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LaVerne Mealey, age 96, passed away on June 20, 2022, at the Baldwin Care Center surrounded by her loving family. LaVerne Marie was born on March 30, 1926, to Kathryn and Amable Parent in Somerset, WI where she lived and grew up with her 7 brothers and sisters. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Somerset. She graduated from Somerset High School in 1944 as valedictorian of her class. She was united in marriage to Raymond Mealey, Jr. at St. Anne’s on Nov. 23, 1946. Three days later her husband, Raymond, entered WWII. During their marriage, they were blessed with 5 children. She held many different jobs over the years and worked at Montgomery Ward, FabriTek and Univac but was primarily a mother and homemaker. She was an avid church goer and worshiped at St. Anne’s in Somerset and at Immaculate Conception in New Richmond. She was active in both of those parishes and helped with many funerals. She was known to be quiet, kind and a very strong woman. She loved to play cards, bingo and recently trivia at the Baldwin Care Center. She was a wonderful cook and baker and known for her freshly made “buns” and mock chow mein. The family would like to thank the entire Baldwin Care Center for their wonderful staff, loving nurses and aides and all those who were involved with her excellent care. LaVerne was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Raymond, Jr., her son-in-law, Marshall Hepner, Sr., and her 7 siblings: Eileen, Marcella, Clarence, Camilla, Viola, Wallace and Harris. She is survived and will be missed by her children: Daniel (Char) Mealey, Scott (Debbie) Mealey, Brian (Liz) Mealey, Bonnie Hepner and Brenda (Jerry) Forrest; 11 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and several Godchildren and many nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian Burial 11 AM Tuesday June 28, 2022, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Somerset, Wisconsin. Visitation held for 1.5 hours prior to Mass at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred.

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Roger Scott Becker, age 67 of Hudson, WI, passed away June 20, 2022 at his home. Roger was born on September 10, 1954 in Durand, WI, to Clement and Shirley (Miner) Becker. Roger grew up on the family farm in Mondovi and graduated from Mondovi High School and attended vocational school in Red Wing, MN. He was united in marriage to Linda Bauer on February 23, 1974, and the couple was blessed with three children, Shane, Brent, and Tracey. Roger worked at Norlake for 40 years. Roger loved spending time with his family and was especially fond of group trips up north and family pontoon rides. He enjoyed spending time outdoors and was fond of hunting deer and pheasants. Roger will remain in the hearts of his wife of 48 years, Linda; children, Shane (Jennifer) Becker, Brent Becker, and Tracey (Scott) Johnson; grandchildren, Cole and Riley Becker; Brooklynn, Bryce, and Briella Johnson; siblings, Richard Becker, Larry (Kathy) Becker, Jerry (Jane) Becker, Joe (Robin) Becker, Dana Crosson, Patti (Rick) Johnson; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents. A funeral service to celebrate Roger’s life will be held at 11:00 am Monday, June 27, 2022 at Bethel Lutheran Church - Downtown Campus, 920 3rd Street, Hudson, WI. A visitation will be held from 4-7 pm on Sunday, June 26, at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th Street, Hudson, WI; and also one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church. Interment at Willow River Cemetery. Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson, (715)386-3725. www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com

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Douglas M. Kafka, age 89, of St. Croix Beach Minnesota passed away on June 16th, 2022. He was born in Roseau, Minnesota and grew up in St. Paul. He went to Harding High School and served in the Korean War. He married Frances Herdina in 1957. Doug and Frances were together for 56 years before she passed away in 2013. Doug wore many hats over the years. He was a laborer, worked in sales, and was also a radio announcer. He was a member of the A.A. Society for over 44 years. He loved talking to people and singing for anyone he met. He was preceded in death by wife, Frances. He is survived by his 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. A service will be held at 10:30 am on June 30th with a visitation one hour prior to the service and a lunch to follow at St. Francis of Assisi Church (16770 13th Street South) in St. Croix Beach, Minnesota. Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date. Cremation Services provided by Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

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Karen Mary Blachowiak, loving wife, mother, and grandma, passed away in the early hours of June 12, 2022 at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul, MN after a brief illness. She is survived by her husband of almost 53 years, Jerome “Skip” Blachowiak. Her sister Marilyn Pulte. Her children Anna Burns, Becky (John) Maher, Chris (Steph) Blachowiak and David (Tiersa) Blachowiak. Her 11 grandchildren, Avery, Samantha, Addison, Carolina, Leah, Jackson, Embry, Carley, Laney, Grant and Bryn. For full obituary and service information please go to www.bratley-nelsonchapels.com.

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Eugene “Gene” G. Stahnke, age 99, of Hudson, WI, passed away on June 22, 2022 at his home in Hudson. Gene was born on November 6, 1922 to William and Rose (Gutz) Stahnke in St. Paul, MN. He spent his childhood years living in North St. Paul or on a farm near Empire (Farmington), MN. After graduating from North St. Paul High School, he was drafted in the United States Army Air Corp and served during WWII. Upon his honorable discharge, he was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Loftus on July 4, 1946 in New Albany, Indiana. Together, they were blessed with two children, Deborah and Mark. Gene worked for over 40 years at West Publishing (later became Thompson Reuters) in the graphic arts as a printer and bookbinder. Towards his later years with the company, he ran and oversaw much of their custom bookbinding needs. His involvement in the printing industry spanned his life, starting at age 14, and later having his own print shop and bindery in his home. He completed his final projects in March of 2022. He retired in 1987, and in 2002 at the age of 80, he became a school crossing guard, a job he held and enjoyed until he was 88. Gene was the definition of a dedicated Husband, Father, “Papa”, “Great Papa”, and friend. He rarely missed his kids sporting or music events. He had a passion for learning about others and had a knack for establishing deep social connections with whoever he met. His genuine care and gentle generosity for others allowed him to be endlessly tolerant, accepting of others, and unifying with his welcoming presence. Gene enjoyed getting his hands dirty – whether that was in his garden, or working on the family farm. He found delight in reminiscing over old classic cars, attending MN Orchestra concerts, reading mysteries, thrillers, and WWII non-fiction, and cooking his signature dishes (most notably canned tuna stir fry). Traveling was in his heart, and he enjoyed many road trips across the country, taking a new route each time, along with trips to Europe. He also was an avid pie lover, frequently attended local high school basketball and football games, enjoyed biking around town, and was an adoring dog lover. Gene was dedicated in his faith and to Mt. Zion Lutheran church for over 60 years, thoroughly enjoying the family he made there. He is survived by his children: Deborah (William) Fristad and Mark (Wendy) Stahnke; grandchildren: Kirsten Fristad, Carl (Holly Thorstad) Fristad, Brielle (Kyle) Anfinson, and Brandon (Rachael) Stahnke; great-grandchildren: Adrian, Austin, and Arthur Anfinson and Paxton and Nova Stahnke; nephews: Tom (Judy) Stahnke, Matt (Amy) Eppen, and Mike (Darla) Eppen; along with many extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary; and siblings, Leslie (Glenyce) Stahnke and Geraldine (Kermith) Eppen. A Visitation and Memorial Service was held at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson. In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to family, who will be giving to various organizations dear to Gene. O’Connell Funeral Home of Hudson, WI. (715) 386-3725. www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com