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Richard (Rick) Wesley Stafford, Jr. of Minneapolis, MN passed away on September 2, 2017.  He was born on August 25, 1952 in Fort Riley, Kansas to Richard and Audrey (nee Korman) Stafford of New Richland, MN.

He is survived by his mother Audrey Stafford, his brother Steven Stafford (Jean), his sisters Judy DeBlieck (Dale), Patricia Stafford Page, and Susie Getskow (Jeff) and several nieces (Michelle, Jennifer and Melissa) and nephews (Barry, David, Josh, Jonathan and Andrew). He was predeceased by his father.  

Rick grew up in New Richland and attended Mankato State University.  He worked in the print news field both at the NR Star and as owner/editor of the West Concord newspaper before the start of his lifelong service to the Minnesota DFL.  His leadership and service included Chairman of the DFL and member of the Democratic National Committee.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, September 8, 2017 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, New Richland, with visitation one hour prior to the service.  Internment of ashes to follow the service at St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Light refreshments to follow at the church.   


Memorial services for Harriet L. Johnson, 86, of Albert Lea will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September 7, 2017 at West Freeborn Lutheran Church.  Rev. Steven Schwartz will officiate.  Interment will be at West Freeborn Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church.  Online condolences are welcome at 

Harriet died Sunday, September 03, 2017 at her home.  

Harriet L Johnson was born May 13, 1931 at home on a farm in Steele County, the daughter of Harry and Cannetta (Loken) Helland.  She was baptized June 21, 1931 at the Le Seuer River Lutheran Church in rural New Richland, her sponsors were Chris and Sara Hagen, Della Paulson and Elmer Loken.  She was confirmed at West Freeborn Lutheran Church and graduated from Freeborn High School in 1949.  On April 8, 1951 Harriet was united in marriage to Robert Johnson at West Freeborn Lutheran Church.  She was a stay at home mom and worked alongside her husband on the farm.  Harriet was a member of West Freeborn Lutheran Church where she served on altar guild, ladies aid treas. and president for 1 year.  

Funeral services for Rhonda Jacobson will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, August 25, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Richland. Reverend Paul Andree will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Thursday at the Bonnerup-Friedrich Funeral Chapel, New Richland, and again one hour prior to the service at church. Interment will be in Woodville Cemetery, Waseca.

Rhonda Kay Jacobson of New Richland died suddenly on Monday, August 21, 2017 at Royal Villa Apartments. She was 64 years old. Rhonda was born on October 20, 1952 to parents Leonard and Martha (Lechner) Sandretzky in Waseca, Minnesota and baptized in Wilton, Minnesota. She was raised in New Richland and graduated from New Richland – Hartland High School. On April 14, 1972 Rhonda married Dale Jacobson at LeSueur River Lutheran Church, rural New Richland and later divorced. Two children were born to this union.

Rhonda worked at Royal Villa Apartments as maintenance and activities director for over thirty years. She also held part time jobs at the Beacon, formerly Country Neighbors and Ecumen, and Home Health Waseca County for over 20 years each. She was a member of the Eagles Auxiliary in Albert Lea and a faithful member of the “House of Knowledge” coffee group. Rhonda loved gardening, especially her gladiolus, and enjoyed helping others. She will be dearly missed.


Memorial Services for Danielle “Dani” Reiter 27, of Ellendale and Owatonna, were held at 2:30 P.M. on Sunday, August 27, at the United Methodist Church in Ellendale, Minnesota. Pastor Randy Cirksena officiating.   

Danielle died in Owatonna on Tuesday, August 22, after a courageous battle with muscular dystrophy. 

Dani was born on January 20, 1990, in Rochester, Minnesota the daughter of Dean and Cindy (Moe) Reiter.  She attended NRHEG and Albert Lea Schools.

She had worked for Cedar Valley Services in Albert Lea and Owatonna.

The last few years,  Dani had lived at a group home in Owatonna, where she made many special friends and enjoyed being near her boyfriend Darrin Simon.

She was involved in Special Olympics, TEC(Teens Encounter Christ), bowling and  Park and Rec adapted hockey.  She loved scrapbooking, making her fairy garden and her animals.

Mary Caren Blazek, 74, of Kasson, MN passed away on August 19, 2017, at Seasons Hospice in Rochester, MN surrounded by loved ones. Sadly, Mary lost her 16-year battle with cancer. However, those who knew Mary knew her strength, and her fight to beat this disease never stopped. She was an incredibly strong woman with a contagious smile and infectious laugh who will be deeply missed!

Mary was born on October 8, 1942, in Albert Lea, MN, to Roy W. and Oriet M. (Thompson) Grunwald. Mary grew up on their farm in Ellendale and graduated from Ellendale High School in 1960. She worked in several capacities throughout her career; her most recent position being legal assistant for Dunlap & Seeger, P.A. She retired in July 2013 after 25 years. On May 14, 1961, she married Ross Christensen. Together they had two children. They later divorced. On August 19, 1977, she married Robert Blazek.

Mary was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous, proudly celebrating 29 years of sobriety. Mary enjoyed playing the piano; gardening; knitting – donating many items to the needy; shopping – especially for shoes; collecting vintage treasures; NHRA drag racing; reading; and taking long walks. Most of all, Mary loved spending time with her children and her cat.

Mary is survived by her children, Rick (Robin) Christensen, Blooming Prairie, MN; Cara (Mark) Nelson, Kasson, MN; beloved cat, Grayce; step-children, Michael (Evelina Guerra) Blazek, Dodge Center, MN; Teresa (Shane) Clark, Janesville, MN; one granddaughter; six step-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Suzanne (Rodger) Hill, Ellendale, MN; two aunts; many cousins; and extended family. Mary is also survived by dear friends she considered family, Larry, Ali, DJ, Alanna, and Luke Dixon, Avon, IN. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband Robert.

Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 26, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church 104 ~ 2nd Street SE in Hayfield with Reverend Paul Hauschild officiating. Burial will be in First Lutheran Cemetery in Ellendale, MN.

Visitation will be from 9:30 until the time of service Saturday at the church.

Czaplewski Funeral Home in Hayfield is assisting with arrangements.