INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Reuben Alitz, 89, of Inver Grove Heights, died peacefully Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. He was born Oct. 13, 1929, to Alvin and Selma Alitz and grew up on their farm in Altura.
He was a 1947 graduate of Lewiston-Altura High School. Reuben served in the U.S. Army after World War II and before the Korean War. Reuben married Vernice Ellinghuysen, April 28, 1951. They lived in Inver Grove Heights and raised three sons. He worked as a high school math teacher at Park High School in Cottage Grove and also coached football, basketball and track. He was a faithful member of Emanuel Lutheran Church for over 60 years. Reuben was avid bowler and bowled in several leagues over 30 years. He loved spending time at the family farm.
Reuben is survived by three sons, Robert (Diane) Alitz of Maplewood, Minnesota, Paul (Nancy) Alitz of Hastings, Minnesota, and Richard (Liz) Alitz of Lake City, Minnesota; six grandchildren, Ashley Alitz, Lauren (Nate) Meyer, Lisa (Jordan) Krause, Emily (Brendon) Smith, Matthew Alitz, and Hannah Alitz; great-grandchildren, Scarlett Meyer and Conrad Meyer; sister-in-law, Irene Nerison of Maple Grove; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral service will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, at Emanuel Lutheran Church, 2075 70th St. E., Inver Grove Heights. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. prior to the service. Interment in Emanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery. Luncheon following the service. www.robertsfuneralandcremation.com.
ROLLINGSTONE — Pauline “Polly” A. Trotter, 77, of Rollingstone died Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. Polly was born Aug. 1, 1942, to Wilfred and Margaret (Kandell) Doucette in Escabana, Michigan. She graduated from Holy Name High School in 1960. After high school she met James Trotter. They fell in love and were married May 5, 1962. They later moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, for 11 years, before relocating to Winona. She worked as a photo-finishing artist for Camera Art for 25 years. Polly enjoyed sewing, knitting, camping and especially spending time with her family.
She is survived by her loving husband, Jim; one son, Tom of Minneapolis. Polly is preceded in death by her infant daughter, Margaret; son, James; parents, Wilfred and Margaret Doucette; grandparents; and many other family members.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. with visitation starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Rollingstone. Burial will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to an organization of donor’s choice. Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview is assisting the family.
CALEDONIA, Minn. — Marlene Delone Esch, 83, of Caledonia passed away Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at Sugarloaf Senior Living in Winona. A Mass of Christian Burial will at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Caledonia. Fr. Stephen Abaukaka will officiate. Visitation will be from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. before the service at the church. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia. McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family and a full obituary can be seen at mccormickfuneralhome.net.
LUTSEN, Minn. — Trudy Hahn (nee Kovach), 76, of Lutsen passed away Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at Solvay Hospice House in Duluth, Minnesota, after a long battle with cancer.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Louis and Margaret Kovach; and brother, Louis Kovach.
She is survived by Bob, her husband of 54 years; son, Rob Hahn; daughter, Kristin Altenburg (Scott); grandchildren, Melody Collins, Bobby and Patrick Hahn and Emily and Stephanie Altenburg; and great-granddaughter, Sophie Altenburg; sisters-in-law, Jackie Kovach and Jacquie Williamson; nieces, Kaitlin Kovach and Marnie Williamson; nephew, Matt Williamson (Allison); as well as other relatives and countless friends.
Trudy lived a life centered on faith, family and friends. She was tireless in her volunteer efforts, especially at Catholic churches in Winona and Grand Marais, Winona Cotter Schools and the West End Garden Club.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at St. John’s Catholic Church, 10 E. Fifth St., Grand Marais. Visitation at the church one hour prior to Mass.
A very special thanks to the caring staff at Solvay Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Children’s Program at St. John’s Church or the Soup Kitchen in Key West, Florida.
WAUMANDEE, Wis. — Mercille Bagniewski, 95, of rural Waumandee died Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, at Brookdale Assisted Living in La Crosse, where she lived the last three months.
Mercille was born Sept. 9, 1923, in rural Waumandee, to Joseph and Agnes (Cizsak) Deck. On June 22, 1944, Mercille was united in marriage to Raymond Bagniewski at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waumandee. They were married for 63 years. Raymond preceded Mercille in death June 19, 2007.
Mercille began her adult life a farmer’s wife in Fountain City, Wisconsin, before they purchased a farm in Waumandee, where she assisted with the farm work. Mercille, at the age of 84, had a heart valve replacement surgery and because of a reaction to the drug heparin, she developed blood clots, which caused her to walk with pain in her legs. Mercille was a faithful and active member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, the altar Society and the Catholic Order of Foresters, her entire life. She was an excellent at quilting, crocheting and could sew anything that needed to be done. She canned produce from her large garden. Her meals, whether for relatives at special holidays or daily meals, were thoroughly enjoyed by all. As a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was loved by all. In her later years, she prayed the rosary daily, along with following Mass every day of the week on the local Catholic TV network.
Mercille will be sadly missed by her seven children, Sr. Janet Marie of Meriden, Connecticut, Raymond “Buzz” Jr. of Waumandee, Jim (Carolyn) of La Crosse, Ruth Carroll of Rogers, Minnesota, Tom (Jodie) of Waumandee, Therese (Larry) Ballweg of Onalaska and John (Patty) of Holmen; 14 grandchildren, Abe and Erin Bagniewski, Anna Halfmann, Ned Bagniewski, Nancy Judy, Tim Carroll, Nicole Fischer, Kelly Christiansen, Ben and Becca Bagniewski, Jessica Ballweg, Heidi Franzini, Jenna Sampson and Jared Bagniewski; 24 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Colleen Deck of Onalaska and Marcella Deck of Galesville.
Mercille was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond; parents; four brothers, Lonnie, LaVern, Morris and Claude; and a sister, Bernice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waumandee, with Fr’s Prince Raja and John Abts as Celebrants. Burial will follow at the Parish Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, and again from 10 a.m. until the hour of the Mass Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to either of the following, St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waumandee; or the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Ave., Meriden, Connecticut, 06451.
Mercille’s family would like to thank Sandy Ruben, Mary Symitczek and Sue Schaffner, as well as the staff of Brookdale Assisted Living for their special care they gave to her.
Elliot Michael Swart, 16, passed away Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.
Elliot was born Oct. 1, 2002, to Ed and Christine Swart. Elliot went to Montessori and was entering his Junior year at Winona Senior High. He played saxophone in school band and was on the Soccer team. Elliot enjoyed many adventures, camping with Ian and his Dad, riding horse with Mom and hunting with Grandpa Mike.
Music was his real passion. He taught himself to play guitar and was currently in a local band. Elliot was determined, thoughtful and had a wry sense of humor and a no-nonsense approach to life. He had an active social life and his many friendships meant the world to him.
Elliot is survived by his parents, Ed Swart and Chris (Andy) Masterpole; brother, Ian; stepsisters, Zoe, Mia and Ava Masterpole; grandparents, Mike and Jeanne Florin; aunts and uncles, Liz and Issac Rue, Mike (Erin) Florin, Ron (Masako) Swart, Loren Swart, Mark Swart; and cousins, Max, Delilah, Nick, Andy, Marcus, Katie, Joe, Kumi, David and Caymen.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Lowell and Marilyn Swart.
A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Hoff Celebration of Life Center, led by funeral celebrant Jenny Hoff. Visitation will be from 3:30 p.m. until the time of the service.
Please leave a memory of Elliot and view his video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. Hoff Celebration of Life Center, Goodview, is assisting the family.
Goodbye Elliot, we will listen for your song and miss you every day of our lives.
WINONA, Minn. — James “Jim” Philip Romball, 74, of Winona passed away Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at St. Anne Extended Healthcare after a lengthy illness.
Jim was born May 6, 1945, in Portland, Oregon, to Anthony and Mary (Langowski) Romball, and was a 1963 graduate of Cotter High School. Jim was united in marriage with Diane J. Mickow, April 19, 1969, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Winona.
He honorably served his country with the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam, receiving a Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citations. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Thomas Rooney Post 1530 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and also of the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 in Winona.
He graduated from Winona State University with a bachelor’s degree in individualized study, and he held master plumber licenses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Jim owned and operated La Crosse Mechanical, in La Crosse, with enthusiasm, pride and joy. He loved to work and to talk about his plumbing projects. With his daughter Lori, and son-in-law, Frank, they always discussed home remodeling projects, or how nice it was to swim in their pool.
Jim was proud of his hole-in-one at Cedar Valley Golf Course and enjoyed a day with his golfing friends, or with his family, playing with “Diane’s rules.” In his younger years, Jim enjoyed hunting, snowmobiling and boating — there are many interesting stories to go along with all of that! Jim loved cars — he really didn’t work on them but passed that love down to his daughter Lisa. He looked forward to traveling to military reunions and to warm places including Florida, the Grand Canyon and Mesa in Arizona, California, Texas, Virginia, Colorado and many states in between. Jim also enjoyed trips abroad to Hawaii, England and Hong Kong.
He was a life-long member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka and had a deep devotion to his faith, attending daily Mass regularly. Jim cherished the time that he spent with his family, and he will be deeply missed by all those who loved him.
Jim is lovingly survived by his wife of 50 years, Diane of Winona; daughters, Lori (Frank) Kania, Old Frontenac, Minnesota, and Lisa Romball, Winona; his two grandsons whom he loved dearly, Francis “Frankie” Kania and Izeley Kania; sister, Patricia (Paul) Nowak, Mesa; niece, Lily Romball, Tampa, Florida; as well as other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Anthony Romball.
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home in Winona, where a Christian wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will also be held from 1 p.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka. The Very Rev. Patrick Arens will officiate. Jim will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery, where the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona, will provide military honors.
Pallbearers will be his son-in-law, Frank Kania, former plumbers and steamfitters of La Crosse Mechanical, Jeff Lonkoski, Tom Beers, and Tom Breuer and friends, Dennis Ebertowski and Jim Lukaszewski.
Memorials may be directed to the donor’s choice. Online condolences or memories may be left for Jim’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
WINONA/LEWISTON — Ruth Benson, 88, of Winona and formerly of Lewiston passed away peacefully surrounded by family after a short illness, in the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, at St. Anne’s in Winona.
Gladys was born Aug. 22, 1931, to Forrest and Mabel (Peterson) Bergey in Lanesboro, Minnesota. She attended Lanesboro High School and during that time she met the love of her life, Darrell Benson. The two were married June 14, 1952, and Gladys knew then what she repeated for the rest of her life — that Darrell was her true love. Together, Gladys and Darrell were members of St. Paul’s Church in Lewiston, and she was involved in the church’s ladies circle.
In her early years, Gladys held several jobs at different companies and managed the books for Benson Farm Services, but her strongest dedication was to her family. Gladys always said that she was blessed with a wonderful family.
Gladys’ quiet demeanor hid her capacity for wit, until you were able to sit down and talk with her at a personal level and get to know the real Gladys. She was a seamstress, a baker and one of the most creative people you could ever hope to meet. She appreciated life to the fullest and really took her time to enjoy the world around her. Gladys will be dearly missed.
Gladys is survived by three children, Debra Benson of Rochester, Minnesota, David (Lonna) Benson of Lewiston and Bryan (Gayle) of Lewiston; nine grandchildren, Nathan Ulrich, Nicholas Ulrich, Emily Ulrich, Kaysie (Todd) Pakiz, Kayla (Zach) Rinn, Brennan (Kristen) Benson, Blake (Hayley) Benson, Derek (Katie) Benson and Aaron (Amy) Benson; seven great-grandchildren, Riley, Brayden, Addison, Eden, Emery, Evan and Alexander; sister, Muriel (Merlin) Quanrud of Minneapolis; and brother-in-law, Donald (Lorraine) Benson of Minneapolis.
Gladys is preceded in death by her husband, Darrell; her sister, Alyce Bergey; and her parents.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, at St. Paul’s Church in Lewiston, with a visitation one hour prior with Pastor Carol Garman officiating. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, at St. Paul’s Church. Interment will be in Lewiston Public Cemetery.