Funeral service for Edward J. Pautzke Jr., 86, was held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 9, at the United Methodist Church with Pastor David Price officiating. Interment was in the Springfield City Cemetery with military honors by John Watson American Legion Post 257.
Mr. Pautzke died Wednesday, January 6, 2016, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield.
Edward John Pautzke Jr. was born April 14, 1929, to Edward and Grace (Meierbachtol) Pautzke in Burnstown Township in Brown County, Minnesota. He was raised and educated in Springfield. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and returned to the family farm. On November 19, 1949, Ed was united in marriage to LaVonne Roiger in Springfield. Together with their five children, they were involved in many community projects which led way to their family being named Brown County’s Outstanding Family in 1987. Ed also received the WCCO Good Neighbor Award for his contributions to his fellow people and community. Ed contributed his time and talents to the Springfield Area Nativity Theatre Association (SANTA) to present the live nativity pageant. He was one of the pageant organizers and was instrumental in many aspects of the pageant during the past 30 years. Many of his other ecumenical efforts and community involvements included Springfield Area Health Care Foundation, Dollars for Scholars, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, Springfield Community Theatre, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, and American Legion. Ed was known for his “heart of gold,” strong faith, his positive, caring, and loving attitude, confidence, and self-esteem. He was a gentle, soft-spoken, modest man who spread joy and happiness that spilled over into lives of others. Ed’s talents were seen in his ministry of God. He was a lay speaker for church services and also was called to talk to Gideons, Masons, Pastor’s Banquets, Faith Fund rallies in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wyoming, and student groups. Ed studied clowning ministry which led him to provide cheer and encouragement to patients and residents of area hospitals and nursing homes. He also was an active member of the Sleepy Eye / Hector Camp of Gideons International for 35 years, serving in various positions including state treasurer, state vice president, and president. Ed was a member of the United Methodist Church in Springfield where he sang in the choir for 70+ years and was also the sound technician. He was very savvy with technology, very generous with his talents and time, and always said “yes” when technological skills were needed in our community whether it was for a school production or movies in the park. He enjoyed making special gifts out of wood for family and friends, with thoughts of them as he made them.
He is survived by his wife, LaVonne, of Springfield; children, Edward (Becky) Pautzke of Springfield, Jackie (Roger) Schmidt of Appleton, Gary (Rosalyn) Pautzke of Northfield, Sheri (Chris) McGruder of Bloomington, and Connie (George) May of Corcoran; 19 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; brothers, James Pautzke of Northhome, and Donovan (Jeanne) Pautzke of Northfield; sister-in-law, Sandy Roiger of Desoto, Texas; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Grace Pautzke; parents-in-law, Robert and Gertrude Roiger; brother, Jack Pautzke; sister, Jeanne Magochy; brothers-in-law, Andy Magochy and Dennis Roiger; sisters-in-law, Judy Pautzke and Elaine Pautzke; and daughter-in-law, Gail Pautzke.
Sturm Funeral Home in Springfield was entrusted with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.