Obituaries for April 10, 2003

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

Gordon B. Benson, 79

Gordon B. Benson, 79, of Albert Lea, formerly of Blooming Prairie, died Tuesday, April 8, 2003, at his home.

He was born Nov. 29, 1923, in rural Freeborn County, to Rueben and Adrena (Hanf) Benson.

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On Nov. 29, 1944, he married Janice K. Miller in Austin. A lifelong resident of Blooming Prairie, Gordon farmed all his life.

He belonged to First Lutheran Church and loved the outdoors, taking pride in his gardening and the lawn.

Survivors include his wife, Janice, Albert Lea; daughters, Carol (Robert) Braaten, Blooming Prairie; Diane (Michael) Schultz, Alden; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; mother, Adrena Benson, Blooming Prairie; brothers, Richard (Betty) Benson, Faribault; Lawrence (Dorothy) Benson, Austin; Robert (Jane) Benson, Owatonna; David (Janet) Benson, Blooming Prairie; sister, Marcella (Gilbert) Ramsey, Blooming Prairie; nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father and one daughter.

Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. today, April 10, 2003, at the funeral home and Friday at the church for one hour before the service.

Service: 11 a.m. Friday at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie.

Interment: Red Oak Grove Cemetery, between Austin and Blooming Prairie.

Funeral Home: Blooming Prairie Worlein Funeral Home.

Memorials: To First Lutheran Church Building Fund.

Randy Lee Dixon, 45

Brandon Ray Dixon, 23

Randy Lee Dixon, 45, and Brandon Ray Dixon, 23, of Lusby, Md., were united in death on March 31, 2003, in Lusby. Loving husband and son of Donna Dixon and loving father and brother of Jordan Dixon of Lusby and Nathan Dixon who is a student at UMBC in Baltimore.

Randy's father, Roger Dixon, preceded them in death.

Survivors include Ann Dixon, mother and grandmother of Randy and Brandon; brothers and uncles: Larry, of Austin, Dan (Denise), of Anderson, S.C.; sister and aunt: Debbie, of Nevis. Also survived by mother-in-law and grandmother: Florence Hatleli, of Austin; two brothers-in-law: Robert Hatleli and Mark Hatleli and spouses; three sisters-in-law: Judy Irwin, Karen Carlson, Linnea Sanchez and spouses; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Randy joined the Navy in 1976. He served active duty for eight years and active reserves for 11 years. He was employed by Veridian Inc. in Lexington Park, Md. for 19 years.

Brandon graduated from Patuxent High School in 1999. He was employed by Guy & Guy Masonry in Leonardtown, Md. He was actively involved in Cub and Boy Scouts as a youth and was a talented writer.

Memorial services were held at Lady of the Sea Catholic Church on April 4 in Solomons, Md.

Graveside services will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2003, at Calvary Cemetery in Austin with Father Paul Nelson officiating. Military rites will be by American Legion Post #91.

Brandon's ashes will be interred with his father.

We wish them a blessed journey together in God's care.

The family will greet friends at a luncheon at St. Augustine Catholic Church following the service.

Memorials may be sent to the family where they will be given to a Mental Research and Care Unit. Send to Donna Dixon, 2055 Cove Point Road, Lusby, MD 20657.

Mayer Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Florence V. Hansen, 93

Florence V. Hansen, 93, of Oakland, died Tuesday, April 8, 2003, at Good Samaritan Center, Albert Lea.

She was born May 11, 1909, in Freeborn County, to Hans and Elizabeth (Wyant) Running.

She attended country school in Oakland Township and married Martin A. Hansen on Oct. 20, 1931, in Hayward. The couple made a trip to Denmark in 1971 to visit Martin's sister and relatives.

A member of Oakland Lutheran Church, Florence enjoyed her membership of its mission circles, working at the church making meals and quilts for Lutheran World Relief and attending senior citizens dances in Austin. She also belonged to Royal Neighbors of America. She enjoyed her grandchildren, entertaining company, playing bingo, making afghans and embroidering.

Survivors include her daughter, Darlene (Lester) Albrecht, Mapleton; son, Floyd (Hazel) Hansen, Albert Lea; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; sister-in-law, Evelyn Running, Aberdeen, S.D.; nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband in 1996; twin brother, Floyd; sister, Birdie Esterby; and brothers, Art and Clarence Running.

Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2003, at the funeral home and Saturday at the church for one hour before the service.

Service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Oakland Lutheran Church with the Rev. LaDonna Ekern officiating.

Interment: Fairview Cemetery, rural Oakland.

Funeral Home: Worlein Funeral Home, Austin.

Vila J. K. Thompson, 77

Vila "Vi" June Kiel Thompson, 77, of Austin, died Tuesday, April 8, 2003, at the Sacred Heart Care Center following a long illness.

Vi was born Nov. 26, 1925, in Decorah, Iowa, to Julius and Josephine (Kolseth) Kiel. She graduated from Calmar High School in 1943. She received a teaching certificate from Luther College and was a teacher in Jackson, Minn. for five years before returning to Luther to complete her B.A. in 1951. She served the Austin Public Schools from 1951 to 1985 as both elementary teacher and librarian, having received her library certification from the University of Minnesota.

While teaching at Shaw Schools, she met Sterling Thompson, a fellow teacher and the love of her life. They were married June 28, 1958.

Vi modeled servant leadership as a devoted member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and was active in the Austin community through the Austin Education Association, Sons of Norway, Retired Teachers, Austin Audubon Club, YMCA, Cotillion Dance Group, and as a volunteer with the Austin Medical Clinic and Austin schools. She was named Mower County Outstanding Senior Citizen in 2000.

She and Sterling were loyal alumni of Luther College, co-chairing an Austin area fund drive and co-hosting Lutherlag. In 2000, Luther College recognized their commitment to church and society with the Distinguished Service Award.

In her leisure, Vi enjoyed bridge, theater, canoeing, reading, travel, cooking, entertaining, nature, and exercising at the "Y."

She is survived by her husband, Sterling; sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn and Ed Maalo, Iola, Wis.; sister and brother-in-law, Elsie and Linus Rothmeyer, Calmar, Iowa; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Crystal (Thompson) and Al Braner, Belmond, Iowa; nieces, Sue Rothmeyer, River Forest, Ill.; Marianne Overland, Lake Mills, Iowa; nephews, Bill Herwig, Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Kevin Braner, Walhalla, S.C.; and Scott Braner, Marshall, Mich.

She is preceded in death by her parents and nephew, Kurt Maalo.

Vi will be remembered for her vivacious and tenacious spirit, her compassionate commitment to family, friends, church, and community, and her warm-hearted hugs.

A memorial service will the held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church with the Revs. Glenn Monson, Don Deines and Dan Kahl of officiating. There will be no reviewal on Saturday.

A visitation and reviewal with be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the Sterling and Vi Thompson scholarship fund at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa, or the Oglala/ Lakota College in Kyle, S.D.