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Michael Gillis, age 51, of Hammond, died Saturday, April 10, 2010, as full of life as he always was, until his great heart gave out suddenly. Mike was born April 19, 1958, in New Richmond, Wis., to Jim and Ila Gillis of Woodville, Wis. He lived his life in Woodville and Hammond but enjoyed a world of experiences through the military in Seattle and Turkey.
John E. "Jack" Ortwerth, age 80, of River Falls, formerly of Ellsworth, passed away Saturday, April 10, 2010, at River Falls Area Hospital. A Memorial Mass for John will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 14, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth with Father Roy Witucki officiating. Interment will be in Clayfield Cemetery. A memorial gathering will be one hour prior to the service at church on Wednesday. Online condolences may be expressed at www.hillfuneralservice.com . Hill Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Ellsworth is assisting the family with arrangements.
Donald W. Larson, age 93, of River Falls, passed away Sunday, April 4, 2010, at the Lutheran Home in River Falls. He was born in Minneapolis on Dec. 3, 1916, son of Hulda (Edner) and Mathew Larson. He served five years in the Army, including four years in the South Pacific during World War II. Don and Ceil were married in March of 1946. Don's wife and family were always his greatest joy and came first in his life. His faith and church life were central to whom he was and values by which he lived his life. Banking was Don's passion.
Walter Bjornson, of Menomonie, Wis. was at home under hospice care when he passed from this earth on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, after a six-week struggle with cancer. Edward Walter Bjornson was born Sept. 23, 1923, to Edward and Minnie (Sobottka) Bjornson near Plum City, Wis. Known as Walter, he grew up in and around Spring Valley, Wis. He graduated high school in 1941. He began to work in the family lumber business at a young age and continued there for most of his life. He married Nancy Jacobson on Oct.
Donald Louis Kusilek, age 64, died suddenly April 3, 2010, at his home in Hastings, Minn. He was born January 15, 1946, to Mabel Filkins and H. "Heavy" Van Shlyke in Hastings. Donald was a graduate of Hastings High School and served in the United States Army as a cook. He was employed at Armor's as a meat cutter and later owned a bar on Vermillion Street in Hastings for a short time. He was a member of the American Legion Club and Eagles Club. He was preceded in death by grandparents, Louis and Theresa Filkins; father, George Kusilek; mother, Mabel (Filkins) Kusilek.
Alma Van Beek, age 85, of Roberts, Wis., died on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. Alma was born on July 26, 1924, in Hull, N.D., to parents Rensie and Anna (Droog) Haak. Like many of her generation who grew up in rural America, Alma attended country school. On Nov. 8, 1944, Alma was united in marriage to Alvin Van Beek at the Reformed Church in Westfield, N.D. Their union in marriage would be blessed with seven children. Together, Alma and Alvin raised their family on a dairy farm south of Roberts.
In Memoriam: Diana S. Beardsley, M.D., Ph.D. Dec. 8, 1947 - March 30, 2010. Diana S. Beardsley, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Yale Medical School, died Tuesday, March 30, 2010. She had been a member of the Yale faculty since 1986, and was an internationally known pioneer in the study of hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and a leading figure in the treatment of childhood hemophilia and cancer. At Yale, Dr. Beardsley built a nationally recognized program in coagulopathies and platelet disorders.
Lawrence Bock, age 94, of Spring Valley, died Tuesday, March 30, at the Heritage of Elmwood Nursing Home. Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday, April 3, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Hatchville, with Rev. Shawn Kauffeld officiating and burial in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the church prior to the service. Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley, is handling arrangements.
H. Russell Lindgren, age 84, of Hammond, Wis., formerly of Rice Lake, Prescott, and Hudson, Wis., died Monday, March 29, 2010, at the American Heritage Care Center, Hammond. Russell was born on August 22, 1925 in Barron County, Wis., the son of Hjalmer and Clara (Oleson) Lindgren. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 until 1946, when he was honorably discharged. Russell married the love of his life, Virgie Hinze on Jan. 20, 1945, in Virginia Beach, Va. He worked as lineman for NSP for many years. Russell loved his family, friends and church.
John T. Leonard was born June 1, 1939, to Curtis and Lillian Leonard in River Falls, Wis.