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Obituaries

Derk Simon

Derk Simon, 65, of Sleepy Eye died Sept. 5, 2021, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. A funeral service was Sunday at Sleepy Eye Event Center in Sleepy Eye. Burial was at Fort Ridgely Cemetery. Minnesota Valley Funeral Homes-North Chapel handled the funeral arrangements. Derk Allan Simon was born April 8, 1956, to William and Marjorie (Davis) Simon in Sleepy Eye. He graduated from Sleepy Eye Public High School and attended Minnesota West Community and Technical College. In 1980, Derk married Ginifer Dahmes in Redwood Falls. They were blessed with four sons and a daughter, whom they raised together on their farm in rural Sleepy Eye. Derk will be remembered as a man always ready to help anyone in need. He opened his home, gave away valuables and was ready to lend a helping hand. He was involved in a jail ministry for many years. Derk and Ginifer also started Barn Yard Ministries, opening their property as a place for anyone in the community to gather, encourage each other, enjoy food and fellowship, and celebrate the goodness of Jesus. Derk enjoyed socializing and meeting new people and was self-described as a man who could have a conversation with anyone he met. That outgoing personality allowed him to establish and expand his window washing business throughout Southern Minnesota. He served many clients in many different cities. Derk enjoyed snorkeling in the lake, cooking, spending time in nature and especially loved oak trees. He also enjoyed reading and learning new things. He was preceded in death by his father, William Simon. Survivors include his wife, Ginifer Simon; sons: Clayton (Julie) Simon, Bryce (Christie Ann) Simon, Caleb Simon and Jacan Simon; a daughter, Meisha (Keeran) Nicholls; eight grandchildren; his mother, Marjorie Simon; brothers: Scott (Myra) Simon, Mitch (Betty) Simon and Martin (Hoo Soon) Simon; sisters: Genie Simon, Tami (Peter) Watson, Keiron Simon, Kallan (Mark) Anderson and Kylie (Chad) Carlson; brothers-in-law, Kenn (Lorie) Dahmes and Steve (Geri) Dahmes; and sisters-in-law, Sue Heffernan and Sandi Hardaway


Esther Haas

Esther Haas, 88, of Andover, formerly of Mt. Lake, died Aug. 31, 2021. A celebration of Esther’s life was Sept. 3 at Meadow Creek Church in Andover, with visitation preceding the service and burial following the service at Morningside Memorial Gardens in Coon Rapids. Esther Ruby Pankratz was born June 24, 1933, to Alexander and Anna Pankratz in Lustre, Mont. The family later moved to Mt. Lake. Esther graduated from Mt. Lake High School and Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis. She moved to Seattle, Wash., to join her sisters, Lilian and Violet, and worked as a waitress. She later moved to Minneapolis and worked as a waitress at Belaire Cafe. In 1961, Esther married Elmer Haas. They lived in Spring Lake Park until 1965, when their home was destroyed by a tornado. They rebuilt, settled in Andover and were blessed with five children. Esther’s faith in Jesus started early in her life. She worked for many years at the Billy Graham office in Minneapolis and coordinated many of his nationwide crusades. In addition to her work there and waitressing, Esther’s other jobs included doughnut making, factory manufacturing work, courthouse duties, catering and working as a travel agent. She enjoyed spending winters in Florida with her son, Dan, which included time on the beaches and with friends and family. She also was involved in her church in Florida and coordinated the Strawberry Festival each year. Esther enjoyed a good joke and will be remembered for her witty and quick comebacks. She also enjoyed knitting, quilting, bible studies and church choir. She spent many days at Camp Lebanon quilting and enjoying Senior Day and also enjoyed birthday lunches with friends. She also cared for others, especially widows, through food, prayer, encouragement and acts of service. She especially enjoyed her family and coordinated many Pankratz reunions. She was preceded in death by six siblings. Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Elmer Haas; children: Randy Haas, Ron (Dawn) Haas, Jack Haas, Jill Haehn and Dan Haas; 12 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


Alice Marsh

Alice Marsh, 90, of Westbrook, formerly of Jeffers died Aug. 30, 2021, at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls. A Celebration of Live service was Friday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m., at Jeffers United Methodist Church in Jeffers with Pastor Cathy Tetrick Hoffbeck officiating. Burial followed at Jeffers Cemetery in rural Jeffers. Visitation and a time of gathering was held Friday from 9 to 11 a.m., at the church in Jeffers. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Jeffers United Methodist Church in Jeffers. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.lacannefuneralhome. com. LaCanne Family Funeral Service of Windom handled the funeral arrangements. Alice Mae Marsh was born on May 14, 1931, in Waterford Township, Clay County, Iowa, to the late Johanna Anna and Theodore (Ringering) Dirksen. She received her education in Spencer, Iowa, graduating from Spencer High School. On Feb. 14, 1952, Alice was united in marriage to Raymond Marsh at the First Reformed Church in Everly, Iowa. After marriage, they made their home on the Marsh Family Farm in rural Jeffers where they were blessed with three children: Tim, Dennis and Karen. Through the many years on the farm, Alice helped around the farm along with raising their three children. She had many enjoyments in life which included, crocheting — making baby blankets for the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sewing, square dancing all over the United States, camping, traveling in the fifth wheel, gardening, playing piano, wintering in Texas from 1997 to 2018 and, most of all, spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Alice was a longtime, dedicated member of the United Methodist Church in Jeffers where she taught Sunday School, was active in her church circle and president of the UMW for many years. She also was a member of the Odegaard-Quade American Legion Auxiliary. In 2019, Ray and Alice moved to Peterson Estates in Westbrook and enjoyed their time there together. Recently, Alice’s health began to decline, and she was hospitalized at the Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, where she passed away on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at the age of 90 years. Alice is survived by her husband of 69 years, Ray Marsh of Westbrook; three children: Tim (Linda) Marsh of Mt. Lake; Dennis (Kathy) Marsh of Storden; Karen (Rocky) Kolar of Westbrook; 12 grandchildren; 23 greatgrandchildren; two siblings, Doris Dirksen of Spencer, Iowa; Ray Dirksen of Spencer, Iowa; and one nephew, Scott Jungers. Alice is preceded in death by her parents; daughter-in-law, Janice Marsh; and one sister, Helen Jungers.


Loren Pankratz


Loren Pankratz, 73, of Larkspur, Col., formerly of Mt. Lake, died Sept. 1, 2021 in Larkspur after falling ill with COVID-19. Funeral services will be Friday, at 11 a.m., at Cornerstone Bible Church in Mt. Lake. Burial will follow in the church cemetery, with a luncheon to follow. Casket bearers will be Shelby Pankratz, Jeremy Pankratz, Robbe Uhrhammer, Robert Pankratz, Mark Pankratz and Roger Pabst. Sturm Funeral Home of Mt. Lake is handling funeral arrangements. Loren Pankratz was born Feb. 16, 1948, in Mt. Lake, to Peter and Anna (Derksen) Pankratz. He grew up on the family farm outside of town with two brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Mt. Lake High School in 1966 and from Worthington Junior College in 1968. Loren had two sons, Shelby and Jeremy, from his first marriage to Joan Rettke. In 1985, he married Leesa Klassen, with her son Robbe becoming his third son. Loren worked many years with his father and brothers as a maintenance man, troubleshooter and technical innovator on the family farm, which grew into the hog operation Con-Fed, Inc. Con-Fed and his automation handiwork was featured in several news articles, farming magazines and television segments. In 1986, Loren and his family moved to Colorado, where he became a financial planner and home builder until retiring to work as a van driver and maintenance man for an area medical transportation company. Loren enjoyed skiing, riding motorcycle, home improvement projects and keeping the road leading to his house in good shape with his own road grader. He also enjoyed fixing anything he could get his hands on and tinkering with things he felt could be improved. He also enjoyed discussing and debating political topics. Loren was a fan of science fiction, loved listening to music and never lost his admiration for farmers and John Deere equipment. He also regarded his move to Colorado as one of his great accomplishments, enjoying the scenic views, mountain air and changing seasons. Loren was preceded in death by his sisters, Margaret and Laura, and his brother, Marlin. Survivors include his wife, Leesa, of Larkspur, Col.; sons Shelby Pankratz of Zeeland, Mich., Jeremy (Lee) of Fall City, Wash., and Robbe (Amy) Uhrhammer of Mount Holly, N.C.; three grandchildren; and brother, Robert.


Dorothy Fast

Dorothy Fast, 91, of Mt. Lake died Aug. 25, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society-The Lodge in Mt. Lake. Services will be held Thursday at 2 p.m., at Bethel Mennonite Church in Mt. Lake with Pastor Dan Strutz officiating. Interment will be at Mt. Lake City Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Sturm Funeral Home of Mt. Lake is handling the funeral arrangements. Dorothy Aganetha Fast was born March 13, 1930, to John B. and Aganetha (Wall) Fast in Mt. Lake. She attended country school District 62 through seventh grade and graduated from Mt. Lake High School in 1947. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Mankato State College in 1953 and was an elementary teacher in Worthington (1953-55) and Windom (1955-67) schools, where she taught kindergarten and second grade. In addition to teaching school, Dorothy enjoyed reading, music, genealogy, family history and traveling. Her travels included a six-week trip to Europe in 1958, four weeks in International Voluntary Service remodeling homes in Middelburg, Walcheren Island, Netherlands and an MTS tour of Mexico and Central America. She also visited many World’s Fairs, including the Golden Gate Exposition in 1939, Brussels, Belgium in 1958, Seattle in 1962 and New York in 1965. Multiple sclerosis resulted in sudden loss of eyesight in her right eye in 1965 and the left eye later became affected. However, through medical attention and prayer, much of her eyesight returned. It did cause her to retire early from teaching. She was preceded in death by a twin brother, Harold in infancy; a brother, John T. Fast; and a sister, Ann Klassen. Survivors include three nephews and seven nieces.