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Kenneth D. Speer, age 85, of Emerald Township-rural Glenwood City, died peacefully Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, at Comforts Of Home in Baldwin. A time to reflect and celebrate the life of Kenneth Speer will be from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin. Interment will be private. Funeral services entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home with cremation services coordinated by Countyside Crematory of Baldwin.
Died Nov. 15, 2009 Lanny Ray Saumer, age 60, of River Falls, died Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, at the VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minn., following a battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Lanny was born on Jan. 21, 1948, in Montevideo, Minn., the son of Herbert and Ruth (Gamm) Saumer. He was a graduate of Montevideo High School in 1965. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two years with a stint in Vietnam. Upon returning from the service, he went to St. Cloud State University and received a degree in education. Lanny married Karen Chance from Albert Lea, Minn., in 1973.
Died Oct. 31, 2009 Lora J. Hanten, age 37, of River Falls, died Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, at the Comforts of Home, River Falls. She was born on May 20, 1972, in Rochester, Minn., the daughter of John "Jack" and Carol (Swanson) Hanten. Lora grew up in River Falls, was a graduate of River Falls High School, and attended Mankato State University. She was currently working at WEVR AM/FM radio stations.
Larry E. Torkelson, age 59, of Hudson, formerly of Baldwin, died Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009 at Region's Hospital in St. Paul following a brief illness. Funeral service for Larry Torkelson will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Peace Lutheran Church in Baldwin. Burial will be in the Woodside Cemetery in Baldwin. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at church. Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the family. Funeral services entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin and Hudson.
Sydnie M. Freeman, 90, "Grandma Great" of Janesville, formerly of River Falls, died on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, at Nazareth Health and Rehabilitation Center in Stoughton. She is survived by her four children: Bill (Ginger) Freeman, Janice (Larry) Butler, Diana (Robert) Nordeng and Sheri (Jeff) Olin; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Freeman Sr.; and three children: Richard Freeman Jr., Helen Cowley and Kenneth Freeman. Sydnie will be remembered for all the great memories, laughter and joy she brought to so many lives.
Harry "Duke" Deal, 73, died Wednesday, Sept 23, 2009. Duke was born on March 19, 1936, in River Falls to Harry and Phila Deal. He attended first through 12th grades in River Falls Public Schools. Duke married Kathleen "Peggy" Leonard on Feb. 4, 1955. Along with his wife, Duke owned and operated Pearson Florist in River Falls for over 40 years. He was the expert on funeral and table arrangement floral design as well as growing greenhouse crops. Duke grew greenhouse cut flower crops including snap dragons, carnations, chrysanthemums, callas, and feverfew over the years.
Died Sept. 23, 2009 Clarence Strandberg, age 90 of New Richmond, formerly of River Falls, died on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009 at the St. Croix Health Center. A funeral service will be held Monday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. at Prairieview Covenant Church in New Richmond. Visitation will also be Monday from 9:30-11 a.m. at the church. The interment will be Monday at 2 p.m. at Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minn. Arrangements are with the Beebe Mortuary of New Richmond.
Jane James, 83, died Wednesday, Sept. 16, at United Hospital in St. Paul There will be a visitation at 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church on Monday, Sept. 21. The memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. Memorial request is to the United Methodist Church of River Falls.
A native of River Falls, Roger J. Ames came to Pine City, Minn., in 1969 to work for the Pine County Social Service Department. He and Candy Anderson were married in 1970, and Roger began graduate work on an MSW in public policy administration at UMD. After he completed that work in 1975, Roger started employment at the East Central Regional Development Commission in 1976 and retired from that organization as Executive Director in 2000. Roger died on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009, his 69th birthday, at North Memorial Medical Center from heart failure after a lengthy illness.
Gerald W. Malmer, formerly of River Falls, age 79, passed away on Sunday Sept. 13, 2009 in Olympia, Wash. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Arlene; brother, John of Hudson, and sons, Dennis of Lacey, Wash., and Terry of Peachtree City, Ga.; and daughters, Debbie of Vancouver, Wash., and Jodel of Hastings, Minn. Burial will take place at the River Falls Greenwood cemetery at a later date.