Mary Mettler 02/20/2015

Mary MettlerMary Mettler, age 62, left the apples of her eyes and her weary earthly temple on February 20th, 2015 to claim a new heavenly body as she passed from this life into the loving arms of her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Mary was born on February 27th, 1952 to Clarence and Geraldine Kramer and grew up in Fall Creek, WI with her seven brothers and sisters. She found the love and rock of her life, Paul, while working as a secretary for Domain Inc. in New Richmond, and they were united in marriage on October 30th, 1976. Their union was blessed with four beautiful and devoted daughters. As a working mother, Mary took pride in her duties as church secretary at both United Methodist and First Lutheran Churches in New Richmond, payroll clerk at UFE in Stillwater, and as an HR representative and operator with her most recent employer, Phillips Plastics in New Richmond.  She enjoyed her life and was loved by many. Her hobbies included sewing, card-making, stamping, reading and traveling. Raising her girls, she chaperoned many band trips, taught Sunday school, was a charter member of Solid Rock Fellowship Church, and was one of the best cooks you would ever meet.

Mary was diagnosed with acute leukemia in September of 2007, and on February 18th of the following year she was given a second chance at life with a bone marrow transplant—a perfect match from her sister Robin. She fought a courageous battle to get well and was able to enjoy traveling with Paul, fishing Lake Michigan and doing her favorite things: spoiling and loving her grandkids.  Even after surviving an advanced, life-threatening pneumonia (ARDS) in 2010, she regained enough strength to see the last of her daughters get married and the birth of her seventh grandchild.

She will forever remain in the hearts of her beloved husband of 38 years, Paul; daughters, Molly (Josh) Fox of Roberts, Betsy (Josh) Schweitzer of Hammond, Jill (Geoff) Ekar of Hilo, HI, and Jennifer (Mark) Hutchison of St. Paul;  seven adoring grandchildren, Ashlyn, Lincoln, Ezrielle, Rhett, Kendra, Sullivan and Vanna;  mother, Geraldine Kramer of Fall Creek; three brothers, Charles (Lana) Kramer of Fall Creek, Mark (Sue) Kramer of Eau Claire, and Kevin Kramer of Junction City, KS; three sisters, Connie Kramer of Madison, Karen (Scott) Guenard of Superior, and Robin Kramer of Green Bay; sister-in-law, Judy (Robert) DeBaets of Mundelein, IL;  and two brothers-in-law Ken (Barb) Mettler of St Croix Falls and Duane (Dewey) Kunz of Augusta. She will also be deeply missed by her many nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces, great-nephews, and her cherished friends. She was greeted in heaven by those that preceded her in death: father Clarence Kramer, sister, Nancy Kunz, parents-in law Glen and Ruth Mettler, and many other family and friends.

A Celebration of Mary’s Life was held on her birthday, Friday, February 27, 2015 at 12 pm at Solid Rock Fellowship 258 N 3rd Street New Richmond. Visitation was held Thursday, February 26, 2015 from 4-7 pm at the Bakken-Young Beebe Chapel 112 W 3rd Street New Richmond and on Friday from 11-12 pm at the church. Pallbearers were Josh Fox, Josh Schweitzer, Mark Hutchison, Roger Handel, Jim McDowell and Curt Lundgren. Honorary Pallbearers included Geoff Ekar, Scott Kramer, Bryan Kramer, Brian DeBaets, David Mettler and Jacob Guenard. 

Special thanks to the Fairview University Medical Center, and to Bethel Care Center, for the wonderful care they gave Mary in her last years. For more information on Mary's journey or to leave a message for family, go to her web page at

Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services Beebe Chapel of New Richmond.

Floyd Engebretson 02/18/2015

Floyd EngebretsonFloyd C. Engebretson age 96 of New Richmond passed away Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at the Deerfield Gables. He was born the son of Ole and Mary (Kovsky) Engebretson on October 4, 1918 in Webster, WI.  Floyd served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII.  On September 21, 1963, he married Helen Peterson at West Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Floyd worked for Sears & Roebuck for 29 years first in Chicago and then in Minneapolis.  He was member of the New Richmond VFW and American Legion.  Floyd loved to fish and was a long time Minnesota Twins Fan.  He was a devoted husband and will be missed by his wife of 51 years, Helen.  Also surviving him are his brother, James (Mary) Engebretson; sister, Ruby Radke; sister-in-laws, Lillian Hanson, Adeline (Don) Christopherson, Mabel Graese; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Olive Boyum; brother, Russell Engebretson; brothers-in-law, Scout Radke, Warren Hanson, Walter Graese; and other in-laws.  A funeral service was held Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 2:00 pm at West Immanuel Lutheran Church in the Town of Alden. Visitation was also Saturday from 1:00-2:00 pm at the church.  Private interment will be in West Immanuel Church Cemetery at a later date.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services Beebe Chapel of New Richmond.

Michele Wittstock 02/17/2015

M Wittstock 194x200Michele L. Wittstock, age 44 of New Richmond, died Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at Westfields Hospital.  Michele was born in New Richmond to Ron and Karen (Paulson) Wittstock.  She graduated from New Richmond High School.  She worked for Farm and Home, St. Croix Industries in New Richmond and Cold Storage in Hammond, WI.  Michele enjoyed crafts, hugs, and meeting people.  She was a Green Bay Packer fan, and loved to watch the Minnesota Twins.  She was a loving person, with a great memory, who loved to talk.  She is preceded in death by her mother, Karen Wittstock; and friend, Joe Stephens.  Michele is survived by her father, Ron (Claudia) Wittstock; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  A Memorial Service was held on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11 am at the New Richmond United Methodist Church 209 E 2nd Street New Richmond.  Visitation was also Monday from 10-11 am at the church.  Interment was in Clear Lake Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services Beebe Chapel of New Richmond.

Kurt Nowotny 02/15/2015

Kurt NowotnyKurt A. Nowotny age 83 of River Falls and formerly of Vienna, Austria, died Sunday, February 15, 2015 at the Lutheran Home in River Falls.  Kurt was born the son of Franz and Mia (Hess) Nowotny on April 8, 1931 in Vienna.  He grew up in Vienna and Salzburg, Austria.  He received his PHD in Chemistry from the University of Vienna.  Kurt's career in chemistry brought him to St. Louis, MO and then many places along the West Coast and eventually back to Austria.  He spent most of his career as a research chemist in the Paper Industry.  Kurt was a member of the American Chemical Society as well as the Austrian and German Chemical Societies.  He moved to River Falls in 2005.  Kurt enjoyed cooking, so much so that he attempted his own restaraunt in Vancouver, WA.  He also liked spending time traveling or on walks with his son and their dog.  Kurt was a strong willed man who was very devoted to his family.  He liked to entertain and engage in long discussions.  He is preceded in death by his parents.  Kurt is survived by his wife, Dorothea Nowotny; son, Michael Nowotny; and daughter, Monika Nowotny.  A Memorial Service was held Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 4 pm at the Bakken-Young Funeral Home 805 E Division Street River Falls, WI.  Memorial visitation was also Saturday from 3-4 pm at the funeral home.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.

Joan Austrum 02/14/2015

Joan Ann Austrum nee Van Someren, age 75 of River Falls, died on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at her home.  Joan was born the daughter of Arnold and Josephine (Knutson) Van Someren on July 31, 1939 in Baldwin, WI.  On August 24, 1955, she married Don Alwin.  They made their home in North Hudson and started a family.  Joan worked as a proof reader at West Publishing.  She moved to River Falls, in the mid 1990’s.  She enjoyed playing Scrabble, Yahtzee and other games, was an avid Packer fan, and loved to go the casino.  Joan was strong willed, good hearted and an awesome mother and grandmother.  She is preceded in death by her parents; and grandson, Alan Alwin.  Joan is survived by her children, Terry Alwin-Weeks, Rick Alwin, John Alwin; grandchildren, Jessi Weeks, Justin (Jessica) Weeks, Jamie (Heath) Hantsbarger, Richard (Kara Mia) Appleton, Jason Alwin; great-grandchildren, Noah, Zoe, Payton, Kenzie, Tyler, Tiffany, Trevor, Grace, Joy; and former husband and friend, Don Alwin.  A Memorial Service was held on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 7 pm at the Bakken-Young Funeral Home 805 E Division Street River Falls.  Memorial Visitation was also held on Thursday from 4-7 pm at the funeral home.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.