Funeral services celebrating the life of Jesse Almquist, age 81, of Lester Prairie were held Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 11:00 AM at the Prairie Community Church in Lester Prairie. Officiating was Rev. William Baldwin. The organist was Marie Eischens and the soloist was Marvin Westermann who sang “Life’s Railway To Heaven”. The congregational hymns included “Amazing Grace”, “Eternal Father, Strong To Save”, My Jesus I Love Thee”, “Have Thine Own Way Lord” and “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. Serving as casket bearers were James Allen Almquist, Jeremy Joseph Radtke, Gordon Michael Almquist, Stanley Maynard Ehrke, Mark Robert Almquist and James Rodney Almquist. Honorary casket bearer was Pvt. Andrew James Heiraas. Interment was in the Lester Prairie City Cemetery. Visitation was held Wednesday evening at the Johnson-McBride Funeral Chapel in Glencoe.
Jesse Benton Almquist was born February 7, 1926 in Lester Prairie, Minnesota the son of Carl and Stella (Bennett) Almquist. He was baptized on August 21, 1926 at the family’s home by Rev. Norman Batdorf and was later confirmed into the faith on March 17, 1940 at the Evangelical Church of Lester Prairie by Rev. Martin Seybold. Jesse was born and raised in Lester Prairie and attended Lester Prairie schools. He joined the Navy on February 5, 1944 and was stationed in Tacoma, WA; San Diego, CA; Charleston, SC; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Great Lakes, IL where he served as a ship filter instructor. After 22 years in the service, he was honorably discharged and returned to Lester Prairie until 1978 when he moved to Glencoe. Jesse worked as a welder for Schwartz Manufacturing in Lester Prairie from 1965 – 1975; owned the Porthole Bar and Café in Lester Prairie from 1975 – 1977; and was the manager of the Glencoe VFW from the early 80’s until he retired. Jesse was a lifelong member of the United Church Of Christ in Lester Prairie, the Lester Prairie American Legion, the Glencoe VFW and the Glencoe Country Club. He enjoyed ice fishing and singing at both the Glencoe and Winsted nursing homes. On Monday, December 3, 2007, Jesse entered his eternal rest at the Glencoe Regional Health Services Long Term Care Unit at the age of 81 years, 9 months and 26 days. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother Gordon Almquist and his wife, Margaret; and sister Viola Kuntz.
Jesse is survived by his children Craig Almquist (wife: Connie) of Hutchinson, Catherine “Kit” Radtke (husband: Joseph) of Winsted and Christine “Tina” Heiraas (husband: Dan) of Lester Prairie; grandchildren Nicole Lopez, James Almquist, Jeremy Radtke (wife: Katie), Kathryn Radtke, Brianna Radtke, Lindsey Heiraas and Pvt. Andrew Heiraas; great-grandchildren Vianett Lessette Lopez and Connor Radtke; brother Gerald Almquist (wife: Marian); brother-in-law Elmer Kuntz; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.