Today’s Obituaries Friday, April 19, 2019

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Gary W. Ascher

Ascher, Gary W. Age 76, of Plymouth, passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019. He loved golf, ping pong, tennis and above all else, his family. Survived by beloved wife of 53 years, Jeanne; children, Deborah (Bill) Shaw, Andrew (Allison) and David; grandchildren, Billy, Ben, Nikki and Ryan. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM Tuesday, April 23 at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, 155 County Road 24, Medina, with visitation one hour prior to Mass. Private interment. Gearty-Delmore 763-553-1411 gearty-delmore.com


George Bremer Benz

Benz, George Bremer Born on January 14, 1940, to George W. and Louise Bremer Benz, in St. Paul, Minnesota, passed away on February 1, 2019 in St. Paul. He was a descendant of the Hamm's Brewing, the Jacob Schmidt Brewing and Bremer Bank families. George was a graduate of The St. Paul Academy and Summit School in 1958, Williston Academy in 1959, University of Munich and Goethe Institute (Germany) in 1961, Colgate University in 1963, and The University of Minnesota Aeronautical Engineering and Business Law in 1965. George married Karen Bassett of Mora, MN in September, 1972. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Josephine Benz Carpenter. George is survived by his loving wife, Karen, his sons, George and Theodore (Derek); daughters-in-law Stephanie and Elizabeth and 2 grandchildren, Theodore (Finn) and Hendry as well as a sister, Louise Benz Plank of Buffalo, WY. George was the Chairman of the Board of American National Bank and Trust and Co-Chairman and CEO of American Bancorporation, Director of Commercial State Bank, Lake City State Bank, and American Bank and Trust of Moorhead. He was also CEO of George Benz and Sons and Owner of Oak Grove Dairy, and President and Director Jacob Schmidt Company. Along with his professional career, he cared deeply for many local associations serving as Vice President and Director Indianhead Council- Boy Scouts of America, Vice President and Director Minnesota Club, Vice President and Director Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Trustee Children's Hospital of St. Paul, Treasurer and Director Ramsey County Lung association, Treasurer and Director Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Trustee of the Courage Center Foundation, Director Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, Director Optimist Club of St. Paul, and Founding Financial Advisor Mounds Park Academy. He also served on the boards of the United Arts Fund, the United Way Fund, Norwesco, Horton Manufacturing, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, Quintero, White Bear Yacht Club, and Desert Mountain golf clubs. George's love of flying began at age sixteen when he earned his single engine pilot's license. While attending Colgate he furthered his flying dreams by attaining his Commercial, Certified Flight instructor, air land and sea, multi engine and instrument ratings. He was Vice President and Director of Aqua Float Corporation, Vice President and Director of the Cessna dealership, Wings Inc. and then worked his way up to Vice President at Cessna Aircraft Company where he met the love of his life and co-pilot, Karen. Together they dedicated their lives to various philanthropic endeavors and traveled the seven continents. He shared his love of golf, winning the White Bear Yacht Club Invitational Championship as well as a Mr. and Mrs. Championship; his love of skiing by producing the film "Alta Man"; sailing, hunting, boating, fishing and hockey with his family. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM, with a visitation starting at 9:45 AM at St. Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake, MN. Reception following Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memoriam to Children's Hospital Neuroscience Center of Minnesota. Mueller Memorial 651-429-4944 muellermemorial.com


Margaret Ann 'Peggy' (Orr) Bjorback

Bjorback, Margaret "Peggy" Ann (Orr) Passed peacefully on April 15, 2019, at the age of 85. Margaret was born February 10, 1934, in Duluth, MN. She is preceded in death by her parents, Robert & Marie (Fogarty) Orr; siblings, Dennis Orr and Mary Vincent; daughter, Cathleen Bjorback and former spouse, Jack Bjorback. Margaret is survived by her children, Beth (Frank) Barkman, Frances Green, Amy (Neil) Ayotte, Alan (Nancy) Bjorback and Daniel (Miriam) Bjorback; her grandchildren, Austin (Ashley) Simonson, Theresa (David) Henke, Alex & Nicholas Green, Bailey (Travis) Selland, Hawthorne, Althena & Harrison Bjorback, Laura (John) Hester, Parker & Anne Ayotte and Ean & Alliana Bjorback; and 5 great-grandchildren. Following her graduation from Duluth Cathedral High School in 1952, she attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double major in Home Economics and Psychology. She then received her Master's Degree in Psychology from Mac Murray College in Jacksonville, IL. Margaret married John ("Jack") Bjorback in 1957 and together they raised six children, living the majority of their married life in Richfield, Minnesota. Margaret will be remembered for her intellectual curiosity, spirit of adventure, voracious reading, master gardening, sea shell collecting and a quick wit. She had a life-long love of learning, Jeopardy, Scrabble and a wide variety of hobbies, but mostly she loved her family. Memorial service 11 am Saturday, April 20, with visitation 1 hour before service, and lunch following, at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 E. Wayzata Blvd. Memorials preferred to the American Lung Association. Family would like to thank the loving and caring staff at Meridian Manor for the wonderful care and community they provided Margaret over the last 16 months. David Lee Funeral Home Wayzata 952-473-5577 davidleefuneralhome.com


Ann Elizabeth Brioschi

Brioschi, Ann Elizabeth Age 68, born in St. Paul, resided in St. Michael. Passed away on April 14th, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. She is survived by son, Anthony (Rita); daughter Jessica, and son William. She was the most unique, kind, caring, fun loving, generous, and thoughtful person we knew. She loved to laugh, she had a great one, and was loved by everyone. Thank you to the Oncology Department at Methodist Hospital for the wonderful care. We are honoring mom's wishes to celebrate her life privately.


Edward Jerome 'Jerome' Carlson

Carlson, Edward Jerome "Jerome" 1943 2019 Jerome Carlson passed away peacefully of natural causes on April 10th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. His life was full of joy, work, adventure and generosity. Jerome will be missed terribly by his large, blended family and dear friends, who strive to pass on his love and legacy. Jerome was predeceased by his father and mother, John and Myrtle Carlson; daughter, Lucy; brothers, Donald, Lary, and Bill. He is survived by his wife, Linda; children Kjersti Francis (Tim), Juliana Teske (Aaron), Jed (Kerry), Siri Kristenson (David), Dr. Mary Bianco (Dr. Joe), Ed Ulmaniec (Tara), and Chris Swenning (Terry); brothers, Oscar (Val), Martin (Peg), and Fred (Marti); and thirteen grandchildren. On May 25, 1943, Jerome Carlson was born in the farmhouse of John and Myrtle Carlson. He was raised on the farm to age 18. He first attended Hamilton country school and then attended town school graduating in 1961. He was co-captain of the football and baseball teams, served on the Student Council from 5th grade through senior high year, and sang solos in the high school choir. For 15 months following graduation, he worked on construction to earn money for college tuition. In 1962-1963 Jerome attended the University of Minnesota. In the fall of 1963, Jerome transferred to MacPhail College of Music majoring in Voice. He continued at MacPhail for three years and served as the Student Body President during the 1965-1966 school year. While at MacPhail, Jerome also sang professionally with the Lamplighters Sextet and with the popular Edgewater Eight. In 1967, he moved to Chicago, IL continuing with voice lessons and performing. In 1968, Jerome married Julie Diercks from Mound, MN (they later divorced). They had 5 children together, Kjersti, Juliana, Jed, Lucy, and Siri. In 1968 he also co-founded The Instant Web Company. The company grew and in 1976 moved to a larger facility in Chanhassen, MN. In 1979, Instant Web purchased United Mailing, a small mailing company. That same year, Jerome purchased a 40 acre farm from Mr. and Mrs. Schmieg, which became part of an industrial park on the west edge of Chanhassen. In 1981, Instant Web purchased Victory Envelope and in 1982 Instant Web moved into a new facility in the industrial park in Chanhassen. In 1983, United Mailing Company joined Instant Web on the campus. In 1986, Victory Envelope completed the campus by moving into the 3rd facility. The single source, total package option of eliminating freight for the companies' clients paid off. The growth continued and when Jerome retired in 1998 after 30 years, the Instant Web Companies employed 1,000 Minnesotans. Later, in 2003, he and his partners would sell the companies. In 1984, Jerome would meet and later marry Linda Carroll who brought three children to the blended marriage, Mary, Ed, and Chris. In 1987, Jerome and Linda built New Beginnings, a day care center next door to the companies so that employees could have lunch with their children or be available when needed. In 1999, Jerome built Brendon Pond, a group home for his Downs daughter, Lucy, and three other women. Jerome sang at dozens of weddings, at Orchestra Hall, and at the Carlton Celebrity Theater as a fundraiser for Groves Academy. He sang for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Governor Rudy Perpich, General Colin Powell, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Writing lyrics and creating melodies was another one of Jerome's passions. This culminated in the production and staging of the musical "Gin" at the Music Box Theater in Minneapolis in 1994. "Spirit of Christmas", a Holiday song he wrote and recorded, earned him a Gold Record. He also recorded one of his songs in Nashville with Chet Atkins. Jerome was a generous contributor to Mora Dollars for Scholars Program, the Mora Education Foundation, VocalEssence, the Paradise Community Theater, the Kanabec County History Center, and Mount Olivet Rolling Acres (the service provider for daughter Lucy's group home). He served on various boards including MacPhail School of Music, Groves Learning Center, and The Printing Industry of Minnesota. Jerome was honored by his home town of Mora, MN as their Grand Marshal in 1987. In 1989, he was named Citizen of the Year in Chanhassen, MN and in 1999 was the Grand Marshal in Chanhassen's annual 4th of July Parade. Jerome enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping in North America, especially in Alaska with his family. Jerome was a bow hunter and quite proud of harvesting a few trophy bucks, a huge black bear, and a classic 6 x 6 bull elk. He traveled to Sweden, England, Germany, France, and Italy. He trekked up the Solukhumbu Trail in Nepal to near the base camp at Mount Everest. He traveled to Japan, Philippines, Hong Kong, and China. He trekked to the summit of Kilimanjaro after camping in the Serengeti. When asked about his spirituality, he said, "It was anchored in the worship of God in nature; always humbling and giving him comfort." In 2013 he traveled to Antarctica as his brother Martin's guest. It was an extraordinary experience sailing on the Lindblad/National Geographic ship from Argentina to Antarctica. When they reached Antarctica they stopped several times to hike and to visit with some researchers there at the time. Seeing and watching the orcas, hump backed whales, sea birds, penguins, seals, and icebergs was an experience! A memorial service will be held for Jerome on Sunday, April 28th at 11:00 AM at The Grand Event Center, 2025 Rowland Road, Mora MN 55051.

Memorials appreciated to either of these charities that Jerome supported: Mora Dollars for Scholars at PO Box 422, Mora 55051, or in support of the Uveal Melanoma Program at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia. If sending a check, in the notes section reference “Uveal Melanoma Program” and also note the donation is in honor of Jerome Carlson. Checks can be mailed to: Attn: Emma Laverty/Uveal Melanoma Program, Office of Institutional Advancement at Jefferson, 125 S. 9th Street, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19107. If you prefer an on-line donation please visit the website: Jefferson.edu/Sato


Janet Werness Cornish

Cornish, Janet Werness Janet Werness Cornish, 87, died Saturday, April 13, 2019 at the N.C. Little Memorial Hospice in Edina. She is survived by daughter Carrie of Minneapolis, and son Kevin of Edina. Funeral at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Edina on Tuesday, April 30th at 12 noon with visitation at 11 A.M. Reception & burial to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to N.C. Little Hospice or to St. Stephen's Music Ministry. Gearty-Delmore 952-926-1615 gearty-delmore.com


James David 'Jim' Gainsley

Gainsley, James "Jim" David Age 84, of St. Louis Park, passed away April 17, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Nat and Anita Gainsley and long-time business partner, Dr. David Carlson. Survived by loving wife of 57 years, Renee Gainsley and daughter, Joan Gainsley; also, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Harriet & Peter Glick and their sons, Jon and Adam. Jim graduated from Minneapolis Southwest High School, University of Minnesota, and The Gemological Institute of America. A true entrepreneur, Jim owned and developed several businesses; the most long- standing being Renco Corporation, started in 1975, which designs and manufactures electronics for agriculture with a presence in over 120 countries. Jim was a life-long learner. A pioneer in technology, he enjoyed teaching himself the process of building his own computers. His passions included travel, classical music, animals, handball, scuba diving, table tennis, and his family. He served his community as the longest standing member of the St. Louis Park Board of Zoning Appeals. He was very proud of his involvement with Temple Israel, holding leadership positions as Treasurer, Chairman of Usher Corps, Chairman of Camp Teko Committee, Board Member for Temple Israel Memorial Park, Archiving and Men's Club. He was a member of the Minneapolis Shriners. Funeral service 11:00 am, SUNDAY, April 21, 2019, at Temple Israel, 2323 Fremont Ave. So., Minneapolis. Memorials preferred to Temple Israel or Gainsley Fund at JFCS-Minneapolis. A gathering of family & friends will be held Sunday evening at 7:00 pm, at Temple Israel. Hodroff-Epstein 612-871-1234 hodroffepstein.com


Beverly Johnson

Johnson, Beverly Age 87 of St. Anthony, formerly of Brooklyn Park went home to the Lord April 13, 2019. Born May 25, 1931 in rural Pipestone County, Altona Township, the fifth and youngest child of Edelbert "Bert" and Annie Melander McCurdy. Preceded in death by first husband Robert Anderson, second husband Arlie Johnson, brother Philip McCurdy, and sisters Eloise Iler, Alvina Granberg, & Bertha Stueven. Survived by children Warren Anderson (Janet), Westborough, MA and Karen Anderson, Burlington, VT, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and Ben Anderson. After graduation from Hamline University, Bev worked as a social worker and then operated a home day care for many years. Her family, music, & church fulfilled her life. Memorial service Fri., May 3, 12pm, Community United Methodist, 950 Gould Ave., Columbia Heights. Visitation at 11am. Burial in Royalton Cemetery, Braham. Memorials to Allina Hospice.


Sue D. (Edblad) Klund

Klund, Sue D. (nee Edblad) Age 81, of Anoka passed away on April 16, 2019. Preceded in death by her parents Myrtle and Clarence Edblad, and step-father Norman Strandin. Survived by husband of 60 years John, sister Pat Forrest, daughters Heidi (Mike) Bertrang and their children Anna, Zachary & Caleb, Gretchen (Dennis) Johnson and their daughter Alexi, Julie (Neil) Klund-Schubert, Jennifer (Brett Loftesnes) Klund and their children Finn and Emma. Sue dedicated her life to her family, her faith, music, and education. Funeral services, Monday, April 22, 2019 - 11:00 am at Zion Lutheran Church, 1601 4th Avenue S, Anoka with visitation one hour prior. Memorials can be directed to two of Sue's passions - kids and music: Children's Music Programs at Zion Lutheran Church and Anoka-Hennepin Education Foundation (2727 Ferry Street N, Anoka, MN 55303). Thurston-Lindberg Funeral Home Anoka 763-421-0220 thurston-lindberg.com


Finnegan James Dauphin Leinonen

Leinonen, Finnegan James Dauphin Our beloved son, Finnegan (age 2) passed away April 14, 2019. Finnegan was such a happy boy, he loved everything. He had a smile that could light up a room & energy that made everyone happy. Finnegan enjoyed everything. Some of his favorites were playing floor hockey with dad, baking with mom, golfing, boating, going to parks, swimming and going to the zoo. He loved animals and playing outside. While he loved all of these, his favorite role was to be a big brother to Henry. He loved his brother deeply and could never give enough hugs and kisses to him each day. Finnegan loved every moment with his mom, dad and baby Henry. Finnegan is survived by his loving parents, Mike and Stephanie Leinonen; brother, Henry; grandparents, Ed and Cheryl Dauphin, Steve and Pam Leinonen; uncle, Alex; aunt, Marisa Dauphin; great-grandmother, Jean Neri; and many relatives and friends. Funeral service will be at 12:00 PM on April 22, 2019 at Shepherd of The Valley, 12650 Johnny Cake Ridge Road, Apple Valley, with visitation one hour prior. Finnegan was a ray of sunshine and brought joy to every person he met. To celebrate his happiness and vibrant energy, the family requests those attending wear color to reflect the happy and vibrant boy he was. Interment Lebanon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family will be accepting donations for a tree and garden they will be planting in Finnegan's honor. Henry W. Anderson (952)432-2331 henrywanderson.com