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Elizabeth Ernst, 78, of Cedar Falls

Elizabeth Ann "Betty" Marsden Ernst, 78, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died at home after a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

She was born March 14, 1932, in Waukon, Iowa, the daughter of James and Loretta (Riley) Marsden. She was a graduate of Waukon High School and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

Betty married Roger Ernst, and they later divorced.

Betty worked in home healthcare for many years, retiring in 1997.

Survivors include a son, Alan (Michelle) Ernst of Parkersburg, Iowa; five daughters, Kim (Byron) Hager of McKinney, Texas, Pam (Rick) Caley of Cedar Falls, Kristy Sullivan of Waterloo, Iowa, Sandy Colella of Naples, Fla. and Roxanne Marchese of Waterloo; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; and two brothers, Donald Marsden of Mabel and Jack Marsden of Waukon.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; a son, James Arthur Ernst, in infancy; a sister, Mary O'Malley; and a brother, Robert Marsden.

Services were Feb. 2 at Dahl-Van Hove-Schoof Funeral Home in Cedar Falls with inurnment in Waukon at a later date. Military honors were conducted by Cedar Falls AMVETS Post 49. Betty was cremated at her request.

Memorials may be directed to the family.


Marion Benjaminsen, 85, of La Crescent

Marion Lucille Benjaminsen, 85, of La Crescent, died on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center.

She was born on March 13, 1925, in the town of Richmond, Wis., to Hobart and Georgia (Baker) Doll. She married Kenneth M. Benjaminsen on Dec. 1, 1945, in Hudson, Wis., and he preceded her in death on Nov. 4, 2009.

Marion's hobbies included sewing, knitting, upholstery, doing crafts and creating photo albums. She also enjoyed traveling with her husband all over the western United States and Hawaii.

Survivors include four daughters, Dorothy L. Opsahl of Spring Grove, Nancy L. Boettcher of La Crescent, Holly J. Benjaminsen of La Crescent and Becky D. Vongroven of Winona; six grandchildren, Tracy L. (Gregory) Norman and their children, Joshua and Alyssa, all of Olympia, Wash.; Troy D. Opsahl and his son, Justin, of Caledonia; Andrew M. Opsahl and Theodore B. Opsahl, both of Spring Grove; Trent B. (Amber) Boettcher and their children, Addison and Turner, of La Crescent; and Trevor D. (Kristen) Boettcher and their daughter, Madelyn, of Houston.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Donald Doll; her parents, and her stepfather, Daniel Harbach.

Memorial services were Feb. 7 at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home of La Crosse. The Rev. Michael Tuionetoa officiated. Burial will be held at a later date in the Toledo Cemetery, La Crescent.

Schumacher Kish Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements


Jane Geraldine Wendt, 90, died Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011, at St. Joseph's Residence in New London, Wis.

She was born on March 16, 1920, in the Township of Caledonia, Wis., to Albert and Amanda (Pommerening) Gorges. She lived in the New London area all her life.

She graduated from Washington High School in 1937 and attended Outagamie Teachers Rural Normal School in Kaukauna. She then went on to teach at Elm School on Bean City Road, a rural country school south of New London for three years.

On Dec. 22, 1941, Jane married Wallace Wendt and they farmed for nearly 40 years west of New London.

She was a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church in New London. She served as a 4-H leader, was a member of Emanuel Lutheran's Ladies Aid in which she was president for several years.

She was a member of the Wolf River Toastmistress Club and Oak Grove Homemakers. She and Wallace delivered Meals-on-Wheels and were volunteer drivers for Waupaca County.

Survivors include three sons, Jim (Jeanne) Wendt, Wheaton, Ill.; Gary (Claire) Wendt, Flagstaff, Ariz. and Steve (Loni) Wendt, Waupun, Wis.; three daughters, Carol (Fred) Schulze, Caledonia; Vera (Herb) Weathers, Charlotte, N.C. and Donna (Jim) Michalkiewicz, Appleton, Wis.; 14 grandchildren, two step-grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her brother Marshall Gorges and his wife Shirley; her sister Helen Gorges; her granddaughter Bonnie Michalkiewicz; and her step-granddaughter Melissa Hanson.

Burial took place at Floral Hill Cemetery in New London

Spring Grove Herald