Obituaries 02/09/23

John Deitering, 77

John wanted to write his own obituary but never got around to it.  He couldn’t sit still, talked non-stop, worked tirelessly alongside Karen to build a life rich with family, community, and politics. He was busy.

The lone man in a family of four, he was surrounded by three powerful, amazing women. He was the perfect guy for the task.  Strong, sweet, nurturing, nerdy, wiry, wonky. He was reportedly good with dishes, baking bread, and Karmann Ghias.  He loved his job.

He adored and connected with his grandchildren. In the proud tradition of JLo and JLaw, he and Karen became Gpa and Gma. Even without a man-bun, the kids could plainly see that Gpa was hip. He wrote them a prolific series of long, creatively funny letters, plainly meant to congeal his unique legacy of oddness in their young teen minds.  This was successful.

He was a progressive activist and longtime member of the DFL Party who studied history and politics daily. No Twitter drivel surfing for him. He was deeply informed, brilliant, and creative. Broach nearly any topic, and he could deliver a dry, dead-on, quirky, pee-your-pants-funny point about it. This was his passion and his gift.

On February 2, 2023, John Deitering was finally laid to rest, at the age of 77, after a long battle with Republicans.

For those that want the full story, from the beginning: John David Deitering was born in Swea City, Iowa, and lived on a farm in Bancroft, Iowa, with his father, Arnold Emil Deitering, mother, Helen Marie Wilkinson, and seven siblings. After Helen passed away, John lived with his father and stepmother Josephine Neumann and four more siblings. At age 10, he attended Boys Town in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating in 1963, he attended the University of MN - Mankato where he met and married Karen Frederiksen from Hardwick, MN. He earned a Political Science and Economics degree in 1967. John and Karen settled in Buffalo, MN, in 1969, and through the years, they raised two daughters, entertained four grandchildren, and hosted six foreign exchange students. Their home was always open to family and friends, often hosting young relatives from Germany. 

John was self-employed in Wright County since 1972. Early businesses included moving and remodeling houses and insulating homes. In 1979, he owned a Delano woodworking company, Wheels by Bordein, providing wagon wheel fixtures for the lighting industry. In 1985, the company relocated to Howard Lake and expanded into a second business called The Cartmakers, which built retail merchandising units for malls, including Mall of America. Finally, he joined his wife in her tax preparation business in Buffalo, named Deitering McDonough Tax Service and later Deitering McClellan & Rassat Inc, retiring in 2014. John served as a Rockford Township Supervisor from 2005 to present.

John enjoyed politics. He was Mayor of Boys Town his senior year in high school, worked as a volunteer for Walter Mondale in Mankato as a college student, ran for MN Senate from Wright County in 2004, was vice chair for Wright County DFL, treasurer for MN senate and legislative candidates, cofounder of Wright County Indivisible, and an activist for the Democratic Party. He also enjoyed writing letters to the editor in support of equality for all, antidiscrimination, and government policy reform. 

John is preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Helen Deitering; stepmother, Josephine Neumann; and siblings, Elizabeth (Tod) Simpson, Dennis (Patricia) Deitering, Rebecca (Jerry) Crimmins, and Frank (Holly, living) Deitering.

John is survived by his loving wife, Karen (Frederiksen) Deitering; children, Jill (Richard) Zurawski and Michelle Lee (Jene Worley); grandchildren, Kalyn Zurawski (PJ Heller), Abigail (Benjamin) Stewart, Matthew Grzybowski, and Elizabeth Grzybowski; and siblings, Cyril (Cheryl) Deitering, Donna (Victor, deceased) Chalhoub, Diane (Carlyle) Peterson, Joseph (Kathleen) Deitering, Louise (David) Hennessy, Evelyn Deitering, and Jerome (Pamela) Deitering.

John was dearly loved and will be missed by his family and many friends. A celebration of life will be held at a future date in May.


Gordon Diers, 97

Gordon LeRoy Diers, was born near Howard Lake, Minnesota, on July 29, 1925. He grew up on a farm in rural Howard Lake and attended Howard Lake High School, graduating in 1943. After graduation, Gordon stayed on the farm to help his ailing father and eventually took over the farm. During his tenure as a farmer, he focused on growing corn and producing hogs. 

Gordon married Lois Marie Mainquist on May 26, 1951, at the Swedesburg Lutheran Church in rural Waverly.  The couple made their home on the farm where they raised four boys. Gordon and Lois retired in 1988 and moved to Howard Lake.

During his 20’s, Gordon was an amateur pilot and owned an airplane. He loved flying, and he was a member of the Flying Farmers organization. He and Lois enjoyed travel and took their family on many memorable camping trips across the US. After retirement, he and Lois traveled internationally, and they set foot on every continent except Antarctica. Gordon was a life-long and very active member at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Howard Lake.

Gordon passed away on February 3, 2023, at Stoney River Assisted Living in Ramsey, Minnesota. He had reached the age of 97 years, 6 months, and 5 days.

Survivors include his wife, Lois; his sons, Mark, of Howard Lake; Timothee, of

Billinudgel, Australia; Paul (Connie), of Oak Grove; and Brian (Judith), of Urbana, IL.  Grandchildren are Mitchell, of Oak Grove; Andrew (Kirstyn), of Modesto, CA; Sophia, of Madison, WI; and Emma, of Minneapolis.  Great-grandchildren are William and Samuel of Modesto, CA.

Funeral service, 11 A.M., Friday, February 10, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Howard Lake, Visitation begins at church at 10 A.M., interment Howard Lake Cemetery. Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake, 320-543-3401.


Mary McBrady, 90

Mary E. McBrady, age 90, died Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at her home surrounded by the love and care of her family.

Mass of Christian Burial was held 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Maple Lake with Fr. John Meyer as the Celebrant. Burial followed at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery, Maple Lake. Visitation was held 3-7 p.m. on Monday and 9-10 a.m. on Tuesday, both at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Maple Lake. A prayer service was held 7 p.m., Monday, at the funeral chapel. Memorials are preferred to Action for Children Zambia.

Mary Elizabeth Siefert was born May 13, 1932, on the family farm near Dumont, Minnesota, the second child of Roy Alexander and Mary Elizabeth “Bessie” (Green) Siefert. Mary grew up on the family farm and attended school in Graceville. She was a 1950 graduate of St. Mary’s Academy. On July 14, 1952, Mary was united in marriage to Joseph Paul McBrady at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Collis, Minnesota. They made their home on the farm in Graceville, where they started their family. In 1966, the McBrady family moved to Maple Lake where they joined the community and church with their whole hearts and hands. In 1973, Mary obtained her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Cloud State University, followed by her master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. For three years, Mary taught at various schools, before her 29 years of employment as a Maple Lake kindergarten teacher. Even upon her retirement, Mary continued to be a lifelong learner.

She was a faithful member of St. Timothy Catholic Church where she participated in CCW, Foresters, prayer meetings, Bible studies, was a lector, taught baptism classes, and along with her husband, facilitated marriage encounter retreats. Her steadfast and resilient devotion not only strengthen the faith of those around her but brought people to know Jesus. Mary was recognized as the Wright County Outstanding Senior Citizen, the Aquatennial Commodore Award, and a Grand Marshall of the Maple Lake St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In quieter times, Mary enjoyed painting, reading, tending to her gardens, and making jelly.

Mary had the great ability to accept people for who they were. Her family was very important to her, and she cherished time with them. Generosity came naturally and without restraint. Everyone was welcome at her table. Mary fully embodied the spirit of Irish hospitality, always having a cookie and a cup of coffee to offer any guest who stopped by.

Mary is survived by her children, Margaret “Peggy” (Willis) Plaggerman, of Maple Lake, Barbara “Barb” (Gene) McBrady-Janikula, of Watertown, Elizabeth “Betty” (Gregory) Thomes, of Maple Lake, Jerome “Jerry” (Karla) McBrady, of Maple Lake, Carol McBrady, of Lusaka, Zambia, Patrick “Pat” (Theresa) McBrady, of Park Rapids, and Mary Pat Craite, of Albert Lea; 17 grandchildren, Joe (Karen), Laura, Beth (Dusty), Lynn (Sam), Joe (Tracy), David (Ellen), Aaron (Anna), Sarah (Andrew), Andrea (Nic), Leah, Dillon, Jared (Rachel), Kyle, Ryan, Kate, Erin, and Stephanie; and all of Carol’s children in Zambia; 28 great-grandchildren with two great-grandchildren on the way; sister, Helen Tritz; sisters-in-law, Gloria Siefert and Betty Lou Siefert; and many nieces, nephews, other family members, friends, and former students.

She was preceded in death by parents; husband, Joe; son, Daniel; grandson, Brady Redburn; son-in-law, Clyde Craite; brothers, William John, Tom, and Robert Siefert; sister, Abbie McDonald; and brothers-in-law, Loyal Tritz and Flip McDonald.

Mary’s grandchildren will serve as the casket bearers and her great-grandchildren will serve as gift bearers. Krista Elsenpeter, Anne Pribyl, and Sarah Goelz will provide music for the service. Arrangements entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Maple Lake.

Obituary, Guestbook, Video Tribute, and Funeral Webcast online at


David Randel, 79

David F. Randel, age 79, of Buffalo, passed away Friday, February 3, 2023, at his residence.

Services pending. A full obituary will appear in next week’s paper.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to


Robert Swedzinski, 84

Robert L. “Bob” Swedzinski, born September 21, 1938, and passed away on February 3, 2023.

He was born on his home farm by Taunton, Minnesota.  Bob attended elementary school in Taunton and graduated from Minneota High School in 1956.

He was raised on a farm and learned how to work hard. Bob’s parents were Anton and Frances (Lozinski) Swedzinski. They had a large family of seven boys and two girls; Bob was the third youngest.

On May 3, 1958, Robert L. “Bob” Swedzinski married Marian Debbaut from the same area. They were married at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Minneota, Minnesota. To this union came three sons, Allan, Kenneth, and Wayne.

Bob started working at Taunton Co-op Elevator and, in 1962, they moved to Crystal where he worked at a box factory. After that job, he worked for General Mills Research for 27 ½ years. In 1971, they moved to the Buffalo, Minnesota area where they had a hobby farm. Bob’s hobby farm had all kinds of animals, but Bob’s favorite was his sheep! (A kickback from his childhood). Bob liked to hunt with his brothers, sons, and grandsons. He also enjoyed fishing with Marian, their boys, and the grandchildren.

Survived by his loving wife of sixty-four years, Marian; sons, Allan (Connie) Swedzinski, Kenneth (Joran) Swedzinski, and Wayne Swedzinski; six grandchildren, Jesse (Tegan) Swedzinski, Andrea (Adam) Dockendorf, Erica (David) Kegler, Justin Swedzinski, Ellen Swedzinski, and Matthew Swedzinski; six great-grandchildren; brothers, David Swedzinski and Jim Swedzinski; other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents Anton and Frances Swedzinski; siblings, Ray, Richard, Lorraine McMahon, Edward, Irene Rupp, and Marvin Swedzinski.

Memorial Services for Robert “Bob” Swedzinski will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. Father Nathaniel Meyers will officiate.

Spring inurnment will be held at St. Charles Cemetery in Maple Lake.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, February 9, at the funeral home one hour prior to services.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo is serving the family. Online condolences may be made



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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