We remember those Warriors who are no longer with us in person, but remain with us in spirit.
Ronald Butterfield ‘63 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away July 30, 2020. He graduated from Rochester John Marshall and received an associate degree from Rochester Junior College where he also lettered in tennis, helping his team to fourth place in the national tournament. He then earned a teaching degree from Winona State University and, after teaching grade school in Spring Valley for a year, went back to WSU for a master’s degree in education and started working in the registration office on campus. Ron later earned his Ph.D. from Ball State University and returned to WSU as registrar, a position he held until 1989 when he moved to the University’s Rochester campus as an Academic Advisor. He retired after 32 years at WSU and focused on his passions of writing poetry, antiquing, painting, and traveling with an unquenchable thirst for exploring the American West. Most of all, though, Ron treasured his family.
Donald Fick (Winona, Minn.) passed away Jan. 29, 2021. After graduating from Wilton High School, Don went to the earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he was also a member of the men’s basketball team. He then taught for five years in Wisconsin before earning his master’s degree from the University of North Dakota. He then began working at Winona State before earning his PhD in Science Education from Oregon State University, and continued to teach at WSU following that until his retirement from the Chemistry Department in 1992. Don met his future wife Phyllis while attending UW-River Falls, and raised five children together. Don will be remembered for his passion of teaching both in, and out, of the classroom. He was the type of teacher who would help all students, whether on his roster or not, until they learned a concept well.
Joseph Foegen (Winona, Minn.) passed away Feb. 9, 2021. He graduated as valedictorian from Kaukauna High School, served in the U.S. Army, and then attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned his BBA in 1954, MBA in 1955, and Ph.D. in 1959 in industrial relations, personnel, and sociology. While at Madison, he received a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and met his future wife, Mary. Coming to Winona State University in 1958, Dr. Foegen shared ideas with three generations of students, mostly in management and human resources classes. He also taught courses in economics, marketing, money and banking, writing, and business and the future. He had many passions over the years – filmmaking, rock hunting, singing, and writing. From 1979 until his retirement, Dr. Foegen wrote and edited Business Brevities, a publication of the WSU College of Business. He was the longest-serving faculty member at WSU.
Elizabeth Grangaard (Winona, Minn.) passed away Mar. 12, 2021. Born in La Crosse, Betty and her husband of 69 years, George, lived and raised their family in Winona. She spent time working for Winona State College as a secretary, as well as the Tribune in La Crosse, and volunteered at the Winona Hospital, delivered Meals on Wheels, and worked to start recycling in Winona.
Sharon Hansen (Holmen, Wis.) passed away Aug. 12, 2020 after a 3-year battle with lung cancer. She married Michael Hansen in 1966 and had two sons, Michael Ray and William “Bomber” John. Throughout her life, Sharon worked as a custodian at various places including UWL, St. Mary’s University and Winona State University from which she retired in March of 2010. Sharon had the biggest heart and would do anything for anyone. Her greatest pride and joy was her family. Sharon was deemed the “QVC Queen” by her family, she loved to order treasures for everyone.
Patrick Licari (Winona, Minn.) passed away Jan. 3, 2021. After graduating from St. Francis High School in 1972, Patrick served in the United States Navy as a Seabee. Following his honorable discharge, he attended Culinary school. Patrick worked at several restaurants for many years, eventually taking a job at Winona State, working in several departments before retiring in 2012. Patrick was artistic and great at woodworking. He was also musically talented and enjoyed playing the guitar and harmonica. Patrick spent a lot of time hunting and fishing with his dad, especially in his younger years. He enjoyed spending time with close friends and family and always had a good joke to make everyone around him smile and laugh. He had a huge heart and never thought twice about lending a helping hand. His family meant the world to him.
Marjorie Maravec (Wyoming, Minn.) passed away Nov. 26, 2020. Graduating from Taylors Falls High School, she achieved a B.S. degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., with a major in art and minors in physical education and social studies. She then earned her M.A. degree in physical education from the University of Iowa. She taught school in Mondovi and Barron, Wis., and Wavery, Iowa before beginning her 35+ year career at Winona State University, where she taught in the departments of health, physical education and recreation. She also coached basketball, cross country, softball, track and field, tennis and volleyball. She was named District 13 NAIA cross country coach of the year four times, and was voted the Conference Outdoor Track Coach of the Year in 1992. Marjorie was an avid golfer and a 300 bowler. Enjoying the outdoors, she camped, canoed, and toured the Western mountains in the summertime.
Tracy (Troke) Thompson ’88 (Winona, Minn.) passed away on Oct. 12, 2020. Tracy graduated from Winona Senior High School in 1972, and later attended WSU as a mother with young children. Tracy was an ambitious and tireless worker, most proud of her position as the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Winona State. She eventually rose to work in Washington D.C. under the Clinton Administration for the Small Business Administration. She also worked for St Olaf College, Carleton College, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, among many other positions. Tracy was instrumental in establishing a Junior Achievement Program at Winona Senior High School and helped her father establish Winona Air Expediting. She was very proud of her professional accomplishments, but the title she loved the most was Mom.
Eileen (Baker) Tucker ’40 (Lewiston, Minn.) passed away Sept. 3, 2020. She graduated from Chatfield High School and Winona Teachers College, starting her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Houston. Eileen then taught at her District 118 Dogtown for two more years, and then taught in Eyota, Preston, and Richfield. She married her husband Everett, returned to WSU for her teaching degree and resumed teaching in Preston until her retirement. Eileen loved gardening, flowers, traveling, crossword puzzles, playing 500, and time spent with her family.
Carmen (Spande) Montgomery ’42 (North Oaks, Minn.) passed away April 11, 2020. She received a B.S. degree from Winona State Teacher’s College in 1942 and taught English and girls’ Physical Education. Carmen married her husband Bruce in New York City during WWII. Carmen enjoyed biking, cross-country skiing, badminton and tennis. She and Bruce were longtime residents of Como Park before moving to Shoreview. They enjoyed many years of international travel in their retirement years.
Joyce (Evans) Ohr ’45 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away July 28, 2020. She graduated from Austin High School in 1943, then went on to attend Winona State College in Winona, MN, where she received a teaching degree. Joyce began her teaching career in Wanamingo, MN, where she met her future husband, Oliver. Joyce taught elementary school children in several Wisconsin and Minnesota towns, with her last being at Harriet Bishop Elementary in Rochester where she retired from in 1978. Joyce and Ollie enjoyed traveling together throughout the U.S., as well as abroad. They spent summers at their cabin on the lake in Birchwood in Northern Wisconsin and enjoyed winters in the Panhandle region of Florida. Joyce enjoyed nature, flowers, bird-watching, gardening, knitting, cross stitching, and reading. She also had an interest in genealogy and discovered she was a direct decedent of William Bradford, a passenger aboard the Mayflower 400 years ago in 1620.
Donna (Sinclair) Johnson ’48 (Mabel, Minn.) passed away Mar. 20, 2021. She attended Winona State University for her two-year teaching degree, married her husband Clarence (Buddy) and together had seven children. During her career, Donna spent time teaching at Blooming Prairie, Riceford and Newburg, and home-schooled students before receiving her four-year teaching degree and going on to teach at Mabel-Canton for 28 years. When her youngest daughter went to Winona State, she joined her in the summers to get her library degree. She was in the Mabel-Canton library for 12 years. After retiring in 1994, she managed the Mabel Public Library for another 25 years, receiving a certificate from the governor for being the oldest living librarian. She was asked one time about how she lived so long and she said that being involved with kids all her life all seem to be her fountain of youth
Janet (Sauke) Hope ’51 (Austin, Minn) passed away Jan. 20, 2021. Janet graduated from Blooming Prairie High School and went on to attend Winona State University for teaching. She married Donald Hope and raised two children, Randy and Lyn. Janet was a wonderful homemaker and taught country school in Geneva for several years. She was a member of the Community Lutheran Church in Geneva, where she was active in WELCA and taught Sunday School. Janet was an excellent seamstress and loved tending to her garden.
Margaret Winch ’51 (La Crosse, Wis) passed away Sept. 24, 2020. Margaret graduated from Houston High School, received an associate’s degree from Luther College and a four-year degree from Winona State. She married Basil in 1953, who preceded her in death in 1985. Margaret did a lot of solo singing for weddings and funerals and had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall in New York as a young woman.
Esther (Gade) Reinke ’52 (Eitzen, Wis.) passed away Dec. 8, 2020. Esther graduated from New Albin High School and received her teaching degree from WSU. She taught in Chatfield, Minnesota, and New Albin, Iowa, until she retired to raise her family. She married Merlin in 1953, who preceded her in death in February 2020. Esther was a member of St. John’s U.C.C. Wheatland, where she was a long time Sunday School superintendent and a member of the women’s fellowship. Esther also was a member of the homemaker’s club and valued her friendship with her sewing group.
Donald Almen ’53 (Rollingstone, Minn.) passed away Mar. 16, 2021. Don was united in marriage with Ann H. Unger in 1956, and he honorably served his country with the United States Army. He attended Winona State University and obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Education for Industrial Arts. He taught high school Industrial Arts in various places including Goodhue, MN, San Juan Capistrano, CA, and Ontario, WI. Don concluded his teaching career at the Winona Senior High School in Winona, where he also taught driver education for many years.
William Gesell ’56 ( Eau Claire, Wis.) passed away Nov. 6, 2020. William graduated from Cotter High School in Winona, MN and went on to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree from Winona State University and later his Master’s Degree from Northern Colorado-Greeley. He married Faye Joanne Thompson in 1955, and worked as an educator his entire career starting as a shop teacher, then principal and eventually becoming a superintendent in Colfax, WI. He retired as a District Coordinator at Chippewa Valley Technical College. William also enlisted and served in the Marines while living in Quantico, Virginia. William spent his retirement hunting, fishing, trapping, and selling real estate.
David Smith ’56 (Osceola, Wis.) passed away Oct. 1, 2020. He graduated from Alma High School. College was interrupted as he served as a sergeant in the Korean War from 1952-1954, and then graduated from Winona State. While at Winona, he was a 4-year starter on the Warrior basketball team, and met his future wife, Mary. David worked as a teacher and basketball coach for 16 years, a land developer, and a grain sampler for the State of Minnesota. He was inducted into the Alma High School Athletic Hall of Fame and played and coached his company basketball team to wint he All-Korea Army Basketball Tournament. That championship led to an exhibition match against the Korean National basketball team, where the U.S. Army team was victorious in overtime.
Robert Brown ’57 (Roseville, Minn.) passed away Nov. 14, 2020. Brown earned a bachelor’s degrees in math and speech from Winona State University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in educational administration and psychology from the University of Minnesota. Brown taught Educational Leadership at St. Thomas, building programs, developing classes, and working as the director of graduate programs in the School of Administration for over 50 years. Brown also served 10 years in the Minnesota State Senate for the Minnesota Republican Party. Brown became an educational liaison to the White House on several task forces on private sector initiatives. In 1991 he served as executive producer of a series of education policy television and in 2000, Brown published (with co-author Jeff Cornwall) The Entrepreneurial Educator, a book to help school leaders function in today’s competitive marketplace. Even after he retired, he was still deeply involved at the School of Education.
Robert Haskins ’57 (Albert Lea, Minn.) passed away Oct. 11, 2020. After graduating from the Albert Lea High School Class of 1948, Robert joined the Army. After serving, Bob began college at the University of Minnesota and then received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Winona State University. He met his future wife, Ruth, while at UMN and together raised eight children. Bob’s first teaching job was as the football and wrestling coach in Hayfield. Haskins later retired from Albert Lea High School where he worked as a Special Education teacher for many years.
Ruth (Fueling) Johnson ’57 (La Crescent, Minn.) passed away Aug. 25, 2020. She was a graduate of Alma Public School and Winona State University. Johnson worked as a librarian at Spring Grove Public School and in 1957, married Bob where she worked on the family’s dairy farm and raised children. Ruth was happiest when surrounded by her family and friends and planning meals and snacks.
John Landro ’58 (West Salem, Wis.) passed away Jan. 22, 2021. He earned two bachelor’s degrees, in Business and Education, and a Master’ Degree in Education from Winona State. He taught at high schools in Highland and Menomonie, WI, and in the business department at Western Technical College until his retirement in 1999. He married Beverly Lanz and together they had four children. After Bev’s passing, he married Diane Kempter. John had been actively involved with the vocal choir and bell choir at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He also enjoyed golfing and bowling on the church leagues because of the camaraderie they offered.
Robert Pellowski ’63 (Lake City, Minn.) passed away June 4, 2020. Robert attended Cotter High School in Winona graduating in 1958. He went on to attend Winona State and received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Education. In 1965, Robert married Sharon Anderson. Robert was a High School English teacher and taught in Marshfield, WI, LaCrosse, WI, and Circle Pines, MN, retiring from teaching after 33 years. In his retirement, Robert was involved in local scouting for the Boy Scouts and Eagle Scout Board of Reviews for many years. He also enjoyed reading, going on family vacations traveling and camping around the country, raising purebred dogs, and being a grandpa.
Joyce Jenney ’64 (Kauai, Hawaii) passed away January 19, 2021. Joyce was a beloved kindergarten teacher in Glenwood for 30 years. Born in Wilmot, S.D., in 1930, and raised in Morris, she was valedictorian of her graduating class, and the first in her family to attend college. She received Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science at Winona State University, all with highest honors. She was named Teacher of the Year in Glenwood in 1967. In 1990, after being assaulted in her home by a then unknown assailant she moved to Hawaii for her personal safety. Later, Joyce wrote the book “Teacher You Have Smiling Eyes” about her experience and became a fierce advocate for sexual assault survivors.
Lyle “Slats” Papenfuss ’64 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away March 2, 2021. Born in La Crescent, MN., in 1942, Lyle attended La Crosse Central High School and then attended Winona State College as four-year starter in basketball and baseball. He was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. While attending Winona State, he met Inger-Lise (Lise) Fineid in of all places, the library. They married on August 3, 1963 in Kasson, MN. Lyle began his career in the insurance business with Federated Insurance and credited the early training and his later success when he accepted a partnership with the C. O. Brown Agency in Rochester spanning 37 years. Lyle loved coaching youth basketball teams and watching “his boys” go on to success in high school and college careers. Lyle was an avid sports fan, but his greatest joy came from spending time with grandchildren.
Thelma Start ’64 (Ostrander, Minn.) passed away Jan. 26, 2021. Thelma graduated from the Whitehall High School and earned a Master’s in Education from Winona State University. In between high school and college Thelma moved to Minneapolis and worked for Pillsbury ordering daily flour. While in Minneapolis, she met her husband Carmen Leland Start and married on January 1, 1961. Thelma and Leland had two children and Thelma then moved to Spring Valley, Minnesota and taught elementary school until retiring in 1979. Thelma loved reading and spent many hours in her retirement reading mysteries and current events.
Bruce Zellmer ’64 (Tomah, Wis.) passed away at his home after a short battle with cancer. Bruce was born on January 2, 1942. Bruce graduated from Winona State University where he was also inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions and traded to the Minnesota Vikings. After his time in the NFL, he spent 34 years as a research chemist with 3M. He retired and went to work at Prestwick Golf Club in Woodbury for 17 years where he enjoyed golfing and gardening. Bruce, and his true love Martha, had a zest for life in being surrounded by family and friends.
Dianne (Drury) Ruud ’67 (St. Paul, Minn.) passed away Feb. 18, 2021 after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Dianne was born on February 3, 1947, in Preston, Minn. Dianne graduated from Preston High School and then attended Winona State University for two years. In 1967, Dianne married Julius Orville Ruud and a later welcomed their two children, Jon and Jennifer. Dianne worked as the secretary at Christ Lutheran Church in Preston before starting her career of 37 years as a teller at F&M Community Bank. Dianne was passionate about her community and loved staying connected to everyone, past and present, through her column courtesy of the Filmore County Journal. Dianne reminded others of the lifetime of joy.
Brian Espe ’68 (Clear Lake, Minn.) passed away Aug. 17, 2020. Brian graduated from Algona High School, and earned several degrees at Winona State University: a Bachelor’s degree in teaching, a Master’s in counseling, and administrative certificates in education. Additionally, Brian earned another Master’s degree from Mankato State in kinesiology. Brian married Julia Ann Espe on March 17, 1994 and started his career in education in Adams, MN. Brian was a physical education teacher, business education teacher, boys’ basketball coach, middle school counselor, Math Corps master coach, activities director, high school assistant principal, and middle school principal. Brian served as principal for Southwest Middle School, Columbia Heights Middle School and Westwood Elementary School. Brian retired in Clear Lake, Minnesota where he greatly enjoyed golf, life at the lake, sports, and time spent with family and friends.
Larry Wedemeier ’68 (Waverly, Iowa) passed away Aug. 11, 2020. Larry graduated from Waverly High School in 1962 and graduated from Winona State University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Shortly after, Larry served with the US Army during the Vietnam War until his discharge on February 20, 1970. Larry married Jeanenne Seeliger in Spring Valley, Minnesota and later graduated from VA School in 1979 in mechanics and agriculture. Larry weed farmed his entire life and was the owner/operator of Wedemeier Trucking, Moine Electric, Cliff’s Place, Larry’s Texaco, and Uhlenhopp Trucking.
Gary Anhalt ’69 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) passed away Feb. 25, 2021. Born and raised in South St. Paul, Minn., Gary earned a B.S. in elementary education from Winona State University and went on to flourish in a 40-year career as an educator, starting by teaching science and physical education in Cedar Rapids. Gary was Director At-Large for the Cedar Rapids Community School District Board of Education and former President of the Cedar Rapids Education Association. Gary enjoyed his time as a competitive rower at the Minnesota Boat Club
Lowell Bartel ’69 (Gladbrook, Iowa) passed away Oct. 22, 2020. Lowell graduated from Kasson-Mantorville High School and later Winona State College majoring in history and business. He married Candace O’Meara on March 21, 1969. Lowell and Candace raised their family in Conrad, IA. Later, Lowell enlisted in the US Army and proudly served in the 82nd Airborne Division, Ft. Bragg NC, during the Vietnam War. Lowell was awarded various medals of services for his service. After leaving active-duty Lowell continued serving in the Army Reserve until his retirement in 1992, after 23 years of active duty and reserve service. In retirement Lowell and Candace enjoyed living in McGregor, MN and then in Conrad, IA for 20 years. Lowell enjoyed fishing, pheasant hunting, reading, and spending time with his family.
Bergetta (Dahl) Gunderson ’69 (Winona, Minn) passed away Sept. 17, 2020. Bergetta attended St. Olaf and Luther College, graduating from Luther in 1950. Bergetta also received her Master’s in special education from Winona State University. In 1951, Bergetta took a teaching position in the Mankato School District and was a teacher in all subjects ranging from preschool to high school for 32 years. Bergetta married John C. Zotalis in Mankato, Minn., who preceded her in death in 1953. In 1959, she married Marvin Gunderson in Harmony, Minn. Bergetta was a member of Central Lutheran Church, the Martha Circle, and the Portia Club. Bergetta’s greatest joy was participating in her grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s lives whether it was meeting for dinner weekly or Skyping to stay current in each other’s lives.
Kenneth Kolek ’69 (Marshfield, Wis.) passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020 at age 89. Ken graduated from Weyerhaeuser High School in 1949 and later joined the United States Air Force proudly serving his country from 1951 to 1955 during the Korean War. Ken married his high school classmate, Margaret Abbie Anderson, in 1958. After his service, Ken enrolled at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and received his bachelor’s degree in elementary physical education and adaptive education in 1960. Ken was hired as director of elementary physical education for the Phillips School District. In addition to coaching football, track and wrestling during his career, Ken earned a Master’s degree at Winona State University graduating in 1966 and went on to teach as an elementary school physical education teacher for 24 years. Ken started the wrestling program at the University of Wood County and organized elementary Track and Field Day for all the district schools. In 1984 Ken was awarded Teacher of the Year. After completing a 30-year teaching career Ken retired in 1990. In retirement Ken enjoyed biking with family, traveling across the US with his wife Marge, volunteering with the Wesley United Methodist church, and collecting old logging memorabilia.
Cloy (Hoseck) Westley ’69 (Minneapolis, Minn) passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at age 75. Cloy Denise (Hoseck) Westley was born on October 31, 1945 in Canby, MN. Cloy graduated from Canby High School and continued her education, receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree from South Dakota State University. While attending school, Cloy met and married her first husband Michael H. Foley, in 1967. Cloy then went on to earn her Master of Arts Degree from Winona State University. Cloy was a middle school teacher in both Iowa and Minnesota and was a participant in several Midwest art festivals including the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis, MN. Cloy married her second husband, Don Westley in 2004 and finished her working career as an Underwriter with American Family Mutual Insurance Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Mary (Kepler) Wolter ’69 (St. Charles, Minn.) passed away Mar. 19, 2021. Mary went to Rochester Public Schools and graduated from high school in 1945. Mary continued her education at Rochester Junior College where she met her future husband, Robert (Bob) M. Wolter in 1946. The couple went on to the University of Minnesota where she earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 1950. After marrying, Mary and Bob settled in St. Charles. After having children, Mary received a Master’s of Science Degree in Chemistry from Winona State University. Mary taught physical and organic chemistry at Rochester Community and Technical College for 23 years. After retirement, Mary and Bob spent many beautiful days at their lake cabin on Big Island Lake. Mary was very devoted to her family and friends, passionate about animals and nature, and loved to read and write poetry.
Harold Dahl ’70 (Sun City West, Ariz) passed away on January 2 in Sun City West, Arizona. Harold was born on February 20, 1928 in Janesville, Wisconsin. Harold graduated from Janesville High School in 1946 and graduated in UW La Crosse in 1953. Harold also served in the US Navy at the end of World War II as a Hospital Corpsman while stationed in Oakland, CA. On February 28, 1953 he married Darlene Haddad in La Crosse, WI. They were married 44 years before her death in 1996. He furthered his education over several summers to earn two master’s degrees, one in physical education and the second in counseling at Winona State University. Harold began his teaching career in Frederic, WI, later taught in La Crosse, and was then employed with Racine Unified School for more than 30 years. Harold “Topper”, aka Coach Dahl, primarily taught at Mitchell Junior High where he developed the gymnastics program and lead his team to years of city championships. In his retirement Harold loved to golf with friends, soak up the Arizona sun, and visit Racine and Minneapolis during the summers with family. Harold was an excellent listener and nurturer of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Dahl family but also to many students he helped in his professional career.
Richard Graff ’70 (Le Sueur, Minn) passed away on Monday, August 10, 2020 at age 72. Dick graduated from Lamberton High School in 1966 and proved to be an outstanding athlete in baseball and basketball. In 1970 Dick graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Later, Dick was drafted into the Army on his 22nd birthday and received his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood MO. Dick spent the remainder of his Army life in Japan until he received an early Honorable Discharge to be with his father at the time of his death. Dick went on to receive his Master of Science degree from Mankato State College in 1973. Dick was employed for the State of MN in Vocational Rehabilitation for over 35 years. It was at Mankato State that Dick met Joanne (Weber) Knapp. Joanne and Dick married in 1976. To Dick, fatherhood was the title he was most proud of. Dick was active at First Lutheran Church, was a huge sports enthusiast, an avid golfer, and enjoyed playing cards and games with family and grandchildren.
Mary Rubash ’70 (Edina, Minn) passed away on August 10th, 2020 in Edina, MN at the age of 98. Mary was born on March 25th, 1922 in Thief River Falls, MN. Mary’s parents Seraphin and Augustine Rolland gave her a great childhood on the farm. Mary married Gust in 1947 and began her family in 1948 with the first of her five sons and the last in 1958. Mary initially had a two-year teaching degree after finishing high school, and in 1971 she graduated from Winona State University with a degree in elementary education. After being a teacher for nearly 25 years, while raising her own family, Mary retired in 1987 and enjoyed sharing pictures and stories from her travels, practicing her faith in the Catholic Church, painting, gardening, bird watching, and taking daily long walks.
Dennis Hovden ’71 (Ridgeway, Iowa) passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 at the age of 71. Dennis Roy Hovden was born on Feb. 22, 1949 in Winneshiek County. He graduated from Crestwood High School in 1967 and continued his education at Winona State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1971. In 1972, he married Christine Regan at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Waukon, Iowa and had two sons. Dennis’s early working career took him to Watkins Products Inc., where he was a service operations manager. In 1976 Dennis joined the world of banking, taking his first position with Farmers State Bank and later joined forces with Cresco Union Savings Bank, and the Ridgeway office as an Ag lender. Dennis retired in December 2014, and loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and the company of his sons on their annual fishing trips to Canada. Dennis also enjoyed playing golf and during football season could be seen cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers.
Marshall Seymour ’72 (Pepin, Wis) passed away on Monday, March 1, 2021 at the age of 74. Marshall graduated from Alma High School in the class of 1965 and attended University of Wisconsin-River Falls and Winona State University where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice. Marshall also attended the Naval Air Reserve Academy in Pensacola, Florida in summer of 1967. In 1970 he married Mary Thompson. Marshall served as a Buffalo Co Deputy for several years beginning a 30-year career with AllState Insurance as a fraud investigator eventually retiring in 2003.
Keith Benedett ’73 (Baxter, Minn) passed away on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at the age of 69. Keith was born in Winona on December 15, 1951. Keith graduated from Winona State University and met his wife, Cindy Von Bargen. Keith found joy in his work as a teacher, business owner and mental health specialist.
Dale Hoenk ’73 (Winona, Minn) passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 at the age of 71 after a courageous fight against cancer. Dale graduated from Winona Senior High and later attended Winona State University obtaining a degree in industrial arts. After graduating, he worked in construction and transitioned his career to UPS working as a package delivery driver. On Sept. 1, 1984, he married his loving wife, Beverly Wisted and had two children, Keri and Matt. Dale retired after working 33 years at UPS. Dale spent his retirement enjoying time with his granddaughters, working part-time delivering cars for Lewiston Auto, watching bald eagles around Lake Pepin, fishing in Ontarian Canada, and helping to fix anything not working properly.
Robert Schulz ’73 (Chathamm, Ill) passed away unexpectedly Jan. 9, 2021 at the age of 77 in Fort Myers, Fla. Robert graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School in 1961, and attended UW-Stevens Point in 1965 where he played Pointer’s football and earned a teaching degree. Later Robert received his Master’s at Winona State University. Bob married his high school sweetheart, Judy Kasdorf, on Aug. 10, 1963 and they had two children, Robyn and Robert. Robert was drafted by the Green Bay Packers when Vince Lombardi coached and inducted into the Wisconsin Dells Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2019. Bob taught high school physical education at the Delton Elementary School in 1968 and became a Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance salesman and financial advisor in 1976. In his successful career, Bob was also an assistant football coach, high school football and golf coach, and college football referee.
Phillip Johnson ’75 (Lindstrom, Minn) passed away Oct. 8, 2020 from a virulent form of cancer. Phil was born September 12, 1952, in Rochester, Minn. Phil graduated from Mabel-Canton High School in 1970 and went on to earn a Bachelor’s in Geology from Winona State University in 1975. After a brief stint in the Peace Corps in Samoa, he moved to Tyler, Tex., to work for Core Laboratories. Phil earned an Associate’s in Information Technology at Brown Institute in Minneapolis and then worked in that field for the rest of his career. Phil was employed by several firms in the Twin Cities metro area, including the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, and most recently served as a subcontractor for Cargill. Phil loved the challenge of puzzles and logic and was skilled at a variety of games. Phil also had a penchant for adventure and completed his bucket list to-do of playing of a round of golf in each of the 50 states.
James Sillman ’75 (Winona, Minn) passed away Feb. 28, 2021. Jim graduated from Winona High School in 1967 and then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp. After basic training, he attended electronics school in San Diego and cable systems technician school at Sheppard AFB, in Texas. Jim was deployed as a Field Radio Operator within infantry units and served two combat tours in Vietnam. After receiving an honorable discharge on Nov. 11, 1971 Jim returned to his hometown and attended Winona State University earning a Bachelor of Art’s degree in business and economics. While attending school Jim worked full time and supported a growing family. In May 1977, Jim became a Submarine Supply Corp Officer in the U.S. Navy. Jim graduated from the Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Ga., and the Naval Submarine School training in Groton, Conn. After serving two tours in Holy Loch, Scotland, Jim also served in Charleston, S.C.; Norfolk, Va.; Pascagoula, Miss, and finally his final sea duty assignment aboard the USS La Salle (AFG-3). Among the many personal and unit meritorious citations earned for sustained excellence, Jim was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal w/V; reserved for those individuals who clearly exceed expectations while exposed to personal hazard due to direct hostile action. LCDR Sillman retired from the U.S. Navy March 1, 1993, after serving his last tour of duty in Arlington, Va. For the next two decades, Jim was a civilian contractor, supporting shipbuilding projects under the Naval Sea Systems Command. James was an avid reader and history buff who enjoyed model building and visiting historical sites. In his 45 years of service, James Henry devoted his life to his God, country, and family.
Pelagie “Mike” (Kelm) Snesrud ’75 (Holmen, Wis) passed away Mar. 18, 2021. Mike was born on August 20, 1951 in Minneapolis, MN. Mike graduated from Shakopee High School in 1969 and received her Nursing degree from Winona State University in 1974. While attending Winona State she met her future husband, Glen R. Snesrud and on September 3, 1971 they married. The first ten years of Mike’s nursing career took her to Bloomington, MN and Lawrence, KS where she was involved in public health, hospital, and clinical nursing. In 1982, Mike joined the Commissioned Core US Public Health Service. Mike served 27 years as a commissioned officer and later served three deployments: one to Arkansas during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and twice to Nigeria distributing polio vaccinations. For the next 20 years, she served as the Director of Public Health Nursing for the Fond Du Lac Indian Reservation in Cloquet, MN. After starting a family and raising four children, Mike took her final position with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA. Mike worked as the Senior Tribal Liaison for Policy and Evaluation for eight years until she retired in 2010. Mike was a very active community member who was involved in the Cloquet Youth Baseball and Softball Organization, the National Girl Scout Council, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the National Alaska Native America Indian Nurses Association, and the National Indian Cancer Foundation serving various of leadership positions. Mike loved her and Glen’s years of wintering in Hawaii, visiting micro-breweries, or cheering on the MN Vikings. Mike passed away peacefully.
Phyllis (Junge) Berning ’76 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away Dec. 22, 2020. Phyllis graduated from Harmony High School in 1963, earned her undergraduate degree at Winona State University, attended Bemidji State University for her graduate degree, and completed her PhD in Education from the University of Minnesota. Phyllis was united in marriage to her high school sweetheart, Charles Berning on August 4, 1966. Phyllis worked as a professor and program director at the University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN Campus. In addition to the success in her career, Phyllis was a dedicated and loving mother and grandmother. Phyllis cherished the time spent with family and friends, traveling, golfing, reading, and sewing. Throughout her entire life, she held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her.
Carol Hoesley ’76 (Winona, Minn.) passed away Aug. 16, 2020. Carol graduated from Winona Senior High in 1971, earned a degree in Special Education from Winona State University, and later attended UW-La Crosse to get her Master’s in Education. Carol was a highly respected teacher in Tomah and then Onalaska, WI until her retirement in 2011. In retirement, Carol, aka Cookie had a passion for teaching, traveling, attending music venues, backpacking, downhill skiing, and babysitting her precious great granddaughter, Henley. She was a treasure hunter and finder of special items, and more importantly special people, keeping them all close to her.
John Keill, Sr. ’76 (Sioux Falls, S.D.) passed away June 23, 2020. John graduated from Winona Senior High and attended Winona State University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Social Science with an emphasis in History and Sociology. He later received his Master’s of Education Administration from South Dakota State University. John married Terry Thorpe and raised two children, Lindsey, and Jonathan. He began his teaching career in 1977 at the Junior High and High School levels. John coached football, wrestling and track, and taught U.S. and World Geography at the former Sioux Falls College. He dedicated his career to geography, successfully lobbying the State of South Dakota to become the first state in the nation to require geography as part of high school graduation requirements. John was also honored as the South Dakota Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 1995, among other accomplishments.
Kyle Wolfe ’81 (Owatonna, Minn.) passed away Feb. 12, 2021. Kyle graduated from Kiester High School and continued his education at Winona State University. While in college Kyle studied and earned his private pilot license. After 10 years of courtship, Kyle married Becky Krueger and began working as a business analyst at Federated Insurance in Owatonna. After celebrating 40 years of work, Kyle was still an active community member with the Owatonna Gun Club, Wee Pals, the Soil and Water Conservation District, the Owatonna Airport Commission, the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, and the Owatonna Clay Target Team. Kyle loved flying airplanes, camping in Oshkosh, trap shooting, mountain trekking, and hanging with his pup Jada. Many fondly called Kyle “Uncle Kyle.” Eventually with chemo 2x a month, Kyle achieved 90 days in the field in his final season of life.
Tracy Krueger ’82 (Muscoda, Wis.) passed away Feb. 1, 2021. Tracy graduated from Marathon High School and attended UW-Stevens Point and UW-Superior as a scholarship cross country athlete. He later received a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Winona State University. Like his father, Tracy dedicated his career to area youth as a teacher, coach, and sports official. Tracy, aka “Coach K” coached youth soccer; basketball, football, high school track, collegiate basketball, soccer and cross country. Tracy also taught Social Studies, Physical Education, and Health for K-12 students at Belleville and Riverdale High Schools, and Physical Education and Intramurals at UW-Richland.
Joseph Krage ’83 (Houston, Minn.) passed away Aug. 4, 2020. Joseph graduated from Houston High School and went on to earn an accounting degree from Winona State University and a Master’s Degree in business administration from St. Mary’s University. Joseph worked as an accountant and a CFO at many area manufacturing businesses in Winona and Rushford. Miken Sports in Caledonia was one of his favorite jobs where he was one of the company’s very first employees. Joe was on the Rushford Fire Department for eight years and the Houston Fire Department for 20 years, of which he was chief for eight, until his retirement from the department. In his retirement Joseph was actively involved with numerous organizations like the Houston City Council, the Looney Valley Lutheran Church, the Houston School Board, and the Houston Mat Club.
Andrew Hogue ’85 (Golden, Colo.) passed away Dec. 28, 2020. After high school, he served in both the Navy and Air Force and then attended Winona State University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He married Terri and they had many adventures together. Andrew pursued many career opportunities working in a range of industries and management positions. In 2015 Andrew retired from Alaska Airlines and spent his time coaching his son through t-ball and Little League, enjoying the outdoors, cycling, and fly fishing. Andy’s last great adventure was participating in “Ride the Rockies” – a strenuous bike tour through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
Kenneth Proulx ’85 (Minneapolis, Minn.) passed away June 5, 2020.
Jeffrey Burlingame ’89 (Spring Valley, Minn.) passed away Jan. 3, 2021. Jeff graduated from Alma High School and went on to attend DeVry Institute in Phoenix to study electrical engineering for a year. He then attended Winona State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in business. Jeff went on to work for Riverside Electronics in Lewiston before Pemstar in Rochester. Pemstar later became Benchmark Electronics, where Jeff most recently worked as a product engineer.
Thomas Speltz ’95 (Altura, Minn.) passed away Mar. 15, 2021. Thomas graduated from Lewiston Altura High School and Winona State University. He was an athletic director and business education teacher at Zumbrota Mazeppa High School for several years and later was the vice principal at Crookston High School. Tom also taught at Triton High School and was the athletic director for the Kingsland School District. After that Thomas worked as secretary/bookkeeper for Holy Trinity Parish of Rollingstone and St. Rose of Lima Parish. Later, he was a sportswriter for the Lewiston Journal and volunteered for the Altura Ambulance. Tom found great joy in running the play clock, scoreboards, and announcing games for many surrounding schools.
Matthew Siebke ’02 (Davenport, Iowa) passed away Feb. 24, 2021. He graduated from Medford Public School and received a bachelor’s degree from Winona State University. Matthew worked for Ecolab in the credit department and later in several finance management positions. He met his wife, Tricia, while working there, and they went on to have three boys.
Stephanie (Thompson) Miller ’05 (Blooming Prairie, Minn.) passed away Feb. 16, 2021. She graduated from Blooming Prairie High School and attended Winona State University, where she met her future husband, Matthew. Stephanie then attended St. Thomas University and St. Kates University for her Master’s in Clinical Social Work. During her career she worked with the elderly, at-risk youth, and eventually obtained her ideal job as a Clinical Social Worker specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy at Mayo Clinic. She also developed a mental health training program for law enforcement and trained multiple law enforcement agencies. She and Matthew had two children, and she was a wonderful mom who cuddled, laughed, danced, played, loved, and dreamed. She volunteered her time with school field trips, activities, and coached her daughter’s 4th grade basketball team.
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