Obituaries 12/8/22

Lee Carver Jr., 84

Lee Charles Carver Jr., age 84, passed away on Friday, December 2, 2022, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born on May 20, 1938, in St. Paul. Lee graduated from Rockford High School in 1956 and honorably served his country in The United States Army.

On August 22, 1964, Lee married Jean Carol Phillips in Tomah, WI. They were blessed with three children, Kevin, Angie, and Stacy, and raised them in their home in Montrose, where they lived for 57 years before moving to Praha Village in New Prague. Family was always Lee’s first priority, though he did find time to enjoy numerous activities. He played competitive softball for many years, well into his 40s. Lee was a true car enthusiast, owning several red Corvettes during his retirement years, and co-founded the local Corvette Club. He also owned a few hot rods in his later years, winning first place at a local car show just months before his death.

Lee held many roles in rubber manufacturing during his career, starting as an entry-level molder, and working his way up into management. In his early 60s, when most would be looking forward to retirement, he founded a successful silicone manufacturing company, Sil-Pro, which employed 350 people by the time it sold. 

Lee is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Jean Carver; children, Kevin (Kathi) Carver, Angie (Chris) Neisen, and Stacy (Craig) Furtney; grandchildren, Ryan, Grace and Nate Carver; Steffi (Mac) Williams and Kenzie Neisen; Megan, Ben and Jake Furtney; brothers, Eddie Carver and John (Pat) Carver; sister, Carol Jackson; brother-in-law, Roger Johnson; and many other relatives and friends.

Lee was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Samuel and Thomas Neisen; parents, Lee Charles and Edna Louise (Schmit) Carver Sr.; brother, Jerry Carver; sister, Donna Mae Johnson; brother-in-law, David Jackson; and sister-in-law, Sandy Carver.

The visitation will be on Sunday, December 11, 2022, from 2-5 P.M. at the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, December 12, 2022, at 10:00 A.M. at The Delano American Legion, followed by a luncheon, with additional visitation time at 9:30 A.M. before the service.

Lee was truly one of a kind, always putting others ahead of himself. He loved his family deeply - he didn’t often say it in words, but always showed it in his actions. This loss has left a huge hole in so many hearts, but his last wish was that everyone stay strong - we should all do our best to move forward and live our lives to their fullest, in his honor.

The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo is serving the family. Online condolences may be made to In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation Minnesota.


Janice Hoverson, 87

Kenneth Hoverson, 88

Janice R. Hoverson, age 87, of Rogers, passed away at her home on May 13, 2020.

She was born on March 7, 1933, in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Ed and Minerva (Hudson) Neis. She grew up in West Allis, WI; a few years after graduating from high school, she joined Northwest Airlines as a flight attendant where she met Ken.   

Janice Neis married Kenneth F. Hoverson on August 12, 1958, in Spokane, WA. God blessed their marriage with four children. She had many hobbies over the years, but especially enjoyed her flower and vegetable gardens, tree farming, and was an avid quilter.

Kenneth F. Hoverson, age 88, of Rogers passed away on November 24, 2022, at Park View Care Center.

He was born in Lidgerwood, ND, on February 8, 1934, the son of Kenneth L. and Eva (Franta) Hoverson. 

Ken graduated from Buffalo High School in 1951, attended St. Thomas College for two years, then honorably served his Country in the United States Navy for four years where he earned his wings and flew all over the world. Upon leaving the Navy in 1958, he joined Northwest Airlines and flew for another 28 years. Upon his retirement, he actively worked on the tree farm/nursery he was partnered in with his son, Tom, for many years.

Ken also enjoyed flying his own airplanes, hunting, fishing, and attending auctions.

Janice and Ken are survived by their children, Thomas (Jill) Hoverson, of Rogers, Michael (Teresa) Hoverson, of Belle Plaine, Tina (Wade) Barkstrom, of Milwaukee, WI, and Steve (Chris) Hoverson, of Rogers; thirteen grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

Both Janice and Ken are preceded in death by their parents.

A Celebration of Life for both Janice and Kenneth Hoverson will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. A visitation will take place one hour prior to the Celebration of Life.

Memorials suggested for the Salvation Army or Animal Humane Society.

The Peterson Chapel, Buffalo assisted the family with arrangements. On-line condolences can be made at


Gloria LaFave, 78

Gloria Lou LaFave, age 78, formerly of Buffalo, passed away on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at The Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Howard Lake.

She was born on March 20, 1944, in South Dakota, the daughter of Arnold and Lucy Smith.

On August 17, 1963, Gloria L. Smith and George F. “John” LaFave were joined in holy marriage. God blessed their marriage with a son, Leo F. LaFave. Leo preceded his parents in death on June 21, 2011.

Gloria was formerly employed at Delano Granite as an engraver and at Mill Creek as a cook.

She enjoyed crocheting and animals, such as dogs, cats, goats, geese, and birds.

Survived by brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jerry and Judy LaFave, Joe LaFave, Jim and Nancy LaFave, Sam and Nancy LaFave, and Leanne and Chuck Dressen; many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her son, Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, George F. “John” LaFave on March 21, 2019; her parents; and by brothers-in-law, Ed LaFave and Fred LaFave; and by sisters-in-law, Jeanette LaFave and Linda LaFave.

Funeral services for Gloria LaFave will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 1:00 P.M. at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo. Pastor Dean Brown will officiate.

Interment St. Francis Cemetery.

Casket Bearers will be Chris Mauk, Harlan Mauk, Darrel LaFave, Donald LaFave, Jeanne LaFave, Corey LaFave, Travis LaFave, and Johnny LaFave.

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


Robert Mickelson, 79

Robert Meral Mickelson, age 79, of Buffalo, MN, was welcomed by the Lord on December 4, 2022.

Robert Meral Mickelson was born to Evelyn (Ask) and Meral Mickelson on October 29, 1943, in Litchfield, MN. He attended Grove City High School before he was called to serve in the Navy in 1960. After he was honorably discharged in 1964, Bob managed a bowling alley in Florida and formed a bowling team called “The Misfits.” His teammates nicknamed him “Red,” and he boasted an impressive average of 190. Throughout his life, Bob bowled many perfect games.

Bob and his forever love, Darlene (Nelson), married on December 14, 1968, after he stole her heart. Bob and Darlene raised two beautiful children, Shannon (Carlson) and Justin, in their family home in Litchfield, MN. He was an incredibly proud father who loved his children deeply. He was quick to boast about Justin’s film career and would brag to anyone that Shannon was his “number one nurse.” He delighted in his grandchildren, Jordon, Cody, and Kaitlyn and loved watching them play hockey and do gymnastics. He was their biggest fan in anything they did.

Bob continued his education and earned his business degree from Rasmussen University. He worked for Ideal Lumber in Litchfield, MN, before opening his own business, Window’s plus. He retired in 2005 and spent his time fishing, bowling, and cheering for the Vikings. Bob was Commander of the American Legion, Post 104 in Litchfield, MN. He was instrumental in organizing the renovation of the kitchen and loved both cooking and bartending there. Anyone who knows Bob knows he loved to cook and feed others. His delicious hot dish, Kumla and chicken salad were favorites among his family and friends.

Bob will be remembered for his quick wit, sense of humor, and the most infectious laugh. He could always be found in his recliner with a crossword, a clipboard, and his pup, Lucy. More than anything, Bob loved people and making others laugh. Bob’s family affectionately called him “Lug,” a nickname that was eventually extended to Justin and Jordon.

Bob is survived by his wife, Darlene; his daughter, Shannon; her husband, Bob; and their children, Jordon (Taylor), Cody (Chloe) and Kaitlyn; as well as his brothers, Donny, Steve, and John.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Daniel; and his son, Justin.

Words on a page will never be able to capture how much Bob was loved and how deeply he loved. Those who were lucky enough to know him will forever feel his absence. Bob’s family finds comfort in knowing that the “Lugs” are together again.

A Celebration of Life for Bob will be held at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Monticello, MN, on Friday, December 9, 2022. Visitation will be held at 10:00 a.m. with a service and lunch to follow.

Officiating will be Pastor Jedidiah Scharmer.

Arrangements were entrusted to The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN.


Lorraine Newkirk, 83

Funeral services were at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at Faith Lutheran Church, rural Monticello, for Lorraine Ruth Newkirk, age 83 of Maple Lake. She died on Friday, December 2, 2022, at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Cloud. Reverend Scott Block officiated. Burial took place at Lakeside Cemetery south of the church. 

Visitation was from 5:00 p.m. until a closing prayer service at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday and after 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the church.

Lorraine was born April 7, 1939, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to James and Dorothy (Klein) Olson. She lived on a farm south of St. Cloud, attending kindergarten at Riverview School in St. Cloud, then moved to farms in Sherburne and Benton Counties for grades 1-8, attending local country schools. Lorraine graduated Salutatorian from Foley High School in 1957. Lorraine graduated from St. Cloud University in 1962 with a degree in English, Social Studies, and Secondary Education. She taught eighth-grade English at Coon Rapids Junior High School for eight years; she then returned to St. Cloud State University and obtained a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling. While in graduate school, she met David A. Newkirk, and they were married on June 26, 1971, at Glendorado Lutheran Church, in rural Princeton. Lorraine returned to Coon Rapids Middle School-Junior High School as a Guidance Counselor from 1971 until her retirement in 1998. After her retirement, she was Teen Parent Program Coordinator at the Wright Technical School in Buffalo until 2008. She was a 4-H leader, Monticello Band Booster, served on the Monticello Hospital Board, and loved her Bible study group at Faith Lutheran Church where she was a member.  

She was a country girl and loved living on the farms milking cows, working in the fields (making hay and planting crops), and was very active in 4-H. Lorraine showed cattle at the Benton County and Minnesota State Fair. She was the first female member of the State of Minnesota 4-H dairy Judging Team. Lorraine was a regional runner-up for Princess Kay of the Milky Way. She had peace and serenity living on the farms. Lorraine and Dave enjoyed collecting antiques, she supported Dave in his spoon ring business, she also supported her daughter and husband in showing rabbits and sheep. She enjoyed day trips with her family, spending time with her goldendoodle, Sophie, watching Jeopardy, and British murder mysteries.

She is survived by her daughter, Emilie Lynn, and son-in-law, James Greb, of Maple Lake.

Lorraine is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, David on August 14, 2019; and one brother, Robert Olson.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.

Services with the Daniel Funeral Home in St. Cloud.


Juanita Olson, 71

Juanita Marie Olson, age 71, of Buffalo, passed away on December 3, 2022.

Juanita was born the daughter of Harold and Beverly (Johnson) Holland on August 15, 1951, in Maple Lake, MN.

She is preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Richard.

Juanita was a loving and caring wife, mother, and grandmother.

She is survived by husband, Mike; children, Brian (Teri) Ditsch, Ben (Ivy) Ditsch, Brad Ditsch, and Nick (Tonya) Olson; also, numerous grandchildren, siblings, other family and friends.

Memorial service for Juanita will be held Tuesday, December 13, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m., all at The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN.

Officiating will be Pastor Dean Brown.

Private family interment in Lakeview Cemetery in Buffalo, MN

Arrangements were entrusted to The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN.


Clifton Stedje, 97

Clifton Harold Stedje, age 97, was born on February 25, 1925, in Kensington, Minnesota, to Lawrence and Regina (Halverson) Stedje. He passed away peacefully on November 23, 2022, at Havenwood in Buffalo, Minnesota.

Clif spent his youth and teenage years growing up in Kensington and graduated from Kensington High School in 1943. After graduation, he headed west to Oregon to first work in the lumber industry and then went on to work with aircraft carrier construction. Clif served his country in the US Army during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1952 and continued to serve in the Army Reserve until 1960.

Clif and Donna Marie Borseth were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1953, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Abercrombie, North Dakota. Their first homes were in the suburbs of Minneapolis until they built a new home and moved to Buffalo in 1965. Clif worked for Consolidated Freightways from 1953 until he retired in 1989. He and Donna enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and to many countries around the world during their retirement. Clif was active all of his life and enjoyed biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, and golfing, to name a few.

Clif is survived by his wife of 69 years, Donna; his children, Laurie (Paul) Meyer, John (Marcy Stroman) Stedje; grandchildren, Rachel (Judd) Stevens, Erik (Kerstin) Meyer and Danielle Lachermeier; great-grandchildren, Grady, Elin and Greta Stevens, Kaia Meyer; sister, Audry Thon; sister-in-law, Carol (Tom) Heaton; many other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his son, Scott Borseth Stedje; brothers, Raynard and Emroy; sister, Lorayne Bechtle, brothers-in-law, Raymond Bechtle and Howard Thon.

A Memorial Service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Buffalo, Minnesota at 12:00 noon on Saturday, December 17, 2022, with visitation AT THE CHURCH one hour prior to services. Luncheon will follow the service in Fellowship Hall. Private Interment will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

The family would like to thank all of the staff at Havenwood of Buffalo and the Moments Hospice staff for their compassionate care of Clif.

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


Douglas Willett, 85

Renowned musher Douglas Warren Willett, of Buffalo, Minnesota, was born on May 25, 1937, on a farm in Adams County, North Dakota. He suffered a fatal heart attack while in residence at his daughter’s home in Hautefort, France, on November 20, 2022. He had been living in Buffalo with his significant other, fellow musher Sally Bair.

Willett graduated from high school and went on to college and eventually earned his PhD in mathematics from California Institute of Technology in 1962. He married his high school sweetheart, Marie, upon undergraduate college graduation. They had five children (Sean, Michelle, Lon, Bryce, Renata) but later divorced. He then married Katie “Moon” Davis. They had one child, Demian. Douglas is also father to Michael Kim Jörgenfelt Willett.

Douglas began his teaching career in mathematics in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at the University. He also accepted a professorship at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, retiring there in 1990 after many years. He published over thirty-five math papers and taught many engineers.

Thereafter, his focus was on raising and racing sled dogs. It was his divorce that spurred him on to become a legend in the Seppala Siberian sleddog community where he developed the SeppAlta Kennels and competed and earned medals and accolades. He also authored the authoritative book on the Seppala Siberian, The Seppala Siberian Sleddog. Between 1974 and 2010, when he hung up his harnesses and sold his last dog, Togo, he competed in over two hundred North American and Canadian mid distance races totaling more than twelve thousand competition miles. He won medals in the mid distance classes, hooking up from ten to sixteen or more dogs. He raced in Minnesota races at Ely and Bemidji but especially liked racing in Quebec. Most of the races consisted of heats from fifteen to fifty or more miles.

Doug Willett was one of a kind and will be greatly missed by family and friends, but his contributions to the Seppala sleddog world will live on. He is survived by all of his seven children and his many grandchildren.



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed