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LaVerna "Lonnie" Mary Drussell, 84, Alexandria, died February 28, 2009 at her home. Lonnie was born on a farm in Swanville on October 23, 1924 to Paul and Mary Haas. She was welcomed into the world by her siblings, Paul, Dorthy, Elmer and Loren. When Lonnie was 2 years old, a baby sister, Helen May, joined the family. Three months after Helen May's birth, their mother passed away from complications of childbirth. Life for a single father of six who had to run a farm proved too difficult. Families in the Garfield and Leaf Valley area took in most of the children.
Avis Astrid Adelaide Hanson Anderson Luetgers, 82, Alexandria, died February 26, 2009 at her home. Avis was born November 2, 1926 in Holmes City as a first generation American. She was the 6th of 7 children born to Albert and Hilda (Oberg) Hanson. Avis grew up on the Mill Lake family farm and lived in the Holmes City area until 1990 when she moved to Alexandria, where she spent the remaining 18 of her 82 years. Avis graduated from Alexandria High School in 1944. After graduation she worked as a telephone operator.
Paul Arthur Zander, 65, Alexandria, died February 25, 2009 at his home. Paul was born in Howard Lake on May 12, 1943 to Gerald and Helen (Smith) Zander. He grew up in Howard Lake and graduated from Howard Lake High School in 1961. After graduation Paul went to work for Fillbrandt and Son Excavating in Excelsior. On August 6, 1964 Paul married Carol Scheiber and to this union five children were born. In 1971 he took over his father's business, Zander Construction Inc., which he continued successfully for 26 years.
Marcelline "Pat" M. Butler, 89, died February 20, 2009. Marcelline was born July 14, 1919 in New Munich to Fred and Rose (Meyer) Kampsen. She grew up in central Minnesota and lived in St. Cloud for seven years where she was employed as a beautician. On August 16, 1943 she married Don Butler in St. Cloud. The couple then moved to Alexandria in 1947, where they continued to live throughout their entire life.
Kevin Johnson, 52, passed away suddenly on February 18, 2009 at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, California. Kevin was born December 16, 1957 in Crookston to Roger and Clarette Johnson. He attended grade school in Detroit Lakes and graduated from Long Prairie High School in 1975. He attended Gustavus Adolphus and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology in 1979. Kevin spent time working at Fairview South Hospital in Minneapolis before receiving his master's degree in human resources at the University of Minnesota. He worked at Trend Inc.
Gayle Yvonne Skramstad, 53, died unexpectedly on Monday, February 23, 2009 at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria. Gayle was born in Pierre, South Dakota, on April 16, 1955, the first of three children. She moved to a farm in Brooten in 1968. She worked hard at home and did well in school, finishing second in her class in 1973. Then she ventured to Alexandria to take accounting at Alexandria Tech. She met Roger Skramstad at school in November and it took only three weeks of dating until they were engaged. They were married on February 14, 1975.
Dexter W. Johnson, 74, of Fargo, ND passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, February 26, 2009, surrounded by his loving family. Dexter was born near Osakis on October 2, 1934 to Willard and Hilda (Nelson) Johnson. He attended grade school at a country school near the family farm and graduated from Osakis High School in 1951. Following a two-year enlistment in the U.S. Army, Dexter attended North Dakota State Agricultural College, graduating first with a bachelor of science degree in 1960, then a master of science degree in agricultural engineering in 1961.
Ethel "Lee" Mae Olsson, 87, Parkers Prairie, died Saturday, February 28, 2009 at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria. Ethel was born November 27, 1921 to Elmer and Katherine (Elsen) Lysaker in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She grew up in La Crosse and graduated from high school in 1939. She attended La Crosse Teacher's College for two years before attending the Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota where she graduated in June 1944. Ethel was united in marriage to Erling Olsson on May 20, 1944 at Trinity Lutheran Church in La Crosse.
James Volner Hall, 91, Alexandria, died February 17, 2009 at Knute Nelson. James was born October 12, 1917 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Joseph and Edith (Volner) Hall. He graduated from Central High School in Kansas City and furthered his education at Curtis Wright Technical College in Burbank, California. While a student at Curtis Wright, he worked as an aircraft mechanic for Burbank Airport where he met Howard Hughes and other stunt flyers from the 1930s before beginning his career in the aircraft industry at Consolidated Vultee.
Paul Kerry Brendmoen, 54, Montevideo, formerly of Alexandria, died peacefully February 27, 2009 at his brother's home in Montevideo, where he resided due to failing health. Paul was born November 12, 1954 in Valley City, North Dakota, to Raymond L. and Shirley A. (Sandness) Brendmoen. He was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith in Valley City and graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1973.