Obituaries 10/12/23

Debra Eckblad, 66

Debra Ann (Burkstrand) Eckblad, born on July 12, 1957, in Cokato, Minnesota, passed away on September 26, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones. Debra was the cherished daughter of Clifford and Eleanor (Johnson) Burkstrand and grew up on her family farm in Stockholm Township.

Her life was marked by an unwavering love for her family and friends. She found immense joy in the simple pleasures of life, cherishing every moment spent in the company of loved ones. One of her favorite pastimes was having conversations on the phone, connecting with those near and far. She relished the opportunity to gather with friends and family over delicious meals and drinks, fostering cherished memories of togetherness.

Debra had an adventurous spirit and had a passion for travel; a shared enthusiasm with her beloved husband, Greg and friends. Together, they embarked on countless journeys, exploring the beauty of the world. From the sandy beaches of Jamaica to adventures in Central America, they reveled in warm destinations that offered respite from the cold Minnesota winters. Their passports bore the stamps of Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, and many other destinations, all of which they explored hand in hand.

Kind, considerate, and ever-helpful, Debra was a beacon of light to those around her. Her willingness to lend a helping hand and her thoughtful nature left a mark on everyone she encountered. She had a unique ability to make others feel valued and loved; a quality that endeared her to all.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Eleanor; brothers, Darrel and Duane; and sister, Diane Nichols. 

Debra is survived by her husband, Greg; brothers, Richard (Gail) and Dennis (Barb); sisters-in-law, Nancy and Darlene; brother-in-law, Charles Nichols; many other relatives and friends; and her beloved pets, Rosie, Lucky and O.B.

Memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Online condolences for the family may be directed to


Marlene Lofrano, 82 

Marlene Joyce Lofrano, age 82 of rural Delano, passed away on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, peacefully at her residence.

She was born on January 1, 1941, in Saint Paul, the daughter of Alvin and Mary (Petrovich) Kargel.

On February 17, 1962, Spencer W. Lofrano and Marlene J. Kargel were joined in Holy Matrimony. God blessed their marriage with three children.

Marlene was employed for many years as a Dental Assistant in the local area and loved talking with her patients and co-workers. In later years, she loved working as a Residential Caretaker and developed many friendships she never lost touch with. 

She loved her family and spending time with them more than anything else in this world! She loved her dogs, watching all the wildlife in her yard, jaunts out to local restaurants and her sweet treats. She loved being outdoors in her yard flower gardening, painting, and taking care of it. Over the years she enjoyed; Kid and Grandkid events, teaching/dancing/coaching ice skating, motorcycling (almost made it to all 50 states on the Gold Wing), fishing and camping with her family and friends. 

Survived by her three children: Kurt (Carol) Lofrano of Delano, Cheryl (Kevin) Zaske of Maple Lake and Joe (Jenny) Lofrano of Red Wing; grandchildren: Dan, Katie and Lisa; David, Maria and Anna; Jessica, Arianna, Kendra and Bradi Jo; great-granddaughters: Blakely; Teagan; Colette and Kenadie and great-grandson: William; along with many relatives and friends. Preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Spencer William Lofrano. 

Visitation for Marlene was held Monday, October 9 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a Time of Sharing at 7:00 p.m. all at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN.

Private family interment to be held at a later date.

Arrangements were entrusted to The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN


Leander Wetter, 83

Leander Oscar Wetter, born on July 25, 1940, peacefully passed away at home on October 4, 2023. Affectionately known as “Boss” by some due to his assertive nature, and “Sonny” by those who had known him his whole life, Leander was a remarkable individual who left a lasting impact on those around him.

Leander was a true pioneer in the world of agriculture, always eager to explore new techniques and ideas. His adventurous spirit and willingness to embrace innovation made him a trailblazer in the farming community and he often prided himself on being the first to try something in the area. For decades, he tirelessly farmed both crops and dairy cattle, growing the family farm into one of the largest in the area at the time. His management of the farm provided a stable home for his family and taught his children the value of hard work and working together.

Leander shared 48 years of marriage with his beloved wife, Mary. Their enduring love and partnership were a testament to their commitment to one another and their family. Leander was a loving father to his three children, John (Jamie), Paul (Angie), and Anne (Kenneth) and was supportive of his children as they took on life, learned by their own successes and failures, and expanded their own families. His dedication to his family was unwavering, and he supported them with love and care throughout his life.

Leander was also a cherished grandfather to three grandchildren, Avery, Mason, and Wyatt. Among them, Wyatt shared a special bond with “Grandpa Wetter.” He was captivated by the treasure trove of “toys” in Grandpa’s shop, where steam engines, toy trains, and various tools were always in abundance. Grandpa’s knack for tinkering and his willingness to share his knowledge ignited first his son’s, Paul’s, and later Wyatt’s passion for the world of machines and craftsmanship. Those who were around the three often saw Leander, Paul, and Wyatt (father, son, and grandson) all working on a project together.

Leander was not only dedicated to agriculture but also to his community. He was involved in local politics, where his storytelling skills and passion for history made him a beloved figure. Leander was also a dedicated advocate for local history, serving as a long-standing member of the Wright County Historical Society. His contributions to preserving the heritage of the community he cherished will be remembered fondly.

Leander was a proud and active member of the Rogers Threshing Show since its creation, later becoming an integral part of the show when it moved to Nowthen. He proudly displayed his collection of steam engines and antique tractors at these events, sharing his passion for these magnificent machines with the community. In 2005, Leander and Mary donated a 50’x80’ shed to the Nowthen Threshing Show to help expand the show and ensure its ongoing success.

Leander Wetter’s legacy will live on in the hearts and memories of his family and friends. He leaves behind a legacy of determination, resilience, and unwavering love. He will be dearly missed but forever remembered for his love for family, his dedication to preserving history, his involvement in local politics, and his lifelong commitment to farming and the antique tractors and steam engines that fascinated him.

A visitation will be held on Monday, October 16, from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, October 17, at 1:00 P.M. at Huikko’s Bison Creek Event Center, 1207 Highway 25 N., in Buffalo.

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



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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