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Vel Nelson passed away peacefully Saturday, July 24, at the Lutheran Home in River Falls at the age of 97. She was born Velva Inez Melgard on Jan. 10, 1913, in Barron, Wis., to Eilert and Mayme (Zimdars) Melgard. At a very young age, Vel moved with her family to River Falls where her father founded Melgard Monument Company. On Sept. 13, 1931, she married Fordyce (Fordy) Nelson.
James "Gene" E. Clay, age 82, of River Falls, died Tuesday, July 20, 2010, at Comforts of Home, River Falls. Gene was born on Sept. 6, 1927 in Snappsburg, Minn., the son of Cecil and Mary (Hessmen) Clay. He served in the United State Air Force, and on August 30, 1947, he married Petra Pulido. Petra died in June 1997.
William J. Butler, age 67, of River Falls, died on Sunday, July 11, at the Lutheran Home in River Falls. Bill was born the son of William K. and Mary C. (Riley) Butler on March 27, 1943, in Oakes, N.D. He graduated from Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D., with the class of 1961. He then served his country in the Army. When Bill returned from service, he moved to Minneapolis, Minn. He met Laurel Wisner; they were married in March of 1970. They lived in Hawaii in the late 1970s before moving back to Minneapolis to start a family.
Trudy "Trix" Lee Miller, 59, of Hudson, died at 8:05 a.m. Sunday, July 11, 2010. Trudy was born in St. Louis, Mo., to Robert H. and Shirley (Riel) Mardis. She was a business systems analyst. Preceded in death by her parents. Survived by husband, Fred Miller of Hudson; step-sons, Rick and Andy Miller, both of St. Louis; brother, Randy (Kemlyn) Mardis of St. Charles, Mo.; sisters, Terry Mardis of St. Louis, Pam (Dennis) O'Toole of O'Fallon, Mo., and Pat (Ricky) Christiansen of Moscow Mills, Mo.; two grandchildren. Services, officiated by Rev.
Mark Dickson Palmer died peacefully on June 27, 2010, after suffering a heart attack on June 24. Mark was preceded in death by his mother, Cynthia. He is survived by his wife, Moon of Apple Valley, Minn., and his sons, Matthew, 18, of Warwick, R.I., and David, 12, of River Falls, Wis. He is also survived by his father, Richard of Newport, R.I., and his sister and three brothers and their families.
Gayle A. Hallstrom, age 61, of Hudson, passed away peacefully at her home, attended lovingly by family and friends, on Wednesday, June 30, 2010, after battling ovarian cancer. She was born on March 10, 1949, in Rice Lake, Wis. She was the daughter of Gale William and Mary Hazel (Castonia) Bartlett. Gayle was united in marriage to David Hallstrom on Nov. 30, 1996, at their home in Hudson. She graced our lives with her open heart, fun-loving spirit, and quirky sense of humor.
Vern Dahl Richardson, age 92, of River Falls, Wis., formerly of Spring Valley, died Wednesday, June 30, 2010, at the Lutheran Home in River Falls. Vern was born June 15, 1918, the daughter of David E. and Mary Eugenia (Bayer) Dahl in St. Paul, Minn. She attended St. Luke's Elementary School in St. Paul. Her family moved to Hudson where her father was the first band director at the Hudson High School. Vern graduated from Hudson in 1936. After high school, Vern attended River Falls Normal School for two years and in 1938 married Lee Richardson. They were blessed with six children.
Richard E. Knight, age 66, of Ellsworth, died Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at the River Falls Area Hospital. He was born the son of Edward and Naoma (White) Knight on April 15, 1944, in Red Wing, Minn. In 1962, Richard graduated from Spring Valley High School. After graduation, he worked for two years at Behrens Motor Supply in River Falls. On July 5, 1969, he married Gloria Ray in Hudson and in 1975 the couple purchased their farm in rural River Falls. While farming, Richard hauled milk for Mid-Am from local farmers in River Falls and Ellsworth until selling his route in 1981.
Florence Nickum died Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at the age of 83. She was born Feb. 19, 1927, in Rochester, Minn., the daughter of Gerald and Katherine (Beach) Nickum. Florence married Zane Chaffee on June 2, 1944. Four children were born to this union. The couple later divorced. Florence described herself as "an awestruck citizen of the universe." Her active and curious mind led her to explore many different ideas, to obtain her bachelor's degree at the age of 55, and to take university courses as recently as this spring.