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Edwin Arnold Ristow

Funeral services celebrating the life of Edwin Arnold Ristow, age 86, of Lester Prairie, were Saturday, March 25 at the Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie. Edwin died Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis.

He was born April 24, 1919 in rural Young America, the son of Max and Anna (Buechner) Ristow. Edwin was baptized May 25, 1919 at the United Church Of Christ in Lester Prairie; and confirmed in the same church March 25, 1934.

He attended District 5 country school.

Edwin enlisted into the US Army April 23, 1941 at Ft. Snelling. He served as an ambulance driver during WWII in campaigns that took him to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Central Europe. His discharge papers list that Edwin “drove a one and one-half ton ambulance on roads and across fields by day and night under all weather conditions to reach wounded men.”

Edwin was a German prisoner of war for 26 months. He received the Good Conduct medal, EAME service ribbon, American Defense service ribbon, and three Bronze service stars. Edwin received his honorable discharge Sept. 5, 1945 at Camp Chaffee, Ark.

Upon returning to Lester Prairie after the war, Edwin worked as a farm hand for Jerry Koerschner and other families, and later operated his own farm. He also had a can milk truck route that delivered to the Maple, Mayer, Bongards, and Glencoe creameries.

Edwin was a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ/Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie and the Lester Prairie Legion Post.

He enjoyed mowing lawn and watching television, especially RFD TV.

Edwin was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Erna; brothers Paul, Ernest, and Henry; sisters Ruth, Lillian, Esther, and Elsie; and step granddaughter Trudy Westermann.

He is survived by his stepchildren Marvin Westermann (wife Elda) of Lester Prairie, Bernice Baumetz (husband Dick) of Hutchinson, Donna Mae Rozmarynowski (husband Bob) of Maplewood, and LaVonne Schimmelpfennig (husband Norman) of Alexandria; 11 step grandchildren; 15 step great-grandchildren, and two step great-great-grandchildren.

Edwin is further survived by brothers August Ristow (wife Luella) of Norwood Young America, and Otto Ristow of Mayer; sister Sophie Hasse (husband Wilford) of Mayer; and brother-in-law and sisters-in-law John and Aurelia Strei of Lester Prairie, Evelyn Strei of Lester Prairie, and Dorothy Strei of Watertown; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

The Rev. Bill Baldwin officiated at the 11 a.m. funeral service. Organist was Sonja Johnson, and congregational hymns were “Abide With Me,” and “In The Garden.” Soloist Holly Oestreich sang “Old Rugged Cross.” Interment with military honors by the Lester Prairie Legion took place at the Lester Prairie City Cemetery.

Visitation was Friday, March 24 at the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.

Serving as casket bearers were Scott Westermann, Steve Baumetz, Shane Kempfert, Chad Schimmelpfennig, Wade Schimmelpfennig, and Kerry Wutherich.

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

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