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Dr. O. B. "Ben" Bergsrud died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, May 30, 2009. He was 83 years old. Ben was born on March 19, 1926, at his grandfather's home in Black Hammer Township, Minn. His early education was in a one-room country school, and he graduated from Spring Grove High School in 1944. On the Fourth of July, following graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for two years. Following his discharge, he attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and graduated in 1950. His first teaching and coaching positions were in Moorland, Iowa, and Whitehall.
Paul Michael Schmeling, 56, was born on July 5, 1952, in Springfield, Ill., the son of Arlyn L. and Evelyn H. (nee Heldt) Schmeling. He was baptized into the Kingdom of God and made an heir of eternal life through the cleansing of Holy Baptism on July 13, 1952, in Springfield. He attended elementary school at St. John Evangelical Lutheran School in Two Rivers. On Palm Sunday, April 3, 1966, he publicly confessed his Christian faith and promised to remain faithful until death to his Savior Jesus Christ.
Larry J. Petersen, 101, of River Falls, died on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at the Cornell Area Care Center in Cornell. Larry was born the son of Hans and Carrie (Gregerson) Petersen on Nov. 27, 1907, in the town of Hudson. He graduated from Hudson High School with the class of 1925. On January 28, 1938, Larry was married to Mary Kathryn "Bea" Gutzler in Stillwater, Minn. They were blessed with two children, Bruce and Nanci. Larry worked his entire career for Ford Motor Company's local River Falls dealership.
Cathy Elaine Mathisrud, 56, of River Falls, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2009, at United Hospital in St. Paul. She was born to Wayne and Fern (Cruthis) Beaty on April 29, 1953, in Illinois. Cathy liked to crochet and read. She especially liked to relax with a good movie.
Marlys "Marlie" Bethel Laue, 73, of Greeley Colo., formerly of River Falls, died Sunday, May 10, 2009, in Greeley. A funeral service was held in Greeley on Friday, May 15. A service of remembrance will be held for Marlys at 11 a.m. this Friday, June 5, at Greenwood Cemetery. A luncheon reception will be held following the service at the First Congregational Church to which everyone is invited. Cashman-Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family with local arrangements.
Ruth Christine (Ritter) Kraft, 69, of Jamestown, N.D., and formerly of River Falls, died Monday, May 25, 2009, in her home, surrounded by her loving family with the support of Jamestown Hospice. A prayer service will be held at Lisko Funeral Chapel in Jamestown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 18, in St. James Basilica.
Alice Marie Jansa, 88, of River Falls, passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2009, at Kinnic Long Term Care center. She was born on May 23, 1921, in Kinnickinnic township, to the late John and Ann (Yanisch) Lubich. Alice married John Jansa on June 1, 1948, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Prescott. He preceded her in death in 1987. Alice enjoyed reading and gardening. She also was a great cook.
John M. "Jack" Smith, 71, passed away on Friday, March 27, 2009, following a short illness. Jack was born in River Falls to Mardelle (Williams) and Henry L. Smith on July 17, 1937. Following graduation from high school, Jack entered the U.S. Army. Jack played baseball, basketball and football for the Special Services division. In 1958 Jack attended McConnell Airline School working for both Northwest and Western Airlines. In August 1961 Jack married Deanna Freitag in Minneapolis. Jack had the chance to work in Green Bay, and loving the Green Bay Packers, the family relocated.
Florence Troost (nee Ross), 89, was born on Oct. 26, 1919, in LaGrange, Ill., to Walter R. and Emilie (Gabriel) Ross. She had three brothers: Walter R. Jr., Donald G., and Douglas E.; and one sister, Eleanore L. (Ross) Leber. When Florence was one, the family moved to Villa Park, Ill. She attended elementary and junior high school there, and two-and-a-half years of high school at York Community High School in Elmhurst, Ill.
Paul James Symon, 56, of River Falls, died on Thursday, May 14, 2009, at St. Joseph Hospital in St. Paul. Paul was born on April 9, 1953, to Charles and Helen (Jindra) Symon in Teaneck, N. J. He grew up in New Jersey where he graduated from Emerson High School. Upon graduation, Paul moved to Menomonie, where he attended college at UW-Stout. He got a job at 3M where he worked as a machine shop inspector for 28 years. In the early '90s, Paul began seeing a woman named Susan Modlin. On Oct.19, 1991, the two were joined in marriage at the Wakanda Park in Menomonie.