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Willie Q. Rankin, Husband, Father, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa, Brother, Friend, age 82, of Cottage Grove, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 8, 2009. Willie was born March 2, 1927, in Perryville, Ark., the son of Artie and Emma Rankin. He was raised in Arkansas. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Willie enjoyed fishing, camping, reading and volunteering at the New Life Food Shelf. Willie was preceded in death by his son, Bill; granddaughter, Kelly.
Victor Allen Nippoldt, age 90, of Cottage Grove, passed away Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009, at Woodbury Health Care Center. Victor was born Oct. 26, 1919, in Cottage Grove, the son of Lehart and Anna (Scheel) Nippoldt. He grew up here and attended school at Sunny Hill School. Victor was an extremely hard worker, working the family farm for many years with his sisters, Alice, Frances, and Viola. After retiring from the farm, Victor worked for the City of Cottage Grove for several years.
Vivian E. Fjelstad, age 85, of Woodbury, died peacefully on Dec. 4, 2009. Graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., in 1946, and majored in home economics and biology. Retired from teaching in 1952. Survived by loving husband of 61 years, Luther; son, Mark of Nerstrand; daughter, Margo (Brian Egerman) of Roseville; sisters, Mil Johnson and Grace (Jim) Jacobs; sisters-in-law, Maxine Thorkelson and Margaret Fjelstad; also many other loving relatives and friends. Preceded in death by brother, Willmar Thorkelson. Vee was very active in the WELCA, formerly known as the ALCW.
Thomas Frank Opatz, age 71, of St. Paul Park, passed away Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 at United Hospital in St. Paul. Thomas was born Dec. 17, 1937, in South Saint Paul, Minn., the son of Frank and Polly Opatz. He grew up in St. Paul Park, Minn., and attended school at Park High School. On Oct. 29, 1960, Thomas married his wife Barbara Lowrie. Together they had one daughter, Alana. Thomas was a devoted husband and family man. He was also a hard worker, working for over 30 years for Univac and Lockheed Martin. He enjoyed playing cards every chance he could.
Dec. 23, 1922 - Oct. 26, 2009 Otto Schmaltz, age 86, of Cottage Grove, died on Monday afternoon, Oct. 26, 2009, at Woodbury Health Care Center. Otto Emil Schmaltz was born Dec. 23, 1922, in St. Paul, the son of Emil and Olga (Lossow) Schmaltz. He was raised in St. Paul and graduated from Johnson High School in 1940. On Nov. 8, 1952, he was united in marriage with Martha "Marge" Kufner at St. Agnes Catholic Church. Otto served in the U.S. Army during WWII and the Korean War. He was the recipient numerous medals including the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars.
August 31, 1947 - Nov. 16, 2009 Karen L. Koch, age 62, of Cottage Grove, passed away Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at her home. Karen was born August 31, 1947, in St. Paul, Minn., the daughter of Louis and Ina (Hart) Mullner. She grew up in the Como Park area, eventually moving to the Cottage Grove area, where she graduated from Park High School. On August 26, 1967, she was joined in marriage to her husband of 42 years, Ronald Koch, at Zion Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove. Together they had two daughters, Kimberly and Kerri. Karen was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
Dec. 21, 1915 - Nov. 3, 2009 Leila Rose Schneider, 93, of Cottage Grove, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Kok Funeral Home, 7676 80th St., Cottage Grove, with visitation after 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Elmhurst Cemetery. Leila Rose Schneider was born Dec. 21, 1915, in Eau Claire, Wis., the daughter of Elmer and Ada (Jones) Stevens. She moved with her family at an early age to St. Paul and attended school there.
June 11, 1921 - Nov. 7, 2009 Phyllis Rose Schilling, age 88, of Newport, died Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7, 2009, at Woodbury Health Care Center. Phyllis was born June 11, 1921, in St. Paul, Minn., the daughter of Albert and Amanda (Olson) Schilling. She was raised in Newport and graduated from Park High School. Phyllis was a photographer who had a pilot's license. She enjoyed swimming, tanning, gardening and hunting.
March 10, 1931 - Nov. 7, 2009 Walter Carl Brunotte, age 78, of St. Paul Park, Minn., passed away Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, at his home in St. Paul Park. Walter was born March 10, 1931, in St. Paul Park, the son of Henry and Elizabeth Brunotte. He married Marlene Oney on Dec. 22, 1952, in Norfolk, Va. Together they had four children, Walt, Linda, Nancy, and Timothy. Walter was a talented man. He enjoyed music and played many instruments, including the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and accordion. Walter was also a sports enthusiast.
Dec. 31, 1951 - Nov. 15, 2009 Susan Halberg, age 57, of St. Paul Park, died early Sunday morning, Nov. 15, 2009, at Woodwinds Hospital surrounded by family after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Susan Jane was born Dec. 31, 1951, in St. Paul to Robert and Jane Witzel. She was raised in St. Paul Park and graduated from Park High School in 1970. Sue enjoyed walking, knitting, painting, gardening and sewing. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with family and friends.