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Ellen Irene Venske

Funeral services for Ellen Irene Venske, 68 of Silver Lake and formerly of Lester Prairie, were on Sunday, June 2, from the St Peter's Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie. Officiating was the Rev. Gerald Schwanke.

Mrs. Venske died on Monday, May 30, 2002 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

The organist was Mary Mielke, and soloist Rhonda Venske sang "Amazing Grace." The congregational hymns were "The Old Rugged Cross," "Rock of Ages," "How Great Thou Art" and "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."

Pallbearers were Michael Zierden, Benjamin Venske, Joshua Venske and Brandon Venske. Interment was held in the church cemetery.

Ellen Irene Ranua was born to Evert and Anna (Hiltunen) Ranua on Oct. 8, 1933, in Green Valley Township near Menahga. She was baptized a little time later in her parents home in 1933. She was confirmed into the Lutheran faith at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church in rural Menahga. She received her education from Menahga High School, where she was the valedictorian of her class. After high school, she went on to receive a teaching certificate.

On June 14, 1952, she was united in marriage with Ervin Venske at St. John's Lutheran Church in Wadena. The couple made their home in Menahga until 1965, where she was a Sunday school teacher at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

In 1965, the couple moved to Plato, and she also taught Bible school at St. John's Lutheran Church in Plato for three years. The Venskes than moved to Lester Prairie, where they lived on a farm for 20 years.

In 1991, Mrs. Venske moved to Silver Lake where she lived with her son, Bryan, and in the last three years she has lived at Burns Manor in Hutchinson.

Throughout her life, Mrs. Venske was a devoted Missouri Synod Lutheran and had a strong faith and belief in the Lord above.

Survivors include her husband, Ervin of Silver Lake; children, Charles (Cindy) Venske of Waconia, Bryan Venske of Silver Lake, Shirley (Michael) Zierden of Sauk Rapids, and Rhonda (Tom Juergens) Venske of Omaha, Neb.; grandchildren, Benjamin (Jessica) Venske, Joshua Venske, Brandon Venske, and Jenna Venske, great-grandchild, Jacob Venske; brothers, John (Mary) Ranua, Walter (Beverly) Ranua, and Edward (Pam) Ranua; sisters-in-law, Alice Ranua and Darlene Gieser; brother-in-law, Norver (Esther) Venske; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents; brother, Elmer Ranua; sister, Carol Ranua; brother-in-laws, Delvin Venske, Frank Venske and Robert Venske.

Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.

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