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I've always been fascinated by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, ever since I read "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein and "The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook," by Alice B. Toklas. The first is a tour de force in which Stein really writes about herself, but titles it using her partner. That ploy enables her to have Toklas "write" stuff like this: "I have known only three geniuses in my life -- Pablo Picasso, Alfred North Whitehead and Gertrude Stein." Not bad, eh?
My friend Lou Gland, retired Ombudsman at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, called me the other day after a silence of several years. "What's the occasion, Lou?" "I just read a story in the New York Times and it made me think of you." "What was it about?" "It asked the question 'Are Book Reviewers Obsolete' and the answer was 'Yes they are.'" We both had a chuckle over that, but the state of book reviewing is at a critical juncture.
Walter Lloyd Sorensen, age 67, died May 22 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minn. Visitation will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at Luther Memorial Church, River Falls, Wis., with a memorial service at 10 a.m., followed by a celebration of life at 7 p.m. at their home in Beldenville.
Stephen Carl Hemp, age 48, of Red Wing and formerly of Hastings, passed away Saturday, March 9, at his home. He was born Feb. 12, 1965, to Carl and Judy (Anderson) Hemp at St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul. He attended elementary school in Cottage Grove and graduated from Hastings High School in 1984. He studied graphic communications at Dakota County Vo-Tech. He worked in the printing industry in Lake City, Minn. He then lived and worked in Arizona for several years.
Helen I. Heesch, age 78, of Hastings, passed peacefully Feb. 11 at the Regina Medical Center in Hastings after a brave battle with cancer, kidney disease, and other medical conditions. Helen was born Nov. 8, 1934, in Red Wing, Minn., to Carl and Esther (Lundell) Peterson. She married Thomas Heesch in April of 1955 at Vasa Lutheran Church.
Donna Mae Johnson, age 83, of Hastings, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family, on Dec. 3. Donna was born on May 13, 1929, in Ellsworth, Wis., to Paul and Verbena Boleen. She married LeRoy Johnson on June 6, 1947.
Clarence Ronald Burr, 74, of Medford, Minn., died Tuesday, Nov. 27, at his residence. Visitation will be at Michaelson Funeral Home, 1930 Austin Rd., PO Box 482, Owatonna, MN, 55060, from 1-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.
Mitchell Martin Lucas, age 17, loving son, goofy brother, valued friend, and avid outdoor sporting enthusiast, died tragically on Monday, Oct. 22. His death by suicide breaks our hearts and leaves behind an emptiness of unanswerable questions. According to Mitchell's wishes, we want to publicly thank the employers of this good boy who gave him a shot at making it in this world. He was on his way to be a good citizen, albeit in his own way.
Jeanette Catherine Fox, age 96, formerly of Cannon Falls, died Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the Regina Medical Center in Hastings. Jeanette was born March 18, 1916, in Douglas Township, Dakota County, to Peter and Susan (Gergen) Schweich. She married Nicholas Henry "Nick" Fox on Aug.
Mary Sukowatey Thoen, age 92, passed away peacefully at the River Falls Lutheran Home on Oct. 1. She was surrounded by her loving family. The funeral was performed at St. Bridget Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Oct. 6. Visitation was held from 10-11 a.m. Mary is buried at the St. Bridget's Catholic Cemetery in River Falls. Please view the full obituary at www.riverfallsjournal.com .