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Spring Valley News...2020



Herbert Solberg, Age 91

   Herbert Solberg, age 91, of Hammond, Wisconsin died Thursday, April 30, 2020 at his home. Herb graduated from SVHS in 1947.
    Survived by: wife Verla(Wentland-'56); daughters: Sherrie (Dean) LeMay; Julie Solberg; and Amy (James) O'Keefe; 2 grandchildren: Tyler and Tana O'Keefe; 2 step-grandchildren: Melissa and Marie LeMay.

   A family graveside service for Herb will be held on Friday, May 8, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Cemetery, rural Baldwin.

Mary Diana Forthun Murphy, age 92
    Determined for years to live the fullest life possible, Mom, Mary Forthun Murphy, made it happen until the last months of her life. After a brief illness, she finally felt that she was ready to move on. She passed away on April 18, 2020.
    Born October 31, 1927, in Spring Valley, WI, the eldest of 4 children. She graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1945. Mary studied piano for several years. Special times are recalled by her brother of her playing for family sing-alongs. She was active in choir both in school and at church, Sacred Heart Catholic, as well as played the church organ. Mary graduated from Wisconsin State Teachers College (U of W at River Falls). She taught English, Literature and Drama for many years in Wisconsin and Minnesota before sailing to Germany as USO personnel for 2 years. Upon returning to the US she settled in Rochester, NY as a teacher until she married and started a family. Mary was a volunteer for many years at Genesee Hospital and St. Louis Church. She liked to play golf and had a great sense of humor.
    Mary is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, George; childred: Michael, Mary Hastings, Sheila van der Leeden, Theresa Pennington; 2 darlin’ granddaughters: Tara Hastings, Jenna (Marc Schneider) Hastings; brother Gerald (Sara) Forthun; sisters-in-law: Marlene and Gloria Forthun; nieces and nephews: Glen, Richard, Kenneth, Mark, Monica, Paula, Mary Elizabeth, Amy, Michael, Elizabeth, John, Nicole, and their families; extended Forthun, Cassin, Murphy and Case families. She is also survived by Paul Hastings, the extended Hastings family, and Gabby Martin, all of whom she was very fond. Mary was predeceased by her parents Stanley and Clara (Cassin) Forthun; brothers: Richard, Thomas; sister-in-law Renee (Murphy) Fell; sons-in-law: Gerard van der Leeden, D. Scott Pennington.
    A funeral Mass will be scheduled at a future date. To share a memory or send a condolence please visit If wishing to donate in these times of great need, please give to your local food pantry in Mary’s name.

Judith F. Olson Putman, Age 77

   Judith F. Olson Putman, age 77, passed away on April 16, 2020, surrounded by her family after a 2-1/2 year battle with cancer. She had been put on in-home hospice at their home in Surprise, AZ, just the day before her death.    

    Judy was born to Melvin and Lillian Olson in Spring Valley, WI on June 2, 1942. Judy grew up in Spring Valley with her parents and four older siblings, and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1960.

  Judy met Gary Putman on a blind date and on August 30, 1963, they were married. They were blessed with three daughters. Over the years they lived in Minnesota, Nebraska, Mexico, and while their children were still young, made Arizona their home.

   Judy loved to golf with Gary and with her friends. She was an avid crafter, made numerous stained glass creations, made quilts, crocheted, sewed - all these things turning their house into a beautifully decorated home that welcomed family and friends over the years. But most of all she treasured time spent with Gary, her daughters and as the years went by, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. 

   Judy is survived by the love of her life, Gary Putman; three daughters: Suzanne Putman, Tracy Guerrero (Joe), and Angela Nelson (Andy); grandchildren: Paul Erickson, Ben Erickson, Olivia Nelson, Parker Nelson, Alex Guerrero; two great grandchildren: Vera and Keaton Erickson; siblings: Richard Olson-‘50, Duane-’53 (Karen) Olson, Joanie-’57 (Danny) Croes, sister-in-law and brother in-law: Lindsay and Ron Ray; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Judy was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Myron. 

   She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Muriel Hanson Jeffrey, Age 78
    Muriel (Hanson) Jeffrey, age 78 of Ellsworth, Wisconsin formerly of Estero, Florida died Saturday at Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth.
    Muriel was born June 20, 1941 to Harvey and Lois (Moore) Hanson in Spring Valley, Wisconsin.  She grew up in Spring Valley and graduated with the Class of 1959.  After high school she attended UW-River Falls and graduated in 1963.  She went on to earn her Matsters Degree from the University of Southern Illinois in 1965.
    Muriel taught music at Menomonie High School for two years.  In 1972 she moved to Florida and worked for Principal Insurance Company for a while before returning to her passion - teaching piano to many students.
    On September 10, 1989 Muriel married John Jeffrey at Bonita Springs, Florida.  They made their home in Estero, Florida. John passed away in February of 2014 and in November of that same year, Muriel moved back to Wisconsin to be closer to her family.
    Muriel was an accomplished pianist.  She grew beautiful roses and orchids, and was an animal lover, especially Maine Coon cats.
    Preceding her in death were her parents and husband John.     
    She is survived by sister Nancy (Hanson) Ellefson and her husband Vern of Ellsworth; nieces: Niccolla (Ellefson) McClung and husband Kerwin of West Palm Beach, Florida; Lisa Schwartsbauer of Grantsburg; nephew Michael Ellefson and his wife Corrie of Hudson; step-children John (Nancy) Jeffrey of Elmhurst, Illinois; Jeri Lynn Else of Lombard, Illinois; grandnieces Veronica and Genevieve Ellefson and Rachel Randolph; grandnephew Ben Whipple, other relatives and friends.
    Memorials are preferred to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Spring Valley Education Foundation.
    Because of corona virus restrictions, a memorial service will be held at a future date.

 Dr. Gregory Paul Brooke, Age 72

   Dr. Gregory Paul Brooke, 72, passed away March 17, 2020, in Edmonds, Washington. Greg was born Feb. 14, 1948, to Walter and Deloris Brooke. He grew up on his family’s farm in Spring Valley, WI and attended the Spring Valley School District, graduating as valedictorian in 1966. He graduated with honors in 1970 from UW-Madison and went on to receive his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell in 1974.

   He worked in Baltimore, MD, as an equine veterinarian prior to joining a practice in Eureka, CA, where he also received his pilot’s license. He moved to Hershey, PA, where he studied and practiced embryo transfers on dairy cattle. He later practiced in Spring Valley before operating a dairy farm with his family in Hixton.

   Greg welcomed Taylor in 1992 and Hannah in 1993, and from that day on, his life also included building forts, searching for tadpoles and frogs, picking blackberries and eventually helping them to appreciate his passion for the outdoors and hunting, whether it be pigeons, squirrels, whitetail or elk. It was not unlike them to jump in the truck and make a trip to North Dakota and back in three days.

   Greg is survived by son Taylor (Dellisha Hodges) Brooke of South Bend, WA, and daughter Hannah (Caleb Bruggeman) Brooke of Sparta; brothers Larry (Dianne) Brooke of Superior and Jeff (Dianne) Brooke of Spring Valley and sister Crystal (Dave) Boie of Milton, WI and many nieces and nephews.

   He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Dennis Brooke and daughter Olivia.

   A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Randy Ellefson, Age 66

   Randy Ellefson, age 66, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 23, 2020 at his home.
    Randy was born November 13, 1953 to Harlow and Hazel Lorraine (Swanson) Ellefson at Baldwin, Wisconsin. He grew up at Spring Valley where he attended Spring Valley High School, graduating with the Class of 1971.
    Randy attended UW-River Falls for a year then WITC-New Richmond where he studied Supervisory Management. On October 5, 1989 Randy married Shelby Wruck in Las Vegas, Nevada. They were blessed with one daughter, Leia Beth. He worked as a welder/fitter for Twin City Ship Yards, St. Paul; FMC, Fridley; OEM, Woodville. He also served as a trustee on the Spring Valley Village Board for 8 years.
    His biggest happiness was being around family and friends and enjoying life. He always knew the right things to say at the right time when you needed it most. He loved joking around and making people smile and laugh. Among his most favorite enjoyments was golfing, riding motorcycle, spending time at Jellystone and camping in his RV the past couple years.
    Preceding him in death were his parents; brother Thomas.
He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends: his wife Shelby and daughter Leia Beth; brothers Vern (Nancy) Ellefson, Ellsworth, WI; Arland (Patricia) Ellefson, River Falls, WI; Edward (Eve) Ellefson, Spring Valley, WI; sister-in-law: Connie Wolbert, Eau Claire; brother-in-law Darrell Wruck, Redmond, Oregon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
    A service will be planned at a later date.

James Edward O'Connell, Age 85
   James Edward O'Connell, age 85, of Stoughton, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, at his home. He was born on April 10, 1934, in Ellsworth, the son of James and Mary (Carpenter) O'Connell. He married Janet Delores Schuch.
    James worked in cement masonry. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
    James is survived by his wife, Janet; children, Charlotte (Kenny) Harvey, Cynthia King, Mark (Cindy) O’Connell, William O’Connell, Lesha (David) Seymour, Susan O’Connell and Scott O’Connell (fiancé, Jennifer); 17 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Beth Sperger and Barb Hartung.
    A service will be held at Gunderson Stoughton Funeral & Cremation Care, 1358 Hwy. 51 N. at Jackson St., Stoughton, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, with Fr. Gary Wankerl presiding. Visitation will immediately follow the service until 5 p.m. Memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice Care. Online condolences may be made at

Richard ‘Rick’ Spence, Age 67

   Richard ‘Rick’ Spence, age 67 of Spring Valley, died suddenly on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at Western Wisconsin Health in Baldwin.
    Rick was born May 31, 1952 in Winnebago, Minnesota to Vernon and Eunice (Swanson Spence) Luebker. In 1962, the Spence family moved to Spring Valley, WI. He attended Spring Valley High School, graduating with the Class of 1970.
    After high school, Rick entered the U.S. Navy and served for 2 years. On December 27, 1975 Rick married Kathy Darnell. They were blessed with three children.
    Rick attended Chippewa Valley Technical College, where he studied auto body repair. He owned and operated the Valley Auto Body shop in Spring Valley for a number of years. Rick also worked on the family farm and at Spence Construction with his father and brothers. Rick later attended Red Wing Technical College, where he studied to become a truck driver and drove over the road for several years. Rick enjoyed working on old cars and he was a devoted Packer fan. He loved playing board games such as scrabble and chess. Rick had a great sense of humor and loved to joke around.
    Preceding him in death were his father Vernon Spence; step-father Bernard Luebker; sister Eileen Spence; and nieces Alyssa Spence, Joelle Andreas, and Karen Sorhage.
    He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends: his wife Kathy; daughters and son: Marilee (Terrell) Johnson; Darren Spence; and April (Luke) Olsen; his mother Eunice Luebker; siblings Terry (Shelly) Spence; Randy (Bobbi) Spence; and Amy (Mitch) Case; Sister-in-law Sue (Jim) Schleuder; honorary daughters Ann-Katrin Denn; and Victoria Holodnack; grandchildren Ethan Johnson; and baby girl Olsen (Due in April); nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
    Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, February 2, at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. Funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. at the funeral home.

Carolyn Lois Hagman Nelson, Age 88
   Carolyn Lois Nelson, 88 of Woodville, formerly of Spring Valley, passed away in the late hours of Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Park View Home in Woodville. Though she was born in White Rock, MN on October 14th, 1931 to parents Clarence & Luella Hagman, but she had a special love for the stepfather that raised her, Burt Safe.
    Carolyn’s family would eventually move to the Spring Valley area in her youth. She graduated from high school in Spring Valley in 1949 and also met and married the love her life and best friend, Walter Nelson, at St. John’s Lutheran Church.  They would have celebrated their 70
th wedding anniversary on February 4th.

Herman L. "Toni" Gilbertson, Jr., Age 74

   Herman L. "Toni" Gilbertson, Jr. age 74, of Siren, Wisconsin, passed away January 21, 2020. He attended Spring Valley High School with the class of '64. He is survived by his son, Jeffery D. (Haydee Levario) Gilbertson; daughter, Melissa J. (Daniel) Sanden; five grandchildren, Anthony Gilbertson, Noah Gilbertson, Griffin Gilbertson, Mckenzie Sanden, Annika Sanden. Also survived by his brothers, sister, many nieces, nephews, with many other relatives and friends.
    Toni was a larger than life personality. His passions included many small businesses, golfing and motorcycles.
He also had a fierce dedication for the love of his life, Paulette Gilbertson, who preceded him in death. He was loved dearly by family and friends.
    A gathering for Toni will be at Kozlak-Radulovich Maple Grove Chapel, 13745 Reimer Drive, Maple Grove, MN 55311 on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM with the ceremony starting at 12:15 PM. Directly after the ceremony you are invited to a late lunch, early dinner.

Mark Pomroy, Age 72
   Mark Pomroy, age 72, of Maplewood, MN, formerly of Hudson, WI, passed away Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at St. Johns Hospital in Maplewood. Mark was born on October 7, 1947 to parents William and Edith (Reitan) Pomroy.
    After Mark graduated from Spring Valley High School with the Class of '65. He enlisted in the United States military and proudly served in the Army during the Vietnam War, after his service he returned home and became a prison guard at Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater before moving to Wyoming and working at the VA until his retirement. After he retired, he returned to the Wisconsin and Minnesota area to be closer to family. Mark was a huge Green Bay Packers fan and never missed a game; he also loved reading history books.
    Mark is survived by his children Jasen (Kelly) Pomroy and Michelle (Michael) Koch; grandchildren Andrew (Sarah), Caitlin, Jacob (Kacey), Makayla, Robert (RJ), and Jaiden; great-grandchildren Jaiden, Ryland, Carter, Alma, and Everly. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Cynthia.
    A memorial service for Mark will be held at 11am on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 at O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. The visitation will be from 10-11am before the service.  Memorials are preferred to the discretion of the family.

Don Hinzman, Age 73

   Don Hinzman, age 73, of Spring Valley, Wisconsin died Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at home with family by his side.
    Don was born May 24, 1946 in St Croix County to Walter and Odelia (Anderson) Hinzman. He worked for Sweeney Brothers Construction and was in the Army Reserve. Don graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1964. He married Sandra Trealoff in 1968 at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Spring Valley. They were blessed with 3 children: Angela, Aaron and Jon. He farmed for 51years in Spring Lake Township.
    Preceding him in death were his parents Walter and Odelia Hinzman; brothers Ted Hinzman, Kent Hinzman, Billie Hinzman and Laroy Hinzman; and niece Kim Hinzman.
    Don is survived by his wife Sandra Hinzman; daughter Angela (Scott) Hunter; sons Aaron Hinzman and Jon (Tera) Hinzman; special friend Theo (his pet); 1 brother Doug (Kathy) Hinzman; sisters-in-law: Wilma Hinzman, Kay Hinzman and Chris Jensen; sisters-in-law Nona (Jeff) Bock and Sherry (Doug) Lamb; brother-in-law Greg (Terri) Trealoff; grandchildren: Tyler and Tucker Hunter; Alyssa and Andrea Hinzman; Carson, Jalen, and Breslin Hinzman; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

   Visitation is on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 1-4 p.m. at Keehr Funeral Home, Spring Valley. A prayer service will be held at 4 p.m. followed by military honors performed by Crain-Ottman American Legion Post 207 of Elmwood.

Arlo D. Johnson, Age 85

   Arlo D. Johnson, age 85, of Hudson, formerly of Hammond passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at his home in The Villages, Florida.
    Arlo was born on May 23,1934, in Sioux Rapids, Iowa, to parents Floyd and Gladys (Doyle) Johnson. Arlo was the second child of four children. He spent his childhood on the farm in Peterson, Iowa, and during his Junior year in high school moved to Spring Valley, Wisconsin, where he graduated High School in 1951.

   Arlo was just a teenager when he met the love of his life, Darlene Alton. They were married in the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa on April 21st, 1952. Together they had 5 children; Julie, Bruce, Pamela, Randall, and Shari. They raised their young family in Bayport, MN, St. Croix Beach, MN, Hudson WI, and finally settled in Hammond WI where all five children graduated from High School. During their time in Hammond WI they owned 4 homes including a farm that he later sub-divided into the “Heartland Estates”. They also owned and operated a drug store called the Johnson Sundry. Arlo served on the Village board for 10 years and later served as the Mayor of Hammond in 1990 and was the Grand Marshal of the Hammond Heartland Days parade in 2003. Arlo accomplished all of this while working in the factory at Andersen Windows and attending Dunwoody Technical Collage to become the Electrical Supervisor. He later retired from Andersen Windows after 37 years.
    Arlo had a love and knack for buying and selling real estate. During their 67 years of marriage they moved 16 times, in addition to buying and selling of 4 cabins, 4 vacation homes in Arizona, 4 vacation homes in Florida, 2 house boats and 6 rental properties. Let’s just say Darlene became a “master packer”. Arlo always had to be on the go, loved the Green Bay Packers, loved to travel, visiting the nearest casino and most of all spending time with family and friends.
    Arlo will remain in the hearts of his wife Darlene of 67 years; his children Julie (deceased) (Jerry) Hopkins, Bruce (Cris) Johnson, Pamela (Barry) Grant, Randy (Nanci) Johnson and Shari Schultz; grandchildren Keri (Tim) Thurmes, Bryan (Alissa) Deneen, Brianna (Mattias) Persson, Jessica (Landen) Geraghty, Kelsey (Danny) Bruesewitz, Amy Johnston, Mike Johnson, Ryan Johnson, Cody (Taylor) Johnson, Cassi Boumeester, John Schultz, Jeff (Rachel) Schultz, and Gina Schultz. Along with 20 great grandchildren and 3 great- great grandchildren. Siblings; Jocile Peterson and Eldon (Sharon) Johnson, and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Arlo is preceded in death by his parents Floyd and Gladys Johnson, daughter Julie Hopkins, grandson Jeffrey Hopkins, sister Jeannine Hansen, brother- in- laws Gerald Bibler and Sheldon Peterson, In-laws Forrest and Carol Alton, and his sister-in-law Jean Johnson.
    Memorial service for Arlo will be 3pm, Sunday, January 26th at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of HUDSON. Visitation will be two hours prior, from 1pm to 3pm at O’Connell’s. Interment will be at a later date in the Hammond Cemetery. Memorials preferred to the discretion of the family. To honor Arlo’s love of the Green Bay Packers, you are encouraged to wear your green and gold!!

Edith Swenson Hojem, Age 85
    Edith LaVonne (Swenson) Hojem,  age 85, of Baldwin, formerly of Spring Valley for over 50 years, went home to be with Jesus on Wednesday, the 15th of January at the Baldwin Care Center.   Edith was born in River Falls, WI on June 20, 1934 to parents Walter & Nettie Swenson. She married Minnard LeRoy Hojem on September 19, 1952 in Decorah, Iowa.
    Edith was the cherished spouse of Minnard LeRoy Hojem for 67 years. She loved doing things with her family. Edith sewed, cooked & traveled to every state except Hawaii. She visited Europe twice, & Alaska eight times. Edith also loved to play cards, spoil the grandchildren, & watch birds. Edith’s favorite saying to her loved ones was always, “Love you more.” She will always be remembered for her loving spirit, sweet humor & big smile.
    Edith is survived by her husband, Minnard; six children, Suzie (Pete) Reishus, Greg (Jenny), Eldon (Patty), Randy (Kathee), Judi (Tim) Blegen and Tammy (Mark) Heller; sister, Norma (Lloyd) Nelson; 21 grandchildren; & 26 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, & six siblings.
    A Memorial Service for Edith will take place at 2:00 P.M, Friday, January 31st, 2020 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, 1010 Newton Street. A Visitation will precede the service at the funeral home from 1:00-2:00 P.M. Arrangements are entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin, 715-684-3434.

Margie Marie Dahms Miller, Age 77
    Heaven welcomed a beautiful soul, Margie Marie (Dahms) Miller, as she passed away surrounded by her loving family on January 7, 2020. During the past 2 years, she resided at St. Gabriel’s Community in Bismarck, North Dakota, where she made many new friends. Margie Miller, 77, Bismarck formerly of Steele, passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at St Gabriel’s Community, Bismarck. A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 11, at St. Gabriel’s Community, 4580 Coleman St, Bismarck.
    Margie was born in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, on August 13, 1942, in her Grandma and Grandpa Brooke’s home where she spent many happy times. It was here where she first learned to cook and learned nature skills from her grandpa. As a girl scout, she learned a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Margie loved to swim and worked every summer as a lifeguard at the local pool. Margie also enjoyed many other sports, including archery, biking, shooting targets, and skating. She had many friends and was involved in numerous church and school activities. She graduated from Spring Valley High School, class of 1960. She attended the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, until she married her high school sweetheart, Kent Miller, on April 7, 1962. Margie and Kent made their home on a farm near Spring Valley, Wisconsin, where they raised their three daughters, Melanie Jo, Mona Rhee, and Molly Lyn.
    In 1977, Margie went back to school to become a dental assistant. She loved her job and all the patients for whom she cared. She worked for the same dentist (Dr. David Nelson) for 25 years. Upon retirement, Kent and Margie moved to Steele, North Dakota, to be active in and share in the lives of their grandchildren.
    Margie found great joy in making others feel loved and special. She loved her grandchildren (Baby, JJ, TC, and Cubby) dearly and was so proud of them. Her other loves included: cooking fantastical meals, reading and collecting recipes, gardening, finding treasures at Saturday auctions and thrift sales. She also enjoyed spending time outside with her family, going traveling, camping, and fishing.
    Margie loved animals, and they loved her. Her daughters always knew they never had to question whether or not they could bring in strays, because they always had a home with the Millers.
    Margie had a tremendous love for the outdoors and nature. She loved berry and apple picking, and mushroom and rock hunting. In her later years, Margie found a renewed love for crafting and would often be burning the midnight oil finishing her projects. Her charm (and GLITTER) will forever be remembered at St. Gabriel’s.
    Margie’s favorite song, “You Are My Sunshine,” described her well. She had such a huge heart for others. Her care and concern were so genuine that everyone who knew her, loved her.
    Margie is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Kent; daughters Melanie (Matt) Lebens, North St. Paul, MN, Mona (Stuart) Thompson, Steele, ND, Molly (Tim) Leer, Bismarck, ND; grandchildren Catelin Nolan, James Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Jacob Nolan; son-in-law Leigh Nolan; sisters Bonnie Wheeler, Debbie (John) Larson, Wendy Schussler; brother Peter Dahms; brothers-in-law Brian (Elaine) Miller, Boyd (Stephanie) Miller; and several nieces and nephews.
    Margie was preceded in death by parents Elmer and Eunice Dahms; mother- and father-in-law Orion and Gen Miller; sister Sherrie Cosgrove; brother Donavon Dahms; sister-in-law Connie Dahms; niece Mindy Dahms; and nephew Joey Wheeler.

Stephen Croes, Age 77
 Stephen James Croes passed away on Jan. 4, 2020 at Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, Idaho. He was also known by nicknames Sam and Papa Smurf.
    Born on April 25, 1942 to Joseph and Emily Croes of Spring Valley, WI Steve grew up and graduated from High School in Spring Valley in 1960, and went on to work road construction, farming and cattle until he found his passion in beadwork and leather tooling.  He traveled the country doing his crafts at Rendezvous markets and made countless friends on his travels. He enjoyed visiting friends, playing dice, tractors and working with cattle and horses. 
  Steve was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters: Judith Seiffert and Frances Schaffner.
    He is survived by one sister: Mary Kay (Jim) Schaffner of Spring Valley, one brother: Donald (Arlene) Croes of River Falls, two daughters Tania Piper of Fall Creek, WI and Tammy Miller-Janke of Fort Atkinson, WI and 11 grandchildren.  No services will be held.

Margaret Wesson, Age 95
    Margaret Irene Johnson Wesson, age 95, of Baldwin was born on July 22, 1924, and died January 4, 2020 at the United Hospital in St. Paul. 
    Margaret was a 1943 graduate of Spring Valley High School and started at the School of Hairdressing in the fall of 1943. She graduated and worked at one of the elite salons in St. Paul until opening and running her own salon until 1956. During this time, Margaret traveled extensively to New York, Cuba, Chicago, and adventured with the St. Paul hiking club.  
    In 1955, she married the “love of her life”, Jacques Wright Wesson II. She left her career to become a mother and homemaker. They lived in Minneapolis and brought four amazing children into the world.  Larry, Linda, Patti, and Barb were their pride and joy. In 1966, the family moved to what would become “the Wesson family farm” on Highway 63. Jacques died in 1968 and Margaret returned to work, first at the Bobber Café/Pine Cone/Brownwood and then to the Baldwin Care Center as a seamstress.  She received her final pin for “30 years of service” from the care center at the age of 85. 
    Her sewing was more than a career; it was her passion.  From sewing folk dance costumes, to clothes for her children, to custom patterned quilts, to her, now famous, bowl holders --- Margaret could sew.
    On the occasion of her 90th birthday, Margaret became famous when the video of her Skydiving adventure went viral on YouTube. At the time of her passing, she had close to 4 million views from 50 countries, with thousands of viewers who were inspired by this amazing woman.
    Margaret was devoted to the Martell Methodist church from the age of 7 years old. She was active in choir, fund raising, the ladies’ aide, and was often called to serve others in their time of need. The Wesson’s always attended services in the 3rd pew, on the right.  
    Margaret was also devoted to garage sales. She and her best friends would sometimes stop at over 50 in a day. She was a supreme maker of baked goods, as many as 17 different goodies on a table. Lefse was one of her best, but the Krumkake, and the sticky buns…..
    She will be deeply missed by her children; Larry and wife Julie, of Woodville, WI; Linda and husband John, of Baldwin, WI; Patti and husband Jeff, of Cottage Grove, MN; Barb and husband Paul, of Milwaukee, WI; and step-son, Dex and wife Pissamai, of Thailand; grandchildren; Amanda (Nelson), Matt, Greg, Sarah, Tim, Victoria (Alan), Jennifer, Marisa, Gabriel (Marketa), Jonathon (Jennifer); great grandchildren, Anabelle, Christopher, Chase, Aspen, Eli, Ezra, Charlotte, Avery, Logan, and many other relatives and friends.  
    She is preceded in death by her parents, Oscar Johnson and Helma (Olson) Johnson; two sisters, Helen Forseth and Dorothy Cummings; one brother, Earl Johnson; one step-son, Jacques Wesson; her granddaughter, Sheri Jahner; and her husband of 13 years, Jacques Wright Wesson II. And, at her age, by many other relatives and friends.
    The memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church/United Church of Christ in River Falls, WI on January 11, 2020. Visitation with the family is from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. with a formal service at 12 p.m. Please stay for a luncheon following the service. 
    Funeral service is on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at noon at the First Congregational Church in River Falls. Visitation will be on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 10 a.m. until noon at the church prior to the service.
    In lieu of flowers, you may contribute in Margaret’s memory to CORE El Centro, 130 W. Bruce St, Suite 300, Milwaukee, WI 53204. CORE is a natural healing center and Margaret was a supporter of their mission to offer acupuncture, massage, and her daughter, Barb’s, dance fitness classes to people on a sliding scale fee that everyone can afford. Margaret had benefited from these types of services and enjoyed supporting her daughter’s passion. She attended several fund raisers; you can see her at the 2012 Groov-a-thon in this link: