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Obituary Listings

Earl J. Klitzke

December 26, 1937 July 28, 2018
Earl J. Klitzke
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Obituary for Earl J. Klitzke

EARL JOSEPH KLITZKE was born on December 26, 1937 to Earl and Delilah (Hanson) Klitzke in Pipestone, Minnesota. He was raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and began his early education there. When he was a freshman in High School he moved to Lake Benton, Minnesota and lived on a farm with his foster parents, Gunnar and Delores Johansen. Earl was active in athletics, especially basketball and football. He graduated in 1957 and went on to attend a year at Augustana College in Sioux Falls while continuing to work on the farm. On April 11, 1959 Earl was united in marriage to Joan Marlene Wodtke at the Peace Church in Elkton, South Dakota. The couple made their first home seven miles north of Lake Benton. Earl farmed until February 17, 1961 when he then joined the United States Air Force. Earl served as a mechanic and was stationed at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts until his honorable discharge on October 16, 1964. Upon his return from the service, the family moved to a farm just north of Verdi, Minnesota. Earl resumed farming and continued to do so until 1986 when he and Joan moved to Norwood, Minnesota. He then went to work as a custodian for the Norwood Young America School District. One year later Earl went to work for Petersen Gravel driving truck while also helping a local farmer part-time. Earl then became employed by MN-DOT where he worked until his retirement in 2008. He was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in April of 2010. In April of 2014, Earl became a resident at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, where on Saturday, July 28, 2018 he died peacefully at the age of 80 years, seven months and two days.

Earl was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton. He was also a member of the American Legion. Earl was a sports enthusiast and loved playing and following his favorite teams, especially the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins and the University of Minnesota Gophers and attending his grandchildren’s events. He played fast-pitch softball for many years and enjoyed camping out at the lake in the summer.

Earl will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 59 years, Joan; two children, Rick (Anita) Klitzke of White, South Dakota, and Karla (Timothy) Anderson of Elkton, South Dakota; five grandchildren, Justin (Jamie) Klitzke, Miranda (Benjamin) Deutz, Amber (Paul) Langner, Taylor(Lindsey) Anderson, and Abigail Anderson; five great-grandchildren, Halle and Emilee Deutz, Blakely and Gracyn Langner and Coen Anderson; his foster mother, Delores Johansen of Lake Benton; a brother, Leroy Klitzke of Greyball, Wyoming; two sisters, Carol and Cindy, foster sister Diane(Donald) Evers, Gunvar(Randy) Dombeck, Lori Johansen and one foster brother James(Linda) Johansen. He was preceded in death by his parents Earl Klitzke and Delilah Struck; two brothers, Robert and Dennis Klitzke; step-mother, Vella Klitzke; and his foster father, Gunnar Johansen.

Memorials may be directed to the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne or to Grace Lutheran Church in Lake Benton.

To plant a tree in memory of Earl J. Klitzke, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

31

Jul

4:00 PM 7/31/2018 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 7/31/2018 7:00:00 PM
Grace Lutheran Church - Lake Benton

101 Sherman St. S
Lake Benton, MN 56149

Grace Lutheran Church - Lake Benton
101 Sherman St. S Lake Benton 56149 MN
United States

Funeral Service

Wednesday

1

Aug

10:30 AM 8/1/2018 10:30:00 AM
Grace Lutheran Church - Lake Benton

101 Sherman St. S
Lake Benton, MN 56149

Grace Lutheran Church - Lake Benton
101 Sherman St. S Lake Benton 56149 MN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Diamond Lake Cemetery Final Resting Place

County Rd 13 and Hwy 75 Lake Benton, MN, 56149

County Rd 13 and Hwy 75 Lake Benton, MN, 56149
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