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Harry J. Pankratz

Harry J. Pankratz, 67, of Mt. Lake died March 8, 2019, at Sanford Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls from the effects of a ruptured aneurysm. A memorial visitation will be held Friday from 2 to 4 p.m., at Sturm Funeral Home-Mt. Lake Chapel, which is handling the visitation arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.

Harry Jacob Pankratz was born April 30, 1951, to Jacob and Ruby (Ewy) Pankratz of rural Mt. Lake. He attended Mt. Lake Public School, graduating in 1969. While growing up, he was involved in 4-H and FFA, using the skills he learned in both programs the rest of his life. Harry joined the U.S. Navy after high school, serving for four years. After leaving the Navy, Harry returned to Mt. Lake and began farming the “home place.” He retired a few years ago after having farmed all his life, either for himself or other farmers.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Raymond. Survivors include his family: Bernice (Gerry) Goertzen of Homersville, Ohio; Ed (Sue) Pankratz of Mankato; Maxine McDonald of Hartford, S.D.; Marge Pankratz and George (Khris) Pankratz, all of Mt. Lake; and Ruth Pankratz of Sioux Falls.

Donald ‘Don’ John Ross

Donald “Don” John Ross, age 96, Hastings, passed away, March 5, 2019, 4:16 a.m., United Hospital, in St. Paul, after a successful lifetime in the community of Mt. Lake. Born June 22, 1922, in Windom to Swedish immigrants, John and Lilly Ross. He moved to Mt. Lake at the age of 5 and lived and worked in his parents’ dry cleaning shop. He served in the U.S. Navy Air Corps as a flight instructor during World War II in Seattle, Wash., where he married the love of his life, Leola Havemeier, and returned after the war to continue to run the Ross Dry Cleaners & Tailors business with his father and three brothers, all of whom served in the U.S. military during conflict. After technological changes in that business diminished the use of dry cleaning, he worked for the U.S. Post Office, first as a part-time carrier and clerk, then as postmaster for the city of Mt. Lake, for 26 years. He was active in the Trinity Lutheran Church and the local American Legion post, where he served as post commander for several years. He was a friend to many, many people in the Mt. Lake area, helping many people gain citizenship and other volunteer activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister (Judith College), his brothers (Bayer, Arthur and Max) and survived by his wife of 75 years (Leola), his children (Jane, Robert, Andrew), 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, all of whom he loved. Mt. Lake, its inhabitants and its institutions were his lifelong concern and pride. He also liked airplanes, computers, car shopping and anything related to Sweden.

Visitation will take place at the Trinity Lutheran Church on March 18, 2019, from 10 a.m. to noon. A funeral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., in the same location; interment and refreshments to follow. All arrangements are by the Sturm Funeral Home in Mt. Lake. Any memorial contributions should please be directed to the American Heart Association.