farm. Jay valued his time spent with their children, Justin, Christopher and Brianna. Jay took pride in watching his children learn and grow. Throughout Jay’s life, he was a man with great visions and determination. He loved being outdoors and working on the farm. A true farmer at heart, Jay enjoyed the good and the bad days of farming. His determination and hard work established the Bertrand Farm to what it is today. Even during times of ill health, he still pushed himself to work out in the field and to check the crops from day to day that he so proudly planted with determination this past Spring. Jay also took great pride in the cars that he worked his magic on reversing them from being of something old to becoming a vehicle that caught everyone’s attention because of its beauty. Jay always looked forward to taking snowmobile trips with the boys or the family annual trip to Spider Lake each summer. Jay was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, MN and was also a member of the Knight of Columbus. Jay had a humble spirit which defines him as a man of few words but ongoing visionary thoughts, a man of patience and good heart. Even though his life was cut short, Jay was living example of a man of dedication, who provided his family with cherished memories that will be treasured for lifetime. Jay will be deeply missed by all.
Left to carry on his passions are his wife, Tracy and their three children, Justin of Sleepy Eye and special friend Katie Wurtzburger and her daughter Kinley, Christopher of Sleepy Eye and special friend Lizzie Rummel and Brianna of Sleepy Eye. He is also survived by his parents, Tom and Carolyn Bertrand of New Ulm, sisters Janelle Bertrand of Minneapolis and her daughter Nicole Youngquist of Newport Kentucky (and husband Aaron) along with his great-niece Ava and Jacque Behrens of Minneapolis and her children Tess and Tate. Mother-in-law, Beverly Guza of Sleepy Eye, sister-in-law Brenda Gluth (husband Greg) of Sleepy Eye and their children Travis of Springfield, (wife Kim) and children Parker and Hayden, Lance, Brady and the late Kristin Ann.
Jay was preceded in death by his grandparents Fanchon and Joe Bertrand, Florian and Gertrude Suess, father-in-law, Anthony “Butch” Guza and niece, Kristin Gluth.

John Schroepfer

John R. Schroepfer age 61, of New Ulm, Minnesota died on Thursday, July 2, 2015, at the New Ulm Medical Center.

Service will be held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, on Monday, July 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm

The clergy will be Fr. Andy Michels

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye. 

On line condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.

John was born on August 23, 1953 in New Ulm, MN, the son of Albert & Myrtle (Johnson) Schroepfer. He grew up in Sleepy Eye, then moved to New Ulm where he lived in a group home and worked at Enterprise North. John had a jovial personality. He was a big sports fan. His favorite teams were the Twins and Vikings. He liked bowling and golfing. He especially enjoyed being with his friends at Enterprise North.John is survived by his brothers, Gary of New Ulm and Tom of New Ulm. He was preceded in death by his parents.