Mandan News

Obituaries – January 28-February 3, 2012

Thelma Luger

Thelma L. Claymore Luger, 87, Fort Yates, died Jan. 25, 2012, in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Monday, Jan. 30, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Fort Yates, with Rev. Basil Atwell as celebrant. Burial was at the St. Peter’s Cemetery after cremation has occurred.

Thelma was born on Jan. 26, 1924, to Charles and Elizabeth (Whitesell) Claymore in Wakpala, S.D. She was raised and educated in Wakpala, graduating from Wakpala High School and also received an honorary degree from Sitting Bull College. She married Raymond “Butch” Luger in Fort Yates on Oct. 10, 1940. They ranched, and raised their family in the Fort Yates area. Butch died on Oct. 30, 1993.

At the age of 5, Thelma and her four brothers and sisters lost their father, Charles. Her mother and four siblings moved home to Wakpala. With hard times ahead, Thelma was sent to boarding school. Here Thelma would lay a foundation for her work ethic, intellect and caring nature. As a student, she spent half the day in the classroom and the rest hard at work in her chores. Her tireless effort and steadfast faith informed her entire life. Together, with their children, Butch and Thelma, built the Luger ranch and many successful ventures including White Buffalo Super Value and Thelma and Lisa’s Clothing store that were mainstays in the community.

Thelma was a woman of great beauty and class, and had a sharp sense of humor and intellect, tempered with a quiet humility and undying and caring kindness. With her great leadership, emotional strength and strong faith, Thelma remained loyal and active in the St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

To her last breath, the heartstrings were bound to each child, moreover to each relative and friend that had the honor of being touched by the life of Thelma Lucy Luger.

Thelma is survived by daughters, Candace Elizabeth Luger and Joan Marie Netterville, both of Fort Yates, Mary Patrice Austin, Bismarck, and Lisa Susan Kampeska, Aurora, Colo.; sons, Raymond “Sandy”, Robert “Bruz,” and Jody, all of Fort Yates, and J. Kurt (Melanie), Mandan; 32 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; and one sister, Merry (Willy) Ketterling, Larimore.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Elizabeth Claymore; husband, Raymond (Butch); infant son, Patrick Gernell; sister, LaVina Maxon; and brothers, Earl and Gernell Claymore.

Special mention to the following who were considered as children of her own; Donavan Archambault, Loretta Bad Heart Bull, Kathy Whitman, Mike Correll, Bev McLaughlin, Glenna Ellison, Joe “Friday” Lugar, and Gary Hepper.


Clarence Just

Clarence Just, 85, Mandan, died Jan. 26, 2012, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center, Bismarck.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan, with Reverend Deanna Reikow officiating. Cremation has taken place.

Clarence was born July 16, 1926, in Rosebud, to Martin and Elsie (Joersz) Just. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1944. A sharpshooter with Company L 17th Infantry, Clarence participated in engagement in battle on Okinawa Island from May 12 to July 2, 1945. For his brave service, Clarence was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star. He was honorably discharged in 1947 at Ft. Meade, Md. On July 2, 1947, he married Anna Hamilton in Baltimore, Md., where they lived until 1952, when they moved to Mandan. A talented craftsman, Clarence worked as a carpenter and contractor until his retirement in 1991. Anna died in 1976. On Aug. 19, 1983, he married Mary Jane Stremmel Schneider in New Salem. Clarence loved spending time with his family, especially his great-granddaughter, Gabi Thomas, who showed him much love. A beloved man, he will forever be missed by all who knew him.

Survivors include his daughter and son, Phyllis (Anthony “Tony?”) Cerezo, Detroit, Mich., and Richard Just, Mandan; stepdaughters, Sharon (John) Hoflen, Laveen, Ariz., Carol (Bob) Schmit, Bismarck, and Debbie (Jerry) Theisen, Mandan; sister, Florine “Sis” (Donald) Valent, Bismarck; brother, Warren (Margaret) Just, Medora; sister-in-law, Viola Just, Glen Ullin; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; seven step grandchildren; 15 step great-grandchildren; three step great-great-grandchildren; and special friends, Paulette and Donald Bentz, Mandan.

Clarence was preceded in death by his parents; two wives; and two brothers, Gilbert and Lloyd.

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Michael Knoll

Michael J. Knoll, 88, formally of Mandan, died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck on Jan. 21, 2012.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, Jan. 27, at Church of Corpus Christi, Bismarck, with Rev. Paul Becker as celebrant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Michael Knoll, son of Joseph and Anna Marie (Schmidt) Knoll, was born in Judson on Oct. 25, 1923. He attended rural school in the area. He worked on the homestead farm until he married Mary M. Zander at St. Vincent Catholic Church in Crown Butte on Oct. 8, 1946. They farmed in the Mandan and Judson area until moving to Mandan in 1952. Michael worked for the NP Railroad, and was also self-employed as a farm equipment salesman.

Mike was a genuine people person and was always interested in meeting new folks and visiting with them, which he enjoyed very much. This was the main reason he loved his job and excelled as an equipment salesman, for the sheer delight of the conversation.

Mike also enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and traveling with his sons, daughter and their families. He would frequent as many weddings and anniversaries of his friends and family with his wife, Mary, where he would enjoy dancing and socializing with the various guests. Mike was an avid Minnesota Twins fan. He never missed listening, watching or going to the games whenever he could, and would spend hours on the phone discussing the finer points of the game with his friends and siblings.

Mike’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren always put a smile on his face, and he would always have a joke or funny way to pick on or tease them as they grew up, for which the children would always come back for more. Michael had a warm smile, a kind heart and a talent for bringing out the best in those around him.

Michael is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; his children, Timothy (Renee), Belen, N.M., David (Sharon), Reedley, Calif., Cynthia Knoll, Bismarck, and Danny (Erin), Milwaukie, Ore.; grandchildren, Crystal Barajas, Brandy (Jason) Chavez, all of Reedley, and Heather (Scott) LaCoe and Matthew Grenz, Bismarck, Christopher Knoll and Patricia (Eric) Litzinger, all of Grand Forks, Mona (Dennis) Peracca, Visalia, Calif., and  Virginia (Joe) Quistorff, Fresno, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Corey, Brittany, Kaylee, Evan, Megan, Brandon, Jordan, Madison, Courtney, Tristan, Sierra, Jadon and Charlotte. Mike is also survived by his sister, Katherine (Norman) Flom, Appleton, Wisc.

He is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Edward, George (Josephine), Tony (Caroline), Peter (Kay) and his twin sister, Veronica (Jack) Zander.

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Ben Kottsick

Ben “Bennie” Kottsick, 91, Mandan, died Jan. 24, 2012, at Medcenter One Living Center, Mandan.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with Reverend Lee Herberg officiating. Burial was at St. John’s Cemetery, south of Mandan.

Ben was born Feb. 10, 1920, south of Mandan, to Joseph and Katherine (Friedrich) Kottsick. He was raised and educated in Morton County, attending school to the eighth grade. On Sept. 16, 1945, Ben married Anna Heid in New Salem.

A love for the land and outdoors, Ben was a farmer for life. He made his own bale rig and was talented at making many things, including a boat out of two car hoods. Ben and Anna liked to travel, having been to every state in the U.S. as well as Germany and its surrounding countries. He enjoyed fishing, going to thrashing shows and loved to play cards, especially schmear and pinochle. Generous and giving of his time, Ben was a board member of Mandan Farmers Elevator, Minnesota Valley Breeders Association, and St. John’s Cemetery, and a member of ZCBJ Lodge and First Lutheran Church of Mandan. A beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Ben will be missed by all who knew him.

Blessed to have shared his life is his wife of 66 years, Anna Kottsick, Mandan; three daughters, Cheryllyn Schmidt, Rosalie Svihla, and Peggy (Jake) Hertz, all of Mandan; four grandchildren, Marcy (Dean) Blotsky, Greta (Rocky) Schlosser, Benjamin (Katie) Hertz, Jacob (Miranda) Hertz; granddaughter-in-law, Jessica Schmidt; and eight great-grandchildren.

Ben was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Freda Morrow and Verna Bauer; a brother, Walter Kottsick; two sons-in-law, Elgie Svihla and Donald Schmidt; and a grandson, Dean Schmidt.

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Gottfried Wolfe

Gottfried (Guff) Wolfe passed away Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at Progressive Care Center after complications from pneumonia, with his daughter and other family members at his side.

A funeral service for Gottfried was held on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, at the Novak-Ramm-Ziegler Funeral Home in Sheboygan, Wisc., with Rev. Timothy J. Mech, officiating. Entombment took place at the Gardens of Peace Mausoleum in Greenlawn Memorial Park.

He was born in Shields on Oct. 28, 1921, to the late Jacob and Marie (Bauer) Wolfe. He attended schools in Shields. He served in the CCC, 791 Lightening Creek Camp in Custer, S.D., in 1942. On Dec. 10, 1942, he joined the Army at Ft. Snelling in Little Falls, Minn. He did his Basic Training at Camp Ripley, Minn. After Basic Training, he was sent to Santa Rosa, Calif., for five weeks and then to Abeline, Texas, for more training and from there to Camp Kilmore in New Jersey, where he prepared for overseas duty in England. He was a member of the Military Police in the 9th Air Force 671 Bomb Squadron. His tour took him to England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was in the Normandy Invasion and The Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He served from November 1942 through November 1945. He received his Honorable Discharge in November 1945 at West Overfield, Ma. After that he returned to family farming in North Dakota.

On Oct. 13, 1948, he was united in marriage to Margie (Daarud) in Missoula, Mont. Upon returning to North Dakota, he worked for Northern Pacific Railroad 1950 through 1953. Late in 1953 he moved his family to Sheboygan, Wisc., and worked at Vollrath Co. until 1969, when a stroke forced his retirement. In 1990 he started working at Walmart doing assembly work, and continued through 2005.

Guff was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 9156. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and “sitting and watching the world go by.” His hobbies were “Putzing” – fixing anything and everything, playing cards, shooting pool and doing crossword puzzles. During earlier years, he enjoyed spending time up north at the cottage that he built with friends.

With Margie, her brother and his wife, they enjoyed traveling to 48 of the 50 states. He always said he was “waiting for the bridge to Hawaii to be built,” so he could travel there.

He is survived by sons, Gary, Townsville, Pa., Donald (Bonita), Suffolk, Va.; daughters, Rebecca (Larry) Johnson, Bossier, La., Gloria (Michael) Klein, Sheboygan; grandchildren, Richard Campbell, DeAnna Kennedy, Grapevine, Texas, Timothy (Monica) Wolfe, Alaska, James Wolfe, Sheboygan, and Mickenzie Wolfe, Pa., Brian Klein (Claudia), Janesville, Wisc., Brenda Burns (Jeremy), Centennial, Colo., Tesa (Stan) Robinson, Kodiak, Alaska, Tabitha (David) Mercado, San Antonio, Texas; great-grandchildren, Heather Campbell, Shea and Lauren Kennedy, Emily and Ellie Klein, Kaylee, Ashlee and Rhylee Burns, Jacob and Stephanie Robinson, Hannah Baldobino, Levi and Brooke Wolfe, Hannah Miller; his sister, Emma Haider, Mandan; brother, Henry Wolfe, Racine, Wisc.; sisters-in-law, Barbara Daarud, Lincoln, Neb., Betty Wolfe, Mandan, Jeanne Dunn, Georgia, and Jackie Calhoun, Florida; brothers-in-law, Richard Daarud, Boulder, Colo., and David Daarud, Kirkland, Wash.; along with many nieces and nephews, especially Kathie and Scott Hilgenberg.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margie (2007); grandson, Jeremy Wolfe; brothers, Alexander Wolff and John Wolfe; and sisters, Marie Herzog and Emily Upham.

Many thanks to Kathie, Scott, Bonnie and Guy for the hours they spent with dad. Special thanks to the nurses and staff at Progressive Care Center for all their care, compassion and concern during his stay.

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