Obituaries for Surnames Beginning With "SK" through "SY"
Aitkin County, Minnesota
Page S1

Unless otherwise noted, these obituaries were contributed by
Karen Klennert
and are from the Aitkin Independant Age Newspaper.


ANISE AITKIN (TIBBETTS) SPALDING ~ November 3, 1950
MRS. SPALDING, RESIDENT SINCE 1871, LAID TO REST MONDAY


Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock, November 6, at the Seavey Funeral Home for Mrs. J. L. Spalding, Aitkin's oldest resident by point of her 79 years residence. Officiating at the rites was Rev. E. Barrow of Brainerd, pastor of the St. John's Episcopal church at Aitkin.

Pallbearers included James Zeese, Harold Kerstein, Dr. J. E. Erickson, Lloyd Peters, Victor Erickson, and Charles Tibbetts. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery, Aitkin.

Mrs. C. W. Warner sang, Lead Kindly Light and Mrs. Royce Peterson sang Abide With Me, Mrs. Peterson playing the accompaniment. The W.C.T.U. and W.R.C. organizations attended in a body.

Mrs. Spalding passed away November 3, 1950, at her home in the village following an extended illness. Having been stricken with paralysis last summer she had been confined to her bed since that time with a trained nurse in attendance. Until her last illness she had been remarkably active and her 87 years had not dimmed her ever bright and alert mind.

Anise Spalding, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James W. Tibbetts, was born in Elk River, Minn., August 28, 1864. [NOTE: Elsie Mildred Spalding verbally stated her mother was born on 26 Aug at Big Lake, MN] In 1871, as a child of six, with her mother and eight of the nine in the family, came to Aitkin to begin her eventful life as a member of the first family of settlers in Aitkin (known then as Mud River).

Joining here her father and his brother, Cash Tibbetts, who had come here in the spring of the previous year, 1870, to furnish ties for the Northern Pacific railroad, then being built. She and her mother and the other children rode into Aitkin in the first passenger coach to go over the new railroad in this section. They made the trip from St. Cloud to near Brainerd by stage coach drawn by a 4-horse team.

During the early part of 1950 Mrs. Spalding wrote "Looking Back," her recollection of events that transpired in this pioneer settlement and the history making story of its first family.

Her interesting story was published in the Aitkin Independent Age and will be placed among the prized possessions of the Aitkin Historical Society.

On October 17, 1884, Anise Tibbetts was married to John L. Spalding, who had arrived in Aitkin as its first druggist. Last month the couple marked their 66th wedding anniversary. Through her 79 years in Aitkin, Mrs. Spalding was a prominent figure in social circles. She was a past president of the W.C.T.U. and W.R.C. and served as Patriotic instructor of the Women's Relief Corps for many years, delighting in the patriotic projects of the office. With outstanding ability she zealously labored to advance the work of these organizations. She was a member of St. John's Episcopal church and its Ladies Guild. Her kind hospitality was enjoyed by a host of friends.

Survivors are her husband, John L. Spalding, a daughter, Mrs. Elsie Hasling, Aitkin; three sons, Lester, Oakland, Calif; John, Denver; Nat, St. Paul; grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Those who came from out of town for the services included Mr. and Mrs. Nat Spalding, St. Paul; Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Lindman, Duluth; Mrs. Jim Nesbit and Mrs. Gordon Tingstad, Virginia, Minn.; Mr. and Mrs. Willis Beatty, Cook, Minn.; Mrs. Margaret Lampi, Brainerd; Mr. and Mrs. Otto Baumgartner, Duluth;

Mr. and Mrs. John Healy and son Tom, St. Paul; Mrs. Pierre Hugely of Alabama; Mr. and Mrs. Paul Zeese and Robert Zeese, Minneapolis; Mr. and Mrs. James McArdle, Grand Rapids; John Spalding, Denver, Colo. A son, Lester, was unable to come because of illness.

Contributed by William G. Black Jr.


EDWARD SPEAR


Edward M. Spear, 89, of Aitkin, formerly of McGregor, died Thursday, November 7, 2002 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Services were held November 11 at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin, with Rev. Kris Johnson officiating. Elma Johnson played the organ. Burial was in the Pine Needle Cemetery in Shamrock Twp. of Aitkin County.

He was born March 12, 1913 in Holbrook, Mass., to Fred and Nellie (Barton) Spear. He grew up and attended the New England Conservatory of Music for a time. He then worked playing in Big Bands and he formed his own band, playing on cruise ships. He married Caroline Sollie in 1939, in Brockton, Mass. During WWII he worked for the government and when the war ended he went to work for Ford Lincoln-Mercury Company in customer services. He went back to work for the government during the Korean War and continued working for them until his retirement in 1971. He had worked as a Naval Procurement Inspector. Upon his retirement he moved to the Big Sandy Lake area of McGregor. He married Martha Spearman on October 17, 1986 in McGregor. They moved to Aitkin in 1997. He was a member of First Lutheran Church in Aitkin and former member of Grace Lutheran Church near McGregor where he had served as Church Council President and sang in the church choir.

He is survived by his wife, Martha, Aitkin; a cousin; six nieces and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Caroline.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


LOUISE STOFFERAHN


Louise R. (Villeneuve) Stofferahn, 98, Aitkin, died Nov. 5, 2002, at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin.

She was born Feb. 16, 1904, in Aitkin, the daughter of Napoleon and Salome (Graton) Villeneuve. She married Walter J. Stofferahn at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin on Aug. 28, 1927. They had farmed in the Fleming area for many years and were foster parents to many children. She was a member of the Senior Federation, St. James Catholic Church and its ladies auxiliary.

Services were held Nov. 8 at St. James Catholic Church in Aitkin with Father Paul Fruth officiating. Burial was in the St. Thomas Cemetery in Aitkin.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law: Gerald and Sue, Aitkin; Arnold and Bonnie, McGregor; and Walter Jr., Minneapolis; daughters, Eleanor Roden, Aitkin, and Betty Clausen, Maryland; 28 grandchildren; 57 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; and sisters and brother-in-law, Esther and Cy Lemire, Aitkin, and Alma Bolduc, Chanhassen.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Walter, on March 15, 1985; grandchildren, Jerry Stofferahn and Kenneth Clausen; sister, Betty George; and brothers: Floyd, Aurthur, Alfred, William and Omar Villeneuve.

Arrangements were with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.


EVELETH SYLTE


Eveleth V. Sylte, 93, McGregor, and formerly of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, died Januarey 2, 2003, at the Riverwood Extended Care Center in Aitkin.

She was born September 23, 1909, in Grygla, the daughter of Gilbert and Gina (Ostby) Schock. She moved with her family at an early age to Amery, Wisconsin, where she attended schools. She had worked as a telephone operator in Amery in her early years. She married Omey A. Sylte in July of 1930 at Stillwater. They made their home in Amery, Wisconsin for a time and then they moved to Lawler in 1944 where her husband was manager of the Coop Store. They then moved in Rice Lake, Wisconsin in 1948 and she lived there until moving to McGregor in the mid 1980s. She had worked at the Birchwood Manufacturing Plant in Rice Lake for many years. She has resided at the Riverwood Extended Care Center for the past year.

Services were held January 5 at Grace Lutheran Church in McGregor with Rev. Dan Heath officiating. Pallbearers were Darin Sylte, Derek Sylte, Monte Sylte, Kevin Sylte, Keith Sylte, Jack Kulju, Tom Kulju, Karl Kulju, Eric Kulju and Kris Kulju. Burial was January 6 at the Orchard Beach Cemetery in Rice Lake, Wisconsin with Rev. Michael Pancoast officiating.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law: Omey Dale and Janet Sylte and Dwayne and Mary Sylte, all of Rice Lake, Wisconsin; daughter and son-in-law, Elaine and Raymond Kulju, McGregor; 16 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Omey, in 1983; four brothers and two sisters.

Arrangements were with the McGregor Funeral Home.


WILLIAM STEWART


William (Bill) C. Stewart, 85, Aitkin, died Oct. 31, 2002, at the Riverwood Extendedcare Center in Aitkin.

He was born April 23, 1917, in Cloquet, the son of William and Nora Ehlert. His father was hurt in an accident in the Mill and consequently died. The family lived in Cloquet until Nora Ehlert married Jack Stewart and they moved to Aitkin. He graduated in 1939 from Aitkin High School. He worked in lumber camps, cooked in local cafes and was employed by Northern Service Company until he was drafted. He was a member of the 95th Infantry Division which landed on Omaha Beach in October of 1944. After the 95th took the city of Metz, they proceeded to drive across France to Belgium. He received a bronze star for taking the first patrol across the Saar River in Belgium. At the close of the European War, he returned to Aitkin, worked as a cook and later as a salesman for the Northern Service Company. In 1947, he married Mary Lee Smith. He was one of the members of the original Aitkin JCs. He served on the fire department for 29 years. For many years, he was a member of the city council and served in various capacities for that group. For more than 50 years, he was an active member of the American Legion. Before his retirement, he worked in the local assessor's office. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his free time.

Services were held Nov. 3 at Aitkin's Westside Church with Pastor Dallas Smith officiating. Brian Johnson played the piano and Steve Olson sang. Honorary pallbearers were Roger Wold, Francis Kochevar, Jim Bender, Milt Johnson, Everett Davies, John Fremling and Glenn Monson. Burial was in the Spencer Cemetery in Aitkin with full military honors provided by the Aitkin American Legion Post 86 and VFW Post 1727.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; sons, William Jr., Menomonie, Wis.; John, Chisholm; and James, Big Lake; daughter-in-law, Shirley; grandchildren, Tori, Adam and Katelyn; sister, Eleanor Leiviska; nephew, James Boyer; and many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Helen Boyer.

Arrangements were with the William Funeral Home in Aitkin.


BETTY JANE SMITH


Betty Jane Smith, 81, Big Sandy Lake, McGregor, died Nov. 27, 2002, in Palm Springs, Calif.

She was born Nov. 16, 1921, in Minneapolis, the daughter of John F. and Elsie R. (Holm) Vail. In 1942, she married Fred Smith in Minneapolis. They moved to Big Sandy Lake where they owned Isle View Resort for 16 years. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Big Sandy Lake and attended the Evangelical Free Church in Wright. She was a soloist at both churches and also for Minneapolis and St. Paul churches. She was a music director for the Hamonetts.

Services will be held Sat., Dec. 14, at 1 p.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church, Big Sandy Lake, McGregor, with Rev. Ted Youker officiating. Burial will be in the Pine Needle Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the 1 p.m. service.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law: Ron and Darlene, Big Sandy Lake, and Gerald and Lillian, Sky Valley, Calif.; grandchildren: Sheryl, Stephanie, Mathew and Mark Smith; and sisters and brother-in-law, Donna and George Darden, Las Vegas, Nev., and Flora Ohman, Minneapolis.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Elsie Vail; husband, Fred, on July 11, 2002; and sister, Janet Schnelly.

Arrangements were with the McGregor Funeral Home in McGregor.


RUTH STRIEMER


Ruth Striemer, 100, Aitkin, died Dec. 18, 2002, at the Riverwood Extended Care Center in Aitkin.

She was born May 12, 1902, in Iowa, the daughter of Myron and Pearl Porter. She graduated from high school in Iowa. As a child she enjoyed riding her Shetland pony. She married Bruno Paul Striemer from Elbing, Germany. In 1948, they owned and operated the Coon Lake Resort. She also worked at the Land O'Lakes Turkey Plant, the Tip Top Caf and as the manager of Gunderson Apartments. She was a member of the Aitkin VFW Auxiliary, Aitkin Community Church and a former member of the Aitkin Assembly of God.

Services were held Dec. 21 at the Aitkin Community Church with Rev. Glenn Browning officiating.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Roger and Karolynne, Esko; daughters, Joyce Striemer, St. Charles, Mo., and Junice Striemer-Behrens, Apache Junction, Ariz.; eight grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and many great-great-grandchildren; sister, Ava Blanchard, Frost Free, Fla.; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Myron and Pearl Porter; husband, Bruno, in 1958; son, Waldon; and brother, Lloyd.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


MRS. JOSEPH SPROSTY
Aitkin, 1913


Mrs. Josephine Sprosty, wife of Joseph Sprosty, died at her home at Libby last Saturday, Oct. 11, following an illness of two weeks resulting from a stroke of paralysis. The funeral took place in Aitkin on Thursday morning, services being held at the Catholic church, by Rev. Fr. A Turbiaux. Three brothers came to attend the funeral.

Josephine Jedlica was born in Bohemia on March 19, 1841 and was married there on Sept. 25, 1873.

In 1884, with her husband and children she came to America and to Minnesota, settling in Anoka county, and eleven years ago last spring the family came to Aitkin county making their home at Libby, near Sandy Lake. Besides her husband she leaves four daughters, Mrs. Gus Buchholz and Mrs. L. H. Sheets of Libby; Mrs. Otto Buchholz of Constance, Anoka county and Miss Josephine Sprosty of Libby; three brothers, Joseph, Michael and Albert Jedlica, of Anoka; and a sister, Mrs. Jos. Kothera of Pine City, Minnesota.

Contributed by Nancy Thompson
Source: Aitkin Independent Age Newspaper


JOSEPH SPROSTY
Aitkin, Sept. 24, 1917


Joseph Sprosty died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Gust Buchholz, Monday morning at 10:30.

Mr. Sprosty came from Bohemia thirty years ago, and had lived in Aitkin county for fourteen years. He was 74 years old last March. Three years ago he was stricken with paralysis and never recovered from the shock.

The funeral was held from St. James Catholic church at 9 o'clock Wednesday. Mrs. Otto Buchholz of Anoka and Mrs. Anna Sheets of Libby came on Tuesday to attend the funeral.

Contributed by Nancy Thompson
Source: Aitkin Independent Age Newspaper


CURTIS STEMPF



"One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple."
(Psalm 27:4)

Curtis Stempf, Onamia, has died.

He was born April 25, 1926, in Glyndon, the son of Henry and Reva (Curtis) Stempf. His family moved to the Malmo, Aitkin and Osakis area where he attended school. He graduated from Aitkin High School. He accepted Jesus Christ as his saviour when he was 15 years old. He farmed south of Onamia, worked on the boats in Duluth and for a judge in Minneapolis. He enlisted in the United States Navy. He witnessed to many sailors during his time in the Navy.

He married Sylvia Ott on May 26, 1950 in Onamia. The couple made their home in Onamia. They didn't have any children of their own but they raised many foster children and still keep in touch with them. He faithfully pastored the Vineland Native American Alliance Chapel for 25 years. He enjoyed studying the Bible and serving his Lord.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sylvia, Onamia; sister and brother-in-law, Marlys and Phil Neese, Malmo; brother, Shiriel Stempf, Onamia; many loving foster families, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Reva (Curtis) Stempf; brothers, John and Dale Stempf; and sister, Shirley Stempf.


MARION STRINGHAM


Marion Stringham, 95, Hill City, and formerly of McGregor, died December 8, 2002, at her home.

She was born June 22, 1907, in Clinton, Iowa, the daughter of Harry and Cerena (Johnson) Butler. She moved with her family in 1915 to a farm in Smokey Hollow Township of Cass County. She grew up and attended schools there. At the age of 18, she moved to St. Paul and went to work. She married Newell Stringham in Remer. They purchased Kare Phree Pines Resort on the shores of Big Sandy Lake in 1948. They operated the resort until 2000 when it was sold. Newell died in 1984.

Services were held on Fri., Dec. 13, at 10 a.m. at the Hill City Assembly of God Church with Rev. Gerard Valley officiating. Burial will be in the Lakeview Cemetery in Smokey Hollow Township of Cass County. Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the Bit Sandy Hotel and Resort, (formerly Kare Phree Pines Resort) near McGregor and also one hour prior to services at the church Friday.

She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Earl and Lorraine Butler, Lonsdale, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Newell, in 1984, and brothers, Raymond and Merle.

Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


HELEN SMITH


Helen S. Smith, 88, Aitkin, and formerly of Bussey, Iowa, died February 15, 2003, at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin.

She was born February 24, 1915, in Tiperary, Iowa, the daughter of Paul and Helen (Marious) Spolarich. She moved to the Palisade area at the age of 12 and lived there until moving to Duluth at the age of 18. She then moved to Chicago, Illinois. She married Clifford Smith in California during World War II. They lived most of their lives at Bussey, Iowa. She has resided in Aitkin the past five years. She had been a member of the Catholic Church in Bussey. Private family services were held. Burial was in the Liberty Cemetery at Bussey, Iowa.

She is survived by her brother, Paul Spolarich, Palisade, and a sister, Francis DelCorio, Munster, Illinois.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1981.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


CONSTANCE SWING


Constance T. Swing, 62, Jacobson, died June 24, 2003, at the Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital in Grand Rapids.

She was born July 29, 1940, to Ernest and Evelyn (Juell) Jarva in Grand Rapids. She grew up in the Jacobson area and attended school in Jacobson and Hill City. She married Rodney Swing on May 24, 1958, in Grand Rapids. They lived five years in the St. Paul suburbs, then 11 years in Norco, California, returning to Jacobson in 1973. Connie served many years as Ball Bluff Township clerk and retired after 26 years from the U.S.Post Office in Jacobson.

Funeral services were June 28 at the Carmel Lutheran Church in Ball Bluff Township with Rev. C. Arlin Talley officiating. Burial was in the Ball Bluff Cemetery.

She is survived by her husband, Rodney; daughters and son-in-law, Tammy Swing, Grand Rapids, and Cathy and Dale Thompson, Jacobson; son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Jackie Swing, Farmington; and six grandchildren; sisters and brothers-in-law, Dorene and Glen Brandstatter, Elmwood Park, Illinois, and Lorene and Roger Motter, Cohasset; brother and sister-in-law, Truman and Jana Jarva, Riverside, California. Arrangements were with the Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids.


BETTY STUNEK



Betty Lu Stunek, 77, Aitkin, died on March 15, 2003, at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin. She was born on February 3, 1926, in St. Cloud to Frank and Svanhildt (Akervik) Buckman. She graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School and attended St. Cloud State for a short time. She married LeRoy Stunek on February 26, 1954, in Sauk Rapids. She worked as a secretary for a number of years for Honeywell. They came to Aitkin in 1984. She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Aitkin; the church quilting group; taught release time classes and helped in the church office. She was also a member of the Aitkin American Legion Auxiliary.

Funeral services are Thursday, March 20, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Aitkin with Pastor David Becker officiating. Burial will be in the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls. Friends may call at the church on Thursday from noon until the time of services.

Norma Lehmann is the soloist and Helyn Nienow the organist. Pallbearers are Darryl Stunek, Michael Stunek, Kurt Stunek, Kevin Stunek, Owen Larson and Mike Olson.

She is survived by her husband, LeRoy, Aitkin; sons and daughter-in-law; Peter and Lori Stunek, Zimmerman; Christopher Stunek, Burnsville; sisters and brother-in-law, Renee Jones, California; Sharon and Darwin Knox, Minneapolis and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters and a brother.

Arrangements are with Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.

Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Aitkin Independent Age





































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