DePaul Willette, a dedicated Minnesota lawyer for 50 years, died Sept. 24. He was 87. Besides being in private practice in Olivia, he was a former district court judge and the executive secretary of the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards. DePaul was a past member of the Board of Governors of the Minnesota Bar Association and won the association’s award for professional excellence in 1987. He was a former dean of the Academy of Certified Trial Lawyers of Minnesota and was certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
A kind and ethical man with a deep concern for the disadvantaged, he was a long-time volunteer with Legal Aid and served both Loaves and Fishes and Meals on Wheels. He also tutored for several years at San Miguel School in Minneapolis. In 2008 he received the Fidelis Apparitor (faithful servant) award for service and leadership at the Red Mass for the legal community at the College of St. Benedict. He also received the Diocesan Distinguished Service Award from the Diocese of New Ulm. He and his first wife, Lois Remington Willette, helped found the Renville County Hospice during her final illness. The Willette Room in the new Renville County Hospital is named for them.
Above all, DePaul loved his big family, his church and the law. Next in line would be sweets of all kinds; proprietors of a café he patronized during his Navy service in Italy nicknamed him Dolce (sweet) because they had never seen anyone eat jam on cheese before. Also, listening to loud and dramatic classical music, reading history, and playing golf. He treasured memories of playing the old course at St. Andrews; his devotion extended to several years working the water crew for the 3M golf championship.
DePaul was born Jan. 19, 1929, in Winnebago, Minn., to Donald and Florence Hynes Willette. They were a farm family, and he went to country school through eighth grade. He was valedictorian of the class of 1947 at Delavan High School and went on to St. John’s University, where he was active in theater productions.
Graduating during the Korean War, he was told he’d been accepted into the Navy officers’ candidate program. But the paperwork had not come through when he received an Army draft notice. Demonstrating the persistence he exhibited throughout his life, he had the draft board chairman paged at the state fair and successfully pled his case by phone to hold off for the Navy.
After six months of Navy OCS, he was assigned to the USS Columbus in communications, and spent months training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His next post was with NATO in Naples, Italy, where he shared an apartment with other young officers and bought an MG to see the sights of Europe in his off-duty hours. More than 60 years later he still remembered that address – 323 Via Tosso. He was always grateful that the Navy gave “a Minnesota farm kid” a chance to see the world. After his active duty, he remained in the reserves for 14 years, achieving the rank of Lt. Commander.
He was accepted by Georgetown University law school while still in the Navy, but he briefly considered making a career of the family farm and certified seed business instead. A hot August of baling hay prompted a last-minute call to Georgetown to tell them he was on his way. The G.I. Bill paid for law school, supplemented by money he earned working in Hubert H. Humphrey’s Washington office.
His first law practice was in Blue Earth, but the bulk of his long legal career was in Olivia, first with Lauerman & Willette and finally as a litigator with Willette, Kraft, Walser, Nelson & Hettig. He was appointed a judge in the Eighth Judicial District by Gov. Rudy Perpich and served for five years before becoming restless at being bench-bound and returning to private practice.
DePaul was noted in western Minnesota for his trademark mutton chop whiskers, his expertise in ditch law, his quirky sense of humor, his willingness to always lend a hand, and his liberal leanings. A lifelong Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully for state representative in the 1960s.
In 1987, he married Judith Willis, moved to the Twin Cities and became executive secretary of the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards, which monitors judges’ ethical conduct. With the marriage, he added her two daughters to his family of eight children. They enjoyed nearly 30 years together of travel, theater, concerts and family events.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lois, his parents and one brother, Mike, and sister-in-law Joie. He is survived by his wife, Judith Willis; children Lisa (Scott) Habben, Paul (Heather), James (Kris), Willie, Sue (Adrian) Woolf, Pierre (Sheila), Brenda (Jim) Anderson and Eric (Elizabeth Roe); stepchildren, Katie (Jerry) Olson and Amy (Scott) Hess; 20 grandchildren: Alex, Lauren, Karl, Elsa, Erin, Henry, Frankie, Louie, Izzy, Marit, Par, Owen, Eisa, Neva, Eleanor, Clara, Sam, Griffin, Meghan and Anna; and two great-grandchildren, Finley and Emerson. He is also survived by his sister, Mary (Mark) Hughes and brothers Pierre (Lorraine), Tom (Nancy) and Jan (Linda).
Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 3 at the Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community, 2201 1st Ave. S., Minneapolis. Visitation at the church an hour earlier, and at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, 5801 Lyndale Ave. S., from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The family would like to thank the staff at The Pines for their devoted care, especially in his last days.
Memorials would be appreciated to St. John’s University or St. Stephen’s Human Services.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 612 861 6088
Elayne Margaret McFarland of Plymouth, MN. Born October 29, 1922 in Lake City, MN. Passed away September 24, 2016. Preceded in death by husband, Royal. Survived by sons Richard (Carole), Mark (Terry), Timothy; daughter, Mary Kay Backhaus (Keith); grandchildren, Andrew (Joey), Nicholas (Andrea), Jeff (Hayley), Erin (Seth), and Peter (Caleigh); great-grandchildren, Logan, Charlie, Jackson, Lou, Hattie, Leo, Cullen, Max and Aletta. Private family service. In lieu of flowers memorials can be sent to St. Jude Children’s or Minnesota Humane Society.
NEW HOPE, MN 763.531.1777
Milan C. Bergien, age 80 of Bloomington, passed away on September 11, 2016 from cancer. Survived by wife, Elaine; son, Rick (Marguerite) Bergien; daughters, Dawn Bergien (John Skarbalus), DeAnne (Paul) Leeder, and Tricia (John) Bergien; grandchildren, Sydney, Andrew, Elise, Natalie, Bailey, Madelyn, Abby and Logan; Also survived by sisters-in-law, Katherine Gluth, Lois Fromm, Ruth Gluth, and Luverna Schultz; brothers-in-law, Dale Gluth and Fred Hosto. Preceded in death by brother, Neil Bergien; sisters and brothers-in-law, Willard Gluth, Delaurice (Edwin) Grams, Donald (DElaine) Gluth, Marlys (Artie) Lambrecht, Warren Gluth, Herb Fromm, Shirley Hosto, Alice Gluth, and Delmar Schultz. Milan owned and ran M&E Landscape Supply. Funeral service Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 11 AM at Hillcrest United Methodist Church, 9100 Russell Avenue S. Bloomington, MN with visitation one hour prior to service. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. A special thank you to the wonderful nurses and doctors at the VA Medical Center.
John Timothy Power “Fr. Tim”
Tim was born on October 13, 1939, in Faribault, MN, and graduated from this life on September 21, 2016, in Eden Prairie, MN. Preceded in death by parents, Tim and Theresa and siblings, Francie, Mary, Bob, and Joe. Survived by a large number of loving friends, cherished nieces, Kathleen and Sandy and their families, and special friend, Karen. Tim was ordained a Catholic priest in May of 1966 and spent most of his ministry serving parishes in the Twin Cities area. He felt especially lucky to be able to pastor in the era of the Second Vatican Council. He recognized that the focus on laity, justice, and collegiality opened new doors for parishes. He especially felt this was true during his 23 years serving Pax Christi Catholic Community. Another joy of his years in Eden Prairie was serving as chaplain for Eden Prairie Police and Fire Departments.
As Tim had time to reflect on his life, the words of Brian Doyle seemed to mirror his own sentiments: “I have had a glorious blessed hilarious graced life, and no man was ever as slathered with love and laughter as me, and when my time to dissolve comes, I hope to acquiesce with some modicum of grace, and remember that I was granted a long and colorful run; indeed I hope to spend eons happily reviewing the tape, minute by minute, paying even more attention to the infinitesimal details than I did the first time, and replaying the highlights again and again, driving my new roommates nuts.”
All are welcome to remember and celebrate Tim’s life. Visitation will be 2:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, at Pax Christi Catholic Community, 12100 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie, MN; vigil prayer at 6:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28, at Pax Christi Catholic Community. Burial at Pleasant Hill Cemetery immediately following Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Bridging or Pax Christi Pastoral Care Fund.
BLOOMINGTON, MN 952 888 7771
Herzog II, Thomas C., age 59 of Bloomington, MN passed away on September 21, 2016. Preceded in death by mother, Shirley. Survived by wife, Lori and her children Becca and Jon; father, Tom Herzog; sisters, Anne Herzog, Pat (Rick) Rohkohl, Jayne (Jeff) Flood, and Chris (Tom) Pappenfus; nephews, Doug, Steve and Charlie; niece, Jenn; and many extended family members and friends. Mass of Christian burial Tuesday September 27 11 AM at the Church of St. Bonaventure, 901 E. 90th St Bloomington, MN. Visitation Monday, September 26th 5-8 PM and 1 hour prior to mass at church. Memorials preferred: Alzheimer’s Association and Elks Youth Camp in Nisswa, MN.
BLOOMINGTON, MN 952.888.7771
Age 91, of Bloomington passed away peacefully surrounded by family on September 11, 2016. Survived by loving wife of 66 years, Rita and children Craig (Carol), Julie (Dale Studenski), Renee (Jeff) Bergo, Keith (Kim) and John, grandchildren Matt, Jessica (Brian), Kate, Nick, A. J., Jackie, Steven, Kory and Kole, and step great grandchildren Hannah, Hallie and Will Gallmeier. He also is survived by siblings Virgil, Rosemary Lambrecht, Robert (Marianne), Donna Peller, Earl (Mary) and Joseph (Rosie) and in-laws Rissy and Rosie Schoenecker and Delores, Virgil (Bernice), Marcy, Loretta, Lambert (Betty) and MaryAnn Hoffman and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by daughter Mary, parents Joseph and Cecilia (Ruhland), siblings Ervin (Mary), Lee and Richard Schoenecker and Delores (Howard) Gosewisch and in-laws Marie Schoenecker, Joseph Lambrecht, Dave Peller, Vivian (Leonard) Deutsch and Adelbert, Arvid, Beatus and Germain Hoffman. Ralph was a World War II vet and served his country for 20 years in the U. S. Navy and for 18 years at the U. S. Postal Service. He loved fishing, baseball, golf, gardening, tinkering in the garage, travel with Rita and most of all he loved his family. Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday September 20th at 11:00 AM at Nativity of Mary Catholic Church, 9900 Lyndale Ave S. Bloomington. Visitation will be on Monday, September 19th from 4 to 8 PM with a prayer service at 7:30 at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, 9947 Lyndale Avenue S. Bloomington, and for one hour prior to Mass at the church. Internment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Stanley Wade Gunning, age 69 of Minneapolis. Born March 9, 1947 to Beulah and Gilman Gunning; passed away September 11, 2016. Survived by loving wife of 48 years, Barbara; daughter, Michelle Gunning; son, Wade Gunning; grandchildren, Amanda, Zachary, Emmi and Andrew; great-granddaughter, Zoe; brothers and sisters. Stanley was a friend of Bill W. for 38 years. Mass of Christian Burial 6:00 p.m., Friday, September 16th at the Church of the Incarnation, 3817 Pleasant Ave. S. Mpls. Visitation 5-8 p.m., Thursday, September 15th at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, 5801 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Minneapolis, MN 612-861-6088
Age 87, of Edina, passed away on September 7, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband Harry, son Brian, and sister, Darlene. She is survived by her children, Mike (Diane), Kathy (Jim), Jill (Steve), Mark (Lisa), Brent, and Amy; sister, Pat (Dick); 18 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. Volunteerism was important to Jeanne; volunteering over the years through her church, at hospitals and the animal shelter. She had a special love for animals, especially cats and Cardinals. Jeanne was an avid reader and produced countless afghans, blankets and pictures with her exceptional knitting and needlework. In the last year of her life Jeanne developed a love of painting pictures for her family and favorite nurses. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 6730 Nicollet Ave, Richfield. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the church. Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Age 82, of Plymouth, passed away on August 31, 2016. There will be a funeral service on Friday, September 9, at 2:30 PM at Gill Brothers Funeral Chapel, 7300 42nd Ave N, New Hope. Visitation prior to service starting at 1 PM. There will be a reception following the service.
New Hope 763-531-1777
Don passed away peacefully at his home on September 5, 2016 at the age of 88. He was a humble and patient man who cared deeply for his wife and family. Born on July 29, 1928 in Minneapolis to Frank and Teresa (Tasto) Totzke. He grew up in South Minneapolis and graduated from De La Salle High School in 1946. In 1949 he graduated from the University of Minnesota Dept. of Mortuary Science. Don went to work for Gill Brothers Funeral Home and spent the next 46 years helping families at a most difficult time in their lives. Don also was privileged to mentor many young people entering funeral service and called them his friends. He retired in 1996
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 612 861 6088