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Taps
Day is done, Gone the sun
From the lakes, From the hills
From the sky All is well, safely rest.
God is nigh. Fading light Dims the sight
And a star Gems the sky, Gleaning bright From afar,
Drawing nigh, Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days, Neath the sun,
Neath the stars, Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know, God is nigh.

 

Danny Howard Schember, age 66, of Ellendale, Mn., died June 18, 2017. He joined the Army (Combat Medic) and served his country in Vietnam from 1970 - 1971. He was up for the rank of E-6 after only 18 months in the Army. He was awarded Bronze Star. Services held at Christian Family Church, in Owatonna, Mn. on Tuesday June 27, 2017 with Military Honors.

Daniel Jewell Larsen, age 68, of Rochester, died Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at Birchwood Cottages Memory Care in Owatonna. He joined the U.S. Navy and served his country as a Boatswains Mate in Vietnam from 1967-1971. During his service, Dan served on three different ships, the USS Wrangell, the USS Salamonie, and the USS Milwaukee. He was a plank owner and had the distinguished honor of being selected to be an original crew member of the USS Milwaukee.  Funeral Services held on Tuesday, June 27, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester, with Military Honors at gravesite.

Virgil Emery Ekstrom, age 88 of Red Wing, died on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at St. Elizabeth Care Center in Wabasha, Mn. from cancer.  He entered the US Army in January 1951, serving in Korea as a combat engineer. Visitation was held Tuesday, June 6. Military Honors presented by the All Veterans Color Guard.

Bradley Wayne Hanson, age 52, of Waseca, died Monday, September 19, 2016 at his home. In 1987, Brad enlisted in the United States Army for 3 years on security detail in Germany. He was honorably discharged on February 27, 1990. After returning stateside for 6 months, Brad reenlisted and served his country during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a military police officer. A Celebration of Bradley’s Life was held on Friday, September 23, 2016 from at the Mc Raith Funeral Home in Waseca. Interment at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston.

Staff Sergeant Leo J. Chicos, 99, of West Concord passed away in Rochester on Monday, September 28, 2015. Leo voluntarily enlisted in the US Army with deployment to the Pacific Theater in WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His experiences involved landing the same day as the Marines as the armed forces worked across the Pacific islands to Japan. Leo was in charge of construction work on hospitals, roads and airfields. Funeral services were held at St. John's Catholic Church on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Interment at Fort Snelling.

Capt. Loring W. Guenther, 43, of Kasson, MN passed away Tuesday, September 10,    2013. After earning his associates degree in law enforcement, Loring started his law enforcement career as a deputy for the Dodge County Sheriff's Office. He was promoted to  training sergeant and later captain. Loring taught self-defense and firearms safety classes and worked at Rochester Community College's law enforcement program. Funeral services were held Saturday, September 14, 2013, at New Life Worship Center in Rochester, MN, with Law Enforcement Chaplain Henry Blair officiating.

Shirley J. 'Pete' Peterson, 87, of Rochester, MN passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2013. Pete served in the Air Force, during World War II, in Okinawa and Misawa Air Force Base in Japan. Funeral services were held on Friday, September 13, 2013, at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Following the service, Military graveside services were held at Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester, MN.

Wayne Emery Geary, 92, of Mankato, MN passed away Thursday, June 13,  2013. Wayne joined the Army in 1943 and served in the Northern Solomons, Luzon and the Philippines as tank commander, Company C754th Tank Battalion. He was awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Theater Service Ribbon and Good Conduct Medal. Wayne was part of the Honor Flight in October 2011, traveling to the WWII Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC with other WWII veterans from the area. A memorial service was held on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato, MN. Military honors, was held at Evergreen Cemetery in Mantorville, MN, on Saturday, September 7, 2013.

On Sunday, July 7, 2013, the Bell of Honor held a Tribute Service for 19 fallen fire fighters from Prescott, AZ. Known as the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, they lost their lives on June 30, 2013, while fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in Yarnell, AZ. Firefighters, EMT's and Law Enforcement from across Southeastern Minnesota participated in the service. After the invocation by Pastor Shaw, and the reciting of the Firefighters Prayer, local firefighters read the names of the fallen and placed a rose at the foot of the Rochester Fire Fighters Memorial at Silver Lake Park. The Bell of Honor rang in their honor, TAPS echoed over the lake and the Caledonia Bag Pipers ended with Amazing Grace. Losing their lives that day were Andrew Ashcraft, Robert Caldwell, Travis Carter, Dustin Deford, Christopher MacKenzie, Eric Marsh, Grant McKee, Sean Misner, Scott Norris, Wade Parker, John Percin, Anthony Rose, Jesse Steed, Joe Thurston, Travis Turbyfill, William Warnecke, Clayton Whitted, Kevin Woyjeck and Garret Zuppiger.

On Friday and Saturday, June 21-22, 2013,  the Bell of Honor attended the 2013 National EMS Memorial Service in Colorado Springs, CO. Every year, many in EMS and the Air Medical communities make the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives in the service to others. The purpose of the National EMS Memorial Service is to remember and honor those emergency medical services personnel who have died in the line of duty and recognize the ultimate sacrifice they have make for their fellow man. This year, the Bell of Honor was invited to participate in the Memorial Service to honor and remember 19 fallen Emergency Medical Service personnel.

On Thursday, June 20, 2013, the Bell of Honor attended a Memorial Service for fallen cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. After opening remarks and the invocation by Chaplain Beck, the names of 137 fallen graduate Air Force Academy Cadets were read. Flowers were placed at the Memorial Wall, the Bell of Honor was tolled in their honor and Taps was played by Air Force Veteran and Bell of Honor Committee member, Dale Wellik.

 On Thursday, June 20, 2013, the Bell of Honor attended a Memorial Service for fallen officers at the Colorado State Law Enforcement Memorial in Golden, CO. After opening remarks by  Sgt. Mike Baker, a short invocation followed and the names of fallen officers from 1869 - present were read by members of the Colorado State Patrol and Bell of Honor Committee members.  A floral remberance was placed at the foot of the Memorial Wall, the Bell of Honor was tolled in their honor and Taps was played by a Bell of Honor committee member.

Cecil James Carey, age 90, of Rochester, MN, passed away at his home Saturday, May 18, 2013. Cecil, a World War II veteran, served in the United States Navy  from July 1943 until January 1946. He served in the South Pacific on-board an LCT. A funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at St. Pius X Catholic Church, in Rochester, MN. Following the Mass, Military graveside services were held at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester, MN.

Sidney Frank Weeks, age 92 of Kasson, MN., died Monday, February 4, 2013. A Memorial Service was held on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at the First Congregational Church in Mantorville, MN. Frank enlisted in the Air Force during World War II and taught radio repair at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois, near Belleville.  Scott Field was on of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the United States entry into World War I in April 1917. Military graveside services  were held on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at Wildwood Cemetery in Wasioja, MN.

Walter S. Mount, age 100, of Stewartville, MN, died Thursday, May 9, 2013. Walter served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1945. During WWII, he served overseas in the Pacific Theater. Walter was a longtime aviation mechanic. He operated Mount Aviation making service calls well past 90 years of age. He was a member of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Assn.) and AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn.).  A visitation and prayer service was held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at the Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville, MN. Military graveside services were held at LaHarpe Cemetery in LeHarpe, Ill, on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.

Army Sgt. Lawrence E. Paulsen, age 33, formerly of Oakdale died unexpectedly on April 27, 2013 in Garden Grove, CA.  A Memorial Service was held on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at Kessler & Maguire Funeral Home in St. Paul, MN. Following the Memorial, graveside services were held at Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights, MN.

Cpl. David C. Sandmeyer, age 21, of Mankato, MN died Saturday, May 4, 2013 in Newport, North Carolina, as a result of a motorcycle accident. David enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on January 24, 2010 and received his recruit training in San Diego, CA.  After completing the first phase of training to become an Electronic Countermeasure Technician at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL., he completed the second phase of his training at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, WA.  David was deployed to Afghanistan in March of 2012 where he was named Marine of the Quarter in July of 2012. He finished his deployment in Qatar in August of 2012.  He returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Cherry Point, N.C. in October 2012. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato, MN. Following the Mass, graveside services were held at Calvary Cemetery in  Mankato, MN.

Russell Piehl, age 48, of Forest City, IA died Wednesday, January 2, 2013 in a medevac helicopter crash north of Ventura, IA. Russell started his EMS career in his senior year of high school, as a first responder with the Denver Ambulance Service. Over his 30 year career, he worked for various ambulance services across the state of Iowa and also served as Director of EMS services in Algona, IA. He became the EMS Manager for training and education at North Iowa Area Community College. A current member of the Forest City Ambulance Service, he found his true passion in 2007 as a Mercy Air Med Flight Paramedic in Mason City, IA. Russ served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, most recently as a board member for the Iowa EMS Association. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Denver, IA. Following the service, graveside services were held at Fairview Cemetery in Denver, IA.

Shelly "Shell" Lair-Langenbau, age 44, of Mason City, IA, died Wednesday, January 2, 2013 in a medevac helicopter crash north of Ventura, IA. Shelly began her career in the ER at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in 1998. After receiving her BSN from the University of Iowa, she became a Mercy Air Med Flight Nurse when the program started at Mercy Medical Center in 1999. A memorial mass was held on Monday, January 7, 2013 at Epiphany Parish at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mason City, IA. Following the mass, graveside services were held at Memorial Park Cemetery in Mason City, IA.

Darrel Eugene Janes of Hayfield, MN, age 75, passed away Saturday, December 29, 2012 at his home,after a valiant battle with cancer. Darell served in the Navy Reserves for eight years. Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church in Hayfield, MN. Following the service Military graveside services were held at the Fairview Cemetery in Hayfield, MN..

Gerald 'Jerry' Lehnherr, age 81, of Rochester, MN passed away Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Jerry joined the Army and served in the Korean War with the the 44th Army Engineers "Broken Heart" Battalion. Jerry served with the City of Rochester Fire Department from 1955-1979, where he earned the rank of Captain. A Memorial Mass was held Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Macken Funeral Home River Park Chapel in Rochester, MN. Following the service Military graveside services were held at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester, MN.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, DC. The Bell of Honor was on site for this momentous event, November 7th - 11th, 2012. The Bell of Honor was tolled each night, at approximately midnight, at the conclusion of the reading of the names. The reading of the 58,272 names started at 4:00 PM on November 7th and concluded at 12:20 AM on November 11, 2012. Members of the Bell of Honor committee, along with about 1,000 others, were volunteers in the reading of the names. As part of the DC trip, the Bell of Honor also stopped at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Memorial wreaths were laid and the Bell was tolled in honor of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy.

Richard "Dick" Voeltz, age 68, of Kasson, MN, died of lung cancer, Sunday, October 7, 2012. As a member of the United States Marine Corps, Richard proudly served his country from  1962 - 1966. Richard was a veteran of the Vietnam War. Funeral services were held Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the First Baptist Church, Kasson, MN.  Military graveside services were held at the Spring Valley Cemetery in Spring Valley, MN.

Robert DeWitz, age 78, of Rochester, Mn. died Sunday August 5, 2012. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He was a construction chairman of Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial and received the 2001 Mayor's Medal of Honor Award for his work there. He was on the committee to construct the Minnesota Veterans and Emergency Services Museum. He was a member of American Legion Post 92, VFW Post 1215, Korean War Veterans Club, and Disabled Veterans Post 28.Funeral services were held Thursday, August 9, 2012 at Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester, MN. Following Military Honors held at Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial, the graveside services were held at Oakwood Cemetery, Rochester, MN.

Dale W. McClamroch, age 72, of Kasson, MN died of lung cancer, Thursday, July 5, 2012. Dale served in the United States Army from 1961 to 1963. Pfc. McClamroch served with D Troop, 5th Air Calvary, Big Red Diamond, 5th Infantry out of Fort Carson, CO. Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at South Zumbro Lutheran Church, Kasson, MN. Military graveside services were held at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Kasson, MN.

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The Missing in America Project locates missing American Heroes. On June 29, 2012, Memorial Services were held at the Iowa Veterans  Cemetery in Van Meter, IA for 21 of America's Missing Heroes. The hero's names are: Ralph P Allen US Navy WWII, William A Bappe US Navy Korea, George H Bush US Army WWII, Clinton Camden US Air Force WWII, Fred C Courtney US Army WWII, Stanley F Dorr US Army Korea, Harlan L Fox US Navy WWII, Mary L Graves US Navy Vietnam, Bruce W Harkema US Army Vietnam, Cecil L Hartman US Navy WWII and wife Bonnelynn, Verne W Hatton US Marine Corps WWII, William Holley US Navy WWII, Charles Johnson US Army Korea, John M Kuster US Army WWII, Donald H Penner US Army WWII, Lawrence L Sams US Navy WWII, Leonard B Sears US Navy WWII, Frank E Skinner US Army WWII, Stanley M Stroud US Army WWII, Charles O Taber US Army WWII, Charles J Thomas US Army Korea and wife Mylene.

Pfc. Nicolai 'Cola' Jensen, age 19, of South St. Paul, MN, died Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at a Camp Pendleton Hospital in southern California. Nicolai joined the Marine Corps upon his graduation from High School. He was nearing graduation from Marine Corps Boot Camp when he died unexpectedly. A memorial service was held at Camp Pendleton and funeral services were held Monday, June 25, 2012, at the Church of St. Patrick in Inver Grove Heights, MN. Graveside services were held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN.

Cpl. Taylor J. Baune, age 21, of Andover, MN, died Wednesday, June 13, 2012 while conducting combat operations in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.  Cpl. Baune was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, an infantry unit serving in the Sangin district, a part of Helmand province that has seen the heaviest casualties of the war in Afghanistan. Baune enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008 and was serving his first deployment in Afghanistan. A memorial service was held on Monday, June 25, 2012 at Werness Brothers Chapel in Bloomington, MN. Following the memorial, graveside services were held at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. MN.

Richard W. Rud, age 71, of Rochester, MN, passed away Saturday, May 12, 2012 of complications of cancer. Dick joined the Army in 1950 and served during the Korean War. He was a drummer in the 330rd Army Band. Funeral services were held Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, MN.

Sgt. Nicholas M. Dickhut, age 23, of Rochester, MN, passed away Monday, April 30,2012, in Zharay, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered in combat. He was assigned to Army 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, which was based at Joint Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma, WA. The team arrived in Afghanistan in December for a one year deployment. Though Sgt. Dickhut deployed with his brigade, he was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division as a forward observer in Southern Afghanistan. Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, Dickhut served in Iraq from July through December of 2009. Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 8,2012, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rochester, MN.

Sgt. Robert W. Disel, II, age 31, formerly of Apple Valley, MN, passed away Friday, April 13, 2012. Robert's first duty station was Schofield Barracks, HI, with the follow on to Fort Hood, TX. Originally in the Air Force, he served tours in Iraq. From the Air Force, Robert enlisted in the Army and was due to ship out to Afghanistan. Funeral services were held Thursday, April 19, 2012 at the Fort Snelling Chapel in Minneapolis, MN.

Henry A. Schleeter, Jr., age 82,  passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2012, in Mantorville, MN. Cpl. Schleeter served in the United States Army, with the 8th Battalion, Company C during the Korean War. A memorial service was held April 16, 2012 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Kasson, MN.

Cpl. Aaron J. Talley, age 24, passed away Sunday, April 1, 2012 in San Antonio, TX. Aaron joined the United States Marine Corps and served with the Marine Security Guard. He provided security support for U.S. Embassies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Denmark. His latest assignment was with the Brig Company at Miramar Naval Base in San Diego, CA. Funeral services were held April 11, 2012 at St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Long Prairie, MN.

MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, age 40, died January 19, 2012 in Afghanistan. Born and raised in Centerville, IA, he followed a family tradition and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served for more than 20 years. Currently a Crew Chief in a squadron of HMH 363 Red Lions, he was deployed from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, HI, wielding CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopters to provide heavy lift capability to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward). Part of the southwestern regional command of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) offers air support for coalition forces operating in Helmand and Nimruz provinces in Afghanistan. Funeral services were held January 28, 2012 at the Simon Estes Auditorium in Centerville,IA.

Dr. Luis Bonilla, age 49, died December 26, 2011 in a helicopter crash in Palatka, Fla. Part of a Cardiac EMS team, he was enroute to retrieve a donor heart for transplant.  Dr. Bonilla moved from Colombia to Rochester in 1993 to pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery at Mayo Clinic. He completed a full clinical fellowship in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education in July 2011. He transferred from Rochester to Mayo Clinic Florida in November 2011, to join the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery as a Senior Associate Consultant. A Catholic mass was held in Cali, Columbia where he was born. A Memorial service was held at Autumn Ridge Church in RochesterMN on January 5, 2012.

Pfc. Christopher Horns, age 20, died 10/22/2011. His funeral was held on 11/05/2011 at Calmar Lutheran Church, Calmar IA. Christopher enlisted in the Army on July 13, 2010; he graduated basic training and AIT on 10/29/2010, he then volunteered to go into the Ranger regiment graduating in March 25, 2011. He was assigned to the 75thregiment and went to the second Ranger BN at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, WA. He went to Afghanistan in August 2011 and was killed on a combat mission in October.

Sgt. Matthew Harmon, age 29, died 08/14/2011. His funeral was held on 08/27/2011 at Fosston High School, Fosston, MN. Matthew was admitted to the Army National Guard his senior year of high school and enlisted in the army in 2004. He successfully completed two prior tours of duty in Iraq and was three weeks into a 12 month tour in Afghanistan.

Charles (Chuck) Hermann, age 50, of Rochester, MN. passed away Thursday, 08/04/2011. Chuck was a highly respected and decorated member of the Rochester Fire Dept. for 30 years, reaching the rank of Battalion Chief. Chuck was an instructor for the National Fire Academy and was an advocate of Fire Fighters for Christ. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, 08/09/2011 at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester MN. Graveside services were held at Oakwood Cemetery East, Rochester, MN.

Col. (Ret) Stanley Bergan, age 60, died 07/20/2011. Colonel Bergan started his military career with the Army National Guard in 1975. In 1991 he served as operations officer for the Emergency Operations Center within the Pentagon during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He later served in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom campaigns. Colonel Bergan retired as a full bird colonel from the Rock Island Arsenal in 2008. Funeral services were held on 07/26/2011 at LeRoy Lutheran Church in Le Roy, MN.

Leland D Ottman, age 64, died 7/16/2011.  Leland was a Viet Nam era veteran of the United States Navy, serving on the USS Platte from 1966 to 1972. Lee served as an EMT for the Grand Meadow Ambulance for 15 years and was commander of American Legion Post 140 in Grand Meadow. Funeral services were held on 07/22/2011 at United Church in Grand Meadow, MN.