Lawrence H. Gesell, age 87, of Alexandria, died Wednesday, April 27, 2011, following a brief illness, at the hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota.
Funeral services will be held 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 3, 2011, at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria with Rev. Terry Finnern and Rev. David Hinz officiating. Music will be provided by organist, Laurie Krueger. Burial will take place at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in West Miltona with Rev. Robert Peterson officiating.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m., Monday at the Lind Family Funeral Home in Parkers Prairie and continue one hour prior to the service at the church.
Lawrence Herman Gesell was born at home July 20, 1923, to John and Amelia (Hartfiel) Gesell. He grew up on this farm in Miltona Township with his nine brothers and sisters. His high school attendance was cut short by his father's untimely death, at which time Lawrence took over the responsibilities of the family farm. Lawrence was a long-time member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church where he was baptized and confirmed, and later served as church treasurer, council member, Sunday school teacher, grounds keeper, and was involved in numerous other church activities. On September 25, 1946, Lawrence was united in marriage to Virginia Grulke. They remained on the family farm where they raised their five children. During his years of farming, he was a member of Land O'Lakes and served on the Miltona Creamery Board. Lawrence moved to Parkers Prairie, Minnesota in 1982, and continued to farm until his retirement in 1984. Shortly after retiring from farming, Lawrence went to work at the Arrowwood Golf Course and enjoyed returning to this job every summer through 2010. In October of 2006, he moved to Arabella Manor in Alexandria. At that time, he became a member of Zion Lutheran Church. Lawrence's green thumb was evident in his gardening and he found special joy in raising a variety of flowers. He shared berries and homemade jelly from his raspberry patch, and loved gifting family and friends with his dill pickles. The worn decks of playing cards were a testament to his passion for any type of card game. Bowling and playing church league dart ball were also favorite activities.
Lawrence is survived by his two daughters, Diane Gesell of Prescott Valley, Arizona and Julie (Rick) Lindgren of Parkers Prairie; one son, Eric (Vicki) Gesell of Miltona; one daughter-in-law, Margaret "Gigi" Gesell of Somonauk, Illinois; three sisters, Violet (Arnold) Backhaus and Viola Freudenberg, both of Alexandria and Vergene (Kenneth) Henning of Miltona; special friend, Loretta Johnson of Clarissa; 8 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Eileen; son, John; three brothers, Clarence, Sylvester and Marvin; three sisters, Clara Venzke, Ella Betterman and Gertrude Grothmann.
Pallbearers are grandsons, Aaron Gesell, Seth Gesell, David Lindgren, Elias Gesell, and Godsons, Kenneth Venzke, Lee Backhaus, Glen Freudenberg and Scott Gesell.