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Spring Valley News...2008

Click here for News Articles prior to 2008.

Historical Pictures
Historical Articles by Don Blegen - published in the Spring Valley Sun/Argus

St. Paul Pioneer Press article about Spring Valley

Current Class of '56 Photos and News Articles


Larry Waller Olstad
    Larry Waller Olstad of Edmond, OK, passed away November 9, 2008 at the age of 66 from complications following knee surgery. He was born May 12, 1942 in Madison, WI. After graduating from Spring Valley High School in 1960 he joined the Air Force. After more than 20 years as a Computer Programmer and many travels, he retired in Oklahoma from the USAF. In his civilian life he worked for several companies in Oklahoma City, Elkhart, IN and St. Paul, MN as a Programmer. Most recently he worked for Crest Foods in Edmond.
    Larry loved his family, his many dogs over the years, the Packers, the Sooners, Ņthe DukeÓ John Wayne, Elvis and Air Force planes.
    He is survived by his wife, Dianna, his son, Steven of the family home, daughter Elisabeth Smith (Darrell) of Edmond, his sons Dale (Pam) Olstad and Mike (Christi) of Oklahoma City, his mother, Lucille Olstad of Great Falls, MT, sisters Gail (Gene) Helmer of Elmwood, WI and Barbara (Ken) of Great Falls, MT, aunts, Renee Larrieu of Spring Valley, WI and Marilyn (Walt) of Greenfield, WI, 9 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
    He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Helmer and Ruth Waller, Harry and Galica Olstad and his father, Lyle Olstad.
    Services were held at the Brookwood Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on Thursday, November 13, 2008.

Published in the Spring Valley Sun-Argus

Loretta Lynum Jensen

   Loretta J. Jensen, 73, of Elgin passed away Saturday October 18, 2008 in Provena St., Joseph Hospital, Elgin.

   She was born on June 10, 1935 in Woodville, WI the daughter of Elmer and Bertha (Anderson) Lynum.

   Loretta graduated from Spring Valley High School and the University of WI-River Falls.

   She had taught at Hanover Countryside Elementary School and Grant Elementary School in Elgin, for 35+ years prior to her retirement.

   Loretta was an avid gardner and loved to travel, she will be dearly missed.

   She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Elgin, and the Provena St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary.

   Survivors include her husband, Hans E. of Elgin; two sons, Paul E. Jensen of Elgin, and Craig L. (Bonnie) Jensen of South Elgin; her six brothers, Palmer (Carol), Robert (Darlene), Wayne (Rita), Gail (Ruth), Larry (Sharon) and Steve (Peggy) Lynum; and her sister, Wanda (Bud) Holle; and many nieces and nephews.

   She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother; and two sisters.

   Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 11:00 A.M. in Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, 330 Griswold Street, Elgin, IL.

   Burial will follow in River Valley Memorial Gardens, West Dundee.  

   Visitation will be on Tuesday, from 4-8:00 P.M. in the Laird Funeral Home, 310 South State Street, (route 31), Elgin, IL 60123, 847-741-8800, and on Wednesday, at the church from 10:30 A.M. until the time of services.

   Memorials may be made to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Jannine Nord Quilling
    Jannine Quilling, age 72, of Baldwin, Wisconsin died Wednesday, June 4, 20008, at the Baldwin Care Center.
    Jannine was born November 18, 1935, the daughter of Rexford and Norma (Weghorn) Nord in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. She grew up and attended school at Spring Valley graduating in 1953. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin Š River Falls where she received a degree in English.
    Jannine worked with children at ShrinerÕs Hospital before entering the U.S. Marines, and served during the Korean Conflict. She had such a beautiful voice that she spent time singing and entertaining the lady Marines at Camp Pendleton in California.
    Jannine worked for West Publishing in the cities for a while, and then began her career caring for others. She was a nurseÕs assistant and had worked at the Spring Valley Health Care Center, the Kinnic Home in River Falls, American Heritage Care Center in Hammond, and most recently the Baldwin Care Center. She lived in River Falls for about 20 years, lived at Beldenville and Spring Valley, and currently lived at Baldwin. She will be remembered for her care and concern in taking care of the elderly and her wonderful sense of humor.
    Her parents preceded her in death.
    Survivors include one son and one daughter: Dan Quilling of Baldwin; and Jeanne (Herb) Armitage of Sawyer, Michigan; one sister Linda (Martin) Price of Woodville; four grandchildren and one great granddaughter: Zachary (Lauren) Prehn and their daughter Hannah; Bree Prehn; Stephan Armitage; and Ian Armitage; many other relatives and friends.
    A memorial service for Jannine was held on Sunday, June 8, 2008, at 1:30 p.m. at the Congregational Church in Spring Valley with Rev. Jeff Holton officiating. Gloria Weghorn was organist. Internment was in Spring Lake Cemetery, Spring Valley.
    Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley handled arrangements.

Published in the Spring Valley Sun-Argus

Pastor Carsten Smeby

Carsten Smeby, age 88, was born in Viroqua, WI, graduated from Luther College, attended Luther Seminary, and during his internship at Detroit he met and married Margrete Gorden on May 18, 1944. He was called to serve parishes in Sister Bay and Ellison Bay, WI (1945-1950) where the three boys were born; Spring Valley, WI (1950-1956) where the two girls were born; Cresco, IA (1956-1973) where the children grew up, and Tustin, CA (1973-1995). In 2000, he and Margrete moved back to Minnesota to be near family.
    Summers after retirement were spent at the family's Lake Kabekona cabin. They were surrounded by a wonderful community of former classmates, fellow pastors, and neighbors during their winters at 7500 York in Edina.
    He is survived by his wife Margrete; sister: Helen; children: Rolf, Mark (Joanie), Joel (Cynthia), Signe and Julie; grandchildren: Anna, Joel, Shaina, Andy, and Sam.
    He was preceded in death by his parents; Julia and Hartwick; and sisters: Connie and Ruth.

   Pastor Warren Broughton presided for the funeral of Carsten Smeby. Organist was Madelyn Lawrence. Pallbearers were: Rolf Smeby, Mark Smeby, Joel Smeby, Joel Mark Smeby, Andrew Smeby, and Sam Michael. Interment was in the Lakeport Cemetery.

Cresco Times-Plain Dealer, May 06, 2008

David C. Vanasse

   David C. Vanasse, age 70, of Spring Valley, WI died Sunday evening, March 20, 2005, at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, WI.

   David was born September 6, 1934, the son of Richard Earl and Carrie Matilda (Ray) Vanasse in Gilman Township, Pierce County, WI. He grew up in Gilman where he attended South Hill School. David attended Spring Valley High School and entered the service prior to graduation. He later completed his G.E.D.

   David served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 until 1956. For the next three years he worked for Sweeney Brothers Construction. In 1960 David graduated from Aviation Tech School at Janesville, WI. It was a few years earlier that David met Mary Jean Howe, the girl he would eventually marry. On July 30, 1960, David married Mary at Janesville. They were blessed with five children: Linda, Tom, Susan, Scott, and Eric.

   David worked as a mechanic at North Central Airlines from 1960 until 1977. He farmed in Gilman Township from 1977 until the present time. David loved the farm and nature. When he wasnÕt busy with farm work, David spent time researching the family genealogy. This resulted in publishing a thirteen-generation book. He also loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren.

   Preceding him in death were his parents Earl and Carrie; and four brothers: Wendell Vanasse, Donald Vanasse, Leonard Vanasse, and Bryce Vanasse. Survivors include his wife Mary of Spring Valley; his five children: Linda (Russ) Atter of Eau Claire; Tom (Cindy) Vanasse of Spring Valley; Susan (Tim) Ormson of Spring Valley; Scott (Lisa) Vanasse of Menomonie; and Eric (Holly) Vanasse of Spring Valley; nine grandchildren: Brandon (Brenda) Johnson; Jesse Johnson Michelle Johnson; Carrie Vanasse; Luke Vanasse; Mariah Vanasse; Alyssa Atter; Abigail Vanasse and Andrew Vanasse; two brothers: Irvin (Evelyn) Vanasse, and Richard (Gladys) Vanasse all of Spring Valley; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

   Visitation was held Wednesday, March 23, 2005, from 5-8 p.m. at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. Funeral services were Thursday, March 24, 2005, at 11:00 a.m. at Gilman Lutheran Church, Spring Valley. Rev. Peter D. Frieberg officiated the service. Music was provided by organist Carole Lynum with congregational singing. Burial was in Gilman Lutheran Cemetery, Spring Valley with military honors performed by Rickerd-Danielson American Legion Post 227 of Spring Valley.

   Pallbearers were Jesse Johnson, Jamie Vanasse, Paul Vanasse, Tim Ormson, Chris Vanasse, and Mike Mazzitello. Honorary bearers were Brandon Johnson and Luke Vanasse.

   Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley, handled arrangements.

Our sympathy goes out to Nancy's   family.

Nancy Ann Karnes

Nancy Ann Karnes of Osceola died March 16, 2008, with her family by her side. She was 69 years old. She was born Dec. 7, 1938, in Baldwin to Lloyd and Helen Karnes. She graduated from Spring Valley High School. Nancy devoted her life to her children and grandsons. Nancy worked many years at the Hazelden Foundation and volunteered at times at womenÕs shelters. She always had a great sense of humor and didnÕt hesitate to share it with others. She found enjoyment and peace in bird watching Š especially cardinals. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd and Helen Karnes; daughter, Melissa; and the father of her children, John Glumske. She is survived by her children, Mark (Susan) Glumske of Chetek and Kristin Sander of Osceola; grandchildren, Tyler and Jacob Sander, Zane Glumske and Brian Davis; sisters, Kathryn Schilling of Minneapolis, Janice Alberg of Woodbury, Minn., and Marsha (Buck) DeMarias; brother, Gerald Karnes of Oakdale, Minn., several nieces, nephews and many friends. There will be a memorial gathering from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Grandstrand Funeral Home in Osceola. Private interment will be in the Oak Ridge Cemetery at Spring Valley. The Grandstrand Funeral Home, Osceola, was entrusted with arrangements.

Our sympathy goes out to Chuck's   family.

Charles “Chuck” John Cain

   Charles “Chuck” John Cain, age 70 of Ellsworth, Wisconsin passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

   He was born November 2, 1937, the son of Ralph and Laura (Brantner) Cain.  Chuck was a graduate of Spring Valley High School.  He married Mary Alice McDonnell on November 28, 1959 in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.  Chuck was a retiree of the Ford Motor Company, an accomplished mechanic and overall handyman.  Chuck had a never ending love for his family and countless friends.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing and camping at O’Neil Creek near Bloomer, Wisconsin. He was a member of St. Francis Catholic Church.

   Chuck is survived by his children; Gregory (Stacy) Cain of Stillwater, Minnesota, Gary (Kristen) Cain of Ellsworth, Wisconsin, Barry (Darla) Cain of Beldenville, Wisconsin, and Karen (Steve) Thoen of Ellsworth, Wisconsin; Eight grandchildren:  Aaron, Ashley, Bradley, Allyson and Jonathan Cain, Tyler, Hailee and Brooke Thoen.

   Chuck was preceded in death by his wife Mary, son David, and his parents; siblings Loretta, James, and Ken.

Mrs. Nellie McKernon Schadney

   Mrs. Nellie McKernon Schadney, 102, passed away on Friday morning, February 2, at the Spring Valley Health Care Center.

   The former Nellie McKernon was born in Spring Valley on November 2, 1905, to the late William McKernon and Katherine Weix. She attended Spring Valley Schools graduating with the Class of 1924. On May 29, 1948, she was married to Ben Schadney at Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. He preceded her in death on October 8, 1967; they resided in Eau Claire.

   Nellie attended State Teachers College, River Falls, graduating in 1932. She taught First and Second grade students for 43 years. She retired from the Altoona School district after 22 years of service. Nellie also taught in Spring Valley, Marinette and Elk Mound.

    Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Eva (Peterson) langer, and brother Lyman McKernon. Survivors include nieces and nephews: Tom (Judy) McKernon, Joan (Pat) Payton, Dick (LaVonne) McKernon, Ginny (Steve) Vinck, John (Joanne) McKernon, Kathy Boehm, Mike (Mary) Lansing, Mary (Mario) Medina and Bill (Katherine) Lansing. Many other friends and relatives will miss her.

   A mass in celebration of her life and Christian burial were held on Monday, February 4, at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Spring Valley with burial in the church cemetery. Visitation services will be held at church one hour prior to the service.

   Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley handled arrangements. SunArgus, Spring Valley,WI

Our sympathy goes out to Ellis'  family.

Ellis Merle Barsness
    Ellis Merle Barsness was born November 6, 1937, in Baldwin, WI. He passed away on January 3, 2008, at the age of 70 in Columbia Heights MN.

   Ellis was preceded in death by his son, a brother and his parents. He is survived by his wife; two daughters; one son; six grandchildren; one brother; other family and friends.

   Funeral service was held at 10:30 A.M., Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at the Methven-Taylor Funeral Home. Pall Bearers: Tim Bergmann, Timothy Bergmann, Steve Barsness, Anthony Kiritschenko, Dave Ponte. Interment at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN.

Our sympathy goes out to Anita and her family.

Wayne “Lefty” Delano Spence, 74

  Wayne “Lefty” Delano Spence, age 74, of Spring Valley, died Friday, Nov. 2, 2007, at the Spring Valley Health Care Center after a short battle with cancer.

  Wayne was born May 19, 1933, the son of Vernon and Eunice (Fisk) Spence in Rapidan Township, Blue Earth County, Minn. In 1946, the Spence family moved to Gilman Township. Wayne continued to live in Gilman Township for 57 years, except for about a year and a half when he lived in Stillwater.

  Wayne attended school at Spring Valley, graduating with the Class of 1951. After school, Wayne worked construction for Hagner Gunderson for a year or two. On August 8, 1953, Wayne married his high school sweetheart, Anita Iverson. They were married at Anita’s grandparents home in Martell Township. After marriage, Wayne farmed for a while and then moved to Stillwater. He worked for a furniture factory in Bayport before moving back to Gilman Township in 1955. In 1960 they moved to the home farm in Gilman and lived and farmed there until 2003 when they moved into Spring Valley.

  Wayne loved to read and his concern for education was shown throughout 20 years of serving on the Spring Valley School Board of Education. He was a member of the Stillwater National Guard and served many years on the Gilman Lutheran Church Council. Wayne loved baseball and many will remember watching “Lefty” as he pitched for Duffy’s Darlings and the Spring Valley Hawks. He also had the opportunity to play baseball with Bud Grant for the Stillwater Loggers. He also loved hunting, golfing and fishing.

  Preceding him in death were: his parents, Vernon and Eunice Spence; brother, Vernon Lee Spence; infant daughter, Marsha Jean; and granddaughter Tracey Lynn Holerud.

  He is survived by his wife, Anita; three daughters and one son, Wendy (Jeff) Steen of Valencia, Spain; Joy (Bob) Holerud of Wilson; Mark (Pam) Spence of Spring Valley; and Valerie (Dan) Rabe of West Concord, Minnesota; 12 grandchildren, Emily Steen, Stacy (Ryan) Decker, Tim Steen, Josh Steen, Tom Steen, Rebecca Steen, Keri Ann (Jorge) Collado-Hollerud, Craig Hollerud, Randie Hollerud, Brad (Rachel) Spence, Nate Spence, and Greg Spence; one brother Russell (Laurel) Spence of Spring Valley; one sister Evey (Irvin) Vanasse of Spring Valley; many other relatives and friends.

  Visitation was on Sunday from 3-7 p.m. at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. Funeral service was on Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, at 1 p.m. at Gilman Lutheran Church, Spring Valley, Rev. D. Peter Friberg officiating. Music was provided by organist Carol Lynum. Richard Johnson, Larry Aamodt and Phil Pax sang “The Hymn” (a special song written by Wayne’s mother), and Joy Wilson sang “On Eagles Wings”. Following cremation, burial will be in Gilman Lutheran Cemetery.

   Fishing buddies as honorary bearers were: Elvin Kulenkamp, Steve Price, Einar Sandom, Don Stevens, John Zimmerman and Barry Wentlandt. Honorary bearers were: Bud Falde, Richard Johnson, Dale Kannel and Dale Sorenson. Pallbearers were Tim, Josh and Tom Steen, Craig Hollerud, and Brad, Nate and Greg Spence.

Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley handled arrangements.

Pierce County Herald Published Monday, November 05, 2007

Historical Photos

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Spring Valley Baseball Team - 1949

Kneeling Down: Dick Kannel and Duane Olson

Front Row: Gene Cardinal, Al Wetterlin, Harry Duffy, John Boller, Al Ducklow, Bill Rudesill, ?

Back Row: Tom Hughes, Lyle Hageman, Ernie Klecker, Kent Rudesill, Dale Kannel and Ron Bailey

Thanks to Dale Kannel for identifying the people in this photo!


Historical Articles by Don Blegen

These have been published in the Spring Valley Sun/Argus


Glen Park Pool, River Falls, Summer of 1946

Back: Ron Budd, Ed Meier, Dick Adank, Ruth Thompson, Kathryn Thompson, Ruth Davis, Patsy Peterson, Donna Jean Lowater, Mary Wood, Eleanor Gail Davis, Myron Olson, Bertel Budd, unknown swimming instructor.

Front: Ruth Meier, Bob Meier, unknown, Dick Ottman, unknown, Carl "Peewee" Wentland, Dick Wood, Duane Olson, Joe Fujko, unknown, unknown swimming instructor.

     Sixty-two years ago this summer, with World War II ended and the country still struggling back from the effects of the Great Depressiob, about two dozen Spring Valley and Elmwood young people and their instructors pose at the edge of the swimming pool in River Falls Glen Park.

     School buses transported them there to participate in what has to be one of the most successful educational projects ever conducted. The American Red Cross gave these youths swimming and lifesaving lessons virtually free. Beginner, Intermediate, Lifesaving -- no matter the skill level, they all learned and progressed, gaining skills and confidence in the water. Their parents' income and social class didn't matter. If they were willing to learn and improve, that was enough. And improve they did!

    The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton and others in 1881, modeled on a Swiss organization (the red cross on a white field is the exact reverse of the Swiss flag) that was started after a Swiss businessman watched 40,000 wounded soldiers die from lack of medical attention after a single battle in one of the many European wars of the time. But that is another story.

    The idea for swimming and lifesaviing lessons began here in the U.S. in 1914, partly because of all the lives lost in the Johnstown Flood and Galveston Hurricane. It was obvious that hundreds of people might have survived those disasters if only they had known how to swim. By the Forties, the swimming lesson program extended (thanks to a lot of selfless people!) even into little towns like Elmwood and Spring Valley that cound not afford their own swimming pools.

    The final result was a cadre of excellent swimmers all across America with lifesaving and rescue skills. There is no telling how many lives have been saved by this training, and no telling how much it contributed to the many water sports that so many of us now enjoy and take for granted. Hats off to the Red Cross and the people who helped in an endeavor that continues to this day!

    Thanks to Dick and Don Adank, Helen Sandve, Bob Meier, Jack Weghorn, Bob Brooke, Ellis Poquette, Dick Ottman, and others for help in identifying people in this photo.

    Don Blegen

From time to time, there will be little tidbits of history here, taken from the Doug Blegen Historical Display in the Municipal Building in Spring Valley. Please come and visit the display during office hours on weekdays or Saturday morning from 9-12.

The above article was printed in the June 18, 2008 issue of the Spring Valley Sun-Argus, Spring Valley, Wisconsin.


BROOKSIDE SCHOOL-Photo by Henry E. Fairchild

The students of Brookside School pose with their teacher in front of the school about 1920.

Front: Irene Hanson, Ava and Blanch Schutz, Cora Jacobson, Edith and Fern Hanson. Second Row: Lenora Jacobson, Viola Jacobson, Hazel Barnes, Myrtle Harris, Alice Schutz, Frances Schultz, Nora Schultz. Third Row: Charles Schutz, Conrad Jacobson, Alf Stein, Ernest Jacobson. Back: Clarence Schultz, Simon Stein, Teacher Alma Condit, Philip Jacobson, Harvey Hanson, ? Moen.

              This school was located on the present Spring Lake Town Hall site, across from the Spring Lake Lutheran Church. Like all the other area country schools, it was eventually consolidated into the Spring Valley School system. Brookside was absorbed in 1948, and East Hill, the other Spring Lake country school a few years later. The dividing line between the two Spring Lake schools was approximately where the new County Concrete quarry is now located.

              The Hanson children lived next to the school at the present Tim Anderson site. Their father, Peter, was the long-time (25 years) constable of Spring Valley. Harvey became Spring Valley’s baker. Irene married Harry Duffy, proprietor of Duffy’s Cleaners and manager of Spring Valley’s famous baseball team, Duffy’s Darlings.

-Don Blegen

              Thanks to the Bill Stein Estate for the photo, and to Glenn Nelson, Jerry Larson, Nancy Ellefson, and Lorraine Jacobson for information used in this piece.


Note: Several people from the '50's have relatives in this picture. Those identified:

-Irene, Edith and Fern Hanson (front row) are Nancy Hanson Ellefson's aunts. Harvey Hanson (back row) is Nancy's father.

-Lenora Jacobson (second row) is Lorraine Jacobson's (class of '56) mother, and next to her is Viola Jacobson, her dad's sister. Philip Jacobson (back row) is Lenora's brother and Bob Jacobson's (class of '56) father. Conrad, Ernest, and Cora Jacobson are first cousins of Lorraine's father. Conrad was Steve Hanson's (class of '56) stepfather. Ernest Jacobson is John Jacobson's (former SVHS student) father.