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Carmen Motzko, 78

Carmen Robert Motzko, 78, died Thursday, May 26, 2011 at South View Manor in Benson. He was born Nov. 14, 1932, on the family farm in Franklin Township, Wright County, near Delano, to William and Mary (Czech) Motzko, the ninth of 14 children.

He attended country school until the family moved to Watertown, where he continued elementary school. After World War II, the family moved to Benson, where Carmen’s father bought both the Viking Café and the Benson Diner in 1945.

Carmen graduated from Benson High School in 1951. He pursued a teaching career by attending Moorhead State Teacher’s College and the University of Minnesota in the Cities. He worked in the Benson Diner, played baseball for Clontarf, and coached little league during summer breaks.

His teaching aspirations came to an abrupt end when he suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to Willmar State Hospital on July 3, 1953, diagnosed with schizophrenia.

He remained a mental patient for the rest of his life.

Carmen was a fun-loving person and brought out the humor in other people.

Carmen was preceded in death by his mother in June of 1979, his father in February of 1982; two sisters: Lillian Gulbranson and Eleanore Lee; three brothers: Leonard, Wilfred, and Richard Motzko.

He is survived by eight brothers and sisters: Viola Corneliusen of Benson, Caroline Gulbranson of Grand Rapids, Velma Amundson of Sauk Rapids, Dennis (Delores) Motzko of Burnsville, Darlene Grant of Seattle, WA, Alice (Leon) Lucas of Seattle, WA, Edward (Betty) Motzko of Ft. Collins, CO, Jerome (Jean) Motzko of Benson; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, June 15 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in Clontarf at 11 am. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Arrangements are with the Zniewski Funeral Home in Benson.