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Jesse Benton Almquist

Jesse Benton Almquist, age 81, of Lester Prairie, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2007, at the Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care Unit.

He was born Feb. 7, 1926, in Lester Prairie, the son of Carl and Stella (Bennett) Almquist. Jesse was baptized Aug. 21, 1926, at the family’s home by the Rev. Norman Batdorf and was later confirmed into the faith March 17, 1940, at the Evangelical Church of Lester Prairie by the Rev. Martin Seybold.

Jesse was born and raised in Lester Prairie and attended Lester Prairie schools.

He joined the Navy Feb. 5, 1944, and was stationed in Tacoma, Wash.; San Diego, Calif.; Charleston, S.C.; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Great Lakes, Ill., where he served as a ship filter instructor.

After 22 years in the service, Jesse was honorably discharged and returned to Lester Prairie until 1978, when he moved to Glencoe.

He worked as a welder for Schwartz Manufacturing in Lester Prairie from 1965 to 1975; owned the Porthole Bar and Café in Lester Prairie from 1975 to 1977; and was the manager of the Glencoe VFW from the early ‘80s until he retired.

Jesse was a lifelong member of the United Church Of Christ in Lester Prairie, the Lester Prairie American Legion, the Glencoe VFW, and the Glencoe Country Club.

He enjoyed ice fishing and singing at both the Glencoe and Winsted nursing homes.

Jesse was preceded in death by his parents; brother Gordon Almquist and his wife, Margaret; and sister Viola Kuntz.

He is survived by his children, Craig Almquist (wife Connie) of Hutchinson, Catherine “Kit” Radtke (husband Joseph) of Winsted, and Christine “Tina” Heiraas (husband Dan) of Lester Prairie; grandchildren Nicole Lopez, James Almquist, Jeremy Radtke (wife Katie), Kathryn Radtke, Brianna Radtke, Lindsey Heiraas, and Pvt. Andrew Heiraas; great-grandchildren Vianett Lessette Lopez and Connor Radtke; brother Gerald Almquist (wife Marian); and brother-in-law Elmer Kuntz; as well as many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services took place Thursday, Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. at the Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie with the Rev. William Baldwin officiating. The organist was Marie Eischens, and the soloist was Marvin Westermann, who sang “Life’s Railway To Heaven.” Congregational hymns included “Amazing Grace,” “Eternal Father, Strong To Save,” My Jesus I Love Thee,” “Have Thine Own Way Lord,” and “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” Interment was in the Lester Prairie City Cemetery.

Serving as casket bearers were James Allen Almquist, Jeremy Joseph Radtke, Gordon Michael Almquist, Stanley Maynard Ehrke, Mark Robert Almquist, and James Rodney Almquist. Honorary casket bearer was Pvt. Andrew James Heiraas.

Visitation took place Wednesday evening, Dec. 5 at the Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel in Glencoe.

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