In Memoriam Fall 2012

August 20, 2012

In Memoriam


Elda Louise Ann (Korn) Luehmann ’36 (Spring Park, Minn.) passed away on June 10 at age 97. She taught elementary school in Rochester and Stockton, and later owned and operated Luehmann Implement in St. Charles with her family. She is remembered for her joy of flower gardening.

Elsie (Finkelnburg) Rhea ’37 (Citrus Springs, Fla.) passed away on April 9, 2011, at age 96. She grew up in Winona and was an art teacher for 20 years in Minnesota and Michigan. After retiring to Florida in 1972, she enjoyed a second career in real estate. She was an avid sewer, painter, and golfer who won many tournaments.


Dorothy (Millar) Burt ’41 (Owatonna, Minn.) passed away on October 10, 2011. She taught in Iowa and Minnesota and for 20 years worked for newspapers in Red Wing and Owatonna.

Helen A. Flemming ’41 (Winona) died on April 25. After graduating from Winona State Teachers College, she taught in Marshfield, Wis., and in 1978 was District Teacher of the Year. She returned to Winona following retirement in 1983.

Planetta “Netta” (Lang) Capetz ’42 (Scottsdale, Ariz.) passed away on March 2. She was 90 years old. A music and English major, she worked for 31 years with Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. She enjoyed movies, reading, crosswords, golf, and travel.

Helen Rose (Daskoski) Norberg ’44 (Fargo, N.D.) passed away on March 27.

Kenneth Dale Seeling ’44 (St Paul, Minn.) passed away on March 6. He taught social studies, algebra, and trigonometry and also served as guidance counselor at the Dawson-Boyd Schools. He also served as football coach from 1948 until 1970. “Mr. Seeling” earned a reputation as an effective and caring teaher with a knack for wisecracks.

Elizabeth “Betty”  (Klavitter) Bergler ’47 (Winona) passed away on January 23. She was a teacher and tax consultant who managed to travel to all 50 U.S. states, and also to China in 1983.

Kathleen Hester Crotty ’47 (Great Falls, Mont.) passed away on December 23, 2011. She retired as a kindergarten teacher for the Santa Barbara School District.

Patricia (Mullin) Harcey ’48 (Elgin, Minn.) passed away on June 3. She first taught in Lake Crystal and then St. Charles where she instructed elementary grades and served as a principal. She also founded and operated Harcey’s Dairy Farm with her husband.

Quentin R. Sabotta ’48 (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) died on April 11. A member of the U.S. Army Air Corps, he was a POW for more than three years during World War II. He was senior class president at Winona State College and went on to earn his MA at the University of Minnesota. He taught for 23 years in Cedar Rapids and worked for 35 years as an evaluator for the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.


Martin “Marty”  Beyer ’50 (Plainview, Minn.) died on April 12. A U.S. Navy veteran, he graduated from Winona State and worked as an interior and exterior decorator and later as Wabasha County treasurer from 1967-93.

Luverne “Irish” Scanlan ’50 (Clam Lake, Wis.) passed away on March 31. He served with the U.S. Navy after World War II and taught industrial arts and word working and after attending Winona State, where he played golf. He was also a coach and won several conference championships in Lanesboro, Minn., and Fountain City, Wis. He retired in 1985 to Clam Lake, Wis., to a log cabin he and friends constructed.

Robert (Bob) Welte ’50 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away unexpectedly on January 30. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then earned his teaching degree at Winona State. He moved west to Nevada to teach auto shop and band and later taught in Colorado until his retirement in 1983. He and his wife, Audrey, spent 20 years travelling, covering every state and province in North America and also Europe, Russia, North Africa, and Australia and New Zealand.

Dawn Marie (Smith) Fellows ’51 (West Concord, Minn.) passed away on June 22. She taught third grade and also owned a craft shop in West Concord and was later city clerk for her hometown.

Joanne M. (Hauge) Trainor ’51 (Winona) died peacefully on May 4. Her first teaching job was in Dodge Center before returning to Winona.

Joseph Lynch ’52 (Waseca, Minn.) passed away on October 11, 2009. He taught business in high school and coached in Ellendale before moving to Waseca to teach at the University of Minnesota Southern School of Agriculture and Waseca High School. He was an avid sportsman and football and basketball referee. He retired in 1987.

Robert Hurley ’53 (Chatfield, Minn.) passed away on March 9.

Bertha (Lunt) Everson ’55 (Austin, Minn.) died on June 2. She was a teacher for 53 years.

Daryl Wohlert ’58 (Eau Claire, Wis.) passed away on December 14, 2011. He taught math and physical education until retiring in 1991.


Jeffrey Kremer ’65 (Rialto, Calif.) died on May 29. He played football at Winona State and was named to the A.P. Little All America team in 1965. A woodworker and cabinet maker, he enjoyed spending time at a cabin he built in Richfield, Utah.

Evar Silvernagle ’65 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away on March 1. Born in Sweden, he was a star athlete at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. A distinguished teacher and coach in Austin, Minn., and Rochester, he led teams to 12 state swimming championships and 200 wins with only ten losses. He was named Minnesota Swimming Coach of the Decade (1960-70) and was inducted into halls of fame in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Ewald Hertz ’66 (Wausau, Wis.) passed away on January 28, 2011.

Dennis “Denny” Peterson ’66 (Rushford, Minn.) passed away on May 9 at his home. After receiving his associate’s degree in business at Winona State, he worked for Tri-County Electric Cooperative for 32 years. He also farmed. He served with the Rushford Fire Department for 30 years and also volunteered for numerous organizations in his community.

Clifford “Cliff” Sorensen ’66 (St Louis Park, Minn.) passed away on January 13. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46 and taught high school industrial arts for more than 30 years in Westby, Wis.

Esther “Red” DeVine ’69 (Slayton, Minn.) passed away on May 20. She taught in Worthington, Hillsboro, Ore., Jasper, and Peterson before settling in Lanesboro in 1963. A first grade teacher, she retired in 1995. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Mary Lynn Gustafson ’69 (Red Wing, Minn.) died on April 20 at her home. She taught elementary school for 39 years in Red Wing and enjoyed Bible study, gardening, summer vacations, and the arts.

Helen Elizabeth Lynch ’69 (Plainview Minn.) passed away on August 29, 2011. She first attended Wayne State College and the earned her bachelor’s at WSU. For several years she taught developmentally disabled children in the Wabasha-Kellogg schools and also taught Head Start in Wabasha.


Daniel Wenkman ’72 (Necedah,Wis.) died on February 18. He earned a master’s at WSU and finally his PhD at the University of Wisconsin in 1993. Dan dedicated his life to teaching as a teacher, coach, and principal. He was the youngest elementary school principal in Minnesota when he served at St. Thomas Elementary in Minneapolis from 1972-76, and later went on to serve as principal of Sullivan Elementary for 28 years. During his career he touched the hearts of innumberable students, parents, and fellow staff members.

Donna G. Weber ’73 (Winona) passed away on May 3 at her home. She received her nursing degree from Winona State and then her master’s as a nurse practitioner from Marshall University. She worked for the Olean Medical Group until she retired in 2010.

Patricia (Sheehan) Fredrickson ’74 (La Crescent, Minn.) passed away on November 7, 2011 after a five-year battle with cancer. She taught in La Crescent for 34 years and was recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2001.

David B. Gieske ’74 (Onalaska,Wis.) died on November 24, 2008. David worked for Hormel Foods in Austin and Key Cadillac in Edina before starting Classic Components, where he specialized in restoring classic Chevrolets.

Earl Good ’74  (Onalaska, Wis.) passed away on October 1, 2011.

JoAnn (Marcou) MacBrine ’74 (Dowingtown, Pa.) passed away on April 23. She graduated from WSU with a degree in special education and after post-graduate work, began her career as a teacher fo the Devereaux Foundation. While working for the Chester County Intermediate Unit, she was honored by former First Lady Laura Bush for outstanding service. Most recently, she taught at Lionville Elementary School in Lionville, Pa.

Ruth Ann Radke ’75 (Balsam Lake, Wis.) passed away on September 28, 2011. She was a registered nurse in the Twin Cities area for more than 30 years.

Gail Bergaus) Bradbury ’76 (Winona) passed away on May 7 at her home. A CPA, Gail devoted a great amount of her time to volunteer work with Project FINE, the Dakota Homecoming, and ushering at concerts of all kinds. She played clarinet in the Saint Mary’s Concert Band, was a master gardener, and enjoyed traveling the world with her husband, Bernard.

Michael Kerrigan ’77 (Little Rock, Iowa) passed away on July 6. He served in the U.S. Air Force and earned his business management degree at Winona State. He spent many years of his career working with the American Legion and later worked as an IT consultant.

Loretta (Thulien) Brown ’77 (Fairmont, Minn.) passed away on February 23, 2009.

Timothy J. Steffes ’78 (Winona) died on March 24. He served in the U.S. Air Force and retired from CenturyTel in 2007. He loved music, hunting and fishing, golf, curling, and walking.


Mark H. Ekstrand ’80 (Wabasha, Minn.) passed away on June 10. He earned a biology degree at WSU and worked as an EMT for the Austin Ambulance Service and later as an emergency room technician at Austin Medical Center. He was also an avid fly fisherman and golfer.

Alice Jane Wagner ’84 (Rochester, Minn.) passed away on June 11 at her home. She returned to school to earn her BSN at Winona State and worked for Wabasha Public Health for 18 years before retiring in 1955. She remained active as a volunteer for Mayo Medical Relief Missions and the Haiti Mission for 27 years.


Karlyn Sue Keuter-King ’95 (Dubuque, Iowa) passed away on May 31 after battling cancer. She was an outstanding athlete at WSU in both volleyball and softball and respected for her business career, volunteer work, and devotion to her family.


Laurie Keller ’06 (Owatonna, Minn.) passed away on July 21, 2010.

Faculty, Staff, Friends

George M. Christensen (Winona) passed away on March 7. A professor of psychology and a clinical psychologist at Winona State, he earned his undegraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota. He retired in 1990.

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

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