Obituaries 11/09/23

Lawrence Hill, 78

Lawrence “Larry” T. Hill, 78, passed away on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, at Highland Chateau in St. Paul, Minnesota. He experienced multiple strokes since October 2021, with subsequent hospitalizations and care center stays. He died of resulting complications while under hospice care at Highland Chateau.

Larry was born at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on October 29, 1945, to Reino and Inga (Wuonola) Hill. He was the oldest of five children. Larry was baptized and confirmed at the Finnish Apostolic Church in rural Cokato. He attended Gunnary School followed by Annandale Public School and graduated from Annandale High School in 1963.  

 Larry lived on the farm near Annandale all his life until his last couple years. Larry had a variety of jobs over his lifetime, including driving a milk truck for Maple Lake creamery, doing sod work, dismantling grain bins, custom hay baling, milking cows for neighborhood farmers, working the family dairy farm, and caring for his parents in their later years. He worked for many years at Gold’n Plump Chicken in Cold Spring and part-time at Carlson’s Orchard in French Lake.  

Larry enjoyed spending time with family and friends. This included attending family gatherings, auctions, garage sales, Swappers Meet, community events, visiting over the phone, and driving around to check in with friends. He was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in French Lake where he served as head usher until his more recent health problems. 

Larry is survived by his sister, Lora (Stephen) Loch; brothers, Lowell (Carol) Hill and Lester (Linnea) Hill; nephews, Adam (Rachel) Loch and Alex (Bret Amundson) Loch; niece, Andrea (Jeff) Dunnigan; several great-nephews and great-nieces; “brother”- cousin, Stan Wonola; and other relatives and friends. 

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Reino and Inga Hill; sister, Lois Evelyn Hill; and “sister” – cousin, Sharon Fredricks.

Visitation will take place at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato on Monday, Nov. 13, from 4-7 P.M., followed by a prayer service at 7 P.M. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 2 P.M. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in French Lake, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Jerome Nikunen will be officiating. Memorials may be given to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church or the donor’s choice. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in French Lake Township.

Arrangements by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato, MN, 320-286-2534,


Donald Kennedy, 78

Donald John Kennedy, age 78, of Buffalo, passed away on October 28, 2023. He was born on September 29, 1945, in Lincoln County, South Dakota, to parents, Donald and Florence (Jensen) Kennedy. Donald was the eldest child, and his early years were spent on the family farm. He actively contributed to the daily operations, nurturing a strong work ethic that would define his life.

Following his graduation from high school, Donald pursued higher education in Wahpeton. He then met the love of his life, Jacqueline Martin, and they were joined in marriage in Minnesota. 

Donald’s career as an aerospace engineer at AeroSystems allowed him to explore the world. He journeyed to various corners of the globe, setting foot on almost every continent, with a particular fondness for the vibrant cultures of Brazil and Singapore. His dedication and commitment to his work led him to retirement in 2015, marking the end of a successful and accomplished career. 

Away from work, Donald’s true joy lay in the embrace of nature. An avid outdoorsman, he found solace in activities, such as fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, and four-wheeling, relishing every moment spent in the great outdoors. However, his greatest happiness was derived from the time spent with his grandchildren and family. 

Donald will be remembered for his independent spirit, strong will, and a remarkable sense of humor that never failed to bring joy to those around him. His caring and thoughtful nature touched the lives of many, and his unwavering support for his family remained a constant source of strength throughout his life. 

Donald was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jackie; and his parents, Marvin and Florence Sandell.  

He is survived by his children, Michelle Kennedy, Gina Ehlers, and Todd (Jennifer) Kennedy; grandchildren, Taran, Camden, Autumn, Addison, Danielle, Amelia, and Lucas; great-grandchildren, Isabella, Kaiya, Michael, Ava, Liam, and Noah; siblings, Jean, Phyllis, Donna, and Steve; and numerous other relatives and friends. 

Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 18, 2023, from 3:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at the Buffalo American Legion Post 270 (304 10th Avenue South, Buffalo, MN).

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo. Online condolences for the family may be directed to


David Krones, 77 

David “Dave” Duane Krones, age 77 of Hanover.

David died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at Willows of Maple Grove in the Memory Care Unit.  

He was born in Osage, Iowa, on February 22, 1946, to proud parents, Lester and Katherine (Rodemaker) Krones. 

Dave was the youngest of three kids. He grew up on a farm with horses in Osage, IA. He loved working with his hands fixing and building things. 

He graduated from Osage High School in 1964 and enlisted in the Army shortly thereafter (1964-69) and proudly served. Part of his enlistment caused him to be stationed in Germany for two years. 

Dave was united in marriage to Virginia (Ginnie) Pickartz in 1969, and they were married for 54 years.

Dave worked at Champion Auto Stores as a mechanic, Hicks Concrete (20 years), and after retirement, worked at Aerie Knoll Horse farm. He was also the hired hand for the former Governor of Minnesota (Ventura), caring for their horses and farm.

In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting, welding (horseshoe art), and anything that would allow him to express his love of animals. Dave was active in WSCA for many years where he was an active member of Trail Dusters & Elk River saddle clubs. He loved going to rodeos with youngest daughter, Jill and telling cowboy stories. He was a four-time MN State Fair Poles Champion in 87, 88, 89, 91 on one of his favorite horses, Shorte.  

He loved being with his family, friends, and was especially proud of his grandkids. He loved watching them ride at horse shows, rodeos, and play their sports. 

It made sense that Dave passed away when he did. It was deer hunting opener, and we know he got his big buck. Also, he was not a fan of trying to figure out how to change his watch/clock back–so he was not going to do it another year!  

Preceding him in death was his parents, Lester and Katherine Krones; brother, Stanley Krones; and sister, Sandra (Vernon) Heckstein.

Those that survive him include his wife, Ginnie Krones; daughter, Vicki (Mike) Domka; granddaughter, Emma; daughter, Jill (Pete) Houck; granddaughter, Lana; and grandson, Clayton.

Cheers to you dad/grandpa! We will miss you – always!

A visitation will be held on Sunday, November 12, from 2-4 P.M., at The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home. 

Online condolences may be made to


Joachim Ripplinger, 87

Joachim “Jim” Ripplinger, age 87, of St. Michael, passed away on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

He was born on May 31, 1936, in Trail City, South Dakota, the son of Thomas and Mary (Meier) Ripplinger.   

Jim was raised on a farm in Upsala, Minnesota.

He honorably served his Country in The United States Armed Forces in the military police for two years.   

On December 27, 1958, Joachim “Jim” Ripplinger was joined in holy marriage to Ermalinda I. Vos at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Holdingford. God blessed their marriage with six children.

He worked on the Iron Ore boats that sailed the Great Lakes for three years.

Jim formerly was employed at St. Regis Paper Company as plant foreman/supervisor. He also owned and operated a hobby farm.

Jim was a faithful member of The Church of St. Albert in Albertville and was the last living member of St. Albert’s 1973 building committee. He served twenty-three years on the Albertville Fire Department. Jim also belonged to The Knights of Columbus.

Survived by his loving wife of sixty-four years, Ermalinda Ripplinger; children, Donna (Arthur) Rothstein, Deborah (Bradley) Praught, Doris (Thomas) Steffens, Diane (Douglas) Hackenmueller, Mary (Mark) Anderson, and Thomas (Karla) Ripplinger; 38 grandchildren; 76 great-grandchildren; sisters, Bernice (Ernie) Skwira and Mary Kostreba; many other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by a grandson, Matthew Rothstein; two great-grandchildren, Terri Tripp and Charolette Rothstein; his parents; and by twelve siblings.

A Mass of Christian Burial was Wednesday, November 8, at 11:00 A.M., at The Church of St. Albert in Albertville. Father Joseph Zabinski was the Celebrant.

Visitation was AT THE CHURCH Tuesday, November 7, 4-8 P.M. Prayer service 7:00 P.M. A Family Rosary was recited at 9:30 A.M. Wednesday, November 8. Further visitation was held one hour prior to Mass.   

Casket Bearers were James Rothstein, Tony Praught, Drew Anderson, Daniel Hackenmueller, David Praught, and Josh Steffens.

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home served the family. Online condolences may be made to


Donna Schiefelbein, 90

Donna Mae “Frosty” Schiefelbein passed away on November 5, 2023, at the age of 90 after a brief illness that she fought hard. We speculate she fought a little bit harder so she could have a little more quality time to herself before being united with her beloved and gregarious husband, Frank Jr “Big Frank.”  

Mass of Christian Burial was held 11:00 a.m., Wed., Nov. 8, 2023, at St. Anne Catholic Church, Kimball, with Fr. Donald Wagner as the Celebrant. Burial followed at St. Anne Catholic Cemetery. The church opened at 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday for viewing with a remembrance service of stories, led by the family, at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continued on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. 

Frosty, as everyone knew her, was born on December 16, 1932, in Minneapolis, MN. She was the eldest of five siblings from John and Claire (Brenny) O’Keefe. She was a graduate of St. Margaret’s High School. She had two claims to fame in school: she was allowed to skip the second grade due to excellence in academics and was invited to a record 10 proms in one year, which was at least one more than her nine sons combined.

She met her future husband, Big Frank, at a house party at the age of 16, but it wasn’t that simple at the time. She was a Catholic Irish girl, and he was a Catholic German boy, but luckily for the rest of the Schiefelbeins, they were both stubborn and Catholic, and they refused to let heritage get in the way of an everlasting bond. They were married on August 22, 1953; this year would have marked their 70th anniversary. As the story goes, Big Frank and Grandma Frosty moved out to Kimball in 1955. The goal of the pair, Frank would raise crops, and Frosty would raise kids. There’s no doubt Frosty did a much better job than Frank. The old adage that behind every great man is a greater woman rolling her eyes is the epitome of Frosty. As Big Frank focused his attention on growing the farm, Frosty’s attention was raising her nine boys, teaching them respect, honesty, a wry wit, hard work, and a strong faith, all characteristics Frosty possessed. Frosty was not just a tough Irish gal, but a strong woman. She was never afraid to tell Frank “no,” with the exception of nine known incidents.  

Kidding aside, Grandma Frosty was an extremely faithful woman and instilled her faith in her sons, and they did the same with their families. She was St. Anne’s organist for 30 plus years, playing for countless masses, weddings, and funerals. One of her prouder accomplishments in her last 11 months of life was to remain in her home, caring for herself and even driving her car, before reuniting with Big Frank. It is thought by some, mainly her sons, that she should be granted sainthood for raising nine boys and putting up with Big Frank for over 69 years. She will mostly be remembered not only as a beloved mom, but the matriarch of Schiefelbein family.

Grandma Frosty was proceeded in death by her husband, Big Frank; third son, Bill; grandson, Casey; along with her brothers, Bobby and Wayne O’Keefe; and her best friend and sister, Shirley Reiss. 

She is survived by her sons, Frank III (Cathy), Rick (Cindy), Bob (Gail), Tom (Patty), Mike (Teresa), Donnie (Jennifer), Timmy (Robin), and Danny (Lisa), all from Kimball; her brother, Jack O’Keefe, of Mora; 32 grandchildren; and 34 great-grandchildren (and more probably in the oven).  

James Schiefelbein, Brett Schiefelbein, Frank Schiefelbein V, Mark Schiefelbein, Jonny Serbus, and William Serbus served as casket bearers. Julene Faber-Andrusick, Tom Schreiner, Kelly Hammerschmidt and Chad Hammerschmidt provided the music for the service. 

Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial and Cremation Services of Kimball.



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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