Obituaries for Surnames Beginning With "P"
Aitkin County, Minnesota

Unless otherwise noted, these obituaries were contributed by
Karen Klennert
and are from the Aitkin Independant Age Newspaper.


Augie Pfieffer, 59, a lifetime resident of Aitkin, passed away suddenly at his home on Saturday May 4, 1968, from an apparent heart attack. Born March 31, 1909, in Minneapolis, Mr. Pfieffer attended Aitkin high school where he will be remembered as an-all-around athlete.

Funeral services were held Tuesday at 2 p.m. from Hasskamp Mortuary with Rev. Donald No9rman officiating. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery at Aitkin.

Mr. Pfieffer is survived by his wife, the former Emma Ittner; one sister, Mrs. Albert Heuer, Aitkin; a daughter, Leona of Minneapolis; two sons, Earl and Ricky of Minneapolis; one grandson, Brian, of Minneapolis.

Pallbearers were Warner MacDonald, Ole Martinson, Jerry Ziske, Victor Lemire, Edward Olson, and Everett Johnson.


Roger "Pete" Martin Pederson, 49, Aitkin, died Dec. 23, 2002, at Farm Island Lake, Aitkin County.

He was born Dec. 16, 1953, in Minneapolis, the son of Morris and Mathilde (Kubesh) Pederson. He grew up in Robbinsdale and attended the Adair grade school and the Robbinsdale Jr. and Sr. High Schools. He married Sondra Kvamme on Dec. 24, 1998, in Aitkin. He had worked construction all of his life being self employed with Christian Insurance Restoration and Quality Construction Connection and Red Rock Construction companies. He enjoyed outdoor activities such as boating, snowmobiling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling and four wheeling. He also enjoyed old cars and Harley's He was a member of the Aitkin Classic Car Club.

Services were held Dec. 28 at Aitkin's Westside Church with Rev. Dallas Smith officiating. Special music was provided by Bryan Johnson, Becky Klingelhofer, Steve and Joanna Olson and Donn Hensel and sons. Burial was in the Bennettville Cemetery in Aitkin County.

He is survived by his wife, Sondra Pederson, Aitkin; stepsons and stepdaughter-in-law, Lance and Ayumi Labeau, in the military serving in Japan, and Adam Rundle; brother, Douglas Pederson, Plymouth; sister, Connie Leonatti, Maryland; and nephews, John and Anthony.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and brother, Gary.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


William A. Phillips, 67, McGregor, died Nov. 26, 2002, at his home.

He was born on Oct. 14, 1935, in Chicago, Ill., the son of William and Anna Katherine (Schmit) Phillips. He grew up and attended schools in McGregor. He then worked as a logger and sawyer operating his own sawmill for many years. He more recently worked doing backhoe excavating. He married Bernice Boyd in 1965 in North Dakota. They made their home in the McGregor area all their lives.

Funeral Services were Dec. 3 at the McGregor Funeral Home with the Rev. Roy Vanderwerf officiating. Pallbearers were Terry Pierce, David Lumpner, Rick Boyd, Jeff Boyd, James Bazoff and Edward Phillips. Honorary pallbearers were Chuck Phillips, herman Radke, Zachary Pike, Dennis Bohanon, Roger Colton and George Boyd.

He is survived by his wife, Bernice, McGregor; son, George Phillips, Aitkin; daughter, Jenny Pike, McGregor; three grandchildren; Stormy Pike, Zachary Pike and Marissa Phillips, all of McGregor. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers and on infant son.

Arrangements were with the McGregor Funeral Home.


Flossie May Priem, 94, Aitkin, and formerly of Lawler, died January 12, 2003, at the Aicota Health Care Center in Aitkin.

She was born November 24, 1908, in Lawler, the daughter of Frank and Rose (Semrau) Priem. She grew up and attended school at Lawler. She lived in foster homes most of her life and end most recently resided at the Aicota Health Care Center. She had worked at the Aitkin County D.A.C. retiring in 2002.

Graveside services will be held in the spring at Woodland Cemetery in McGregor.

She is survived by her brother, Frank (Bud) Priem, McGregor; sister-in-law, Helen Priem, Aitkin; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; three sisters and one brother.

Arrangements are with the McGregor Funeral Home in McGregor.


Helen Pommier, 63, Isle, died Nov. 4, 2002, at the St. Cloud Hospital.

She was born Aug. 11, 1939, in Aitkin, the daughter of Donald and Myrtle Hurd. She attended school in Aitkin, graduating in 1957. She worked for Prudential Insurance Company for 37 years. She enjoyed fishing, bowling, gardening and her grandchildren.

No services were held.

She is survived by her husband, Bernal "Hoppy;" son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Ann, Shakopee; grandchildren, Alexandra and Zachary; and sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Roger Glidden, Aitkin.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Myrtle Hurd of Aitkin.

Arrangements were with the Hogan-Mille Lacs Funeral Home.


Jasper J. Pratt, 73, lifelong resident of Palisade, died Feb. 26, 2003, at his home.

He was born on June 4, 1929, in Palisade, the son of Jasper and Della (Colbert) Pratt. He grew up in Morrison Township where he attended school. He farmed in Morrison Township for 50 years. He also worked in the Cuyuna Range Mines from 1952-61. He also worked in construction in the Twin Cities and for the Kosbau Brothers Wild Rice Company. He worked at the Roadside Restaurant in McGregor for 12 years and most recently was a security guard at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs before retiring in 2000. He had served on the Morrison Town Board.

A memorial service was held March 4 at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home with the Rev. David Becker officiating. Burial was in Waukenabo Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Inez, Palisade; sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Robin Pratt, Palisade; Les and Mary Pratt, Rogers; daughters and sons-in-law, Audrey and Harold LeBlanc, Emily; Holly Marsh, Topeka, Kan.; 14 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.


Martha Pouti, 87, McGregor, died March 17, 2003 at Mercy Hospital, Moose Lake.

She was born June 12, 1915 in Rice River Township, Aitkin County to William and Heili (Mulumaki) Lounas. She attended Green Valley School in Rice River Township. She married Charles B. Pouti in 1935. She was a member of the McGregor VFW Auxiliary, Rice River Senior Citizens and enjoyed writing articles for the Arrowhead Leader newspaper and the Star-Gazette newspaper both in Moose Lake.

Funeral services were held in Holy Family Catholic Church in McGregor, Sat., March 22, with Rev. Frank Farrand officiating.

Martha is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Jon and Beverly and James and Shirley, all of McGregor; grandchildren, Jon C., Gary, Eugene and Steven Pouti, Diane Nyberg, Carmen Bock, and Julie Dike; 12 great-grandchildren; one great great-grandchild and three sisters, Julia Yetzer and Vivian Sedger, both of McGregor, and Marlene Berglin of Fridley.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; one brother, Alfred; two sisters, Hazel Isaacs and Ailie Lake, and her parents.

Arrangements were with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home of McGregor.


George Lewis Potkonjak, 79, Grand Rapids, died February 13, 2003, at his home.

He was born July 1, 1923, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the son of George and Mary (York) Giamos. He married Evelyn Washburn on September 1, 1943, in Astoria, Oregon, while serving in the United States Navy during World War II. Their home for the next 30 years was Hill City -- where he worked for the Danube Mine at Bovey. Then from 1973-1995, they made their home in Centralia, Washington, where George worked and retired from Washington Irrigation and Development Company. In 1995 they moved back to Grand Rapids. He was a member of the Tenino, Wahington Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed telling jokes, hunting, fishing and visiting with his friends and family.

Services were held February 17 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grand Rapids with Rev. Fr. Thomas Radaich officiating. Burial with full military honors will be in Macville Cemetery in Macville Township.

He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; sons and daughter-in-law: Steven Potkonjak, Kellogg, Idaho, and George and Linda Lewis Potkonjak Jr., Sumner, Washington; daughters, Ruth Raines, Grand Rapids; Mary Roemhildt, Coon Rapids; grandchildren and their spouses: Amelia and Jim Yrjanson, Jeffrey and Sara Raines, Tammy and Keith Johnson, Christopher and Tina Pltkonjak and Matthew Potkonjak and fiancee, Tonya Long; great-grandchildren: Alana Potkonjak, Brayden Potkonjak, Sara Raines, Matthew Raines, Mike Hudec, Autumn Johnson and August Johnson.

Arrangements were with the Rowe Funeral Home in Grand Rapids.


Gunder L. Pearson, 81, Aitkin, died March 15, 2003, at the Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin.

He was born September 11, 1921, in Spencer Township, Aitkin County, the son of Carl S. and Augusta (From) Pearson. He atteded school in Spencer Township and Glory. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1942-45. He was a medic and was involved in the D-Day landing at Normandy. Upon his discharge, he returned home and married Stella M. Samuelson on June 1, 1946, at the Opstead Baptist Church near Isle. They made their home at Glory. He worked as a contractor, painting and building. He retired in 1982. He was a charter member of the Glory Baptist Church where he had served in many different capacities over the years. He was a member of the Forever Young Club. He enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 19, at 2 p.m. at Glory Baptist Church with the Rev. Randy Stauter officiating. Burial will be in the Glory Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

He is survived by his wife, Stella, Aitkin; daughters and son-in-law; Yvonne Pearson and Robert Burck, Minneapolis; Judith Pearson and Stephen Maxwell, Arden Hills; Rebecca Pearson and Mark Warnken, Stillwater; sons and daughters-in-law; Douglas Pearson and Bonnie Conner, Penfield, New York; Ronald and Tricia Pearson, St. Paul; 14 grandchildren; brothers, David Pearson and Albin Pearson, both of Aitkin; Robert Pearson, Minneapolis; and sister, Selma Anderson, Chisago City. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Arrangement are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home, Aitkin.

Contributed by Karen Klennert
Source: Itasca Herald Review