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Ben Stich, 89

Ben Stich Sr., 89, rural Brandon, died Friday, October 18, 2013 at the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria, surrounded by his family.

Bernard Stanley Stich was born on September 14, 1924 at home by Spitzer Lake, rural Clitherall, the son of Stephen and Martha (Klimek) Stich. He was baptized and confirmed in Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Millerville. Ben attended rural school in Leaf Mountain Township.

He served with the U.S. Army in the infantry during World War II, serving two years overseas in the Philipines. His military honors include Minnesota National Guard, Millerville American Legion and Minnesota National Guard.

Ben and Rose Koep were married on September 21, 1943 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Urbank. He farmed in Leaf Mountain Township, and in 1958, he started in the bait business, selling both wholesale and retail bait.

Music was an important part of Bens life. He and his brother, David, played and sang on the radio, along with doing music for weddings and dances. His own family would sing with him, and at family gatherings, they would bring out the instruments and play and sing.

Ben played by ear, playing the guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin. Later in his life, he loved the flea markets, auctions and garage sales. Ben and Rose spent many winters in Nashville. They together enjoyed their family and just celebrated 70 years of marriage.

Ben is survived by his wife, Rose; five children, Ben Jr. (Josie) Stich of Battle Lake, Bernadette "Detsie" (Fran) Wagner of Brandon, Sharon (Ben "Blackie") Bitzan of Evansville, Doreen (Blaine) Larson of Battle Lake and Connie Lee (Kevin) Cunningham of Alexandria; 14 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and many relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents along with twelve siblings.

Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Battle Lake. Fr. Leroy Schik will officiate. Interment will be at the Church of the Seven Dolors Catholic Cemetery in Millerville

Visitation will be Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church and one hour prior to the mass on Wednesday.

Arrangements are with Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Battle Lake.

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