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Melvin Herman Kroells

Funeral services for Melvin Herman Kroells, age 84 of Lester Prairie, were Tuesday, May 22, 2001, at the Ev. United Church of Christ, Lester Prairie. Melvin died Wednesday, May 16, at the University Good Samaritan Center in Minneapolis.

Melvin was born June 19, 1916, in Carver County, Minn., the son of Jacob and Anna (Bachman) Kroells, and baptized July 25, 1916, in Carver County, by the Rev. Paul Quarder. He was confirmed at the Ev. United Church of Christ, Lester Prairie, on Palm Sunday, April 13, 1930, by the Rev. E. J. Becker.

On June 30, 1937, Melvin married Dorothy Wuetherich at St. Paul's Ev. UCC, Plato, by the Rev. J. H. Bunge. The first years of their marriage were spent in the Lester Prairie area, where Mel was a carpenter at the Walter Schwichtenberg Lumber Company.

In 1940, Melvin and Dorothy moved to St. Paul, where Mel worked at American Hoist and Derrick until he was called to serve his country in active duty during World War II.

Melvin served in England, France, and Germany with the 733rd Railway Operating Battalion, rebuilding and constructing railroad bridges.

Upon returning home from the war, Mel and Dorothy moved back to Lester Prairie and engaged in farming until Mel's retirement in 1978. After retirement, they established a new home site on the former Leo Snegosky farm.

Always active in church and community affairs, Mel served on the church council numerous times and also on the Lester Prairie School Board for 12 years. He was also involved in the local American Legion, serving as Post Commander on several occasions.

Mel was quick with a helping hand for those in need, always relished a challenge, and had a deep sense of allegiance to his country.

In his retirement years, Mel enjoyed many different hobbies, such as woodworking, crafts, making baskets, building small furniture, fishing and card playing. He also had the opportunity to travel to Europe several times, and spent many winters in Florida.

Mel is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy; a son-in-law, Robert Warzyniak; brothers and sister-in-law, Elroy Wendorf, William Trocke, Roland Zuehl, Fred Templin, Harold and Gladys Wuetherich, Helmuth and Alvina Fenske, and Fred Wuetherich.

He is survived by a daughter, Sharon Williamson (Richard) of Minnetonka, a son, Daryl Kroells (Linda) of Gainesboro, Tenn.; and grandchildren: Rebecca Warzyniak of Los Angeles, Calif., Kristin Warzyniak of Chicago, Ill., Michael Warzyniak of Minneapolis, Heather Sibinski (Scott) of Ocala, Fla., Brenna Kroells of Raleigh, N.C., Andre Williamson (Mary) of Carver, and Kent Williamson of Burnsville.

Mel is further survived by sisters, Hilda Dose, Ella Zuehl, and Eveline Wendorf, all of Lester Prairie, and Marcella Jans (Vern) of Maple Lake; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Stella Templin of Winsted, Lydia and Marvin Kruschke, and Dorothy Wuetherich, all of Lester Prairie; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, neighbors, and friends.

The Rev. John Hogue officiated at the 11 a.m. funeral service. The organist was Marie Eischens and the congregational hymns were "This is My Father's World" and "Amazing Grace." Soloist Marvin Westermann sang "Precious Memories." Interment was in the Lester Prairie City Cemetery.

Serving as casket bearers were Brad Bruckschen, Paul Fenske, Emmert Dose, Edward Dammann, Don Trocke, and Allen Wendorf.

Visitation was Monday, May 21, at the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel, Lester Prairie.

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